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Weiss, Brett Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984: A Complete Reference Guide McFarland 2007. 316p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-0-7864-3226-4. $55. REF
This guide appears to be a labor of love for Texas-based author Weiss, former owner of a comic-book store and self-proclaimed “video kid.” It is arranged alphabetically by console, with each chapter beginning with a description and history of the game system covered and including a complete and comprehensive listing of video games released for that console. Sixteen systems are explored in total, from Adventure Vision to Vectrex. The entries for the games are succinct, offering the publisher and developer of the game, the category (e.g., sports, board game, first-person shooter), and the release date. There is also a paragraph about each game with details about game play, the programmers involved, the game's relation to other games, and critical comments. An appendix covers home-brew titles, i.e., those created by fans and amateur programmers. The book has an excellent glossary and is well indexed. BOTTOM LINE The method of organization sets this work apart from other histories of video games and gives it worth as a reference resource. With interest in gaming remaining strong and owing to the nostalgia factor among Gen-Xers, this title is recommended for large public libraries.—Samantha Schmehl Hines, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula