how to talk about video games

Go deep into the art, code, and reasoning behind some of the most famous (and not so famous) video games.

3 out of 5 stars.

This was an interesting book.  In the beginning I wasn’t sure if the author was going to tell me how he felt about a bunch of games and I was worried I was going to be reading a 200 page book of reviews.  That was not the case.  As I got deeper and deeper it was clear — the author is definitely a professor and this book was written for a class that he teaches.  I would be incredibly shocked if it wasn’t.  The book reads like a textbook — a lot of drawn out explanations that could have been done in much less words.

Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t take away from the it, but the chapters where either I didn’t know about the game (I’m an avid gamer) or where I wasn’t interested in the authors point of view on the game — those chapters reminded me of being in Economics and being forced to read a text that was dry.

The chapters that I did love (including the one on the game Hard Rain, and the chapter on video games and violence were really fun and interesting to read.  I guess it’s just a preference.

All in all, the reader should be warned that this does read like a textbook at times.  And I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who isn’t well versed in popular video game culture.  There are just too many references to games that people may not know.

Note to publisher/author:

The title of the book could be construed as incredibly confusing.  You need a deep knowledge of video games to understand a lot of the topics that were talked about in this book.  I would call this book “A Criticism of Video Games” or something of the sorts.

I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley for an honest review.



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