This book, as a partial product of the circumstances of the COVID‐19 global pandemic, is thus greatly indebted to those who were locked away with me for months on end: my wife, May; eldest son, Gabriel; and youngest son, Isaac. I am particularly grateful to both May and Gabriel for enthusiastically or begrudgingly (respectively) being my transcriptionists, research assistants, cheerleaders, or otherwise throughout the project. Thank you and I love you all.

I'm grateful to my father, Steve, for indulging my love of video games. Looks like some of those consoles were a decent investment! Though I'm still pretty miffed that you tossed a few of them (and some highly collectible PC game boxes), I love you all the same.

Thanks are due to a number of colleagues for having touch points on this project along the way. Thank you to Devora Rogers for putting the seed of “you should write a book” in my head, Kathe Sweeney for being an early believer and fan of the potential for this project, and Ryan Fox of Lyons & Salky Law for patiently walking me through the upfront business process. Thanks to Clement Xue for navigating some of the complexities around launching this project. Many thanks to Claire Nance and Joost Van Dreunen for graciously donating time to read, comment on, or sanity‐check early drafts of this work. Additional thanks to Zoe Soon, Dan Holland, and Ross Siegel for reading through the manuscript before it was unleashed on the world, and Christina Verigan for ensuring it was (mostly) readable by that point.

Finally, thank you to the innumerable professionals who pour their love, creativity, and expertise into the art and science of creating video games. The impact of your work on billions of individuals like myself cannot be understated.

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