Bit By Bit
Video games have been around for decades, but only in recent years have they gone truly main stream. Today, the majority of American households play video games, almost half of gamers are women, and professional game tournaments attract more viewers than the World Series. Yet we still don't take games seriously, preferring to see them as little more than entertaining diversions, a means of making the commute go by more quickly.
In Bit By Bit, a blend of history, memoir, and reportage, Andrew Ervine sets out to understand the explosive popularity of this often maligned cultural form. He travels to Government laboratories, junk shops, and art museums. He interviews scientists and hobbyists, critics and game makers. He installs a full-sized and obscenely loud Donkey Kong arcade cabinet in his basement, and plays enough Minecraft to suffer from "Minecraft Syndrome," the effects of seeing objects in real life and poorly rendered blocks.
In exploring the material, technological, and business history of video games, from Tennis For Two (1958) to Pokemon Go and beyond, Ervin shows how games constitute a unique storytelling medium that offers us startling new ways to think about our lives and the world around us. And he argues that the best games, as defined by the aesthetic and even political ambitions of their creators, rise to the level of art. In this witty, searching book, Ervin explains the immense power of games - and why their reign will be long.
- Author: Andrew Ervin
Book Type: Video Game History
- Pages: 290
- Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8 1/2
- Cover: Hardcover
"A fun and insightful analysis of the cultural, educational, and historical value of video games. Ervin deftly traces the evolution of our most interactive art form from Adventure to Minecraft, while offering riveting firsthand accounts from many of the men and women who made it all happen. Bit By Bit is an essential addition to every video game lover's library."
-Ernest Cline; Author of Ready Player One and Armada
"Like spaceships or skyscrapers, video games are a collaboration of humans and machines, of art and commerce. One part flesh, one part metal, one part markets, one part truth. Andrew Ervin composes a winsome but measured portrait of games from all these pieces, bit by bit."
-Ian Bogost; Author of Play Anything
"Not many books about video games allow Dennis Johnson to rub shoulders with Monkey Island or Vladimir Nabokov with Peter Molyneux. Ervin's taste in games is excellent, his points are thought-provoking, and his cultural omnivorousness (take note, aspiring game journalists) is thrilling. A terrific book."
-Tom Bissell; Author of Extra Lives and Apostle