A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971–1984

By Van Burnham

A gloriously illustrated history of the videogame and its legacy for both our mindscapes and video technology.





A gloriously illustrated history of the videogame and its legacy for both our mindscapes and video technology.

It was a time when technology was king, status was determined by your high score, and videogames were blitzing the world... From Pong to Pac-Man, Asteroids to Zaxxon—more than fifty million people around the world have come of age within the electronic flux of videogames, their subconscious forever etched with images projected from arcade and home videogame systems.

From the first interactive blips of electronic light at Brookhaven National Labs and the creation of Spacewar! at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; to the invention of the TV Game Project and the myriad systems of Magnavox, Atari, Coleco, and Mattel that followed; through the rise of the Golden Age of videogames and forward into the imagination of millions, Supercade is the first book to illustrate and document the history, legacy, and visual language of the videogame phenomenon.

Exuberantly written and illustrated in full color, Supercade pays tribute to the technology, games, and visionaries of one of the most influential periods in the history of computer science—one that profoundly shaped the modern technological landscape and helped change the way people view entertainment.

Supercade includes contributions from such commentators and particpants as Ralph Baer, Julian Dibbell, Keith Feinstein, Joe Fielder, Lauren Fielder, Justin Hall, Leonard Herman, Steven Johnson, Steven Kent, Nick Montfort, Bob Parks, Carl Steadman, and Tom Vanderbilt.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262024921 448 pp. | 10 in x 10 in color throughout


$19.95 T ISBN: 9780262524209 448 pp. | 10 in x 10 in color throughout


  • ...[A] satisfying, illuminating read. Recommended for hardcore gamers (and ex-gamers) of all ages.

    Dominic Al-Badri

    Kansai Time Out, Japan

  • ...Big, glossy, comprehensive...a blitz of zippy words and zappy graphics.

    Iain Finlayson

    The Times Weekend Review

  • Who can resist a book that opens by tying invention of the video game to development of the atom bomb?

    Computer Gaming World

  • Burnham's done a splendid job of recreating the cathode-lit dens and arcades of our youth...

    Bill Smith

    LA Weekly

  • It's impossible to praise this book too highly.

    Paul Di Filippo


  • ...[M]akes a crucial point...the 'golden age' of video games kick-started an entertainment industry that now rivals Hollywood.

    Erik Davis


  • ...this book, programmers, and machines that arose from nothing more than the desire to create the perfect game.

    Fin Fahey

    New Scientist


  • Even though I have been a part of this industry since I joined Atari in 1978, I still find it interesting to hear what was going on with others in the games business. I look forward to the release of this book.

    Ed Logg

    Super Duper Game Guy, Midway Games, and programmer of Asteroids

  • Supercade is an outstanding tribute to the industry of electronic videogames. Thorough yet concise, the book is perfect for the casual reference or as the primary text for students of the world's favorite contemporary pastime.

    Donald A. Thomas, Jr.

    Curator of I.C. When and former marketing manager of Atari

  • It's about time for a book to comprehensively review the history and evolution of the dynamic videogame world—fortunately, Supercade is that book.

    Ralph H. Baer

    The Father of Home Videogames and inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey

  • Van Burnham has dedicated herself to classic gaming journalism like no other. She's not just a writer...she's a GAMER!

    Joe Santulli

    Editor-in-Chief of Digital Press