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18 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read
I am a 41 year old gamer. I was around for Pong! to Atari to Colecovision to the PC of today. Although I thoroughly enjoy playing computer games, I never knew how this whole medium got started. By drawing from interviews of the gaming pioneers, who played endless nights of Dungeons and Dragons, to the dreamers of new virtual worlds, this book lays out how the electronic...
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by J. Garcia

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2.0 out of 5 stars A hit and miss effort
After finishing Masters of Doom and the Ultimate History of Video Games I found Dungeons and Dreamers to be fairly choppy and unfocused. Masters of Doom was an interesting (albeit odd) focus on the rise to fame of John Carmack and John Romero and provides the insight as to how the average person became famous and the changes in technology that took place during that time...
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by Tod Curtis


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5.0 out of 5 stars tremendous piece of literary anthropology, Aug. 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
Borland's book - really, more a testament, an unearthing, a magnetic field, a mass of energy, thunder & lightning, a tremendous and moving examination of the forces that shape all humankind and specifically its pale, glasses-wearing and physically unimpressive subspecies than just a book - is easily one of the finest investigations into geekdom ever made - at least by a (supposed) non-geek. Reading this monument to all things dungeonmasterish & Ultima-like, I was struck by a thought which at the time seemed very profound but later turned out to be completely false: all we are is dust in the wind. But this turned out to have been someone else's though first, and is purely tangential to Borland's MAGNUM OPUS, this encyclopedia of sunlight-shunning nerdity. I can only say this: if this book were an amusement park, the world would not measure up to its rides. Pure 100% content, this book is a winner - four stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars True fans and gamers, it's must-read material, May 23 2004
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Amazon Customer "jv" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
Very enjoyable and non-heavy book stretching back to Gygax and his crew of Chainmail folks up through the current crop of MMORPG play (yeah, Carmack and Romero and all those guys are in it too). A great read and a diverse one too, in that it discusses the technical issues of game development and game play, video games in a social context and under fire from concerned activists, and also a cool look at the personal lives of the key players who introduced the games themselves, Never boring, and although it's not a super heavy read it's got definite gems of inspiration and insight. It's well written and engaging. If you're a fan, (especially if you had a C64/Atari/Pong and spent time with the 20 sided die) it's a must have. Lots of fun! I'd disregard the 1-star bad review (if you read past page 14, it gets much more interesting Kathy82...that goes for most books, btw).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A true appreciation of the changing world of games!, Sept. 26 2003
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
Time and time again I had read and heard bits and pieces of Garriott's story but was truly amazed when presented with it all in one sitting with the book "Dungeons and Dreamers". Brad King and John Borland show a true appreciation of the changing world of games. In "Dungeons and Dreamers" the authors provide us with a detailed look at many of the major events and games, which has shaped online gaming over the years. This book provides readers with a quick look into the lives and tells the stories of many familiar people; from programmers to gamers and those who helped shaped online gaming communities from its conception.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic". This is a fun, well presented and informative story that is definitely worth checking out!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Examines the communities of computer game players, Oct. 8 2003
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
In Dungeons And Dreamers: The Rise Of Computer Game Culture From Geek To Chic by Brad King and John Borland examines the communities of computer game players that have sprung up over the last 30 years and the role the creators of the games played in forming them. Based on numerous interviews with Richard Garriott, the developer of the first commercially successful online role-playing game Ultima Online, King and Borland tell the fascinating story of the icon's start and ascent in the industry. King and Borland also profile other prominent creators and celebrity players.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal work of geek culture investigation, Aug. 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
This encyclopedic masterwork, this magnum opus, this testament to our weaker, paler & less physically attractive cousins - it is more a paradigm for the new anthropology of nerdity than simply a book. Borland et. al. have, through years of painstaking participant-observation study in this dungeonmaster-ish, Ultima-like, Everquest-addicted card-collecting subculture, brought together, in a single tremendous gotterdammerung of a bound mass of pulp product, the most complete and far-reaching study of what makes the nerds who they are and who, someday, they may become.
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1.0 out of 5 stars How Lord British lost his virginity--p. 14--very big deal!, Dec 7 2003
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
Was given this book as a freebie--someone must be buying up copies. For an Austinite, this adoring account of the life of a hasbeen fifth-string techno-celebrity is a little embarrassing in its breathlessness--kind of reminds one of the courtiers who saluted when Louis the XIV's chamber pot was carried by, except this isn't the Sun King, guys. Get a life, or at least an authentic artist to swoon over--all of Garriott's stuff was strictly derivative. Now that we have the real Lord of the Rings to watch, who cares about cheap imitations?
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5.0 out of 5 stars WHOA!!!, April 29 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
This book taught me alot about how the games got started and how video, board, and pen and paper games bring people to gether if any ones looking for an interesting read this is for you. im going to buy and apple2 just so i can play some of those games. ITS GREAT!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of Fizzles out in the end, July 14 2011
By 
Jason "jTc" (Victoria, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic (Hardcover)
Dungeons and Dreamers is about the rise of the computer gaming industry right from pre-creation roots in Dungeons and Dragons. The first part of the book, The Rise of Digital Gaming, is the part I found most fascinating. It details the people and events of the early computer gaming industry. Too much emphasis is put on Richard Garriott, but it is still interesting to read about his life. Part II takes us to the beginning of on-line play, and this too, is interesting. Part III, I feel, is where this book really falls flat. The chronological order of events is abandoned and we start getting, for example, a yawner of a chapter on the lawsuits and violence in computer games. The remaining chapters detail the further development of on-line play in computer games and comes off as sort of a garbled mess. Too many people are talked about and there just seems to be no direction. I also couldn't help how outdated it felt to read this part; for example, there is no mention of WOW. So, first two parts, 4 stars, part 3, 2 stars, overall 3 stars.
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