Tom Bissell's new book, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, hits the shelves today. It's a terrific read - funny, insightful, at times harrowing - and I highly recommend it.
Tom was kind enough to share a few preliminary drafts with me, and I enjoyed watching the book evolve into its final form. He's a skillful writer who has managed to produce a text that speaks to serious gamers like me (and, I'm guessing, most of you), while remaining accessible to readers curious about the cultural value and appeal of games.
He pulls no punches. Extra Lives is an open-eyed account from a self-confessed 'obsessed gamer' who loves the art, but laments how games often fall short of their tremendous potential.
In case you're not familiar with Tom's work, he's written for Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, and The New Republic, and he's published several previous books, including Chasing the Sea, and The Father of All Things. He was a recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Tom Bissell will be my guest on the next edition of the Brainy Gamer Podcast, which will appear this weekend. I hope you'll enjoy it.