My latest book, How To Do Things With Videogames is now shipping from Amazon.com in the US. For those of you in Europe, it’ll be a little while longer. And before you ask, a Kindle edition has been created and should show up Amazon any day now.
The book is a little different from my others. It offers a tiny media theory about games, in two bookend chapters, which boils down to this: we can call a medium mature based on the variety of uses to which it is put, and videogames now qualify. But along with that maturity comes a loss of wildness, a domestication.
In between those two chapters are twenty short essays that offer examples of that diversity. These include totally new material and revisions of examples I’ve discussed before.
Below you’ll find some kind words from two early reviewers, followed by the table of contents. You can read more at the book’s University of Minnesota Press webpage.
What can you do with videogames? Play pranks, meditate on politics, achieve zen-like zone-outs, turn the act of travel back into adventure, and describe how to safely exit a plane—among other things, as Ian Bogost explains in this superb, philosophical, and wide-ranging book on the expressive qualities of games.
—Clive Thompson, columnist for Wired and contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine
Gamers often beg for a critic with the persuasive power and range of a Lester Bangs or a Pauline Kael. With this book, Ian Bogost demonstrates his capacity to take up their mantle and explain to a larger public why games matter in modern culture. The book’s goals are simple, straight forward, and utterly, desperately needed. How to Do Things with Videogames may do for games what Understanding Comics did for comics—at once consolidate existing theoretical gains while also expanding dramatically the range of people who felt able to meaningfully engage in those discussions.
—Henry Jenkins, author of Fans, Gamers, and Bloggers: Understanding Participatory Culture
Introduction: Media Microecology
Conclusion: The End of Gamers