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Blake J. Harris is a writer/director and co-founder of Flying Penguin Pictures, which has produced such films as The Flying Scissors and Such Great Heights. Currently, Harris is co-directing Console Wars, the documentary based on his book, which is being produced by Scott Rudin, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. He is also serving as an executive producer on the feature film adaptation.
In 1990 Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about video games and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo. The battle was vicious, relentless and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan. Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It's the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.
The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console Wars. From iconic books like Neuromancer to blockbuster films like The Matrix, virtual reality has long been hailed as the ultimate technology. But outside of a few research labs and military training facilities, this tantalizing vision of the future was nothing but science fiction. Until 2012, when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey-then just a rebellious teenage dreamer living alone in a camper trailer-invents a device that has the potential to change everything. With the help of a videogame legend, a serial entrepreneur and many other colorful characters, Luckey's scrappy startup kickstarts a revolution and sets out to bring VR to the masses. As with most underdog stories, things don't quite go according to plan. But what happens next turns out to be the ultimate entrepreneurial journey: a tale of battles won and lost, lessons learned and neverending twists and turns-including an unlikely multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, which shakes up the landscape in Silicon Valley and gives Oculus the chance to forever change our reality. Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game-changing new industry.
A USA Today bestseller The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus, its quest for virtual reality, and its founder's contentious battle for political freedom against Facebook, from the bestselling author of Console Wars. In The History of the Future, Harris once again deep-dives into a tech drama for the ages to expertly tell the larger-than-life true story of Oculus, the virtual reality company founded in 2012 that-less than two years later-would catch the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and wind up being bought by Facebook for over $2 billion dollars. This incredible underdog story begins with inventor Palmer Luckey, then just a nineteen-year-old dreamer, living alone in a camper trailer in Long Beach, California. At the time, virtual reality-long-hailed as the ultimate technology-was so costly and experimental that it was unattainable outside of a few research labs and military training facilities. But with the founding of Oculus, and the belief that his tantalizing vision of the future could one day be more than science fiction, Luckey put everything he had into creating a device that would allow gamers like him to step into virtual worlds and, in doing so, hopefully kickstart a VR revolution. With the help of an industry legend, a serial entrepreneur, and a slew of colorful characters-including those behind gaming sensations like Doom, Words with Friends, and Guitar Hero-Luckey's scrappy startup would finally deliver the dream of immersive and affordable virtual reality to consumers, leading geeks and gamers to be excited in a way that they hadn't been in years, and tech firms and investors scrambling to get in on the action before it was too late. Over the course of three years (and with unprecedented access from Oculus and Facebook), Harris conducted hundreds of interviews with key players in the VR revolution-including Luckey, his partners, and their cult of dreamers-to weave together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns, and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a supremely accessible, entertaining look at the birth of a new multi-billion-dollar industry; one full of heroes, villains, and twists at every corner. Take, for instance, Harris' own discovery while writing this story. When he started this endeavor, he had no idea that this tale would somehow involve Donald Trump, billion-dollar lawsuits, illegal practices, and end with Luckey-eventually ousted from Facebook-as one of the most polarizing figures in Silicon Valley.