I call this book "Tomorrow3" in my head for simplicity.
This was incredibly good. From my notes, I started reading the book on the 24th of April and finished reading it today, the 8th of May, so around two weeks. As is typical for when I enjoy a book though, I started slow (a chapter or two a day) before accelerating through the second half of the book (I was at 50% two days ago!)
Tomorrow3 follows the story of Sam Masur and Sadie Green, two kids who were best friends in California in the 80s and would go on to reconnect in college in the 90s and start a game company together and would go on to long, acclaimed, and controversial careers in development. As a lifelong gamer who grew up around the same era (I am 4 years younger than the fictional Sam and Sadie) and who has always wanted to get into gamedev, it felt like the general premise of the book was meant for someone like me, though I'm sure even people who aren't into video games will enjoy it.
Although the book is chockful of references to games of the era and gets deep into the details of putting together a game development company, the meat of the story is Sam and Sadie's relationship with each other and their peers through the years as they grow up and work together and constantly grow apart and reconnect deal with each other's anxieties and insecurities and even have to live through tragedy. Their relationship never crosses entirely into the romantic, yet at every step it is obvious how deeply they love each other and affect each other's lives. The book also somehow manages to touch on such things as the immigrant experience and racism (Sam is of Asian descent), same sex marriage, gun control, cultural appropriation and many others. And all of it is so well-written and incredibly absorbing that by the end of it all, I really felt for these kids (who are no longer kids by the end).
There is a slight controversy about this book because boardgame designer Brenda Romero (spouse of legendary gamedev John Romero) claims that one of the featured games in this book is an uncredited appropriation of her game Train (This wikipedia article contains minor spoilers for Tomorrow3), which is unfortunate if true, but I think is at best a minor wrinkle and does not detract from how good the whole of the book is.
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