Truck Month Spring Reading 2016 Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_cbcc_7_fly_beacon $5 Albums Fire TV with 4k Ultra HD Gifts for Mom to look and feel great Mother's Day Gifts Amazon Gift Card Offer ctstrph2 ctstrph2 ctstrph2  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Fire, Only $39.99 Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now SnS
Customer Review

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Games people play, June 27, 2010
This review is from: Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The subtitle of Tom Bissell's Extra Lives is "Why Video Games Matter", which naturally made me wonder, do they really matter? Sure, Bissell would try to explain his view, but would it be like an explanation of astrology: no matter how logical you'd try to be, you'd still be working on a foundation of hooey.

The astrology analogy, imperfect as it may be, does provide another similarity to video games: both generate lots of money. Spending money on a horoscope may be a waste, but can the same argument be made for video games? Maybe not, if you consider video games a form of art, in which case, spending money on them is little different than buying movies or books. In fact, Bissell's argument falls much along this line, and much of Extra Lives is dedicated to the artistic aspects of video games: the execution of stories, the development of game worlds, etc.

Bissell's focus is on violent adventure games such as Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, so discussion of puzzle like games (Tetris, Bejeweled and so forth), sports games and other video game genres is very limited. He does give the reader a behind-the-scenes look at the developers of these games.

Personally, I rarely play these types of games, with most of my experience limited to that early first-person shooter, Doom. It's not that I have an aversion to such games, it's just that I know if I start playing them, they'd quickly consume my leisure time, time I'd rather invest in reading, movies or other forms of entertainment. These games are addicting, as Bissell aptly demonstrates: he is an addict to these games. On a related note, he also admits to being a cocaine addict and though he may be clean at the moment, he gives off the vibe of someone who could fall off the wagon again pretty easily.

Does Bissell make his case? Do video games matter? I think he does, but I'll leave it to each reader to make his or her own opinion. More importantly, is he a good writer? Not so much. He's okay, but I often found that the book rambled too much and though the individual chapters are interesting, they don't come together into a coherent whole as well as they should. This is an okay book, but little more than that; if you have an interest in the topic, you might get some insights, but don't expect too much.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]