Game & Checkout Pt. 2
By Hannah Herrlich, Emerging Technologies Librarian
Last month, we introduced a blog series titled, “Game & Checkout.” It featured popular video games and connected these games to books available through our collection. Connecting one resource to another in an attempt to broaden the scope of a library user’s reading experience is a service known as readers’ advisory. So, read part two of our “Game & Checkout” series and discover what books from the Fordham University Libraries’ catalog should be next on your reading list based on what video games you like to play.
God of War
In God of War, players control Kratos, a Spartan warrior who is sent by the Greek gods to kill Ares, the god of war. As the story progresses, Kratos is revealed to be Ares’ former servant, who had been tricked into killing his own family and is haunted by terrible nightmares. This sets off a series of events that leads to wars with a pantheon of mythological gods. The second era of the game borrows from Norse mythology and introduces Kratos’ son, Atreus, and follows the pair on a path of redemption and inadvertently coming into conflict with the Norse gods.
This series is inspired by ancient mythologies so if you are an avid gamer of the God of War franchise, you might be interested in reading these books about Greek and Norse mythology. Of course, you can always search the library catalog for more work!
- The Iliad by Homer
- House of Names by Colm Tóibín
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
- Ragnarok: The end of the Gods by A.S. Byatt
- Bright Air Black by David Vann
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the 31st century, in a post-apocalyptic world where colossal machines dominate the land. Human civilization has regressed to tribal societies of hunters and gatherers who survive in immense forests, imposing mountain ranges, and the atmospheric ruins of their ancestors, all while the machines become increasingly powerful. The player controls Aloy, a huntress who uses her speed, cunning, and agility to stay alive and protect herself and others against the force, size, and power of the machines. It is the first game in the Horizon series, which is later followed up by an expansion, The Frozen Wilds, and a sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.
If you’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, or just really are interested in topics like the customs of tribal societies, post-civilization earth, artificial intelligence, and hunting, then you should check out some of these books here.
- The Human Age: The World That Shaped Us by Diane Ackerman
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
- The Age of AI: And Our Human Future by Henry Kissinger
- The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind by Robin Fox
- The Animals Came Dancing: Native American Sacred Ecology and Animal Kinship by Howard L. Harrod
Halo is a multimedia science-fiction franchise that has been expanded through multiple spin-off games. The game is set in the 26th century as humanity fights a desperate war with the Covenant, an alliance of alien races who believe humankind to be heretical. The United Nations Space Command finds itself outmatched by the Covenant’s superior technology and greater numbers, but they have one advantage: the Spartans. Foremost among them is the Master Chief, an enhanced super-soldier clad in advanced power armor. Leading the fight against the Covenant, Master Chief, and his artificial intelligence, Cortana, uncover the secrets of the mysterious Halos and their creators, the enigmatic Forerunners.
Halo made waves for having a far-reaching and ambitious story as compared to most other first-person shooter games at the time of its release. Given the emphasis on narrative in the series, this is an excellent selection of militaristic science-fiction books with gripping plots and inventive character arcs.
- Halo and Philosophy: Intellect Evolved by Luke Cuddy
- A Rising Thunder by David Weber
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
- Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield
- Redshirts by John Scalzi
The Civilization franchise is a series of turn-based single-player strategy games. There are six main games in the series, a number of expansion packs and spin-off games. All titles in the series share similar gameplay, centered on building a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future. Each turn allows the player to move their units on the map, build or improve new cities and units, and initiate negotiations with the human or computer-controlled players. The player will also choose technologies to research. These reflect the cultural, intellectual, and technical sophistication of the civilization, and usually allow the player to build new units or to improve their cities with new structures.
Sid Meier’s Civilization has been around since 1991, but civilization at large has been around for even longer (yes, even before the introduction of video games). To discover more about ancient humans and the path towards our understanding of modern civilization today, consider one of these books for your next read.
- The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber
- A Brief Natural History of Civilization: Why a Balance Between Cooperation & Competition is Vital to Humanity by Mark Bertness
- The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Gregory Douthat
- Lineages of Modernity: A History of Humanity from the Stone Age to Homo Americanus by Emmanuel Todd
- The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments by Lynne Kelly
Super Mario is an integral part of the Mario franchise and a staple of the video-game industry. The Super Mario games are set primarily in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom, typically with Mario as the player character. He is usually joined by his brother, Luigi, and often by other members of the Mario cast. As platform games, they involve the player character running and jumping across platforms and atop enemies in themed levels. The games have simple plots, typically with Mario and Luigi rescuing the kidnapped Princess Peach from the primary antagonist, Bowser. More than 380 million copies of Super Mario games have been sold worldwide, making it the 5th best-selling video-game series!
Super Mario is a classic game that, for decades, has inspired the development and design of video games across multiple genres and platforms. If you consider yourself an avid player of the Mario games and have already played through all of the characters and each world of the Mario universe, then you might be interested in checking out these books about the game itself, and the history of video-game design at large.
- Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of all Time by Bill Loguidice
- Metagaming: Playing, Competing, Spectating, Cheating, Trading, Making, and Breaking Videogames by Stephanie Boluk
- How to Play Video Games by Matthew Thomas Payne
- Shigeru Miyamoto: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, the Legend of Zelda by Jennifer DeWinter
- Real Games: What’s Legitimate and What’s Not in Contemporary Videogames by Mia Consalvo