Arcade Life

Published on Amazon for Kindle on 07 November 2020. The paperback was released earlier than, mostly so I could send out review copies and free gifts.

US –
UK –

It’s non-fiction, an autobiographical journey through the early eighties to the end of 2019.

The main theme is video games, and the way they took over my my life, starting from the first time I played Space Invaders in a village pub, hurtling in vaguely chronological order through the Golden Age, the rise of home consoles, and the world-changing effects of the most important games of all time.

There are musical interludes, there’s real life and real death, but most of all there are lots and lots of video games.

The back-cover blurb currently looks like this, but it may change before publication.

From Space Invaders in a village pub to the final chapter of this book, this is a true story of life and death, winning and losing, extreme heroism and tragic failure. There are also a heck of a lot of video games.

John Tapper was born in 1963, sixteen years before he first played Space Invaders, forty-seven years before he started the mobile gaming blog Arcadelife. Now he describes that life, from the dawn of the golden age of video game arcades to the current era of disposable mobile games; from art college days of ZX Spectrums and a hand-cranked Lada, through Y2K, to motocross hospitalisation and a Vegas wedding, and almost every popular gaming gadget ever made.

There’s video game addiction, and then there’s ‘Arcade Life: Life versus Video Games’. Relentlessly honest, often laugh-out-loud stupid, occasionally heartbreakingly tragic, Arcade Life is a personal account of left-right-fire, a constant quest for high scores, text adventuring through Middle Earth, the perils of hardcore mode, and the countless unexpected ways video games can take inextricable control of your life.