One sure way to confirm the popular culture appeal of pretty much anything these days is the appearance of a coffee table book on the subject. Video games are no exception, and while many books do a terrific job of presenting the artwork of individual games - my favorite is the gorgeous Ōkami: Official Complete Works - only a few have appeared which cover a broad array of games from a variety of publishers.
If you're looking for good writing about video games, you'll find plenty of it at Moving Pixels, by the way. Mike Schiller writes/edits the site under the PopMatters umbrella, L.B. Jeffries is a regular contributor, and you can't go wrong with either. PopMatters is one of the oldest and best online magazines devoted to cultural criticism, and I always feel priviledged to publish reviews there.