Literacy 2021: Book 3: The Secret History of Mac Gaming

The Secret History of Mac Gaming by Richard Moss

Am I Mentioned In This Book?
Yes (as one of the hundreds who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign)

The history of video games for the Apple Macintosh from the first Mac to the Intel era. (None of the material was a secret).

Contains lots of artwork from the games, which for me was intensely, almost painfully, nostalgic. Hits all the significant highlights you’d expect, broken down by developer/studio, and an account of each from concept, to reception, to “Where are they now?” Extensive mention of the shareware scene, which was hugely important to Mac gaming in the pre-OS X days. Had lots of info I didn’t know about the creation of some of my favorites, like Dark Castle, Uninvited, and the pre-Myst games from Cyan.

Writing was uneven and seemed to change voice quite a bit. Each account includes some oddly specific details but then glosses over huge stretches of time, making it very clear which parts came directly from interviews with the developers, even though none of it is presented as an interview. Turns two entire chapters over to a guest writer who was an Apple evangelist and one of the people behind the game Spectre, and the change in voice was jarring. Feels a lot like a crowd-funded book, in that it could’ve probably used another editorial pass.

Probably most interesting to people like me, who want a jolt of nostalgia for the Mac of the early-to-late 1980s. It seemed like anyone looking for their first introduction to that period of computer history won’t have enough context for any of it to feel relevant.