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[Comments] (2) Think About It, Won't You?: In 1960 Kingsley Amis wrote a book about science fiction called New Maps of Hell. In 1982, his son Martin Amis wrote a book about arcade games with the much clunkier title Invasion of the Space Invaders.

I couldn't find much real information about this book, but the cover promises "An addict's guide to battle tactics, big scores, and the best machines," so it's probably not a groundbreaking work of criticism the way New Maps of Hell is.

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Posted by Holly at Thu Sep 10 2009 11:28

He what? That's really weird!

Just found a Village Voice article on the Zany Books Famous People Unexpectedly Wrote Early, that mentions it:

"Invasion is a strangely transfixing work, and completely endearing in its utter dorkiness. Commencing with an account of how his addiction to arcade games began in a French railway station in 1979—"The only trouble is, they take up all my time and all my money. And I can't seem to find any girlfriends"—Amis is soon lecturing on the fine points of Superzapper Rechargers ("Welcome, O Tempest. . . . You and I have a rendezvous"), Power Pills ("I have seen bloodstains on the Pac Man joystick"), and less favored games ("Whoever devised Gorf ought to be condemned to play the hateful thing for all eternity")."

And aha, a borderline-unreadable cache of a pdf of an excerpt here:

"'Do you count?' is a question that most Invadees ask each other pretty early on in their acquaintance. Counting, which bears resemblances to Lurking in Asteroids, is a tactic {despised by some) which relies on the predictability of the machine's logic board. The Saucer in Space Invaders, which bleeps across the top of the screen at fairly regular intervals, gives scores of 50, 100, 150 and 300, seemingly at random. Once, in Nice, I watched a master Invadee doing his stuff - and every Saucer gave him 300. 'Pourquoi?' I asked. Why the hell does i that happen to him and hardly ever happen to me? The answer was, of course, that Monsieur was a counter - and so was I from that day forth."

Posted by kirkjerk at Thu Sep 10 2009 13:17

I was going to make a remark digging the creative use of the rarer side-panel Space Invader art on the cover - but w/ Holly's reference, it seems like this is an interesting precursor of the whole "New Games Journalism" movement...


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