Bit by Bit
How Video Games Transformed Our World
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/1/2017)
Video games have seemingly taken over our lives. Whereas gamers once constituted a small and largely male subculture, today 67 percent of American households play video games. The average gamer is now thirty-four years old and spends eight hours each week playing -- and there is a 40 percent chance this person is a woman.
In Bit by Bit, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand the explosive popularity of video games. He travels to government laboratories, junk shops, and arcades. He interviews scientists and game designers, both old and young. In charting the material and technological history of video games, from the 1950s to the present, he suggests that their appeal starts and ends with the sense of creativity they instill in gamers. As Ervin argues, games are art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political -- and because they turn players into artists themselves.
Praise For Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World…
"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 first-hand 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
"Ervin brings a literary sensibility to his study... [he] makes an affable guide through the history of the medium... For me, the book's key statement is this: 'Today, if there is in fact a distinction between mass entertainment and the fine arts, it gets complicated more effectively by video games than any other medium.' Bit by Bit plumbs these complications with welcomed intelligence."—Washington Post
"[Bit by Bit] is a contemplative ode to electronic entertainment...It's a personal journey that speaks volumes on how video games have grown, evolved, and multiplied to fill myriad roles over the years."—Publishers Weekly
"A brisk, thoughtful tour of video game history. Ervin is an ideal guide... Bit by Bit might persuade holdouts just how awesome video games are."—Games World of Puzzles
"Bit by Bit is the perfect video game book: it's part gamers' history, part history of games, and by a writer inclined to philosophical insight and literary reference. Extra hearts for a history that actually includes the contributions of women, too!"—Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World: And Other Stories and May We Shed These Human Bodies
Basic Books, 9780465039708, 304pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 2017