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Games

Gaming Without a Safety Blanket 79

Hugh Pickens writes "IGN has an interesting interview with Tom Bissell, author of the recently published Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, in which Bissell uses his experience in investigative journalism and as a war correspondent to describe his years playing games. Bissell talks about the difficulties in describing gameplay to non-gamers. 'A lot of casual games sort of submerge their storytelling to an almost subliminal level while upping the gameplay sophistication,' says Bissell. 'Writing about pure gameplay is tough. ... I say in the book that's one of the most suspect things about the form; a game with [an] incredibly dopey story but a really compelling mechanical set of resonances can still be a great game. I don't know if there's really a way to talk about that with people who aren't sold on the form.' Bissell adds that it's easier for many to find meaning in the more traditional delivery systems of entertainment and compares writing about games to the difficulty in describing rock & roll to an older generation. Bissell's background as a war correspondent, traveling to regions of conflict, has also translated into the games he likes."

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