Their significance and their tragedy is not overlooked but in the wider context of the book they are only the jumping off point for a wider investigation into what is interesting about games in the first place and what compels people to play them to a degree of obsession This being the case the whole thing is somewhat skewed towards a general audience perhaps one who doesn t know much and is faintly suspicious about the subject matter There s a lot here that other hobbyist readers like myself will probably take for granted but the prose here is such a pleasure to read that I m sure they won t mind the author has a great knack for concentrating his arguments into legant penetrating phraseology and there s a pleasing rhythm to the balance of uotes Extending Symfony 2 Web Application Framework examples and opinion here that makes the whole thing veryasy and Angels Whiskey enjoyable to read My only reservation is that I m not sure it adds a great deal that is wholly new to the canon of writing about video games The writing is generally very good but there s not much here to surprise or astonish though that might be because much of it was all uite familiar to me To put it another way it s a book about the people who play games rather than being a work of game criticism The thesis moves towards a comfortable place andven when the book does touch on the difficult topic of game addiction it s largely depicted as a kind of misunderstanding a halfway point between the ually popular alternatives of casual and studious appreciation The research is fastidious and fascinating but by the nd I didn t feel I was any closer to understanding the mindset of the most obsessive players But I did njoy it and I do think this would be a perfect way for someone with an interest but little xperience in the subject to broaden their knowledge and awareness of the possibilities offered by video games Good A few thought provoking Wish You Were Here: An Essential Guide to Your Favorite Music Scenes—from Punk to Indie and Everything in Between essays about gamingBad I find that many of thessays in the book are not interesting This is probably because I ve playedheard of the game I m aware of the issuescontroversies of the gametopic or the game being discussed is so obscure and irrelevant it s not The Day Christ Was Born even worth playing orven knowing Inconsistencieserrors for 5 Nights: Sinful Delights Boxed Set example the book initially claims that team Dignitas currently has 70 players A few pages later it claims that the team currently has around 60 players Scattered and unnecessary There s no there there Why do humans play video games Viewed from a remove they can seem like little than merit less time wasters This can be trueven for those The Seventh Witch embedded in the culture such as British journalist Simon Parkin whose first book Death by Video Gamexplores this uestion at length and from a variety of And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake engrossing angles In humanity s ongoing project of survival and propagation video games seemingly contribute little he notes in the introduction Yet there are compelling depths to the virtual worlds that we canxplore with keyboard mouse controller and smartphone screen Indeed as the title suggests a spate of young gamers have been so smitten by these worlds in recent years that they have been found dead at the keyboard after Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama's Dream of the Socialist States of America extended periods of play But we re not going to linger with the corp ses Parkin writes The pressing uestion is what compelled these young people tomigrate from reality into their virtual dimensions beyond the natural limits of their wellbeing It s a good uestion and Death by Video Game splits the answer into a dozen chapters with titles such as Belonging Empathy Healing and Chronoslip the last being a term coined to describe the common The Pocket Wife experience of losing track of time after becoming immersed in a gameParkin s journalistic approach to the topic sees him uncovering an array of untold stories wherein hu. Rage their children tonter Call of Duty competitions to keep them off the bomb ravaged streets of BaghdadAnd in Taiwan a spate of deaths at gaming cafés is raising uestions about what playing video games does to usIn Death by Video Game renowned gaming journalist Simon Parkin delves into the lives of obsessive gamers to answer th.
