Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

by Andrew Ervin
Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

by Andrew Ervin


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An acclaimed critic argues that video games are the most vital art form of our time
Video games have seemingly taken over our lives. Whereas gamers once constituted a small and largely male subculture, today 67 percent of American households play video games. The average gamer is now thirty-four years old and spends eight hours each week playing--and there is a 40 percent chance this person is a woman.
In Bit by Bit, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand the explosive popularity of video games. He travels to government laboratories, junk shops, and arcades. He interviews scientists and game designers, both old and young. In charting the material and technological history of video games, from the 1950s to the present, he suggests that their appeal starts and ends with the sense of creativity they instill in gamers. As Ervin argues, games are art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political--and because they turn players into artists themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465039708
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Andrew Ervin is the author of Extraordinary Renditions and Burning Down George Orwell's House. He has written essays and reviews for the New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. He teaches part time at Temple University and lives with his wife in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Purpose of Playing 1

1 Epic Origins 13

2 Era of Innovation 27

3 Atari 39

4 Call to Adventure 53

5 Arcade Projects 73

6 The First Auteur 89

7 The Renaissance 103

8 Dialing Up 117

9 An American Master 129

10 World of Warcraft 147

11 Trigger Warnings 165

12 Exile and the Kingdom 181

13 New Auteurs 195

14 The Art Question 211

15 Restart 221

Appendix My 11 Favorite Games 235

Acknowledgements 235

Notes 237

Index 275

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