I cannot believe they have let me do this, but it's real! It was released on 18th April 2019 - to buy a copy on paperback, kindle or audiobook (read by me) click here in the UK or click here if you’re elsewhere!
A bit more about the book:
On the first day of pre-sale, the book became Amazon’s number one Bestselling PC & Video Games book, above titles on Minecraft, Fortnite, The Legend of Zelda and The Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition. I immediately had an anxiety attack and then died on my arse at a corporate gig. Thus, balance was restored to the Universe.
Here's the blurb the publishers wrote about the book...
A hilarious history of the golden period of computer games from the creator of Dara O'Briain's Go 8 Bit.
It is fair to say Steve McNeil likes video games. He took a Nintendo Wii with him on his honeymoon (obviously), and spent so much time playing smartphone games in bed in the dark that he got eye strain and had to wear an eye patch. The locals nicknamed him 'the pale pirate'.
Steve's obsession with video games can be traced back to the golden period from the early 70s to the late 90s. In this book he will delve into these games - from the appallingly bad to the breathtakingly good. He will also take us through the nerdy geniuses who created them, their fierce rivalries and risks often leading to some of the most farcical moments in the history of entertainment.
This is a story of obsession, full of tales of Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Mario, Sonic, Wolfenstein 3D, Worms and many more. It will also answer important questions about the golden age. Questions like: Why did Namco feel they had to change the name of Puck-Man to Pac-Man because they were worried about graffiti, when Nintendo were more than happy to bring out Duck Hunt?
Joysticks at the ready. Let's Play!
What people have said about the book:
Whether or not you’re a committed gamer, this is probably the definitive guide to 1980s and 90s escapism – and a fun, lively read.
- The Observer
Not content with co-creating Go 8 Bit, Steve McNeil has now turned his attention to the evolution of videogames in a brand-new book. "Hey! Listen!" proves itself to be a very entertaining read and extremely funny in places, while highlighting just how obsessive a relationship with videogames can be.
- Retro Gamer Magazine
Equal parts hilarious and informative, Hey, Listen! should be in every gamer’s library.
- Lucy James (Gamespot)
A thoroughly enjoyable look at the early days of video gaming - comprehensive and fun. Loved it!
- Stuart Ashen (aka ashens)
Steve McNeil is funny, knowledgeable, and a massive, shameless, nerd. His brilliant book reminded me just how much of my life I’ve wasted. If the Golden Age of Gaming is a horse, then Steve’s book is the stable.
- Paul Rose (aka Mr Biffo), Digitiser
If “Games Master” was a Nobel title passed on through the ages like “Rear of the Year” rather than simply the name of a 90s magazine/TV show then Steve would surely be the current holder of the esteemed position. What I’m saying is, he knows a LOT about games...
- Scroobius Pip
The 'A La Recherche du Temps Perdu' of the gaming community. The 'A La Recherche du Temps Pew-Pew-Pew', as it were.
- Dara O'Briain
Hugely funny, and full of fantastic facts about the history of video games. But enough about me; Steve's book is also quite good.
- Ellie Gibson, Eurogamer
Taking us on a historical journey from the very early days all the way through to the late 1990's the book tells the stories of the men and women behind some of the most wonderful (and occasionally awful) games of the golden age, the fierce rivalries, bizarre business practices and downright bonkers risks taken during the pioneering days of computer and video gaming. This informal yet extremely well-researched book manages to educate and entertain in equal measure and this - dare I say - well-informed retrohead actually learnt a good deal. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
- Mark Howlett (aka Lord Arse)
An informative, accessible romp through the early years of the games industry. An ideal primer for someone wanting to look at the early incarnation of the business. All hail Il pirata pallido; the gaming hero we never knew we needed.
- Adam Rosser (BBC Radio 5, Let’s Talk About Tech/Game On)