Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Announcing the Video Game Book Club!

I got myself nominated for a video game award a week or so back, and found myself in really wonderful company. There's now a list on the internet that lists me and Neal Stephenson using the same <ul> bullets. Maybe in tens years' time I'll consider myself worthy of licking his <superscript>, but right now that list is clearly the work of idiots philistines those I am willing to agree to disagree about. (Edited because I shouldn't call people who might give me an award idiots or philistines.)

I heard that 2011 was a surprisingly good year for video game books. Just look at the nominees: Neal Stephenson, Jane McGonigal, Ernest Cline, Harold Goldberg. I've read and enjoyed all of the books nominated, and they're all great at what it is they do, which are five different things. (Teensy peek into my awards-head brain; if the award goes for best overall writing ability, Stephenson in a walk. for best world-changing ideas, McGonigal. best overall look at games, Goldberg. Most fun you'll have with paper with words on it: Ernest Cline. Best book with Super Mario on the cover: no award given in 2011.)

I have read far and wide for the video game canon. I have read all four massive books in Tad Williams' Otherland series. I've read Ender's Game. I've read just about every nonfiction book about gaming history. I've read strategy guides for games from 1982. But I haven't read everything. And I want to.

That's the purpose of the Video Game Book Club. Each month, I'll tackle another book on my own personal not-yet-read list. You do it, too, and we'll have a chat about the book. Maybe special guests will show up. Maybe I'll pretend that special guests show up. Maybe I'll just

So what's January's book? Let's do Geeks by Jon Katz. What I know about it: About two geeks who play video games. That's half of me!

February's book, by the way, is Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby. 

What'll we do in March? I don't know! I want to hear from you about that. What have you been dying to read? maybe you know of a YA book about games I haven't heard of that you can recommend. Hell, maybe we'll actually play a video game instead of read a book. "I was never really got the sense that the pigs were deserving of my anger. To me, I couldn't engage."

I'm at jeffryan1@gmail.com: let me know what you want to read in 2012!