Most Recent: Books

Next 33 1/3 book will focus on Super Mario Bros. soundtrack

supermariobros33 1/3 is a book series by Bloomsbury Publishing that focuses on albums by all manner of artists, including The Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, The Who, and more. There are 96 books in the series so far, and they’re about to announce 14 more, to be released in 2015 and 2016.

Today, they made an exciting announcement: they’ll be releasing a book in the series about Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. score!

Author Andrew Schartmann takes us through the various external factors (e.g., advances in technology, Nintendo’s marketing tactics) that coalesced into a ripe environment in which Kondo’s musical experiments could thrive. He then delves into the music itself, searching for reasons why our hearts still dance to the “primitive” 8-bit tunes of a bygone era.

Schartmann is no stranger to writing about Nintendo’s famous 8-bit scores – he’s the author of last year’s Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art. His 33 1/3 title will be out in May 2015.

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The Elder Scrolls and Theology to be released next month

elderscrollsandtheologyFormer Warp Zoned Contributor Joshua Wise has been plenty busy over the last year. In addition to working on his PhD, Wise found time to edit Past the Sky’s Rim: The Elder Scrolls and Theology. As you may have guessed from the title, the book explores the religious underpinnings of the Elder Scrolls series, giving particular emphasis to Bethesda’s 2011 smash hit, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

The Elder Scrolls series has entranced gamers for two decades with its deep mythology, complex history, and intriguing locations. Players have explored a world in The Elder Scrolls rich with kings, demons, heroes, magic, and gods. Past the Sky’s Rim: The Elder Scrolls and Theology engages with the world from the perspective of academic theology and religious studies. Within these pages, scholars ask what it means to become a god, to die alone in the solitude of Vvardenfell, and to live in a world with different afterlives for different people. Attempting to move beyond a shallow engagement, Past the Sky’s Rim considers video games as serious media capable of transmitting important ideas to those who engage with them and invites readers to think more deeply about what games can say about ultimate realities.

Past the Sky’s Rim: The Elder Scrolls and Theology will be available through your favorite bookseller (including Amazon) on April 15.

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Nintendo vs Sega “Console Wars” will become a movie

consolewarsmovieConsole Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation is an upcoming book by Blake Harris that details the struggle between Nintendo and Sega starting from the beginning. “The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan,” the book’s blurb reads.

But what’s even more exciting is that, before the book has even come out, the movie rights have already been purchased. According to Booktrade.info, the movie is being developed by Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin, and will be directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also wrote the book’s foreword, and will be writing the screenplay as well. Harris, who is already co-directing a documentary about this, will be the Executive Producer, and Goldberg, Rogen, and Rudin will also be producers.

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation is due out in hardcover on May 13.

Posted in Books, Gaming Etc., Movies/TV/Video, News |



Borderlands: Gunsight Review: Another Terrible Book Tie-In

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John Shirley is at it again with his third book in the Borderlands series. Borderlands: Gunsight has Brick on the cover, but don’t let that fool you: Brick isn’t more than a periphery character in this book. No, this book continues where Borderlands: Unconquered left off – with Mordecai shacked up with Daphne Kuller, AKA Kuller the Killer. And that’s not all it has in common with the second book – it’s just as terribly written as that one, and just as boring. And oh yeah – Shirley still has not learned how to use semicolons. Can someone please take away that guy’s computer already? (more…)

Posted in Books, Gaming Etc., Reviews, Top Story |

Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Marcus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything Review: The Awesome Story of the Indie Sensation and the Man Behind it

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I’m a sucker for books about the video game industry. Big games, small games, gaming personalities – I love them all. Which is why when I heard about Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Marcus “Notch” Persson and the Game that Changed Everything, I wanted to read it, in spite of my minimal experience with the game itself. Written by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, a pair of technology journalists from Sweden, Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale… is their first book to receive an English translation. Once I got my hands on their little green book, I could not put it down. (more…)

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Kickstart This! The Organic Monochrome Augmented Reality Edition

Summer is in full swing, like a party at Jay Gatsby’s house. While we are currently in the middle of a month of suffering thanks to a gaming drought, there’s always new opportunities on Kickstarter. This month, choose whether to join Team Meat or Team Cheese in Organic Panic, explore the chilling dystopia of Monochroma, or get your steampunk on in turn-based strategy Tooth and Cog.

Taking a slight detour from video games themselves, there is also the augmented reality board game Darkling Plain, a new open-source programmable handheld console in the FEZ Game-O, and finally, Double Jump, a novel about a man who finds himself in a world governed by video game logic.

Let’s jump right in! (more…)

Posted in Books, Features, Gaming Etc., PC, Tabletop Games, Top Story, Xbox 360 |



New Tomb Raider comic and game sequel confirmed

tombraiderrebootartDark Horse Comics hosted an “Art of Video Games” panel yesterday in which they revealed a brand new Tomb Raider comic for 2014. The first issue is currently scheduled to be released on February 26 and it’ll be written by Gail Simone (who has also recently worked on Wonder Woman and Batgirl). In an interview with Kotaku, Simone revealed that the comic will pick up after the end of this year’s Tomb Raider reboot and lead directly into a game sequel:

Kotaku: When does this series take place with respect to the events of the new game? Will this still be a new Lara who’s just starting out as an adventurer?

Simone: Very much so, we start just a few weeks after the end of the game, and this is all in continuity, it will be Tomb Raider canon, and lead DIRECTLY into the sequel. This is what got me excited; we get to be part of Lara Croft history.

Even though the Tomb Raider reboot sold exceptionally well, there were reports that Square Enix was unhappy with the game’s retail performance. I for one am thrilled they’re moving forward with a sequel.

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You Review: A Book I Wanted to Like

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Austin Grossman’s latest novel, You, is a fictional story of video game developers set on solving a mystery embedded within their engine by their deceased friend. Grossman (who also wrote Soon I Will Be Invincible) has been a game designer for over 20 years, and gives readers a unique glimpse inside the world of the game developer. As Russell starts his new job at Black Arts, we get insight on the lives of developers, from how each game is developed (start to finish) to the relationships between those who create it. But in this story, we get even more – as Russell races against the clock to fix the bug that could potentially destroy the company, he goes back and forth from past to present and back, detailing his relationships with his current co-workers – and former friends. (more…)

Posted in Books, Gaming Etc., Reviews, Top Story |