Books on Animation, Kids, and GamesJanette Toral
Here are some interesting books we found lately.
If you are a fanatic of electronic games, then this book is for you. Considered as the most complete illustrated history of the electronic games industry ever compiled. Starting with the invention of Space War in the mainframes at MIT, High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (ISBN 0-07-222428-2) by Rusel DeMaria and Johnny L. Wilson, chronicles the history of a phenomenon that began as the elite and exclusive plaything of geniuses, only to become a five billion-dollar mass-market industry that is now as pervasive and profitable as the Hollywood movie industry. In the pages of High Score!, readers will meet the creators and learn the inside stories-many of which have never appeared in print before-of the creation of their favorite games. Based on hundreds of hours of travel and original research in game company archives, the authors have unearthed rare and never-before-reproduced photographs from the early days of the industry.
This full-color book features hundreds of illustrations, including screen shots of favorite games and pictures of the people who shaped the industry. Unlike other books that focus on a single segment of the industry, DeMaria and Wilson cover the whole spectrum, including arcade games, home console systems, computer games, handheld devices, online multi-player gaming, and more. Interviews with the rank and file personalities of the industry, as well as company profiles, offer a behind-the-scenes look-a special treat for the nearly 60 percent of Americans who play computer and video games regularly (according to a May 2001 report of the Interactive Digital Software Association).
From the early days of Atari and ColecoVision to the latest scoop on Xbox and Game Cube, DeMaria and Wilson examine the games that everyone remembers and loves-along with some of the less successful experiments that were tried along the way. Exclusive, one-on-one interviews with the pioneers and giants of the industry include Nolan Bushnell (Atari), Trip Hawkins (Electronic Arts, 3DO), Jim Levy (Activision), Howard Lincoln (Nintendo), Ken & Roberta Williams (Sierra, King’s Quest), Ed Logg (designer of Asteroids, Centipede, and Gauntlet), John Romero (designer of DOOM!), Richard Garriott (Origin, Ultima), Michael Katz (Sega), Arnold Greenberg (Coleco), David Fox (LucasArts), Ralph Baer (known as “the Father of Video Games”), Sid Meier (Civilization), and more than 400 other industry insiders.
If you want to learn animation, cartooning, and Flash all at the same time, this book is for you. The Macromedia Flash Animation and Cartooning A Creative Guide guides one on the basics of animation and cartooning such as shortcuts for drawing heads and bodies, developing your own characters, and learn to incorporate movie techniques–all from a real-world animator and video producer, Ibis Fernandez.
This book also has an 8-page color insert which details the stages of the animation process, serves as practical tutorial to creating dazzling images and characters using Flash.
Jean Armour Polly, AKA Net-mom, recently discovered that she has personally visited about 1.5 million Web pages since she began writing the Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages series in 1995. McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media launched recently the sixth edition, Net-mom’s Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages 2002 Edition (ISBN 0-07-219247-X) of this popular book. Jean recommends and reviews engaging, educational, and recreational Web sites that are age appropriate for her readers – wired families with preschool to high school kids. She emphasizes that the sites she selects offer both online fun as well as suggest activities to do offline.
Jean personally explores and scrutinizes all sites she lists in her book, making sure they are family-friendly and do not contain adult content. Expect your kids to be having a lot of online fun and learning with this book at hand.
Following are new items and highlights of the 2002 edition:
- More than 3,500 educational and ntertaining Internet sites, all handpicked and family-friendly. Sites are arranged in broad subject headings, organized alphabetically. The main A-Z section is written for kids in grades K-12, although many general reference works for all ages are included
- Star symbols highlight important sites worthy of special mention
- “Rubber Ducky” symbols draw attention to sites best for preschoolers
- A large “Family Fun” section, which provides lots of elements for mixed age groups to do together with sites the whole family can enjoy
- The new “Help” section for kids in crisis contains toll-free hotlines, safe houses, and counseling services for runaways and troubled teens
- More than 200 “Net Files” trivia questions (with answers!) are scattered throughout the book to encourage interest in Net exploration
- Newly updated hotlist section featuring 100 “Best of the Net” sites in categories such as homework help, sports, science, and more
- Back by popular demand, Son-of-Net-mom returns with an additional list of surefire sites kids love (including some their parents might consider yucky, such as the Belch Page). New this year, Son-of-Net-mom has added his own Net Safety Tips for teens. They focus on chat room safety and go far beyond the usual rules
- The author offers free online updates on her site at www.netmom.com, which tracks and lists changes to the addresses in her book to help her readers stay up to date.