“Who knows, perhaps this could become a party game.”

I’ve been letting a lot of noteworthy stuff slide this week, but this post on gaming by Bryan Alexander is too juicy to pass up. He’s roused to indignation by a dismissive essay by Christine Rosen in the New Atlantis, one that Bryan describes as “a sort of swirling, congealing swarm of complaints that skitter across the surface of evidence it can’t be bothered to understand.”

I’m a sucker for argument laced with vicious and delicious invective, and Bryan acknowledges “there’s some sort of obligation (or schadenfreude) in picking [the piece] apart.” But in addition to the post being a bracing and funny read, the diverse set of links marshalled to support his stance constitute a pretty useful resource in themselves. If you were looking for a quick introduction to scholarly and cultural approaches to gaming culture, this isn’t a bad place to start.

I’ve taken off on one of the more tangential references Bryan makes — yesterday I picked up a copy of Richard Powers’ novel Plowing the Dark (working next door to a library has its privileges). I’m forty pages in and thoroughly hooked.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
This entry was posted in Emergence. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Who knows, perhaps this could become a party game.”

  1. Scott Leslie says:

    Powers is one of my all-time favourite authors – ‘Plowing the Dark’ is o.k. though it gets a bit weird near the end; my personal favourite is ‘Gain’ (well, ok, and ‘The Gold Bug Variations,’ oh and ‘Three Farmers’ and … oh yeah, I forgot, I love everything he’s written!) He manages to tell a history of North American mega-corporate capitalism but interweave it with a very private personal story of the effects of that corporation on people, and show that the march towards conglomerates, globalization, waste, etc. is both the inexorable pursuit of gain but also lots of personal choices. Highly recommended to anyone, especially anyone who has not read Powers before – you’ll be hooked and then you can go on to read one of the most fantastic love stories of the modern era, The Goldbug Variations. Crap, I did it again, another lengthy tome in Brian’s comments threads!

  2. Powers is astonishing.

    Thanks for the kind note, Brian. I’m amazed at the uncritical reception following Rosen’s brooding from the right.

Comments are closed.