Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

London

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How Games Make Gamers

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pp. 3-34

In May 2000 I was fired from my job as a reporter on a finance newsletter because of an obsession with a video game. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The job had two parts. The first part was desperately dull but easy enough for me to bumble through. Each morning I drove out to a farmhouse office complex located deep in the English countryside ...

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The Big Smoke

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pp. 35-52

It’s July 2007, and Southern England is being gradually submerged in the heaviest rains for 60 years. Intercity trains to and from the West Country, where I live, are forced to roll slowly through shallow lakes of water (a scene reminiscent of a drab, burned-out version of the end of the animated film Spirited Away). ...

Seoul

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A Gamer's World

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pp. 55-87

Travel in the video game industry means intercontinental city hopping. There are one or two games that were created out in the wilderness (such as the sheep farm where the techno-hippie Jeff Minter developed SpaceGiraffe), but their numbers are few and their budgets low. Bringing together high-technology communications and large teams of people ...

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Propagandists

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pp. 88-108

One of the most widely discussed politicized games is called America’s Army. The game is a marketing tool, commissioned by the U.S. Army to encourage interest in the military. The multiplayer, first-person shooter was a quasi-simulatory game of combat tactics, inspired by the popularity of militaristic games such as Counter-Strike. ...

Reykjavik

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The Special Relationship

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pp. 111-151

The success of my Quake team didn’t last. About a year after my new job started, we began to break up and drift apart. It wasn’t just us, either. The Quake III scene was beginning to fade across Europe, as new games were released and old communities began to lose their collective enthusiasm. ...

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Model Living

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pp. 152-184

And now for a brief digression to a dreary evening in Bath, England. . . .
On celebrating someone’s birthday on a freezing winter night, we adjourned our drinking to a town apartment. The place was Spartan, apart from its gaming apparatus. There was a long sofa, a large TV, and a stack of game consoles from different eras. ...

Home

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The Window

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pp. 187-202

I’ve just been to California and back in around 80 hours. It was a typical games press jaunt: a few hours in an air-conditioned room, somewhere in a business district on the outskirts of a major city, a few minutes of private pixelated chaos, and hours of numbing travel. ...

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The Playlist

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pp. 203-213

This list is for the people who want to find out a little more about games. You can only learn so much by reading, so the list gives you an idea of what is worth playing if you want to get up to speed with contemporary games. It’s hardly comprehensive, but it’s nevertheless a wide-ranging survey of the interesting and the significant. ...