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March 11 , 2010

Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders

How British Video Games Conquered the World


Gaming: it’s the greatest British invasion of them all. Lara Croft is an international icon and the British-born Grand Theft Auto and its spin-offs have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. The UK’s games industry is now bigger than either its cinema or its music.

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You were born different, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow rules/laws you don’t agree with. Have you ever been faced with a choice to either follow or live your life alone? To never have a friendship, never to love, or have a family. To have your life dictated to you. To have the ones you do love threatened with death.…

Yet the medium’s birth in Thatcher’s Britain was almost accidental. While politicians championed computers like the BBC Micro and the ZX Spectrum as engines of learning, it was left to a grassroots culture of amateur programmers to unlock their true potential. And from bedrooms and classrooms across the country, a brilliant profusion of innovative and idiosyncratic games soon emerged – propelling their young creators to fame, riches and, eventually, a place on the world stage.

This is the story of those teenage coders – tracing their journey from the first home computers to the age of the smartphone. A mix of oddball characters, programming miracles and moral panics, Grand Thieves & Tomb Raiders reveals how the unique history of British computing led to some of the greatest games of all time.

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