Bensonhurst native continues to explore video game culture in new volume
BENSONHURST — A local gamer and lecturer has already made his mark in the literary video game world with a successful book, and he’s just getting started.
Patrick Hickey Jr., who is assistant director of the journalism program and faculty advisor to the Society for Collegiate Journalists at Kingsborough Community College, released The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers (Studies in Gaming) in April 2018, and recently completed his first sequel, The Minds Behind Adventure Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers (Studies in Gaming).
While Hickey’s first book looks at seminal figures and games in video game history, the second explores the popular adventure genre of gaming.
“I absolutely loved writing The Minds Behind the Games,” said Hickey. “It was a dream come true.
“I didn’t want the rush to end,” he added, noting that, “Luckily, quickly after publication, sources got back to me that missed my initial deadline and soon enough, the list started piling up.”
Hickey’s initial plan was to do a massive sequel, but to make it “more visual,” as readers had requested, and with more games included, also in response to readers’ requests.
Hickey, who is also the founder of reviewfix.com, discovered as he worked that the list of games he had compiled included many adventure titles.
“The adventure genre is essentially the father to every other genre, except sports,” he joked. “Every genre in gaming has some adventure in it, some story that puts it all together. That allowed me to be more liberal with the games featured, allowing me to put some beat-em-ups and even a game the likes of Parappa the Rapper in there, because the story was so pivotal to the game’s success.”
For the book, the Brooklynite was able to talk to developers such as David Crane and Garry Kitchen.
“[They are] two industry icons that have changed [gaming] forever,” Hickey said. “However, talking to super-smart and fun people such as Tony Barnes and James Deighan was just as cool.”
Penning his second offering was less grueling for the author, however he wanted to top what he had done in his first volume.
“Book one was like, ‘Can I do this?’,” he said. “Book Two was like, ‘Yeah, I’m doing this, so let’s push harder than we did the first time.’ Getting sources lined up probably took about a year and I was writing the entire time, building the chapters, researching and editing simultaneously.”
Indeed, Hickey’s publisher, McFarland & Company, was so impressed with his first volume, that it didn’t just ask for one more book, but three, one on adventure games, one on sports games and one on shooter games, with the adventure games book coming first, and the other two to follow. With the adventure games book now published, next up will be the sports game book, to come out around the summer, with the shooter games book anticipated to be published by the end of the year, or early in 2021.
Due to Hickey’s success, his reputation in the industry has been solidified, he told this paper.
“It’s been wild how things have changed so much from the first book,” Hickey said. “I have developers reaching out to me and others vouching for me. They want their stories told. I think what makes them so appealing is that many of these stories have never been told and my writing style is about giving these men and women their due. They deserve it.”
The reception for book two has been very positive thus far.
“The first book sold well, but The Minds Behind Adventure Games has exceeded my wildest expectations,” Hickey said. “In less than two months, we went through our initial printing. I’ve sold books from my website, PatrickHickeyJr.com, almost every single day.”
To promote his work, Hickey has also attended dozens of conventions as well as doing signings and speaking engagements. As a result, he has expanded his fan base, talking with attendees about their mutual love of gaming.
“It’s my favorite part,” he said. “I want to make sure that my readers always know that I care and that I want to interact with them. That’s one of the reasons why I love taking selfies with them and helping them promote their ideas and work. I want to build a community and grow the video game history scene and make it accessible.”
Though he has a passion for the subject, writing the books has been a tall order for Hickey.
“There’s a ton of research that goes on during the entire process,” he said. “It’s not just me playing games. There are none of my opinions in these books. It’s real journalism, about the video game industry and the people that make it so great.”
Hickey will be speaking at the College Media Advisory Convention and at Port Richmond High School in March.
The Minds Behind Adventure Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers (Studies in Gaming) is available online. If buyers order directly through www.PatrickHickeyJr.com, Hickey will personalize your order by signing your book and engaging with you.
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