MIT Press's "Platform Studies" books.

Jimmy Maher, "The Future Was Here"

2013-05-02 · in Books, Platform Studies · 76 words

Jimmy Maher -- if you haven't heard of him, check out The Digital Antiquarian, his astoundingly comprehensive blog on the history of home computing -- writes up the Amiga for the Platform Studies series.

While I'd quibble with the choice of focus in a few places (a hazard of writing about a much-loved computing platform), this is well-researched, thoroughly interesting stuff, and I'd cheerfully recommend it to anybody.

Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost, "Racing the Beam"

2009-09-14 · in Books, Platform Studies · 137 words

A study of the Atari 2600, and a few of its early games: Combat, Pac-Man, Pitfall!, and The Empire Strikes Back. The idea is that this'll be the first book in a series exploring how the limitations of a platform shape the software available for it -- which makes the 2600 a pretty good place to start.

Interesting, as far as it goes, although I would have liked a bit more technical detail; I've read quite a bit about programming the 2600, so I was able to fill in the gaps, but other readers may not be able to do the same.

This is also an MIT Press book, and suffers from the usual academic publishing problems: ludicrously high price, and poor editing. It is nicely presented, though.