Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders: How British Video Games Conquered the World

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Aurum Press, 2012 M11 8 - 352 pages

Gaming: it’ s the greatest British invasion of them all. Lara Croft is an international icon and the British-born Grand Theft Auto and its spin-offs have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. The UK’ s games industry is now bigger than either its cinema or its music.

Yet the medium’ s birth in Thatcher’ s Britain was almost accidental. While politicians championed computers like the BBC Micro and the ZX Spectrum as engines of learning, it was left to a grassroots culture of amateur programmers to unlock their true potential. And from bedrooms and classrooms across the country, a brilliant profusion of innovative and idiosyncratic games soon emerged – propelling their young creators to fame, riches and, eventually, a place on the world stage.

This is the story of those teenage coders – tracing their journey from the first home computers to the age of the smartphone. A mix of oddball characters, programming miracles and moral panics, Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders reveals how the unique history of British computing led to some of the greatest games of all time.                   


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1 Emerging from the
2 BASIC Differences
3 We BoughtIttoHelpwith Your Homework
5 Brave New Worlds
6 Technical Failures 7 Wandering Creatures
FreeDemo Appendix 2 Further Gaming

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About the author (2012)

Magnus Anderson has been following the British games industry ever since his family bought a Sinclair ZX81 when he was eight. He has often spoken about the subject on the radio and on conference panels. Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders is his first book.

Rebecca Levene has been a writer and editor for twenty years, working in the games, publishing, TV and magazine industries. She has previously scripted a first-person shooter for consoles and is currently working on the hit app game Zombies, Run!. She is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books.

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