Bogost-TheHiddenDepthsofSandraBoyntonsBoardBooks1-320

The Hidden Depths of Sandra Boynton’s Board Books

The best children’s stories, whether they take the form of books, television shows, movies, or something else, are also loved by adults. They are not just tolerated or long-suffered but truly loved, and beyond the vicarious joy we might feel while reading them in the presence of children. Some stories accomplish this by aiming for adults and merely wearing children’s… read more

Making Books

It's not the same as writing books

Back when his book The Textual Life of Airports was published in December, Christopher Schaberg reported what most authors do: seeing his book for the first time. “What a weird feeling,” Chris wrote. “It resembles an object from outer space. Vaguely recognizable, yet totally alien at the same time.” This is the experience of most authors. We say we “write… read more

Writing Books People Want to Read

Or, How to Stake Vampire Publishing

Alex Reid wrote an excellent rejoinder against academic book publishing last week. The post was inspired by a discussion at the recent Computers and Writing conference about traditional publishing versus blogging and other forms of digital publishing. It’s an old, perhaps even a boring topic at this point, so Alex turns the subject back on itself: most scholarly monograph book… read more

Ebooks and Print Books

What Amazon.com's ebook sales figures really mean

Among the many overzealous, under-synthesized tech business stories today, perhaps the most surprising is the news that Amazon is now selling more ebooks than print books. 105 ebooks for every 100 print books, as it happens. While 105 > 100, a more accurate but less scintillating headline might be, “Amazon ebook sales on parity with print book sales.” But I… read more

Two Books, One Summer

Alien Phenomenology and How to Do Things with Videogames

My goal this summer was to finish two books I’d been working on. By July I had some concerns, as writing wasn’t coming as easily as I’d hoped, and then I got overwhelmed by the unexpected stampede of cows. But I just completed the second manuscript, and I’ll admit I’m quite chuffed to have reached my goal. The first book… read more

Now You Can Burn My Books

Thoughts on Kindle and electronic editions

Apparently my publisher has started issuing Kindle editions of my books. Two are now available in Amazon’s electronic format: Persuasive Games and Unit Operations. Readers might be interested to find that MIT Press seems to have taken up a different strategy with their electronic book pricing. Specifically, the Kindle editions do not necessarily cost less than the print books. To… read more

gamelife

In the Habit

A Review of Michael W. Clune's Gamelife

I am on an airplane reading Michael W. Clune’s Gamelife, a memoir about growing up playing computer games in the 1980s. I’ve just finished eating the smoked salmon and kiwi on the “fruit plate” I was offered by the flight attendant but had initially declined. Just like I had declined to review Gamelife for this publication, initially. For reasons, too. Michael… read more

how-to-talk-about-videogames

How to Talk About Videogames

A fond look at the preposterous—and yet essential—pursuit of games criticism

This book is available in digital or physical format. Buy from Amazon Videogames! Aren’t they the medium of the twenty-first century? The new cinema? The apotheosis of art and entertainment, the realization of Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk? The final victory of interaction over passivity? No, probably not. Games are part art and part appliance, part tableau and part toaster. In How to… read more

lead_960

The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need

Smart devices turn every industry into the computer industry, and dupe consumers into thinking their lives are better for it in the process.

Atlanta turns yellow for two weeks in April. Streets, driveways, terraces, cars—everything cakes with pollen. It’s the trees that cause the worst of it. Pine, oak, sweet gum, sycamore, mulberry, hackberry, birch, willow. Prolific itching, sneezing, and car-washing ensue. Grilling season officially begins when the pollen subsides. This year’s was particularly grievous, and perhaps that’s why I was so eager… read more

9780816699131

The Geek’s Chihuahua

Living with Apple

This book is available in digital or physical format. Buy from Amazon The evolution and meaning of our love affair with Apple and its devices. At dinnertime: check. At a traffic light: check. In bed at the end of the day: check. In line at the coffee shop: check. In The Geek’s Chihuahua, Ian Bogost addresses the modern love affair… read more