Gamer Nation: The Rise of Modern Gaming and the Compulsion to Play Again

We rated this book:


The thesis of Eric Geissinger’s Gamer Nation is somewhat difficult to track, but as far as I can tell, it goes something like this: here’s some unnecessary nattering about the theory of “play,” here’s some tired stuff about how we’re coddling children, and then here’s more stuff about how coddled children are growing up to be too sensitive. Then something-something-something, video/mobile games are really popular (surprise change of gear!), they’re profit-motivated and designed to be addictive, something-something, people need to get off their devices and go have some old-fashioned fun like Grandpa Geissinger used to. He also manages to contradict himself on an admirable number of occasions–games are good, unless their electronic, but some of those can be good, but electronic games can be good, or maybe they’re bad, or maybe I’ll yell at some clouds.

My overall impression is that Geissinger really had nothing to say that hadn’t already been said by Tipper Gore about music or Vicesimus Knox about that most pernicious of things, the novel. So, with nothing new to say about video games or culture, Geissinger decided to write an entire book about his lack of coherent or noteworthy opinions. Although, not to shortchange Geissinger, along the way he does manage to rant about how “PC culture” is ruining everybody’s fun and to say some things that sound a lot like what a rape-apologist would say.

Here’s what it comes down to: if you like laborious chapters about the theory of what it means to “play” or have somehow missed the last 30 years’ worth of conversation about video games, here’s a book for you. Otherwise, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend Gamer Nation to nearly anyone.

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Star Count 1/5
Format Hard
Page Count 277 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2018-Jul-31
ISBN 9781633883796 Buy this Book
Issue November 2018
Category Technology


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