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This book offers an insider's view of online games and how they change us. 'In May 2000 I was fired from my job as a reporter on a finance newsletter because of an obsession with a videogame. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.' So begins this story of personal redemption through the unlikely medium of electronic games. Quake, World of Warcraft, Eve Online and other online games not only offered author Jim Rossignol an excellent escape from the tedium of office life. They also provided him with a diverse global community and a job - as a gaming journalist. Part personal history, part travel narrative, part philosophical reflection on the meaning of games, ""This Gaming Life"" describes Rossignol's encounters with gamers in three unique gaming cities: London, Seoul, and Reyjkavik. From his days as a Quake genius in London's increasingly corporate gaming culture, to his encounters with Korea's high stakes, televised professional gaming culture to his adventures in Iceland, the national home of his ultimate obsession, the idiosyncratic and beguiling Eve Online, Rossignol introduces us to a still emerging and largely undocumented world of gaming lives. Torn between unabashed enthusiasm and optimism about the future of gaming and lingering doubts about whether games are just a waste of time, ""This Gaming Life"" also raises important questions about this new and vital cultural form. Should we celebrate the 'serious' educational, social, and cultural value games, as academics and journalists are beginning to do? Or do these high-minded justifications simply perpetuate the stereotype of games as a lesser form of fun? Could it be that the true value of games lies in their ability to stave off boredom? In this beautifully written, richly detailed, and inspiring book, Rossignol brings these abstract questions to life, immersing us in a vibrant landscape of gaming experiences.
15 November 2009
(first published 15 July 2008)
The University of Michigan Press