It’s a short, brisk read that attempts to capture the evolution of the gaming industry from its true origins, all the way up to games like BioShock Infinite. And its focus is more on the individual visionaries, not the publishers.
But know this going in: All Your Base Are Belong To Us resembles a collection of passionately written, diligently researched, loosely tied together essays, rather than being a true exploration of the video game industry’s impact on pop culture. It’s alluded to repeatedly, but not explored as deeply as I hoped.
And Goldberg’s occasional reconstruction of the historical dialogue that transpired (based on his 200+ interviews) sounds stilted, not natural.
Still, it’s packed with fascinating facts concerning the origin stories of the pioneers and creatives who paved the way. As someone who’s been loving video games since Pong, and has covered the industry for more than a decade, Goldberg still managed to unearth a ton of tidbits that surprised me!
Beyond that, I have a new appreciation for the early days of PopCap, Rockstar, and Sierra among many others.
It’s an easy-reading page-turner for true video game enthusiasts. Come for the origin stories, the history lessons, and the insights gained from Goldberg’s treasure chest of interviews (I’d love to see the unedited transcripts of these), just don’t expect a deep analysis of gaming’s conquest of pop culture.