A consistently engaging and insightful reckoning with the serious implications of the ascendant entertainment medium of the...

What video games mean and why they matter.

Swedish technology writers Goldberg and Larsson (Minecraft: The Game that Changed Everything, 2011, etc.) gather a selection of “New Games Journalism” pieces, representing a recent development in writing about video games that focuses not on the technological or entertainment aspects of the medium but on the cultural, social, and political contexts in which the games exist. A focal point for this new approach has been the distressing “Gamergate” scandal, which found women who questioned sexist elements of games—or who created their own alternatives or merely presumed to make their voices heard at all—on the receiving ends of a massive torrent of online threats of sexual assault and murder from frustrated male gamers. Gamergate has inspired much insightful consideration (including Dan Golding’s essay, “The End of Gamers,” included here), but this book also includes thoughtful considerations of race, gender, sexuality, mental illness, and violence in gaming. Evan Narcisse writes of his frustration with the lack of acceptable representations of black people in games, while Hussein Ibrahim examines his ambivalence as an Arabic man killing scores of Arabic enemies in military shooter games. Developers like Merritt Kopas, Zoe Quinn, and Anna Anthropy recount their struggles to create games that meaningfully confront topics such as depression and sexuality, while other writers examine pervasive tropes and their larger meanings—e.g., the popularity of apocalyptic settings and the masochistic anti-pleasures of maddening time-wasters like "Flappy Bird." The essays are uniformly well-written, full of personal passion and journalistic rigor, and they fully convince readers of the relevance and urgency of this new form of criticism.

A consistently engaging and insightful reckoning with the serious implications of the ascendant entertainment medium of the 21st century.

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60980-639-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Seven Stories

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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