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Publisher's Summary

An acclaimed novelist and critic argues that video games are the most vital art form of our time.

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 34 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 can be art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political.

©2017 Andrew Ervin (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[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)
"It's unusual for a history of video games to feature multiple quotes from Rilke, references to philosophy and Zen Buddhism, and comparisons to great works of art. But that's exactly what Ervin serves up to support his compelling argument: video games can be art." (Booklist)

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  • Matt Moore
  • An ex-expatriate repatriated, by choice, back to the U.S.
  • 11-22-17

Entertaining and Edifying Scholarly Memoir

From Pong to the latest iteration of Sony's Playstation, this is a supremely enjoyable and relatable examination and rumination of how videogames have irrevocably changed how we live and play and learn.

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Good book!

Nice history on the evolution of the video games. Nice perspective from the author.

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Not bad at all

Thoughtful and current from someone who had an Atari like me. I too had younger people walk me through Minecraft... and wtfed at the gamergate bs. not to worry a book you have to actually pay attention to or read is a perfect place to hide such criticism.