Image of Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders

Published: 8 November 2012
ISBN: 9781845137045
RRP: £17.99

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Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders

How British Video Games Conquered the World

Magnus Anderson

Rebecca Levene

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.            

Magnus Anderson

Image of Magnus Anderson

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...

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Rebecca Levene

Image of Rebecca Levene

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...

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‘A new and engrossing history of the UK games industry’

Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology Correspondent

'This fascinating book colourfully presents the UK's gaming origins in the nerd bedrooms of the 1980s before the stories behind our greatest electronic exports roll on in.’

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