My new book, currently in progress and having suffered some heavy slippage at the hands of the merciless GameCity project...
Some big numbers.
Rare, a videogame developer, has sold over ninety million games since 1985. In 2002, Microsoft bought them for 375 million dollars.
The Tomb Raider franchise has sold over thirty million games since launch.
In the last ten years, over three hundred and thirty-five million units of leisure software have been sold in the United Kingdom. This equates to five titles per head of the population.
Numbers are brilliant, impressive and reassuring for UK PLC. We should celebrate them as the amazing achievement they are. But sadly, they wholly overlook one of the most important elements of creativity which almost every other strain of pop-culture is it pains to celebrate. Films have writers, actors, directors – all of whom are visible within the promotion and discussion of them. Music has composers, performers – books have authors. All cultural endeavor has artists, people at its centre.
Play Britannia is about the much overlooked fact that games are made by people.
It’s an adventure story, albeit one where the heroes sit still and type for hours on end. It’s about owning cars you’re not old enough to drive, hacking into live television broadcasts, your mum being your accountant and pioneering a new age of creativity. It’s also about running out of money, being censored by the government and being blamed for murder.
This book is about what happened when some people on a small European island wrote some computer games.