Extra Lives

Extra Lives (book cover)

Extra Lives

From a recent book review at The New York Times:

If photographs are “experience captured,” in Susan Sontag’s phrase, then video games are experience created. The medium can be so engaging, so addictive — Bissell compares playing games to his time using cocaine — that many game makers get away with fiction that makes Stephenie Meyer “look like Ibsen.” A novel or a movie that is poorly written is relatively easy to abandon. Well-designed games that feature bad writing “do not have this problem,” Bissell notes. “Or rather, their problem is not having this problem.”

The book in question is “Extra Lives” by Tom Bissel. It’s an interesting thought – that games can be so engaging, even when some elements of them are lacking. What’s more interesting – the thought of what games will eventually become – an experience so engaging and immersive that “escape” from them won’t be possible. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

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