A Review of Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture
Alexander R. Galloway
University of Minnesota Press
$17.95 paper / $54.00 cloth
The five essays that make up Galloway’s book Gaming are conversant and compelling, offering valuable perspectives on gaming and culture. They are appropriately concise and well-written, and they show Galloway’s sure command of theory and his solid understanding of games and how they are played.
To be sure, the essays take a high-level view of gaming and its place in culture; although Galloway cites and considers numerous titles, his book will be less useful for close critical encounters with particular games and more useful for understanding the shape and topology of gaming overall. There is another strange twist: the essays fail to inform one another on important points and perspectives, limiting the reach and success of the discussion. But this book does work very well in opening up new ways of thinking about gaming – for instance, in showing how new connections to film and art can be usefully drawn – and supplies good food for thought for scholars and students.
I’ll briefly mention some of the most intriguing things about the five essays in Gaming in order:
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