I'm currently reading Playing at the World. It is quite dense and scholarly, not a "fun" light read or popular history. But since it is about "my" culture I'm enjoying it a lot.
One thing that comes across was how relatively short and fragile the hobby of military simulation games (board wargames, miniatures wargames) is. When I got into wargames, and then quickly into RPGs, there seemed to be this great august mass of old-time gamers. I'd run into them at game conventions in the late 70s;early 80s, and assumed they'd been around forever. There were established companies, Avalon Hill and SPI, that seemed huge and to have been around forever. But it all just blew away, or got subsumed, by adventure gaming.
The books suggests that the "backstory" was rich, but not as long or as deep as I expected. There were miniatures wargaming going back to H.G. Wells, but it was pretty much an eccentric's hobby. Avalon Hill boardgames had a lot of fans, and SPI was ambitious and popular, but over the span of decades they turn out to have been flashes in the pan.