Generation 64: Book Review.

Generation 64 is a book that tells the story of how the Commodore 64 influenced an entire generation of Swedish gamers during the 1980s. Getting an idea of how other nations influenced this form of entertainment we call gaming is fascinating so read on to hear my thoughts.

First impressions are really good, the book is in hardback form and this English translation version also comes with a 3mm board slipcase, having a quick flick through the pages you’ll notice the paper used is high quality but a non-glossy finish has been used.

For the fact finders out there here are the book specs.

184 pages
250mm x 215mm
Lithographic Print
Thread Sewn Binding
Protective Dust Jacket
3mm Board Slipcase

Essentially Generation 64 takes you on a story of how the Commodore 64 became so popular in Sweden, beginning with a brief foreword by the author himself, Jimmy Wilhelmsson. Then a nice intro piece by non other than Fredrik Liljegren – co-founder of DICE, the creators of “Pinball Dreams”,  “Battlefield” series, “Battlefront” series for those living under a rock for the past 30 odd years. The book continues to cover the early years of the Commodore 64 with stories about Handic who were the main dealer of the C64 in Sweden and one from a daughter of one of the employees from Handic, each of these resonate with many of my memories of the gaming scene back then. The book is packed with interviews with prominent Swedish developers, all of them were heavily influenced by the Commodore 64’s demo scene/cracker scene and most went on to achieve some amazing things, such as Fredrik Liljegren mentioned above, and Kim Nordström – who was part of the demo group Censor Design and went on to join the team at Sony that built the PlayStation 4 and now he is the head of studio at King, creators of “Candy Crush Saga”.

The book is littered with Commodore 64 imagery ranging from game sprites, screenshots, photography from sceners and other historical events, game box art, and old advertising images, one thing about these images though is sadly due to the paper type used, the image are slightly dull and don’t jump out at you like we come to expect with Bitmap Books.

Like the recently reviewed books about The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, this book is certainly another cracking read. To get a point of view from different cultures on their gaming history resonates with me as a gamer and so my hat goes off to Sam at Bitmap Books who took on the challenge to get this book converted for us.

Lastly the Bitmap Books employed the services of legendary C64 games journalist Julian Rignall to edit this version of the book who I must say has done a fantastic job. Generation 64 is a un-missable account of how the Swedish C64 scene played its part in creating the huge gaming market of today..

Availble from Bitmap Books Now.

  • 8/10
    RVG Rating - 8/10


Another great book from Bitmap Books, the author Jimmy Wilhelmsson certainly put a lot of research into his book and it was expertly edited by Julian Rignall. Maybe a book for the more serious retro heads amongst us but one I would recommend for all gaming fans.


Retro head and key holder of RVG.

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