A Review of Gamers: Writers, Artists & Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels
Edited by Shanna Compton
Soft Skull Press
Like a piece of summarization software run with extreme parameters, I have located the single sentence that I believe best characterizes Gamers: Writers, Artists, and Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels. It is found in Aaron McCollough’s essay, about two-thirds of the way through the book:
“When I attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, playing Madden was one of the few things that helped me briefly forget about being a fraud.”
According to the Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data, which is often indispensable when attempting to understand unusual volumes such as this one, this is a book about Video Games – Social aspects and Video games – Psychological aspects. According to the press release, it’s “The first book to ever seriously explore the culture of video and online games.” Actually, Gamers is probably best characterized as collection of personal essays, with a handful of rather impersonal ones thrown in to keep them company. The personal essay genre is not my favorite, and a video gaming theme doesn’t necessarily make the genre more palatable. I approached Gamers with some of the trepidation I might have felt starting in on Drivers: Writers and Visual Artists Discuss Their Fond Memories of Cars. Still, when I received Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader (the bibliophilic, single-author equivalent of such a volume) as a gift not long ago I did go ahead and read it, and I even found things to like. Never one to be a snob for books about books, I was willing to read the confessions of common gamers, too.
This is a preview of
Plowing the Games
. Read the full post.