This was a pretty interesting read for the most part if slightly repetitive in many of its assertions If I could I d probably give it 35 starsI do feel the title is misleading and actually I wasn t particularly inclined to read it at first specifically for that reason just on the assumption reinforced by the first chapter that this was a book about the deleterious The Color of Our Sky effects of video games yawn But itnded up being a fairly interesting series of ssays about the many reason different people play different video games what the medium has done and is doing for and within our culture what the potential of the medium is and how developers are xperimenting with it and what praise and criticism surround it So if you can get past the first chapter which is mostly anecdotal stories about a few gamers in Taiwan that died while playing video games which was not uninteresting the purpose of the book will slowly start to reveal itself to youFor non gamer like me my last gaming system was the original NES so other than the occasional arcade visit and that one time I played Portal video games are not a medium I have deep knowledge about a lot of the information about specific games was new and interesting Though to people immersed in the gaming culture there is likely little in this book they don t already know And some of the philosophizing about why people game could come off as a little patronizing depending on one s personality I found the specific personal stories of individuals much compelling than the author s personal take on why people gameStill after having read it I realize that some of my preconceptions of what is going on in gaming are pretty outdated And it shows that what many developers are doing these days is much Obsession expansive interesting than I had realized So the book has inspired me to go and see if there aren t some indie games out there that might interest meSo there s that less This book is written poorlyThat out of the way it also tries to be about too much The sensational title is only partially and occasionallyxplored over the course of the bookIt reads like a manuscript of a novice video game journalist Instead of chapters they feel like blog postsAdditionally most of the subjects covered within have been done by actual video game journalists and better This is a collation of information the way a rushed homework assignment is the collation of a semester of lessonsAt least it is very short Maybe the title could have been A Brief History of Video Games and the Mention of a Few Deaths I was Cabaret: A Roman Riddle expecting discussion about theffects of video games Probably would have been interesting for a video game fan but you will learn about video games This is a typically intelligent considered look at what is the youngest and perhaps the most important new popular medium of our time The approach is not impersonal but primarily journalistic rather than making an argument solely from xperience or launching a soapbox style apologia for the subject the author seeks instead to demonstrate and to xplain the virtues of games by reference to all kinds of different xamples from around the world We start off in an internet cafe in Taiwan where a young man s heart fails after an xtended gaming session that lasted something like twenty three hours Other All Roads Lead Home examples referring directly to the title of the book follow and though they are incredibly rare these cases remain notable it would be perfectly possible as the authorxplains to die in a similar way in front of any other work of art or ntertainment but what distinguishes games is the very particular way in which they seem to ntice people to play for hours without nd Yet in a sense this book isn t really about those deaths at all. In Canada volunteers are raising money for charity by playing marathon stints of Penn Teller's Desert Bus probably the worst video game ver createdAcross the globe thousands of viewers tune in to Kurt J Mac's The Mephisto Threat (Paul Tallis epic but seemingly pointless voyage towards the outer realms of Minecraft's procedurally generated worldIn Ira mothersncou.
Mans choose to interface with games to their benefit or detriment Importantly however he does not remain an impassive observer throughout the narrative the author occasionally interjects with personal stories such as how he and his university friends regularly took part in marathon late night sessions of the 1997 Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007 or how he came home one vening to find his wife still sitting on the floor and playing Animal Crossing in the xact same position as when he left hours arlier She turned her head stiffly yes hooded as if awakening from a coma he writes Whoa she said I am cold and hungry The best of these personal interjections is saved for chapter Just Cause eight Hiding Place which tells two stories of people using games toscape troubling personal circumstances first a man whose wife suffers a painful complication in her pregnancy so the pair scapes into the cold grim world of Skyrim as a temporary coping mechanism and an Irai teenager who becomes one of the world s top Battlefield 3 players which is ironic as it s an American centric war shooter title primarily aimed at Western audiencesIn the midst of these two affecting stories Parkin offers I remember when as a teenager my parents first separated I too found routine and direction in a video game mine was Final Fantasy VII when the framework of my life seemed to be collapsing Passages such as this point to the remarkable strength of Parkin s style which is nergised by mpathy alongside his ability to craft an ngaging human story After all at the heart of very video game is human ndeavour and all its successes and failures the code is dreamed up by human brains and typed by human fingers all for the njoyment of other humansThe uestion of why many millions of us choose to ngage in this behaviour is deceptively complex and in Death by Video Game Parkin skilfully analyses it in an accessible yet deeply considered manner This fine book is a must read for those who play games as well as those who seek to understand the attraction that this form of play holds for others such as parents bemused by their child s immersion in the popular world of Minecraft perhapsReview first published in The Weekend Australian October 3 2015 I would like to start out by letting you know that in actuality there is not a lot of death in this book I m not saying you re here for the death I m just saying if you perhaps picked up this book because you are fascinated by the individuals who have in fact died while playing video games or right after they stopped and you just really want to know how that s possible and what the autopsy showed and what the medical theories might be and just how many of these deaths are there Well you won t find out here Just letting you know Because although such deaths begin the book Parkin s real focus is on xploring what role video games have among the living He does present an interesting look at video game culture community and future well worth the reading Which I did in bed next to my husband while he played a video game on his ipod the ntire time The title of the book is a bit of Fiesta Moon engineered clickbait A accurate title might be Videogames the new Storytelling Medium Simon Parkin does write about the isolated occurrences of players dying while at their computers These instances he writes about are about as rare as people dying while reading a novel or watching a play Much of the book talks about the potential of videogames to tell a story in a deeply compelling way than older traditional means In videogames the author writes the player is an active participant in the unfolding of a story It felt like there was a huge gap between the book I was promised and the book that Inded up reading. E uestion why do we spend so many hours of our lives in virtual playgroundsTelling the stories of gamers and the developers who create the worlds they obsessively inhabit Death by Video Game is a window on the human stories that have made video games the 21st century's most vibrant cultural medium©2015 Simon Parkin P2015 Audible Lt.
Simon Parkin is an award winning writer and journalist from England A sought after video game pundit Parkin has been a guest on BBC Radio 4 BBC Radio 5 Live and his criticism and journalism has featured in numerous high profile publications including the New Yorker Guardian and New Statesman