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The state of play : creators and criticis on video game culture
Author Notes
<p> LINUS LARSSON and DANIEL GOLDBERG are two of Sweden's most important writers on new technology and the Internet. They have been published in Wired , The Guardian , The Washington Post , and American Computer World, and quoted by BBC News , The New York Times , and The Sydney Morning Herald . Their first book, Swedish Hackers , was published in 2011 in Sweden. In 2013, Minecraft followed with Seven Stories Press as their bestselling English-language debut.</p>
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  Library Journal Review

Editors Goldberg and Larsson (coauthors, Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game That Changed Everything) gather a series of daring personal essays on the current state of video game culture and the industry it came from. The essayists are both game lovers and game creators. They're deeply involved in the video game industry and they care greatly about video games as art, representing the most significant voices in the controversies currently rocking the fault lines of the video game landscape. Standout essays by Anna Anthropy and Zoe Quinn demonstrate how creating games can be cathartic while highlighting the extreme prejudices and online harassment that marginalized creators face from their peers. Their essays and others paint an alarming but timely picture in the aftermath of the Gamergate controversy, which concerns sexism in video game culture. Additional pieces unpack issues such as violence, faith, class, and more as they relate to games. All of the contributors balance darkness with uplifting accounts of how games have improved their lives. VERDICT A ground-breaking anthology that all video game players should read and ponder.-Paul Stenis, -Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

What video games mean and why they matter.Swedish technology writers Goldberg and Larsson (Minecraft: The Game that Changed Everything, 2011, etc.) gather a selection of "New Games Journalism" pieces, representing a recent development in writing about video games that focuses not on the technological or entertainment aspects of the medium but on the cultural, social, and political contexts in which the games exist. A focal point for this new approach has been the distressing "Gamergate" scandal, which found women who questioned sexist elements of gamesor who created their own alternatives or merely presumed to make their voices heard at allon the receiving ends of a massive torrent of online threats of sexual assault and murder from frustrated male gamers. Gamergate has inspired much insightful consideration (including Dan Golding's essay, "The End of Gamers," included here), but this book also includes thoughtful considerations of race, gender, sexuality, mental illness, and violence in gaming. Evan Narcisse writes of his frustration with the lack of acceptable representations of black people in games, while Hussein Ibrahim examines his ambivalence as an Arabic man killing scores of Arabic enemies in military shooter games. Developers like Merritt Kopas, Zoe Quinn, and Anna Anthropy recount their struggles to create games that meaningfully confront topics such as depression and sexuality, while other writers examine pervasive tropes and their larger meaningse.g., the popularity of apocalyptic settings and the masochistic anti-pleasures of maddening time-wasters like "Flappy Bird." The essays are uniformly well-written, full of personal passion and journalistic rigor, and they fully convince readers of the relevance and urgency of this new form of criticism. A consistently engaging and insightful reckoning with the serious implications of the ascendant entertainment medium of the 21st century. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
The State Of Play is a call to consider the high stakes of video game culture and how our digital and real lives collide. Here, video games are not hobbies or pure recreation of reality; they are their own reality, as real a vehicle for ideas about racial and sexual politics to play out as any 'real-life' social environment. The 16 contributors to this volume are entrenched in video game culture; they are game designers, media critics and internet celebrities. What they have to say is essential reading for anyone interested in equality, video games or the changing culture.
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