As the videogame industry continues to expand beyond a billion-dollar business, several people have realized how poorly its nascence has been preserved. Why would it be, considering how the medium was largely lumped into the category of child’s toys? Cartridges, ads, magazines – the seemingly unimportant or obscure things of the past are hard to come by (if not already lost to time), as The Video Game History Foundation’s Frank Cifaldi discussed with our podcast host Ben Hanson. With this in mind, it’s great to see a project that was made by and for fans: a 528-page book detailing the nature and history of the CRPG genre followed by 400 reviewed games.
Felipe Pepe oversaw the publication and consolidation of the book’s dozens of voluntary contributions coming from 112 fans, writers, and developers ranging from BioWare’s Ian Frazier to video essayist George Weidman. In addition to the history and reviews, there are “mod suggestions and hints on how to run games on modern hardware” as well. You can download the book for free from the official website. A physical edition with proofread and potential extra content may see the light of day depending on if the demand is great enough.