Gaming literature is an incredibly strange thing. While searching for books on Game Theory is probably going to quickly throw you into the uncomfortable world of economics, it’s still incredibly difficult to find good, wholesome, gaming literature. One could spend pages upon pages dissecting everything about Super Mario Bros.3 or what impact the Nintendo 64 had on the world, but that never really explains the broad world of gaming.
Enter Oliver Snyders, the former editor of El33tonline and indie game developer. Oliver is quite the recognisable face in the South African games industry as he’s spent many years involved on both ‘sides’ of the industry. All of this experience has resulted in Oliver putting finger to keyboard and churning out A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming – A Guide to Understanding, Appreciating, Loving and Loathing Videogames. What’s interesting about this rather lengthy exposé into the world of gaming is that Oliver, while having the experience to be able to call himself one, doesn’t take the position of an expert but rather a humble guide through the crazy world of gaming. The gaming industry is quite important to a lot of us out there but it’s still something that’s incredibly difficult to explain to newcomers and even to those of us who think we have a decent grasp on it. Creating a guide to gaming is a daunting task, but thankfully Oliver has provided an in-depth look from his perspective to provide a pretty decent place to start.
So what can you expect from this expedition into the world of gaming? Well, while one might want to pass it off as pure anecdotal writing, there is still something to be appreciated here. It’s not simply a well-handled trip through gaming history, but also an insightful look into the future. We’ve been standing on the precipice of Virtual Reality invading our homes for quite some time, but Oliver tactfully approaches the topic and is even able to leave the reader feeling somewhat informed on the matter.
What really does it for me though is that while one might be tempted to read this book as one traditionally does, from start to finish, I found myself able to open up to almost any section and still be able to appreciate what was written. It might seem like a weird takeaway from the book, but being able to read the contents page and head directly to a section that I may have felt ill-informed on or curious about really helped me to appreciate the delivery a bit more.
A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming is an interesting piece of literature that may be overlooked by most, but it does indeed achieve what it sets out to do. It is simply a guide to the world of gaming that has been written by someone who has been heavily involved in multiple aspects of this complicated industry. Those who are unfamiliar with the world of gaming will find this book to be a pretty decent starting point to discover the intricacies of the industries while those who may be a bit more informed should still be able to find some value. It is quite obvious that Oliver has poured a lot of effort into this lengthy project which is shown in the quality of the writing presented and is why this passion project exists to inform and educate about the fantastical world of gaming.
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