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Fun Inc.: Why Gaming Will Dominate the Twenty-First Century Paperback – December 15, 2011
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“Engrossing...an ambitious overview of the videogaming industry, from its beginning in 1972 with Pong to today's immersive, multi-player, multi-billion dollar industry.”
- The Wall Street Journal
“Whether or not you share Chatfield’s optimism, Fun Inc. should help to block the fear-mongering generalization―the riffing on prejudices―that has passed for insight on this topic in broadsheet comment pages. If critics of game-playing can’t bring themselves to enter these worlds themselves, to learn first-hand what they are talking about, they should at least read this insightful book.”
- Times Literary Supplement
“Fun Inc. is the most elegant and comprehensive defence of the status of computer games in our culture I have read. The sheer pervasiveness of game experience―99 per cent of teenage boys and 94 per cent of teenage girls having played a video game―means that instant naffness falls upon those who express a musty disdain for the medium. In fact, as Fun Inc. elegantly explains, computer game-playing has a very strong claim to be one of the most vital test-beds for intellectual enquiry.”
- Independent [London]
“While we play video games to extract ourselves from the real world, it's not really play. We learn through games, and mastering challenges becomes our focus. Strategy and tactics become increasingly important.”
- Jim Pawlak, The Dallas Morning News
“Chatfield has a clean, compelling style and is quite reasonable throughout his analysis of both this rapidly growing industry and its profound effects on society. Open-minded, interesting and insightful.”
- California Literary Review
“A detailed and engaging analysis on an increasingly influential medium. Even non-gamers may find themselves seduced.”
- Esquire [UK]
“In exploring the potential of the medium, Chatfield covers much territory, briskly and with intent ... His conclusion on what the future could hold is in equal parts daunting and lip-smacking. It should be read by gamers and non-gamers alike.”
- Time Out London
“Sparklingly intelligent and nuanced... fresh and engaging.”
- The Guardian
“A thought-provoking read for those already won over to the delights of computer games, and an even more important introduction to them for those who remain skeptical.”
- The Observer [UK]
“A lively, thought-provoking and thoughtful read on an entertainment juggernaut many of us have failed to properly recognize. A good book, too, for parents, who might feel far more comfortably informed about a sector that can come across as―literally―an alien world their kids inhabit.”
- The Irish Times
About the Author
Tom Chatfield is Arts and Books editor at the highly prestigious Prospect magazine and also writes for the Times Literary Supplement, The Times, and The Observer in London. he has done puzzle design and creative consultancy for a number of online games companies.
Top customer reviews
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The book is very well researched. I learned the history of video games as well as society's continuous enjoyment of all games from the earliest of times.
I did not finish Fun Inc. feeling that games were a bad influence on our youth, and I now have a clearer idea of the pure influence of playing with each other, via games, which is the essence of video games. They give us the opportunity to virtually connect, in this global society, to more and more people.
Games are good for us. Games connect us. Games make us think and do.
As a defense against the preachers & politicians who hold up gaming as society's latest ill..... I just don't see it. I don't see the uproar. And if there was an uproar, I don't see the need for a defense to the nonsense beyond what would fit in an editorial page. Finally, I don't see this book as a particularly good defense, in and of itself.
Beyond that, the book is a meandering stream that reads like the concatenation of 100 essays on gaming. It feels long winded in places - like the awkward etymology of the word 'Avatar', which relies on the plot points of the movie 'Avatar' as a reference point, giving it the feel of a high school book report. Then the author never really manages to tie that concept in with the rest of the chapter.
For the right person, this might be a great read. I just wanted something a little deeper.
In other words, nobody I know.
"Games" are often associated with the "escapist" and the immature, but that is, at best, a shortsighted view. Fun Inc. covers all this and more. Great read!