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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean, reasonably crisp pages. DJ has tape repair in front. Cover has moderate wear. Tight binding. Not ex-library.
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This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities Hardcover – May 29, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"We need more writers like Jim Rossignol, writers who are intimately familiar with gaming, conversant in the latest research surrounding games, and able to write cogently and interestingly about the experience of playing as well as the deeper significance of games."
---Chris Baker, Wired

About the Author

Jim Rossignol is a habitual gamer who grew up in a tediously middle-class village in the south of England. He is also a world-renowned games journalist who currently writes for Wired, The BBC, PC Gamer, and many other media outlets. His populist group-blogging project rockpapershotgun.com continues to expand its cult popularity. He lives in Bath, England.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472116355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472116355
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,974,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Berck on July 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a basic overview of different aspects of gaming. It discusses some cultural differences in the way Westerners game vs. those from the East (with the possible general exception of Japan). It is interesting to note the difference not only in game style preferences, but the way gamers are perceived in Western vs. South Korean culture, specifically.

The author also examines what he calls emergent gaming. These are methods of gaming and actions within the game that the designers did not anticipate. He goes on, at length, about the evolution of EVE Online and how it is the players that have largely driven that change rather than developers. He also waxes philosophical when it comes to what games mean in a larger context. Are games merely a waste of time and energy better spent on other endeavors or do they ultimately represent something else? This discussion is not very deep, but he does give reference to some other works that delve deeper into this debate.

Besides the few annoying grammatical errors, the tone is kept fairly light, yet you can tell Jim Rossignol is passionate about his current chosen focus in life. There is some good information here, but it really is best for someone who is looking for a PC-gaming biased overview of what gaming has been, is in its current state, and could possibly be. Console gaming is touched upon, but not discussed in any great detail. Those looking for minute detail and insights into the gaming industry won't find them here. But he does point the way to others who discuss his more philosophical points at length. This Gaming Life is certainly worth a read if you're interested in gaming no matter what level you wish to explore, unless you've already delved into this field.
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Format: Hardcover
There is much about this book which I liked, particularly the fairly in-depth look at the Korean gaming culture and how it differs from that in the west. It was also interesting to read about the political movements within games and how they have been used as protest platforms. I feel that as a person who is both a gamer and a person who works in the gaming industry, This Gaming Life brings to light many of the reasons why people play video games - for the challenges, social experiences or to simply escape the stresses of every day life. One of the other reasons given by the author is that gamers game to stave off boredom.

Jim Rossignol raises some very valid points on how the activity of playing video games has grown to become a central part of today's culture, such as the social components in today's games and the scientific studies being conducted to better understand the effect of video games on the human countenance. He examines at length the pros and cons of becoming engrossed in games, as well as some of the educational aspects. Topics also covered are the varying levels of importance some game development studios put on gamer interaction with development through gamer-made mods or playing the game in ways not expected by the developers. This is something which I have heard discussed at many game development conferences - that gamers will always find some way to play the game that was outside of the project vision.

The one aspect of this book which I didn't enjoy was the amount of time spent discussing the game play and player experience in EVE Online. In some ways I felt that due to this, the book became more about EVE than about the lives of gamers on a whole. While the book is meant to speak about Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should say from the get-go: Here are the stories of the hard core of the hardcore PC gamers in Britain (competitive shooters), Korea (Internet cafe culture), and a smattering of international enthusiasts (playing the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online).
Entertaining in places, but fails to scratch the surface of the digital diaspora of gamers--Xbox/Playstation users, mobile gamers, etc.
Curious, since Rossignol's gaming experiences reach beyond niche PC games.
For travel journalism and cerebral video game analysis, it's above average. For an enlightening overview of gaming culture, it's lacking. Bottom line though: he's charming, funny and, in this case, worth a read.
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