7 Graphic Novels about Games and Gaming Culture

Right now, E3 is taking place in Los Angeles and it’s one of gaming’s biggest weeks of the year. There’s no better time to take a look at the comic books and graphic novels about games and gaming culture. While E3 is dedicated specifically to video games, we expanded our list to include a couple of tabletop games as well.

On our list, we include reality-based comics about the history of two of the most popular games ever and then a handful of books on the lives of gamers and gaming culture.

Tetris: The Games People Play 

It’s the book we read for the pilot episode of our podcast! Author and illustrator Box Brown brilliantly takes the reader through the extensive history of Tetris, from its humble Russian roots to its expansion around the world.

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D

Similar to Brown’s Tetris, this book byDavid Kushner and Koren Shadmi examines the origin story of the most popular tabletop rpg: Dungeons and Dragons.

Level Up

The passion for video games is pitted against parental pressure to complete medical school in this coming of age gem from Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham.

Chainmail Bikini: The Anthology of Women Gamers

Forty creators contribute to this book, edited by Hazel Newlevant. As the title suggests, it’s about the love of games by a demographic that is often ignored by the industry.

The Guild

This comic is the prequel to Felicia Day’s famed web series, about the offline lives of an online gaming guild who meet in real life. The series was inspired by Day’s own experiences playing World of Warcraft.

In Real Life

Another fictional look at online gamers, this one by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang examines what happens when one gamer befriends another who is profiteering off the game.

 

Hikaru no Go

A sixth-grade boy discovers a haunted Go board in his grandfather’s attic. After merging consciousness with the ancient ghost trapped inside the game, the boy goes on to face tough Go matches and attempts to free the ghost in this manga by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata.