Dive into this vibrantly illustrated history of everything humans have invented to entertain ourselves, from Chess and Nintendo to Drag Queen Story Hour and Burning Man.
In The Book of Fun, Polygon co-founder Russ Frushtick divulges the hidden backstories and fascinating facts about your favorite video games, theme parks, festivals, sports, and more. With 80+ digestible, entertaining entries, it's not just fodder for your next dinner party — you might also discover your next great pastime, be it jousting, stunt acting, cheese rolling, or Swedish Bunny Hopping.
For fans of pop-history, pop-science, and the many things mankind has invented to waste time, The Book of Fun explores:
Board Games: The world's oldest tabletop games (Senet, Go, Chess) and its most enduringly popular (Monopoly, Dungeons & Dragons, Settlers of Catan)
Toys: The history of your favorite playthings, like Barbie, Beanie Babies, Slinky, Furby, and LEGO
Video Games: The console wars of the '90s, the birth of game streaming, and unexpected Pokémon Go consequences
Theme Parks: Stories behind Coney Island's Cyclone, Disneyland's opening-day woes, and the bizarre parks built in a nuclear power plant and a Soviet bunker
Sports: The most fascinating athletic endeavors across the globe, from gladiatorial battles to Lucha Libre, pumpkin boat racing, and sumo wrestling
Stunts: Harry Houdini, Evel Knievel, Jackie Chan, and the incredible stunt artists you may not know
Festivals: From Carnival celebrations around the world to the stories of Woodstock, Burning Man, and a Spanish baby-jumping festival
Dressing Up: The origins of jesters, Halloween, cosplay, drag queen style, and more
Roadside Attractions: Wacky spectacles like the 65-foot-tall Lucy the Elephant in New Jersey, the Mystery Hole in West Virginia, and the Cabazon Dinosaurs in California