Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter


By (author) Tom Bissell

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 242 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 20mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 14 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307474313
  • ISBN 13: 9780307474315
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 71,479

Product description

In "Extra Lives," acclaimed writer and life-long video game enthusiast Tom Bissell takes the reader on an insightful and entertaining tour of the art and meaning of video games. In just a few decades, video games have grown increasingly complex and sophisticated, and the companies that produce them are now among the most profitable in the entertainment industry. Yet few outside this world have thought deeply about how these games work, why they are so appealing, and what they are capable of artistically. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, "Extra Lives "is a milestone work about what might be the dominant popular art form of our time.

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Author information

Tom Bissell (Xbox Live gamertag: T C Bissell; PlayStation Network gamertag: TCBissell) is the author of "Chasing the Sea," "God Lives in St. Petersburg," and "The Father of All Things." A recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Bay de Noc Community College Alumnus of the Year Award, he teaches fiction writing at Portland State University and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Review quote

"Tom Bissell is a Renaissance Man for our out-of-joint time . . . His descriptions of simulated gore and mayhem manage to be clinical, gripping, and hilarious all at once. He transmits to the reader the primitive, visceral excitements that make video games so enticing, even addictive, to their legions of devotees. One can almost understand why an intelligent, cultured man such as Bissell has been driven to dedicate large chunks of his adult life to bouts of gaming." --"The New Republic ""Even if "Extra Lives" wasn't the only book to deal with the future of videogames in a serious manner, it would probably still be the best one." --"Newsweek ""What should videogame criticism look like? Bissell's book offers plenty of tantalizing possibilities. . . A deeply personal work, as entertaining as the video games it profiles . . . It's also the first book about videogames that non-gamers can actually enjoy." --"Entertainment Weekly ""For anyone who has spent a week