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Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

by

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter Cover

 

Staff Pick

If you've ever said to yourself (or your significant other), "as soon as I finish this level, I'll go to bed," you have to read Extra Lives. It's not so much a defense of video games as a willingness to explore the impact they have, for good and ill, in the author's (and by extension the reader's) life. Gamers and non-gamers alike will be engrossed by Bissell's self-deprecating sense of humor, as well as his compelling narrative skills.
Recommended by Gerry, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know.

Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment.

Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions.

Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading.

Synopsis:

A personal assessment of the author's addiction to video games explores his favorites, their roles as modern forms of popular art, and their habit-forming appeal while considering how he has neglected his professional and social responsibilities in favorof gaming activities.

Synopsis:

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing

About the Author

Tom Bissell (Xbox Live gamertag: T C Bissell; PlayStation Network gamertag: TCBissell) is the author of Chasing the Sea, God Lives in St. Petersburg, and The Father of All Things. A recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Bay de Noc Community College Alumnus of the Year Award, he teaches fiction writing at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Author's note — 1: Fallout — 2: Headshots — 3: The unbearable lightness of games — 4: The grammar of fun — 5: Littlebigproblems — 6: Braided — 7: Mass effects — 8: Far cries — 9: Grand thefts — Appendix: Interview with Sir Peter Molyneux — Acknowledgments — Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307379283
Subtitle:
Why Video Games Matter
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Author:
Bissell, Tom
Author:
Tom Bissell
Subject:
Technology & Engineering : Television & Video
Subject:
Games : Video & Electronic - General
Subject:
Social Science : Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Video games -- History.
Subject:
Video games -- Social aspects.
Subject:
Video & Electronic - General
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Television & Video
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Current Affairs-General
Subject:
Games-Video Games
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20100608
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
218

Related Subjects

Engineering » Communications » Video
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Video Games
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 218 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780307379283 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If you've ever said to yourself (or your significant other), "as soon as I finish this level, I'll go to bed," you have to read Extra Lives. It's not so much a defense of video games as a willingness to explore the impact they have, for good and ill, in the author's (and by extension the reader's) life. Gamers and non-gamers alike will be engrossed by Bissell's self-deprecating sense of humor, as well as his compelling narrative skills.

"Synopsis" by , A personal assessment of the author's addiction to video games explores his favorites, their roles as modern forms of popular art, and their habit-forming appeal while considering how he has neglected his professional and social responsibilities in favorof gaming activities.
"Synopsis" by , Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing
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