This is true. However, I believe the more you know, programming wise, the more able you are to create a fantastic game as apposed to not having any programming talent.
In my opinion you can't read a book and learn how to make games. You need to actually make games and get feedback about those games to improve. Reading a book is just a technical skill. You also need to be able to compile all the technical skills in a way that people like it.
I know you can't read one book.
I have 5 java books. Two of them teach the basics of programming and the other 3 cover video game programming and techniques. Practicing the code presented in the chapters of these books and the tutorials I find online have been a wonderful thing. I now know a lot more now then I have ever known. The more code I learn and the more techniques I learn, the more I get this "matrix vision" when I play other games. I see how they solved problems in logic which enables me to reproduce these concepts. For instance, I was playing Zelda a link to the past and when he jumps from a "high" spot to a "low" spot, I see this as: Character collides with specified tile, trigger jumping animation, move player to down a tile. Hope that makes sense. Before I started learning and reading, I had no idea some of the programming tricks that were going on. The more I learn to code and the more I play SNES games like zelda and others, the more I feel like I am figuring out problems. I assume that most all programmers who have been doing this for awhile have this ability. It's new to me and very exciting.
The real reason for the game programming books, is for a jump-start in game programming logic. While I do believe it may be a bad idea to solely rely on a game programming specific book to get you started, I don't believe that they are a bad read. As I mentioned in the first post, once I started reading these books, I knew I needed to know more about programming before I got started in those books. The introduction to books 1 and 2 state that the reader should already know the basics including, gui/graphics, threads, inheritance, polymorphism, etc.
My goal is to become a great programmer. I don't believe in shortcuts. I believe in trial and error. All big things start small. To build efficient and fast video games, you need to know more than game specific programming techniques. I think you need to be a "well rounded" and experienced.
I respect everyone on this forum and especially those who have contributed to this thread with their opinions. I do appreciate each and every one of you. I may not be a wise programmer and I am not a skilled programmer, but I believe with hard work, and constant practice, only good things will happen.
Andrew from Texas