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

Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration

or, A Slow Year at the Telfair

This week, the Telfair Museums will open Game Change: Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration. My game A Slow Year is among the pieces that will be on exhibit from February 27 to April 1, 2012. I’ll be in Savannah Thursday evening for the Game Change panel, from 6-8pm at the Jepson Cetner. Other artists in the show include Kunal… read more

How to Do Things With Videogames

How to Do Things with Videogames

A fresh look at computer games as a mature mass medium with unlimited potential for cultural transformation.

This book is available in digital or physical format. Buy from Amazon In recent years, computer games have moved from the margins of popular culture to its center. Reviews of new games and profiles of game designers now regularly appear in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and sales figures for games are reported alongside those of books,… read more

How To Do Things With Videogames

Now Shipping!

My latest book, How To Do Things With Videogames is now shipping from 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… read more

Variety in Videogames

On embracing videogame diversity and combatting exploitationware

In many of the reactions to Gamification is Bullshit, both in the comments on this site and in responses elsewhere, a common objection is raised. It goes something like, “you’re just afraid of unfamiliar uses of games.” Here’s a particularly odious version of that argument, by Libe Goad on ZDNet today: I often wonder if Bogost’s and other game makers’… read more

What do Videogames do to Art?

A response to the NEA frenzy

Last week the National Endowment for the Arts announced their new call for proposals in an “Arts in Media” category. This category, in the NEA’s words, “seeks to make the excellence and diversity of the arts widely available to the American public through the national distribution of innovative media projects about the arts and media projects that can be considered… read more

Objects and Videogames

Why I Am Interested in Both

Like every sane person who does anything in public, I egosearch to see how people are reacting to things I’m doing. I use a few tools, but mostly Icerocket, which offers a condensed view of blog, Twitter, news, and Facebook reactions to search terms. The latter results are new, thanks to Facebook’s recent privacy “upgrades” that allow wall posts to… read more

Videogames are a Mess

My DiGRA 2009 Keynote, on Videogames and Ontology

What follows is the text of my keynote at the 2009 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference, held in Uxbridge, UK September 1-4, 2009. The text corresponds fairly accurately to the address I gave at the conference. In a few cases, I’ve added some clarifications in square brackets, where additional context or commentary was relevant. (You can also download the… read more

Videogames, circa 1920

Today Tristan (age 8) and I took a break from Wii Play to enjoy some NES Ice Hockey, thanks to a Wii Virtual Console download. After we were done playing, I asked him what he thought of the game. He liked it; it was simple and he successfully figured out how to play quickly enough to be a good competitor.… read more

Videogames: Can They Be Important?

My plenary address at the Southern Interactive Entertainment & Game Expo

The following is the plenary address I gave today at the first SIEGE conference here in Atlanta on October 6, 2007. The title of the session was “Games: Can They Be Important?” My fellow plenary speakers were Ernest Adams and Daniel Greenberg.   Today it is possible to work though an entire undergraduate and graduate education in videogames. Whether that’s… read more