Video game book publisher Boss Fight Books is currently hosting a small Kickstarter campaign to resurrect an out-of-print book about the 1976 Atari arcade game Breakout. The book, Pilgrim in the Microworld, has long been considered an important, formative text in games criticism and scholarship, and it is well regarded by critics and scholars. But it has not been available to purchase, outside of the second-hand market, for a long time–until now.
Pilgrim in the Microworld was written by David Sudnow, who worked as a pianist and piano teacher throughout his life, eventually passing away in 2007. The book will be re-released as part of the Boss Fight Games imprint, and will be the 22nd book in the series. At the time it was written, the idea of a game like Breakout being taken seriously enough for longform criticism was unusual. As the Kickstarter page describes it, “the book’s modern readers remain fascinated by an obsessive, brilliant, and often hilarious quest to learn to play Breakout just as one would learn the piano.” He is also the author of Ways of the Hand: The Organization of Improvised Conduct.
The Kickstarter campaign asked for $1000, and has already been successful–as of right now it has made $3928 with 15 days to go. You can nab a digital copy of the book for a $5 pledge, and physical copies can be purchased for $15 (plus shipping–$5 within the USA, $15 for the rest of the world).
Stretch goals have been announced, and since the campaign has hit $2500, every backer who gives $15 or more will also get a digital copy of ‘Nintendo 64 Video Games You Will Never Play’. If it hits $5000, backers will also get a digital copy of ‘Continue? The Boss Fight Books Anthology’, and at $7500, digital copies of ‘PlayStation Video Games You Will Never Play’ will be included.
The book will contain a new foreword from series editor Gabe Durham, and a fresh copy edit. Digital copies will be made available in December 2019, while physical copies will be sent out in January 2020. All work on the book has already been completed, and the Kickstarter is just to cover final printing and production costs.