For those who are in Austin and are interested in seeing the latest new cool tool for developers who are into gaming, come on over to University of Texas in Taylor Hall rm 2.124 for a demo of XNA Express. This is Microsoft's free developer tool built on top of C# express for writing XBox games. I gotta say that this is some of the funnest demo's I've done, in that we create a game from scratch and show how you can build your own.
Here are some useful gaming technology and history links that helped me get comfortable with the topic area.
Also, if you launch the DirectX texture tool, you can open up some of the TGA files in the build-from-scratch demo. Can’t find a viewer for the swm file though.