Video Games: A Popular Culture Phenomenon (Anglais) Broché – 30 septembre 2001
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
From repose to the wandering mind and through its disconnects, the subject can feel as though navigating through a metadata atmosphere not unlike a video game interface for the 9 year-old player. Video games are not just a fantasy theater, as some fear, for the furious expression of male adolescent rage fueling new ideologies of terror, misogyny and brutalization throughout the modern world. In our "modern times", some groundbreaking museum venues are beginning to provide a quiet, safe harbor for contemplating and celebrating the best of this new American media, even while acknowledging the fears emanating from among its dark shadows that can be millions of times more [exponentially] powerful than the limitations we've known of the Gutenberg effect. For example, Rochelle Slovin, the Director of the American Museum of the Moving Image (ammi.org), has pointed us along an insightful path beginning with "Hot Circuits: A Video Arcade" 1989, then continuing through "Expanded Entertainment" 1996, "Computer Space" 1998, and "<ALT> Digital Media" 2002, (see elsewhere "The Medium of the Video Game" by Mark Wolf, 2002). Ms. Slovin's new path markers extend an historic trail of kinetic luminism tracing back through recent television and 100-year old movies to the magic lantern Phantasmagoria of the Renaissance and to the Shadow Puppetry Theatre in Bali 1000 years earlier.
This slim volume by Arthur Asa Berger, a prolific writer, is a serious look at biological, psychological and social significance ands provides a social perspective of sexuality not usually found. For instance, his comments "Lara Croft, scopophilia and the male gaze..." frames a valuable context of sexuality. Let me suggest that Berger in this essay, like too many reporting scholars, doesn't always clearly distinguish between anecdotal references and more organized research statistics. "A neurologist ... has suggested that video games may affect [not effect?] changes in neural pathways in players in a manner somewhat like biofeedback ...". "This 'conditioning' must be seen, of course, as an unintended consequence..." This is highly recommended for critical reading because its sometimes seemingly shallow predispositions do reveal the underlying, crucial, fundamental questions. So, as critical readers of Berger's essay, we need to tiptoe through and dodge around the rhetorical thickets. In summary, we see Berger's essay frequently posits whether video gaming is alienating. His conclusions, anecdotal and otherwise, put into perspective that this is indeed the Question to be centered in the limelight. But the reader can find enough evidence elsewhere in Berger's musings that the power of the enveloping digital lifestyle may in fact be in the connecting, involving and the socializing of shared values. The reader might also look at the "Ultimate History of Video Games" by Steven Kent, 2001 for putting David Grossman's fiery challenge to video game violence (Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill) into an expanded context.
"What-if" in twenty years a 9 year-old kid comfortably uses a common, personal digital tool that is a million times more powerful than that NASA used to put a man on the moon? Let's reflect on the Gutenberg Effect. Victor Hugo might now opine about the invention of our digital lifestyle (instead of the printing press) as "... thought is more imperishable than ever; it is volatile, irresistible, and indestructible. It pervades the air... Now she is a flock of birds, flies abroad to all the four winds of heaven, and occupies at once all the points of air and of space...".
Berger goes into some great depth comparing video games to books and of course, as so often the case, he finds video games lacking. He discussed the things that books can do, such as identification, interiority, leaving things up to the imagination of the reader, and stops by saying that video games do none of these things as well. He neglects to discuss any of the things that video games do better than books, which is an odd omission considering that this book is about video games, not books...
While I disagree with many of his conclusions, Berger does do a good job of going over many of the general issues of studying video games. I feel that one might be better served by photocopying his bibliography and tracking down his sources, but as in introduction and overview it does a good job. The production of the book is a bit shoddy as I found numerous spelling errors and problems with the formatting which distracted from the message of the book. This is not a bad book, but it is not a great book. If you are already a video game scholar, I don't know that you will find anything interesting in this book. If you are interested in studying video games in an academic way, read Trigger Happy by Steven Poole instead.
I have a vague knowledge of video games and their history and let me say, that even I know more than this guy. Even though he's written several popular culture books that I have not read, his book on video games is sub par to say the least.
What really drives me crazy is that he is supposed to be a reputable author with several published works. Yet, he cannot seem to grasp the concept of hard figures. I cannot count how many times the author says "somewhere near" or "something like [insert vague figure] games." I find him to be an untrustworthy source and now have to go back to the library.
What a complete waste of time.
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