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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. info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0753519852
Salesrank: 10049508
Published: 2010 Virgin Books
Amazon price $41.71
Marketplace:New from $41.71:Used from $1.99
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Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0753519852
Salesrank: 1751991
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2010 Virgin Books
Marketplace:New from £57.32:Used from £0.01
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Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0753519852
Salesrank: 3415657
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2010 Virgin Books
Amazon price CDN$ 37.00
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 37.00:Used from CDN$ 10.83
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Product Description

"A thought-provoking read for those already won over to the delights of computer games, and an even more important introduction to them for those who remain sceptical."

"Tom Chatfield's Fun Inc. is the most elegant and comprehensive defence of the status of computer games in our culture I have read, as well as a helpful compendium of research. The numbers surrounding the sector are certainly thudding. By the end of 2008, annual sales of video games -- not including consoles or devices -- was $40 billion, comfortably outstripping the movie business. In the same year, Nintendo's employees were more profitable per head than Google's. The sheer pervasiveness of game experience -- 99 per cent of teenage boys and 94 per cent of teenage girls having played a video game - means that instant naffness falls upon those who express a musty disdain for the medium. In fact, as Fun Inc. elegantly explains, computer game-playing has a very strong claim to be one of the most vital test-beds for intellectual enquiry."
--Independent  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews