October 3, 2006

Grand Theft Index

by Nick Montfort · , 3:35 pm

The meatblog Harper’s Magazine had a great roundtable last month entitled “Grand Theft Education” (Grand Title Auto!) and featuring Steven Johnson and Raph Koster as representatives of everything-fun-is-good-for-you cyberspace. The conversation was great, and Johnson and Koster both made a good case for games, of the sort one wouldn’t have seen – even in progressive serials such as this one – a decade ago. My favorite part was Jane Avrich’s description of dressing up like a Puritan schoolteacher, requiring her students to call her “Mistress Jane,” and providing disobedient students with “public humiliation.” Which does make blowing away zombies seem totally normal.

Unfortunately, not only is the piece not online – my snail arrived very late with the September Harper’s. I’m so late mentioning this that you can’t even rush to grab this issue from newsstands, as you no doubt readily would do at my merest gesture. Here’s a post with some snippets from the forum, though. And, I’ll link to something from Harper’s that is online: “First-Person Shooters,” excerpts from more than 900 pages of documents seized at the Columbine High School killers’ homes.

5 Responses to “Grand Theft Index”


  1. andrew Says:

    I meant to post about this weeks ago; I read about the article’s existence on Raph’s blog, and read the article itself in the bookstore.

    Perhaps national progressive magazines are starting to wake up to the cultural impact of videogames…

  2. andrew Says:

    That reminds me, Raph linked to someone who must have scanned and OCR’d the article.

  3. nick Says:

    Grand Theft Article!

  4. leigh Says:

    If you are at at university that subscribes to ProQuest, the full text is available there.

  5. Grand Text Auto » Will Wright in The New Yorker Says:

    [...] tinuing the recent trend of feature articles about game designers in highbrow magazines (1 2 3), Will Wright is profiled in The New Yorker by one the magazine [...]

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