July 1994

"When did video games originate?" is a good question some gamers might have. For me, that might be a hard question to answer but the book "Phoenix (The Fall & Rise of Home Video Games)" by Leonard Herman easily answers that question by giving the reader a complete history of video games from their less than humble beginnings to the present, one will realize this is one invaluable book. 

"Phoenix (The Fall & Rise of Home Video Games)" traces video gaming's roots way back to the sixties when mainframe computer games were around and even beyond that to the first computers and even simple adding machines like the abacus used more than 1400 years ago to give a good perspective on how video games came to be. 

Further in the book it details how the first video games were unleashed on the public and from that time on it looked like video games had no end in sight. Then in the early to mid eighties too many companies tried to grab a piece of the market resulting in an oversaturation of video games. This oversaturation caused the video game industry to collapse leaving many companies bankrupt in its wake and leaving the ones that were left barely surviving. 

Like the book's name, the "Phoenix" was a mythical bird that lived for six hundred years and when it died a new bird rose from it's ashes. This bird is very similar to the video game industry - and in 1985 Nintendo released the NES in what was once thought a dead industry. In the years to come the NES became one of the best selling systems of all time mostly because of a little "plumber". From then on, the book "Phoenix" continues to the present day and finishes off with an overview of multimedia and a short but sweet history of "Virtual Reality". 

 Overall, "Phoenix (The Fall & Rise of Home Video Games)" is a very enjoyable book to read and no serious gamer should go without it. You will then find out the amount of use you will get from this book will be unmeasureable. 

I really recommend you get this book because it is easily worth the price.