The Life & Times of Video Games

An award-nominated documentary and narrative audio series about video games and the video game industry — as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today. History doesn't just vanish into the distance behind us; it casts a very long shadow that affects everything that comes after it, and so with The Life and Times of Video Games journalist and historian Richard Moss draws those through lines to tell fascinating stories about the past that link right back to the present.


Interview: Sam Dyer (Bitmap Books)

I speak to Bitmap Books founder/publisher/owner/designer Sam Dyer about the hows and whys of publishing visually-led, high-quality books about games history, including why he loves to publish them and why they are so much more than just "picture books" — indeed, as we cover in the interview, there's both a huge amount of care and craft that goes into making them and we can learn so, so much from looking at the graphical evolution of the medium. We also discuss the challenges and processes of book publishing, the history of Bitmap Books, and Bitmap's current and upcoming projects. 

This is the sixth entry in a new series of interviews I'm running alongside the main show — every month-or-three I'll talk to a different person who's exploring games history, in one way or another, to learn about the many ways people are preserving the games industry's past as well as to further our understanding of how this wonderful medium (and the industry that's built around it) has come to be the way it is now. The previous one was with Kelsey Lewin of The Video Game History Foundation. Before that, I talked about computer role-playing games with the author of The CRPG Addict blog. Other interviews include proprietor and Japanese-to-English translator extraordinaire Alex Highsmith. Follow the "games history explorers" tag or the Interviews category on my website to see them all.

Interview conducted November 24th, 2020.


  • Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium
  • Commodore Amiga: A Visual Compendium
  • NES/Famicom and SNES/Super Famicom visual compendiums
  • The Art of Point-and-Click Adventure Games
  • Metal Slug Book
  • The Secret History of Mac Gaming (out of print right now but stay tuned — it'll be back available in 2021)
  • Video footage of Dark Castle in action during a livestream I did to promote my book
  • Royal Mail video games postage stamp set
  • The CRPG Book
  • Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection
  • Game Boy: The Box Art Collection
  • Sega Master System Visual Compendium
  • Bitmap on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Thank you to my Patreon supporters for making this episode possible — especially my producer-level backers Carey Clanton, Scott Grant, Rob Eberhardt, Simon Moss, Seth Robinson, Wade Tregaskis, and Vivek Mohan.

To support my work, so that I can uncover more untold stories from video game history, you can make a donation via or subscribe to my Patreon. (I also accept commissions and the like over email, if you're after something specific.)

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 2020-12-22  1h15m