Right, Down + Circle
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
by Cole Nowicki
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2023
An exuberant, incisive look at how Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater transformed a culture
Going from a hobby toy for surfers to an Olympic sport, skateboarding has had a tumultuous history. Today, professional skateboarders land endorsement deals with Nike and Adidas, while popular television series like HBO’s Betty tell the stories of diverse crews of skaters living in New York City. So how did a fledgling subculture rise from its near-death knell in the ’90s to become ubiquitous today? It was simply a matter of finding the right messenger.
In 1999, the bestselling video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released, and a new generation was exposed to skateboarding culture right in their very own homes. Kids and adults alike could now spend hours playing as actual skateboarders, learning the vernacular, listening to the music skateboarders loved, and having fun onscreen before trying to skate IRL in the driveway.
Right, Down + Circle explores how a video game starring the most famous pro skater in the world brought skateboarding culture — and its ever-shifting markers of music, subversion, and coolness — to the masses and ultimately transformed the culture it borrowed from in the process.
Available on NetGalley
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Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction (Adult), Sports