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How to Do Things with Videogames (Electronic Mediations) Paperback – August 5, 2011
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"Gamers often beg for a critic with the persuasive power and range of a Lester Bangs or a Pauline Kael. With this book, Ian Bogost demonstrates his capacity to take up their mantle and explain to a larger public why games matter in modern culture. The book’s goals are simple, straight forward, and utterly, desperately needed. How to Do Things with Videogames may do for games what Understanding Comics did for comics—at once consolidate existing theoretical gains while also expanding dramatically the range of people who felt able to meaningfully engage in those discussions." —Henry Jenkins, author of Fans, Gamers, and Bloggers: Understanding Participatory Culture
About the Author
Ian Bogost is professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His books include Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames and Newsgames: Journalism at Play.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bogost describes myriad videogames along the way, and his scene and scenario descriptions are precise and nuanced, yet always concise such that even non-gamers will follow and find solid points of attachment and interest. (I haven't played a videogame seriously since 1992: Metroid II on Gameboy.) In other words, the book is not only an astute and scintillating argument; it is also educational in the most satisfying sense of the word. Speaking of education, I can definitely imagine teaching this book in an undergraduate digital humanities course, as it demonstrates this emergent field at its best: in grounded, lucid, and layered investigations.
In short, "How To Do Things With Videogames" will be of great interest to all sorts of people: everyday gamers and game makers, certainly, but also to non-gamers as well as to scholars and students of contemporary culture--which is to say the book is media studies for the world.
Most of these people, they play FarmVille or Solitaire or Tetris or Snood to fill their time. At family gatherings, they're the first to drag out the Scrabble or Monopoly board. They don't quite recognize that games and videogames are already important to them, too.
Instead of getting flustered, now you've got a book to hand them (or, at the very least, you'll have a handy mental volume of examples and arguments to draw from). It will show them that there are games in between what they play and what "gamers" play, games that do things and explore all sorts of terrain that they didn't even know the medium could. Finally, it articulates a future for games and the people who play them that even you (as a gamer, developer, or scholar) probably haven't thought of before.
More importantly, this book will also make you wonder what OTHER things you can do with videogames. To put it another way: Ian Bogost thought up 20 things you can do with videogames. How many can you think of?
If you are still skeptical regarding the subject "video games" as something more than "just another tech junk my nephew plays", you should definitely read this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the topic itself is interesting, and Ian Bogost's reputation and involvement within the games industry should have made this a good book, the very heavy style used throughout... Read morePublished 18 months ago by HoneyBadger
The book was bought as a gift. But it came in the mail with no dust jacket or image in the cover at all. Just a plain grey, horrible looking book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ariel Brenes Glenn
This book covers an array of game related topics. Lots of food for thought for game designers and anyone who loves games.Published on January 3, 2014 by JimmyHoffa04
This was purchase for my son who is studying Video Game Development. He has really enjoyed the book and would reccommend it to other Video Game Developers.Published on January 3, 2014 by Lesa B. Lewis
It is a great book doing a comparative analysis on video games and their benefits. I might not agree with the conclusion, the project being done is worthwhile and important.Published on June 20, 2013 by Jonathan
Bogost does a good job of applying little known strategies implemented in game development. A great resource for parents and kids looking to understand the content in games; or... Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I love the way Bogost easily explains the future uses of gaming. This book is not meant to predict, but to inspire new uses for videogames.Published on May 14, 2013 by Adelina Vaca
He's smart and makes his subject accessible to someone like me who knows nothing about the topic. Also, theres a twinkle in his eye in the way he writes which makes this but fun... Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by frank silverstein