I feel like this post needs a bit of preliminary explantion. Since highschool ( about 8 years ago) I've been going through the histories of various mediums. Ill basicly just research a long list of the most impactful books, music, movies, etc in rough chonological order so that each time I want to do something( read a book, watch a movie) I make progress going through my list. In the last 8 years I've gone through the near entire history of a few genres of music, film in general, and painting. Im also making progress in literature like western philosophy( I'm currently at Hegel) and a few years ago I started just crushing western lit in general and im just about done with the Greeks. Lol I've even tried doing this for memes and shit but was way less successful and just ended up watching tik toks and vines with my girlfriend for hours. Anyways my point is that I treat this as a life long endevor and when I start something like this I plan on dedicating myself to it for 20+ years and then keeping up with the latest developments after that as well and reading analysis around it after. After reading Hegels aesthetics I had a big revelation about video games being a synthesis of many earlier forms of communication and art and I ended up feeling guilty for neglecting and condescending this medium for so long without really thinking about it. I played video games as a kid but after partying and implicit social pressure in highschool I stopped playing entirely. For the past few months I've tried getting back into it but I've run into two problems. A lack of acedemic writing about video games and the lack of a clear cannon of video games. I was wondering if any of yall have researched this thoroughly and could point me towards theoretical works about video games and if anyones know a cannon/ list of important video games chronologically. Im looking for games where you can trace clear lines influence and innovation on the history of video games. I've gone through the Wikipedia pages on the list of video games considered art and list of video games considered the best of all time, I've also gone through the page on the history of video games in general to try to formulate a route. I usually split the histories up to make it more digestible by working from the start, middle, and contemporary at the same time. ( for example I generally read three books at a time. One ancient, one around the 16th to 18th century, and one contemporary/20th century onward). So ideally im looking for older games around the atari/mainframe period for my starting point. Im having trouble setting a middle period as I normal choose a point of great transtion into a more contemporary period, I was looking at either late 90s pc games or early 2000s home consoles. Then for contemporary games I was having an easier time as it looked like metacritic could be my rough guide to new games( im looking to play rdr2 and return of the obra dinn). That being said im having trouble understanding the core movements in video games ( in a similar way to other artistic movements). Theres a strange ambiguity between changes in tech and in themes. I would love any advice on how to do this.
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