The Def Guide to Zzap!64

They Were Our Gods
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Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  They Were Our Gods

I had an idea for a book about ten years ago, but not being a professional writer, I just kept thinking about it but not doing anything about it. Seeing as the impending documentary "From Bedrooms To Billions" is covering my idea pretty much exactly, I figured that if I didn't do this now, then I never would.

My intention is to write a book about computer games. I know, it's already been done, many times. There are some great books about games out there. But one thing that they pretty much all have in common is that they lean heavily towards America and Japan. In fact, from reading the books that are out there, you could be forgiven for thinking that nobody in Britain or Europe ever programmed a game in the Eighties.

My aim is to put that right. We had an amazing games scene back then, with some incredible imagination and creativity at work. Many of the best games of that era were born on these shores. I don't think our programmers have had the credit they deserve. Nor do I think their stories have been told anywhere near enough. I'm planning to feature their stories, their games... and hopefully, their words.

The book will be called They Were Our Gods.

If you'd like to know more about this undertaking, I'm making regular updates on my blog, They Were Our Gods. I've also set up a Twitter account, @TheyWereOurGods (seems you can't link to a Twitter account!) and a Facebook page, Facebook - They Were Our Gods. If you're into those kind of things, please follow or like them.

I'm hoping this will turn out well, I'll be able to make the contacts I need and get some great quotes and stories from the stars of the time. All being well, this could be a great Christmas present for us all in 2013...

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

I'm also planning to include musicians and magazine "stars" of the time, too...


Author:  andy vaisey [ Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Good luck!

Author:  Iain [ Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Fantastic idea. Apart from Tristan Donovan's excellent ReplayImage, I've never read a book that mentions the UK in anything more than passing, if even.

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Yeah, Replay is very good, but it can be hard going as it's more or less page after page of black and white text. I'm planning to do something much more colourful, with plenty of screenshots to go with the text. I just hope I can find and get in touch with the people in question, otherwise it won't have much validity.

Author:  Iain [ Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Pictures / photos are good, but as long as it's in addition to lots of text. A good beefy read is what I want, with pictures to back it up!

It should be easier to get in touch with people now then it would have been a few years ago, what with Facebook and Retro Gamer making it easier and more common respectively.

I would imagine people who have written for Retro Gamer could be a good help for contacts, e.g. Mayhem or CraigG here for a start.

I hope you have a chapter set aside for Newsfield etc. :)

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

There will certainly be lots of text, yes.


You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to find anyone! Twitter, Facebook... they're not turning up anything. Retro Gamer would obviously have a lot of contacts, but I'm not sure how receptive they would be to me effectively asking them to give them all up. We'll see, I'll keep looking for now.

Author:  Iain [ Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Frank Gasking might be a good one for contacts, since he's very good at programmer / games detective work!

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Ooh, good thinking!

Author:  Ian Osborne [ Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

I'll help too if I can, though I've only stayed in touch with journalists from back in the day.

Author:  Mayhem [ Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

I'll readily admit, I probably know more people in the US than I do in the UK in regards to contacts for the classic era. Let's face it, 79-83 was THE time for American videogame business. So UK contacts would be a little thin on the ground, and probably people that are fairly open and available.

Have you seen that Jaz and Gaz have been writing some bits for Eurogamer recently Paul? I'd say the demand is there for some UK centric opinions.

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

I really do think the time is right for something like this. My intention, though, is not to give a warts-and-all account, but a celebration of the people and their games. I might have to revise that down the line though... it depends what information I get (or people want to give).

Good news though... I sent out an e-mail to an address I stumbled upon, and have received a nice reply promising me information for this. So that's my first rung climbed (or will be, once I've e-mailed some questions).

Ian: journalists could still be good, as I do intend to give coverage to the ones that were "personalities" and that helped change games journalism from being a page forced into a business magazine into the medium we all know (or knew) and love. Everyone knows the ones I mean... if you can remember their names, they were part of it.

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Hey, remember this? It's going pretty well. I've got some great interviews so far, although I certainly want and need lots more. But things are coming along nicely, and I even started formatting some pages and that gets me even more excited about it.

Author:  andy vaisey [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

Great news! Keep the energy up!

Author:  PaulEMoz [ Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: They Were Our Gods

That's guaranteed when you land brilliant interviews with great names. Loving it! :D

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