Tron and Robotron: Thirty Years of Electronic Gaming (and Counting)

I got several great books for Christmas this year, one of which was Jeff Spega’s Tron and Robotron: Thirty Years of Electronic Gaming (and Counting). I received an electronic preview copy a few weeks back, but after finding a physical copy of the book under my tree I decided to spend some time this past holiday weekend to read the entire book cover to cover.

tron-robotron

Even at 420 pages, Tron and Robotron is a quick read. Throughout the book, Spega relates stories of his childhood and beyond. Those who grew up playing Atari 2600, Nintendo, or Commodore 64 games will certainly relate to the stories within. The stories are presented in chronological order; by the end of the book, Spega has kids of his own, and his hobby of playing games has largely evolved into collecting them.

The second half of the book contains lists. The first appendix contains a list of “every console [the author] has ever heard of,” and it’s a lot. Most of the entries include facts, details about additional information about things such as the console’s controllers or games to keep an eye out for. The second, larger appendix contain’s Spega’s list of recommended games (and there are hundreds of them). Lists are subjective and readers may find a few of their favorite games missing, but by and large I agreed with the author’s choices.

In a way Tron and Robotron feels like two separate books bundled together, and that’s okay. The stories make for good reading, and the lists make for good reference material. If you grew up in the same era that Jeff and I did, you will be able to relate to many of the stories contained within — and if you didn’t (and enjoy video games), you’ll enjoy hearing about what it was like from someone who was there.

Tron and Robotron can be purchased through Jeff Spega’s website. If you order a copy, be sure to e-mail Jeff and let him know you heard about it here on The Retroist!

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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3 thoughts on “Tron and Robotron: Thirty Years of Electronic Gaming (and Counting)

  1. Doug says:

    That book looks awesome. Did you get the whole thing as an ebook or just the chapters he has on the website? I’d rather have it as an ebook.

  2. Hey Doug, thanks for the compliment! I’m busy w/ book #2 (and baby #2!)… even though T and R is new to everyone else, I have to admit I’m a bit burnt out on it. I expect to get going on the e-version in the summer of 2012. I’m trying to think of a way to get everyone who bought the “real” book to double-dip, so there’s a good chance I’ll be throwing in some extra content. I would also like to give those who bought a physical copy a steep discount on the e-book… not sure how I’ll go about this. Stay tuned!

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