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Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form Paperback – March 20, 2012
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“Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is about education. It is a how-to, indie history lesson, design theory 101, a manifesto, and, surprisingly, as memoir. It serves as an entry into the importance of games and how to make them. But it also is about why making them for ourselves is important.”
“Anna Anthropy's forthcoming book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is about the personal potential of games—how simple tools allow all kinds of people to tell their own stories interactively. But it's also a clever, thoughtful examination on game design, and why the medium is important and interesting.”
“Anna Anthropy is an independent videogame designer and critic, and a key personality in the ongoing paradigm shift that is slowly changing the way videogames are understood, by creators and players, and by the wider culture.”
—Patrick Alexander, Eegra.com
“These days, everybody can make and distribute a photograph, or a video, or a book. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters shows you that everyone can make a videogame, too. But why should they? For Anna Anthropy, it's not for fame or for profit, but for the strange, aimless beauty of personal creativity.”
—Ian Bogost, Director, Graduate Program in Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Free of the constraints the giant studios labour under, one- and two-person teams are using an artisinal approach to make deeply personal and innovative videogames. Rise is a great guidebook to understanding—and more importantly, participating in—this dynamically evolving culture."
—Jim Munroe, co-founder of the Hand Eye Society and the Difference Engine Initiative
“Once upon a time, the game industry was a fervent of creativity, as innovators explored the potential offered by the new technology of home computing; today, it is a lackluster, thud-and-blunder torrent of commercial dross, selling to a diminishing audience of young males. Here, Anna Anthropy demonstrates how people from every background and walk of life are breaking free of the commercial cowardice of major publishers, and bringing their individual visions of the game to life -- and perhaps more importantly, pointing you to tools and ideas that will, should you so choose, allow you to create your own games. If game design is to be an art, as those of us who love games fervently hope, it must be rescued from its crushing commercial pressures. You can be a part of its future.”
—Greg Costikyan, Senior Game Designer, Disney Playdom
"Anna gives the world of video games a crucial perspective from her seat of authority within outsider culture, and illustrates how essential it is for the space to empower
voices of all kinds if it is to evolve."
—Leigh Alexander, game critic
"You would expect outspoken game designer and polemicist Anna Anthropy's first book to be controversial. You might not expect it to be so heartfelt—even inspirational. Equal parts autobiography, ethnography, and how-to manual, this book concisely makes the case for the unique power of "zinester" games—independent video games made primarily by one person. For newcomers to video games, it's a great introduction; for established video game designers, it's a wake-up call. If you're teaching a course about video game culture or video game design, this book deserves a spot on your syllabus."
—Adam Parrish, NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Program (Tisch School of the Arts), and author of the ZZT game "Winter"
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Top Customer Reviews
Maybe Anna didn't play the same games that I did this generation, or even last generation, or even the one before that. Is Mirror's edge a game about shooting dudes in the face? Catherine? Demon's Souls? Limbo? Trials HD? Flower? Heavy Rain? Mass Effect? Isn't it horribly reductive to say that Bioshock is mostly about shooting dudes in the face, even when it's a first person shooter? Is that what that game is really about? I don't think so. Is Bastion a game that a stagnant industry produces? If so, don't you ever change, game industry.
Rise of the Videogame Zinesters begins with Anthropy's opinions on why true authorship is nearly non-existant in commercial videogames. Her argument is succinct, difficult to contradict, and reads like a treat to any gamer who has grown weary of brown shooters, annual sequels, and bars filling up at the end of every multiplayer match in everything.
Anthropy then makes the case for why empowering individuals to make games, the way everyone is empowered to write a story or post a YouTube video, could save the art form from the videogame industry's play-it-safe redundancy.
Well, really, the power is already out there, which is the final thing that Anthropy helps her reader to understand, by pointing out resources and examples of how the tools have already been used to make some very special games.
Anthropy's book is fun, surprising, and timely; and important read for anyone who cares about videogames.
For people already entrenched in the status quo mentality, it's a huge wakeup call and yet another important step in finally ushering diversity into the realm of 'gamer culture.' For people who have never made a game before, it's exactly the call-to-arms that it sets out to be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the author really dumbs down game making, saying that you shouldn't need to know how to program, and almost blames programmers for making the entry point to games difficult. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A thought-provoking text from a true alternative voice on video games and cultural studies.Published 7 months ago by cacology
The book is not half-bad, it is half off-the-point. The good half: an explanation about how video cames can stand out as an art form, with several good examples and a good... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Gavrilo
I'd love to tell the author how inspiring this book is. As an indie developer, it just makes you feel there's a whole world out there ready to find new games that challenge the big... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Maximiliano Villa
This is a book anyone interested in making or researching games NEEDS to read. This belongs in the canon of contemporary games literature. I cannot recommend it enough.Published 19 months ago by Owls
This is a quick read, more like a manifesto for the indie games movement than a guide book although the last chapter includes a walk-through of some programs you can use to get... Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Tori Morris
A unique and valuable perspective that serves as a sort-of manifesto and how-to for the new era of do-it-yourself indie game making.Published on March 14, 2013 by fiendish