The Reading List

17 thoughts
last posted Nov. 24, 2014, 9:49 p.m.

11 later thoughts


Finally getting round to reading Sensible Software 1986-1999. The book has a very attractive layout with a few key issues in the form of the quirky placement of footnotes vertically in the margin, requiring the book to be rotated to comfortably and the placement of all the full colour pictures at the back of the book rather than at the end of the relevant section in the main body of the book.

So far while the story of the 8-bit games revolution in the UK is interesting the book itself feels a lot like hagiography. It doesn't work as history because the author (an old acquaintance of his subjects) doesn't have access to one half of the original partnership of Sensible Software. As journalism it is too soft and fails to real dig into anything or illuminate a wider aspect of the world. You are ultimately reading one man's ruminations on his glory days. Even the analysis of what made the games good or bad is very limited.

There is also a reminder of the unpleasant blokeyness and purile humour that proliferated in a scene where most of the participants were male and barely out of their teens. Sexism at the time were perhaps understandable given the circumstances, I don't think it is sensible to look back now and regard it as all good fun.

5 earlier thoughts