Video Game Storybundle 3.0 – the best yet?

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Back in May 2013, I teamed up with Jason Chen at Storybundle to curate the first Video Game Storybundle – a veritable cornucopia of great DRM-free video game eBooks, from Ralph Baer to Jordan Mechner and beyond – and it was a success.

Last November we did it again, with Video Game Storybundle 2.0 – another palpable hit, again available for a limited time only, this time including a bonus game (Ian Bogost’s ‘A Slow Year’), and a whole bunch of other high-quality tomes.

After another few months, we’re back – with the spectacular Video Game Storybundle 3.0 - once again beamable directly to your Kindle or available in multiple DRM-free ways, and available in Storybundle’s customary ‘pay what you want’ stylee.

I honestly think this may be the best Video Game Storybundle yet – and we’ve gone beyond books again too, with specially commissioned interactive fiction from Ryan Veeder & the Steam key for Geoff Keighley’s excellent ‘The Last Hours Of Portal 2′.

And then you get basically the _entire_ set of Ray Barnholt’s amazing SCROLL zine, the Ghosts In The Machine comp, Atari and Sega histories, another Bogost barnbuster… the list goes on! Go grab it for the next 3 weeks only – and the full announce is below:

STORYBUNDLE’S VIDEO GAME BUNDLE 3.0 DEBUTS 9 DRM­FREE BOOKS, NARRATIVE EXPERIENCES ON THE CULTURE/HISTORY OF GAMING FOR A “PAY WHAT YOU WANT” PRICE

Continuing its popular “pay what you want” ebook bundles, StoryBundle is proud to present the Video Game Bundle 3.0. The specially curated set of nine full-length game culture & history books/magazines follows up two previous multi-thousand selling digital bundles. It once again features almost $100 worth of books & magazines—plus narrative apps and interactive fiction—for a fraction of that price.

The basic purchase tier ($3 or above) for Video Game Bundle #3, again curated by game industry veteran Simon Carless, includes academic and designer Ian Bogost’s witty tome How To Do Things With Videogames, alongside Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel’s massive, canonical Atari Inc.: Business Is Fun, a romp through the history of the seminal video game company up to 1984.

Also featured in the bundle are the first 11 (!) issues of Ray Barnholt’s acclaimed SCROLL magazine, described as “video game history uncorked”, and featuring deep dives into developers from Jaleco through Artdink to Warp and beyond.

Elsewhere featured are Ghosts In The Machine, a collection of 13 short stories “by a diverse group of videogame critics, journalists and artists about the bugs, glitches and design quirks of videogames and what they can tell us about ourselves”, plus Sam Pettus’ Service Games: The Rise & Fall Of Sega, dealing with the Genesis and Dreamcast maker’s storied history.

An additional treat for bundle buyers is The Gothic Tower & Assorted Interactive Fiction, which includes five interactive fiction “text adventures” by IFComp winner Ryan Veeder, including two exclusively commissioned IF works debuting for the first time anywhere in StoryBundle. (Ryan has also bundled copies of his debut short story collection Motorcyclus as a book-length extra for buyers!)

The final books—available at the higher payment tier of $12 or your local equivalent—include some spectacular picks. Featured is Boss Fight Books #1: Earthbound by Ken Baumann, “a joyful tornado of history, criticism, and memoir” profiling the Super Nintendo RPG classic.

Also featured is the much-vaunted Minecraft by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, the hit behind-the-scenes book on Markus “Notch” Persson and his compatriots at Mojang’s role in creating a gaming phenomenon. (NOTE: Due to a separate agreement that the book’s publisher has made, this title is unfortunately not available to StoryBundle purchasers in the UK and select British Commonwealth countries. If the book is “greyed out” on the front page of StoryBundle, you’re in a location affected by this agreement.)

Finally, The Final Hours of Portal 2 takes you deep within the top-secret offices of Valve, creators of Half-Life, for an unvarnished look at the creative process behind the acclaimed video game Portal 2. Journalist Geoff Keighley was granted unprecedented “fly on the wall” access to Valve over a total of three years to create this extensive 15,000 word experience, available on this StoryBundle in two formats—via eBook (text and photos) & an app redeemable for PC/Mac with a Steam key (exclusive videos, interviews, interactive experiences, and other surprises.)

The initial titles in the Video Game StoryBundle (minimum $3 to purchase, and worth over $50 when bought separately) are:

•    How To Do Things With Videogames by Ian Bogost
•    Atari Inc.: Business Is Fun by Marty Goldberg & Curt Vendel
•    Scroll: Collection 01-11 by Ray Barnholt
•    Ghosts In The Machine by edited by Lana Polansky & Brendan Keogh
•    Service Games: The Rise & Fall Of Sega by Sam Pettus
•    The Gothic Tower & Assorted Interactive Fiction by Ryan Veeder (BONUS: short story collection ‘Motorcyclus’ by Ryan Veeder.)

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $12, you get all six of the regular tomes, plus three unmissable extra full-length books/apps:

•    Boss Fight Books #1: Earthbound by Ken Baumann
•    Minecraft by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson1
•    The Final Hours Of Portal 2 (eBook/Steam app) by Geoff Keighley

The Bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com, and allows easy reading on computers, mobile devices and Kindles via file transfer, email, or other methods, with multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi, some .pdf) available for each book.

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