Title: How to Do Things with Videogames
Author: Ian Bogost
Number of pages: 192
Genre: non-fiction, games
Book Number/Goal: 43/52
My Rating: 4/5

The book analyses and categorises various facets of videogame usage and features, such as being an art expression, inducing and teaching empathy, enabling player's creativity, serving for advertizement, providing a meditation/relaxation experience, encouraging exercise, and many more. Every feature is illustrated with several examples, ranging from obscure and exotic games to famous and mainstream games. The book is written in a mostly academic style, but is easy to follow nevertheless. It's an informative and inspiring reference which proves once again that games are a serious matter, not just mindless toys, and there's a lot of application for games in every possible area of human culture.
Title: Ghosts in the Machine: A Short Story Anthology
Author: Edited by Lana Polansky and Brendan Keogh
Genre: sci-fi, games
Book Number/Goal: 40/52
My Rating: 5/5

A collection of short stories about gamers and characters from various game genres: adventure/RPG, action, arcade, sims. In some stories, the characters are unaware of the artificial world they live in, and are wondering what's happening to them; others know exactly what's going on, and bitterly resent being under control of clueless users and incompetent programmers.

There's a lot of details and dialogues that reflect the gaming environment and terminology, and as such, are exciting even when the characters are discussing mundane matters. Every story ends on a depressing note, because the conflict between the inner and outer realities never ends well...

Awesome reading, especially for gamers.
Title: The Final Hours of Portal 2
Author: Geoff Keighley
Genre: non-fiction, games
Book Number/Goal: 39/52
My Rating: 3/5

The book provides a peek into the Portal 2 development - in particular, what was the original concept, why it didn't work, and how the game evolved into its current stage. The story comes together with a cute interactive presentation (on Steam), containing video clips, slideshows, 3D models and other clickable stuff, inspiring nostalgia.

However, it also includes loads of useless boring gossip, such as anecdotes from the developers' personal life (as for me, I'm interested in technology and ideas, not in people!) and hype about Valve being the best workplace ever (which only makes me depressed and bitterly envious).
Title: The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures
Author: Kurt Kalata
Number of pages: 772
Genre: non-fiction, games
Book Number/Goal: 27/52
My Rating: 5/5

This book contains hundreds of adventure game reviews, covering most of the important games starting from 80s till 2010. It includes screenshots, brief description of the theme, the interface and gameplay, the author's opinion on the game, and anything else he considers important, such as characters, backstory or particularly memorable puzzles.

The book doesn't present any groundbreaking or new information, apart from several interviews with game developers; if you played these games, you know everything there's to know about them, and if you didn't, it might be better to skip these entries in case you will someday, to avoid the spoilers. But it is a HUGE NOSTALGIA RUSH. I frequently had to stop reading and took a break to cool down, because I couldn't handle such an overload of memories! Moreover, it rekindled my desire to create adventure games.

Wonderful reading and great emotional experience all the way! (I see that the Amazon reviews complain about monochrome screenshots, but my version, bought at storybundle.com, has gorgeous color screenshots :)


a_reader_is_me: (Default)
A Reader Is Me!


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags