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Tom Chatfield

Fun Inc

You know about video games - teenage boys hiding themselves away to play at shooting things. Well if that's what you think then maybe you should read Fun Inc.: Why Play is the 21st Century's Most Serious Business Tom Chatfield to find out the real nature of video games.

Chatfield describes the history of video games and the huge amount of money they now involve - now a bestselling game costs at least as much as a blockbuster movie to produce. He goes on to look at what this money is spent on - the quest for a immersive environment. Of course there has been much criticism of video games, but Chatfield argues that much of this is misguided - only one of the 20 bsetselling console games involves real-world violence. Games are becoming ever more social, and the strange thing is that people are more than willing to do things in a game which they would consider to be onerous tasks in any other context, so the divide between gameplay and 'real' work is getting ever more blurred.

What I liked about the book was that Chatfield is clearly a gaming insider - he isn't just writing about what other people do - but is also able to take a wider view of the place of games in our society. I found it a fun read and would recommend it to anyone wanting to find out about what is becoming an ever more important part of people's lives.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews