My name is Alexander Smith, and I am a librarian that has been researching the history of the video game industry for nearly a decade. I began collecting sources for my own edification, but after becoming dissatisfied with the books currently available chronicling the history of the video game industry, I decided to take my own stab at the problem. Therefore, I am currently hip-deep in research for what should ultimately become a three volume history of the video game industry across all formats (coin, console, computer, mobile, etc.) and all major geographic regions (U.S., U.K., Continental Europe, Japan, Mainland East Asia, etc.). Volume I will cover the pre-history of the industry to 1982, when the US console market began to crash, Volume II will cover 1982-1994 as the computer game market takes off in the United States and Europe and Nintendo revives the console market and battles Sega for 16-bit dominance, and Volume III will cover 1994-present as the Sony PlayStation and the Internet bring video gaming into the mainstream and new revenue and distribution models transform the industry in the early 21st Century.
The main reason I decided to begin this massive undertaking is the high level of inaccuracy that has crept into most of the video game history books written so far. Most of these books have been written by journalists who were sometimes more interested in telling a good story than running down every last fact, and while these tomes usually get the big picture right, they tend to be slipshod on chronology and details. More recent works have done a much better job in this regard, but they are still necessarily limited by page count and by the amount of time they have to research the subject. My goal is to create as accurate a retelling of the industry’s history as currently available sources allow in a series of tomes large enough to contain the full story. I hope to have the first volume finished by the end of 2016 for publication sometime the following year.
I started this blog as a companion to my research. The goal is to use this forum to gather my sources and attribute my facts and explain where my information comes from, point out any contradictions among sources, and try to reconstruct events as best I can. This will allow me to more easily organize my research for my manuscript while also providing a forum to debunk a few of the inaccuracies that have cropped up in previous efforts. For more detail on my methodologies and sources, consult the introductory post of the blog.
This blog has no set posting schedule, and I find that some of the longer posts can take as long as a month to put together, so there will definitely be long gaps between posts at times. As stated, this blog is primarily for me to organize my thoughts, but I hope the material may prove interesting to a few other people out there. Questions, comments, and observations are welcome.