Lucky Wander Boy is a fictional novel written by D.B. Weiss and published by Plume, a member of Penguin Putnam books.
While working on a personal project, The Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments, Adam Pennyman becomes obsessed with a game from his childhood called Lucky Wander Boy, a game seems to have disappeared into obscurity. Adam goes to great lengths to find the game. Adam gets a lucky break when the entertainment website he works for gets the rights for a Lucky Wander Boy movie. The further he gets in his search the more he is willing to sacrifice in his personal life.
In the book are entries for the character Adam Pennyman's Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments. The entries explore the deeper themes and meanings behind many classic video games.
- Pac-Man (Arcade) - Shows that while from our perspective each of Pac-Man's lives are short and inconsequential, from the perspective of a Pac-Man each dot eaten has much greater meaning. Also notes the space inside the tunnels as evidence of a world beyond the screen maze.
- Microsurgeon (Intellivision) - A short entry the notes Microsurgeon as a game the showed that video games can emulate a wide range of experiences.
- Donkey Kong (Arcade) - Points out that no matter how many times Pauline is rescued or Donkey Kong is defeated the world is never set right. This is because the girl and the ape are in cohoots, working together to deceive Mario.
- Double Dragon (Arcade) - The game is a move towards realism that excludes players who can not relate to its world. In comparison abstract games like Pac-Man made it easier for players to relate to the minimalist graphics and allows a person to fill in missing details.
- Frogger (Arcade) - People relate to the powerless Frogger trying to reach the safe haven at the top of the screen in a world that has no regard for our well-being. The hazards in the game do not go after Frogger, he is simply in the way.
- China Syndrome (Atari 2600) - A licensed game of the movie of the same name that evantually lead to the release of a flood of licensed and knock-off games. The video game market crashed in 1983 and Atari buried an overstock of cartridges in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Notes important events that occurred in or around that area.