I love the self-published ebooks that ereaders and ebook sellers have made possible. I love them for several reasons. One is that they are much cheaper than other ebooks. What can I say? I’m cheap. The other, though, is that I believe they are primary historical sources. When you learned history in high school (if you learned any at all), you probably learned most of it from secondary sources. Your text book was not written by someone who was there to witness that history but someone who had learned that history in someway. That’s fine (if they learned it right, anyway), but it is not as good as consulting a primary source. And that is what we independent ebook writers are producing. Amazon Direct Publishing, YouTube, and blogs are turning us all into historians, recording the history we see playing out before our eyes. And the materials we are producing are much more valuable than those a secondary historian could produce. They are much more valuable even if they are erroneous in some way. Even if the authors or filmmakers have their facts wrong, they are still recording history as they saw it, and there are few things more valuable than that.
I bring all this up merely as an introduction to a ebook I came across recently called My Loser Phase: Tales of Video Game Retail 1992-1997.
This book has a lot in common with my books Arcadian and ANESthetized. Both were about video games. This one, though, covers a later era of gaming than mine, and it covers it from the vantage point of a guy who is slogging his way through the retail world. If you loved the Genesis, SNES, Turbografx-16, Playstation, and computer peripherals of the mid-90s, you will like reaing Johnson’s account of how they appeared in the stores and were received by customers. And if you worked in retail (as did I), you will like his thoughts on those experiences as well. Even though this era is not my favorite era of gaming, I did live through it and enjoyed the memories Johnson’s writing evoked. I sympathized with his customer service and college experiences as well. Overal, I really enjoyed reading this primary historical source, and if you like my books and this blog, you probably will, too. Check it out here.