Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell

By Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell is a prizewinning author who released 3 greatly acclaimed books sooner than the age of thirty-four. he's additionally an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in entrance of his a variety of online game consoles, enjoying titles equivalent to Far Cry 2, Left four lifeless, BioShock, and Oblivion for, actually, days. when you are analyzing this flap replica, a similar factor can most likely be acknowledged of you, or of somebody you know.

Until lately, Bissell was once a little reluctant to confess to his ardour for video games. during this, he's not by myself. thousands of adults spend hours per week taking part in games, and the itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. however the wider tradition turns out to treat games as, at most sensible, good designed if senseless entertainment.

Extra Lives is an impassioned security of this assailed and misunderstood artwork shape. Bissell argues that we're in a golden age of gaming—but he additionally believes video games might be even greater. He bargains a desirable and infrequently hilarious critique of the methods games dazzle and, simply as usually, frustrate. alongside the way in which, we get firsthand photos of a few of the easiest minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at paintings in game layout this day, in addition to a shattering and deeply relocating ultimate bankruptcy that describes, in searing aspect, Bissell’s descent into the area of Grand robbery car IV, a video game whose issues reflect his personal more and more self-destructive compulsions.

Blending memoir, feedback, and first-class reportage, Extra Lives is like no different publication at the topic ever released. even if you like games, detest games, or are basically concerned about why they're turning into the dominant well known artwork type of our time, Extra Lives is needed studying.

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It was almost sixteen hours since they’d left home, and she hadn’t got much sleep on the plane. Her father should be the one standing here in the freezing street chatting with his BFF, Lord Poole. All Miranda wanted to do was find her bed and collapse on it. “That’s really very kind of you,” said Peggy, darting a fierce look at Miranda. Evidently, her mother didn’t think she was being polite enough. ” Lord Poole looked embarrassed. “Please, let me help you carry these bags upstairs. Miranda will have plenty of time to read up on all the local history and mystery.

The little girl, her pinched face blue-white with cold, her eyes a cloudy gray, stared up at her. One small clenched hand still grasped the hem of Miranda’s wool jacket. “You startled me — I didn’t see you,” Miranda burbled. The child said nothing. She just stared up at Miranda. Her hollowed cheeks looked bruised almost. The little girl held Miranda’s gaze but shuffled away a little, still holding on to the jacket. Miranda could see her more clearly now. Her hair was a soft brown, dank and dirty and plastered against her head.

They’d be in a different state — one that gazed out onto the Pacific or the Atlantic — not stuck in the middle of the country, in the sticky center of a dead-hot summer. Maybe Rob, her older brother, liked to play the game as well. Maybe that night he’d forgotten that the darkness surrounding them wasn’t the black water of a quiet bay. It was a forest of tall corn, brown and wilting during the day, rustling in a late-night hint of breeze. He couldn’t see through that dark thicket. He couldn’t see the other car speeding along another road.

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