One of the more astute media theorists currently at work, Wark is going for major bonus points with Gamer Theory, and he indeed racks them up. Gamer Theory opens a new level for media studies, offering a successor paradigm to the culture industry thesis..l and the spectacle society critique of the Situationists.
-- Vince Carducci (Popmatters)This is only a book about video games in the way that the story of Noah's Ark is about the weather.
-- Laura Stokes (Brooklyn Rail)Wark goes deep into many subtle mechanisms... Results are controversial as any Wark effort, but they are provocative and sometimes really inspiring, so often opening new possible paths for interpreting games and even different other digital environments.
-- Alessandro Ludovico (Neural Magazine) Not since Steal This Book has a book's radical packaging so threatened to upstage its radical content.
-- Julian Dibbell (Village Voice)
Like all great works, Gamer Theory
is formed out of a necessity 'to describe what being now is.' In a playful, edgy, and remixological style, Wark opens a new direction in game studies. (Mark Amerika, author of META/DATA: A Digital Poetics
is an amazing book, rich and pointed and powerful, and deserving of multiple rereadings. I cannot recommend Gamer Theory
too highly. (Steven Shaviro)
In Gamer Theory
, McKenzie Wark brings his relentlessly playful mind to the undeniably important medium of the videogame. Like a Mario of media studies, Wark powers up his own in-the-trenches videogaming experiences with secret combos from the big guns of critical theory to arrive at a player-centric and culturally savvy understanding of gaming. An idiosyncratic outflanking of current game studies, Gamer Theory
takes scholarship of videogames to a brave new level. (Eric Zimmerman, Co-founder & CEO of Gamelab, and co-author with Katie Salen of Rules of Play and The Game Design Reader
The release of media theorist McKenzie Wark's new book Gamer Theory
is many things at once. If you're interested in the growth of a new medium, it's a media academic's major guide to the key issues. If you're games-savvy, you are just as likely to recoil in horror at Wark's analyses. To proclaim that he has simply expanded on his previous work, a hacker manifesto, ignores what gamer theory is--a study in the catastrophe of reading culture. It's an intensely difficult-to-navigate work but ultimately rewarding for those up to the challenge of the game before them. (Christian Mccrae Realtime
Innovative, though-provoking. (J. A. Saklofske Choice
A crucial addition to a long history of discussion on gaming and play...This is philosophy constructed as and while the author plays the game (which also might include the academic game). This idea is actualised by Wark’s layered breakdown of Gamer Theory into meditations on various digital games like Vice City and SimEarth...It is a distinctive work in that it synthesises aspects from a range of critical discourses that might otherwise have no interest in gaming and play, largely because, as Wark writes: “Games are our contemporaries, the form in which the present can be felt and, in being felt, thought through.” (Terrence Maybury Media International Australia
About the Author
McKenzie Wark is Professor of Cultural and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College and The New School for Social Research. He is the author of several books, most recently The Beach Beneath the Street.