Lowood and Guins (eds.), Debugging Game History

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Winter 2018

Journal Title or Book Title

Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures






Lowood, H. & Guins, R. Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2016. Hardcover $49.00.| E-book $35.00.| 464 pp. | ISBN: 9780262034197

As the first title in MIT Press’s Game Histories series, Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon seeks to offer a comprehensive collection of critical gaming histories. In their introduction to the book, editors Lowood and Guins acknowledge the relative dearth of scholarship on gaming history. They also argue that extant work in this area often appears as reductive chronologies that focus on the rise (and pitfalls) of the gaming industry. As a response to the lack of diverse content in this area, the editors envision this collection as a starting point for scholars looking to learn more about critical aspects of game history via forty-nine short chapters identified by keywords.

Each chapter offers a snapshot of a particular history for a range of steadfast and fringe topics. This collection succeeds in balancing their mix of core concepts and topics such as narrative, mechanics, and character with less well-tread areas such as game audio, menus, or demos. Gaming scholars from nearly any background will find something in this book for their research, whether it be a new take on an established concept or foundational information about an understudied topic.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License