Ian Bogost – How To Talk About Video Games

how to talk about video games

Go deep into the art, code, and reasoning behind some of the most famous (and not so famous) video games.

3 out of 5 stars.

This was an interesting book.  In the beginning I wasn’t sure if the author was going to tell me how he felt about a bunch of games and I was worried I was going to be reading a 200 page book of reviews.  That was not the case.  As I got deeper and deeper it was clear — the author is definitely a professor and this book was written for a class that he teaches.  I would be incredibly shocked if it wasn’t.  The book reads like a textbook — a lot of drawn out explanations that could have been done in much less words.

Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t take away from the it, but the chapters where either I didn’t know about the game (I’m an avid gamer) or where I wasn’t interested in the authors point of view on the game — those chapters reminded me of being in Economics and being forced to read a text that was dry.

The chapters that I did love (including the one on the game Hard Rain, and the chapter on video games and violence were really fun and interesting to read.  I guess it’s just a preference.

All in all, the reader should be warned that this does read like a textbook at times.  And I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who isn’t well versed in popular video game culture.  There are just too many references to games that people may not know.

Note to publisher/author:

The title of the book could be construed as incredibly confusing.  You need a deep knowledge of video games to understand a lot of the topics that were talked about in this book.  I would call this book “A Criticism of Video Games” or something of the sorts.

I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley for an honest review.



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