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|Title:||Atari Inc. Business Is Fun|
|Author:||Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel|
|Rating:||4.5 out of 5|
Atari Inc. Business Is Fun, by Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel, is an 800-page tome of everything you'd want to know about Atari. It's an amazing book full of the stories that made Atari the kind of company it was. Mind you, these 800 pages only cover Atari through the mid-1980's with more to come (hopefully) in future volumes. I believe this series was originally envisioned as a trilogy.
As much as this book is a detailed look at Atari's history, it's not written in the style of a history book - thankfully. The authors wanted the reader to feel as though they were exploring Atari's events as they were happening. The book is written in the present tense, giving it a here & now feeling.
The writing is also quite informal. The writing holds up well, it's written in an engaging and fun manner that makes you feel like your listening to a story as opposed to being taught a history lesson. The chapters are often quite long and are broken up into sub-chapters. Each of these sub-chapters is outlined at the start with text and images. Additionally, each chapter ends with a visual review. This consists of several pages of images relating the the chapter. We're shown everything from official documents and drawings to hardware and location photos.
One can easily liken Atari Inc. Business Is Fun to a bible or history book, but it's much more. Full of facts, it tells a story and brings the reader along for a pretty crazy ride.
The authors are quite renown in the gaming industry and have each contributed greatly to it prior to this book. A writer and programmer in the video game industry, Marty Goldberg has had a lifelong fascination with all things electronic entertainment. As the former site director of IGN/GameSpy's ClassicGaming.Com and a current freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine, he has been writing about video games for 13 years.
Along with others, Goldberg is co-founder of the Midwest Gaming Classic, one of the largest electronic entertainment expos in the US that's open to the public. In 2004, Goldberg also founded the Electronic Entertainment Museum (E2M), a non-profit archive whose mission is to help preserve the history and artifacts of the video game and home computer industries. He's also a member of the International Game Development Association's (IGDA) Game Preservation SIG, a hub and community for those interested in digital game preservation and history.
Curt Vendel is a former IT Systems Engineer, he is a self-taught Electrical Engineer with a Bachelor's in Computer Science. In the 1980's, Vendel had begun collecting Atari products, engineering logs, schematics, drawings, and technical materials from former Atari employees - even making trips to Atari's buildings in California to salvage Atari's valuable history from its dumpsters. Founding the Atari History Museum in 1998, it's archives have amassed over 15,000 files, folders and documents, two archival rooms of schematics, mechanical drawings, artwork and PC board films.
The great length of Atari Inc. Business Is Fun is a testament to the amount of information it contains. It's a fun easy read and provides a lot of detail often omitted from shorter books about Atari. The only drawback to this marvelous book, is the lack of an index. As much as it's written in a friendly story-telling manner, it contains a phenomenal amount of info. It would be nice to be able to refer back to some of this info. Without an index, this is fairly difficult. I hope that future editions and/or later volumes will include an index.