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Martin Amis’ guide to old-school video games

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 17, 2012

Martin Amis, one of the greatest living British novelists, published a guide to video games in 1982 called Invasion of the Space Invaders: An Addict’s Guide to Battle Tactics, Big Scores and the Best Machines. It has an introduction by Steven Spielberg and Amis has barely acknowledged its existence since its publication.

It’s a deeply strange artifact: an A4-sized, full color glossy affair, abundantly illustrated with captioned photographs, screen shots, and lavish illustrations of exploding space ships and lunar landscapes. It boasts a perfunctory introduction by Steven Spielberg (“read this book and learn from young Martin’s horrific odyssey round the world’s arcades before you too become a video-junkie”), complete with full-page portrait of the Hollywood Boy Wonder leaning awkwardly against an arcade machine like some sort of geeky, high-waisted Fonz. We’re not even into the text proper, and already its cup runneth over with 100-proof WTF.

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