- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; Revised ed. edition (May 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465039707
- ISBN-13: 978-0465039708
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.95 shipping
Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World Hardcover – May 2, 2017
$1.00 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Believe it or not, all those hours playing Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog really meant something. Andrew Ervin takes a brilliant look at the effects of those games--which did not, in fact, rot our brains."―Rolling Stone
"A fun and insightful analysis of the cultural, educational, and historical value of video games. Ervin deftly traces the evolution of our most interactive art form from Adventure to Minecraft, while offering riveting first-hand accounts from many of the men and women who made it all happen. Bit by Bit is an essential addition to every video game lover's library."―Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One and Armada
"Not many books about video games allow Denis Johnson to rub shoulders with Monkey Island or Vladimir Nabokov with Peter Molyneux. Ervin's taste in games is excellent, his points are thought-provoking, and his cultural omnivorousness (take note, aspiring game journalists) is thrilling. A terrific book."―Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and Apostle
"Ervin brings a literary sensibility to his study... [he] makes an affable guide through the history of the medium... For me, the book's key statement is this: 'Today, if there is in fact a distinction between mass entertainment and the fine arts, it gets complicated more effectively by video games than any other medium.' Bit by Bit plumbs these complications with welcomed intelligence."―Washington Post
"An engrossing and necessary read."―Electric Literature
"[Bit by Bit] is a contemplative ode to electronic entertainment...It's a personal journey that speaks volumes on how video games have grown, evolved, and multiplied to fill myriad roles over the years."―Publishers Weekly
"An urbane, witty, passionate, and eminently literate history of video games from their infancy in the 1950s to today... Ervin, who gives equally satisfying treatment to game sounds, special effects, and music, is a terrific storyteller, and he provides profiles of dozens of game developers and fanatics."―Philadelphia Inquirer
"A brisk, thoughtful tour of video game history. Ervin is an ideal guide... Bit by Bit might persuade holdouts just how awesome video games are."―Games World of Puzzles
About the Author
Andrew Ervin is the author of Extraordinary Renditions and Burning Down George Orwell's House. He has written essays and reviews for the New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. He teaches part time at Temple University and lives with his wife in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
While a reader who is super enmeshed in the gaming culture would rip through this book in a sitting or two, I don't think anything is lost if one were to casually make their way through the book over the course of days or weeks, to enjoy the book, bit by bit. Bottom line: if you're a fan of gaming, this book is worthy of your time.
While reading Bit by Bit, I have been simultaneously taking in episodes of Retrowaretv.com’s The Video Game Years web series, which, as one would expect, covers the early history of arcade and console video gaming, starting in 1977—the year the Atari 2600 launched in the US. The Video Game Years, as a series of videos, is, of course, intensely visual and highly produced with interviews, gameplay footage, and flashy graphics, and it stands in stark contrast to Bit by Bit, which has nary a screenshot from a game. To his credit, Ervin does an excellent job with descriptions of the look and feel of the games he focuses on, from the infamous duck dragons in Adventure to the blocky graphics of Minecraft. Ervin is clearly appealing to an audience of book-first folks who—instead of separating wheat from chaff in the seemingly endless flow of gamer gossip, longplays, live streams, and speed runs that are on YouTube and Twitch—want an overview of the questions that have come to shape video games as the dominant form of popular entertainment in the twenty-first century, including everything from video games’ turn toward becoming dominated by first-person shooter series that are what Anthony Swofford might call brutal “war porn” in service to the US military-industrial complex to gaming’s historical and continually enforced lack of diversity and gender equality (Gamergate) to the old chestnut, can video games be art (Roger Ebert’s hasty, anti-gaming blog post, etc.)?
Perhaps the most compelling part of reading Bit by Bit is Ervin’s memoir of his own experiences with video games. Since he is a writer first and a video gamer second, it is interesting to read how he values and analyzes game creation in relation to his own practice of writing fiction, as well as how he describes the experience a well-made game can afford the imagination of the player. I must admit, I die a little each time I read a user review of a video game affectionately describe it as “a nice little time-waster.” It is clear that Ervin understands that video games have transcended the perception that they are children’s toys designed for killing time, and he is able to relate the importance of and potential for video games as an aesthetic experience that can profoundly affect the wide-ranging community of players, which is why Bit by Bit is worth a read.
Most recent customer reviews
Never do we learn how video games changed the world - the inside flap (sans reflexive "SPOILER ALERT" warning) makes that clear in advance. What DO we learn ?Read more