Free access to five Safari Books Online, and the Boing Boing Game Dev Challenge!

We're thrilled that our sponsor Safari Books Online is offering Boing Boing readers 30 days of free online access to the five books shown above. If you don't know Safari Books Online, it's a joint venture between our pals at O'Reilly Media and Pearson Education who built a massive online library of technical and business books and videos from several dozen publishers. So why these five books? And why now? Well, we're teaming up with Safari Books Online to launch a fun game development challenge here at Boing Boing. We'll reveal the specifics, including the big prizes, next Monday, June 14. Suffice it to say though that if you read and grok these five books, you'll probably be in pretty good shape to enter:
• Real World Flash Game Development by Christopher Griffith (Focal Press)
• Fundamentals of Game Design by Ernest Adams (New Riders)
• Game Programming with Silverlight by Michael Snow (Course Technology PTR)
• iPhone Game Development by Paul Zirkle, Joe Hogue (O'Reilly Media)
• Learning iPhone Programming by Michael Daley (Addison Wesley Professional)
Free access to five Safari Books Online game development books


  1. This is really cool, although if they are really offering it “to BoingBoing readers”, they could at least make it so we don’t have to create another account to use it. I’m really trying to cut down on the twelve billion one-time-use website accounts I have floating around.

  2. it appears i have to register an account for what appears to be a subscription service i never intend to use. thanks boingboing, but i think you’re overselling it with the word “free”.

    1. Do you have to pay money or provide anything other than a name and email address to access those books? Do you have to subscribe to anything in order to access those books? No, you don’t. I’d say that’s pretty much free. And you’re pretty much wrong.

    2. While I do agree that they let you look at the books for free for 30 days, I have to say, subscription based stuff such as this holds no interest for me.

      Even signing up for their free account I have to agree to report any suspected violations of their subscription agreement by others I am aware of, if anything goes wrong I will have to use arbitration only for dispute resolution, they can terminate my subscription for allegations of misuse or suspected misuse and I agree that as soon as I no longer subscribe I will destroy any materials I have from them.

      So I don’t ever really get to own anything from the site, I have to sign my civil redress rights away and agree to snitch on anyone I suspect might be breaking their SA. No thanks, even free costs too much for that deal.

  3. And only four of the five books are about proprietary environments that’ll lock you into a certain runtime/hardware. Thanks sooo much!

  4. The books are completely free of charge.

    You do not have to sign up for a subscription service. There is merely an upsell offer on the same page for one.

  5. I don’t think you can ever own anything from the site as part of the subscription. Their ebooks are purchased separately, not as part of the subscription, iirc. I suppose they mean to destroy user printed materials? In which case…uhhh yes I shredded those printouts. :)

    Also you can probably find the books on alt.binaries.e-book.technical, take THAT Dutch government!

    1. > I don’t think you can ever own anything from the site as part of the subscription.

      O’Reiley’s Safari Books is actually a good deal. Together with the subscription you get “download tokens” to download a limited number of chapters or whole ebooks per month. The downloads are in unrestrited PDF files. This is all in addition to being able to read ANY O’Reiley book online.

      That said, the 5 titles in the special offer are *meh*.

      1. Those titles were specifically chosen because of their relevance to this challenge, which is a Game Development Challenge.

      2. You may get to download them, but they are not yours, nor do you get to keep them, please see section 13 of their SA:

        “13. Upon termination or expiration of the relevant subscription, the User(s) and the Sponsor (if any), must immediately cease using the Service, and all copies of content accessed via the Service stored on any hard drive or other storage device or in hard copy must be deleted or destroyed.”

      3. Oh and section 7, where even if you are a subscriber they can remove content at will and you are obligated to destroy it from your computer:

        “7. …Safari may make improvements and/or changes in, and/or withdraw, any of the components of the Service at any time without notice, and with or without refunds. In the case of removal of any work from the Service by Safari, all content from that work stored on any hard drive or storage device must be destroyed or deleted by each User, and the Sponsor (if any).”

  6. why no XNA books all the dev tools are free for windows based systems and there is a lot of free on-line stuff to get you started

  7. I need free safari account :), need only one book to read. So I am not purchasing.


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