I'm beginning game development, and I started by reading Michael Morrison's Beginning Game Programming, which teaches how to develop a game in C++ using the Win32 API.
I've had a lot of trouble with things I don't have any experience in (when I shut down my program, the process still runs, should it do that?), and something came to mind-- what if Win32 isn't even relevant to game programming? The book I read is around 3 years old, and the software industry seems to have changed a lot since then. Is it still relevant today?
If it isn't relevant to game development, could someone point me to an API that is relevant to game programming?