Mark J. P. Wolf (ed.): Video Games Around the World
2015, 697 pp., $45.00, ISBN 978-0-262-52716-3 (pbk)
Received: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published online: 23 May 2017
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017
This book, edited by the famous video game scholar Mark J. P. Wolf, with the
foreword by Toru Iwatani (the creator of the worldwide timeless classic, Pac-Man),
provides a brief history of video games for all the major games title-producing or
consuming countries; this is the broadest coverage so far—even Antarctica, where
engineers in scientiﬁc research stations play video games to kill time, is mentioned.
Besides this forgotten continent, a total of 39 countries and regions around the world
are introduced in this book, with one chapter for each one. Video games on every
kind of platform are mentioned. This book covers arcade games, console games,
handheld games, computer games, online games, browser games, and social games.
It really is the ﬁrst historical compilation of video games, which breaks the barriers
of language and national boundary, and thus should reach the maximum number of
readers around the world.
Each chapter almost follows the same pattern of introduction, and contains at
least some of the following for each of the 39 countries and regions: a history of the
different forms of video games from as far back as the 1960s up to the 2010s; the
country’s national history or indigenous culture, and the role of video games
therein; the current status of the video games industry (as well as piracy risks); video
game media; edutainment and game design education; music, art and video games;
gaming events; players and communities; reception of foreign games; government
regulations on video games; the negative inﬂuence of video games on juveniles;
research into video games; and the future prospects of video games. Each
chapter has a strong historical focus; in some chapters, the controversial issue of
gambling, including the hazy boundary between gambling and gaming, is addressed.
For example, it is mentioned that in Indonesia, gaming and gambling, two closely
related entertainments, are under scrutiny. In South Jakarta, many young people
& Jiexin Yi
College of Foreign Language and Cultures, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
Comput Game J (2017) 6:205–208