Game Boys by Michael Kane: Book Cover

    Game Boys: Professional Videogaming's Rise from the Basement to the Big Time by Michael Kane

    (Hardcover)

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    ( 3 customer ratings )

    • Pub. Date: June 2008
    • 320pp
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      Product Details

      • Pub. Date: June 2008
      • Publisher:Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
      • Format: Hardcover, 320pp

      Synopsis

      An inside look at the rivalries, big money, and dirty business of competitive videogaming

      Yankees vs. Red Sox. Lakers vs. Celtics. And now . . . Team 3D vs. CompLexity. That would be America's next celebrated rivalry if the men in Game Boys had their way. 3D and CompLexity are two of the top professional “e-sports” teams in the U.S. Their battle for dominance, as juicy as any feud in “real” sports, leads the action in Michael Kane's engaging and lively chronicle of the lifestyle and business of gaming.

      We've come a long way since Pac-Man. Today's games are more elaborate, popular, and addictive than ever. For the elite players, gaming is a full-fledged career that pays big money in prizes and corporate sponsorships. Gamers win, lose, strategize, fight, sign with rival teams, get berated by sideline-pacing coaches. Some use performance-enhancing drugs. And now they're going on TV. Are they really the “athletes” of tomorrow? They act like they are.

      Game Boys is a pioneering narrative of the rivalries, quirks, and dramas of a subculture on the cusp of big things. At its most personal, it's a classic sports tale of victory and defeat, punched up for the millennial generation. It's also an engrossing business-meets-popculture narrative that reveals the entrepreneurial ingenuity involved in bringing gaming onto broadcast TV, in the vein of the X-Games or televised poker. Game Boys is an engrossing read for technophiles, gamers, parents, and anyone interested in the business of sports and trends in pop culture.

      Jim Caple

      As someone who never was able to quite handle the leap from Pac-Man to Ms. Pac-Man, I am indebted to Michael Kane for writing Game Boys and explaining how far video gaming has come in the years since . . . and just how far it might go. He'll be the first person I consult when I'm assigned to cover the World Series of Counter-Strike. (Jim Caple, ESPN.com senior writer and author of The Devil Wears Pinstripes)

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      Biography

      Michael Kane is an entertainment features writer for the New York Post, where his greatest contribution to tabloid journalism was giving Arnold Schwarzenegger the title “Governator.” He was a sportswriter and editor at The Denver Post and his writing has appeared in ESPN Magazineand Sport magazine.

      Customer Reviews

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      • Ratings: 3Reviews: 2

      great readby wolfe86

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      April 06, 2011: Even if you're not a fan of video games this is an excellent read. I couldn't wait to finish the book and see what happens to these gamers

      Game Boys Is A Winnerby Anonymous

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      June 29, 2008: Games Boys: Professional Videogaming?s Rise from the Basement to the Big Time by Michael Kane is the best inside look at the competitive videogaming industry I have read to date. He peels back the layers of this very complex subculture and lays it all out there for anyone to read - from the gamers themselves to the parents who try to understand. Game Boys has it all - the celebratory victories, the heartbreaking losses, the passion of its supports and accompanies it all with backroom dirty laundry. This book is an informative, exciting read. Author Michael Kane has managed to translate the excitement of competition into his words, and sometimes I found myself reading faster through the competition gameplay to get to the moment of victory - even though I already knew the results of many of the matches he wrote about. As a participant full of passion for the videogame industry, there were so many times I found myself identifying with CompLexity GM Jason Lake and harbouring feelings of resentment towards Craig Levine. Like Jason Lake, I believe in the grassroots foundation of this wonderful industry, and even though Craig Levine has done much to get competitive videogaming out there into the main stream of today's world, I often felt that Levine's tactics were less than honourable, and I am of the generation when honour was at the forefront of how you conducted your life. These are elements which make for a great book - eliciting emotion and appreciation from the reader, making the reader care about the characters in the story. Michael Kane has artfully included every aspect of our advancing technological world - global friendships and rivalries, heroes and villains, supportive families and families who feel the gamer is wasting his or her time. Corporations who only look at the biggest and the best for exposure, instead of looking at and supporting the grassroots events and players who keep the industry churning forward on a daily basis. Event promoters who are in it for the dollar, and to heck with the injury they do to our industry by scamming the players who have poured their heart, soul and often their last dollar into feeding their passion for gaming in hopes of making it to the winner's circle. I commend Michael for the honesty of his words, even the ones which cast a less than idyllic light on the e-sports industry, because the end result shows that our cyberathletes truly are no different from the mainstream sports athletes. They train, they play, they do things they shouldn't, but when it comes right down to the final seconds it's all about the game and the opponent in front of them. Game Boys shows how far we as a competitive market have come, but also shows how far we have yet to go. Michael touched very briefly on the girls in gaming, and while some things have changed since Game Boys went to print, much has stayed the same, from the disdain which meets many girl gamers head on, to the insults and unwelcome photos hurled at them on XBL. While the industry is still very much a boys' club, the girls are rapidly gaining ground - perhaps in the future we can look forward to a book on Gamer Girls to compliment Gamer Boys - what do you say, Michael?