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Chris SuellentropBissell sees video games with open eyes. His book is about the profoundly ambivalent experience of playing them—close readings (close playings?) mostly of big-budget action and science fiction titles for consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation. These are the games most likely to draw a disparaging remark from a United States senator or a newspaper film critic. Extra Lives is a celebration of why they matter, but it is also a jeremiad about "why they do not matter more"…Bissell has written the finest account yet of what it feels like to be a video game player at "this glorious, frustrating time," a rare moment when humanity encounters, as he writes, "a form of storytelling that is, in many ways, completely unprecedented."
—The New York Times