Extra Lives Why Video Games Matter
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.
"Winning. . . . The most fun you'll ever have reading about videogames."
--"The Wall Street Journal"
"Bissell has written the finest account yet of what it feels like to be a video game player at 'this glorious, frustrating time, ' a rare moment when humanity encounters, as he writes, 'a form of storytelling that is, in many ways, completely unprecedented.'"
--"New York Times Book Review"
"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."
"This journalistic memoir is not only about the meaning of video games; it's about the heat and hesitation of love."
--"Los Angeles Times"
"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."
--"The New Republic"
"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."
"A master prose stylist, the erudite Bissell is frequently insightful."
--"The Boston Globe"
"For anyone who has spent a weekend thrilled by the prospect of beating a game, "Extra Lives" will cast the addiction in a new, cerebral light."
--"The Washington Post"
"Bissell, a whip-smart writer, is engrossed by the new artistic and narratological possibilities that video gaming opens up to us, and his prose is never dry or academic--rather, it's sweetly personal, and always engaging, even as it pushes its readers to reconsider gaming's lowbrow status."
--"Time Out New York"