Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I don't know what book everyone else is reading but it's not this one
on 27 November 2007
Before going into the review proper, I will state those downrating this book on the basis of factual innacuracy seem to be looking at an older edition (probably the hardcover), as it does, in fact, correctly identify Mortal Kombat as containing one female character, and Lara Croft's name is spelt correctly. However, even if these facts were still incorrect, to judge the whole book based on two (minor) factual innacuracies is shortsighted.
As for the book itself, it should be noted that it is definitely a product of its time. Around and just before 2000 multimedia CD-roms were very popular, and as such the book's main focus is on them. As that fad has ended the book will seem rather old-fashioned and limited in scope, as there is consequently relatively little discussion of "real" games (and I use this term with a fair degree of self-consciousness). However, it is not blind to its own limitations, openly discussing the argument posited by some that 'Barbie Fashion Designer' and other such titles are not games at all. However, the topics discussed are still pertinent and thought-provoking. Far from coming across as crazed feminist ranting, the book examines all issues from a variety of angles. For examples, the entire last chapter consists of quotes from "Game Grrlz" that provide a very contrasting perspective to all that has been said in the book prior.
As a side note, I feel it necessary to mention that although I've said the book does not focus on "real" games, there is a whole chapter interviewing a (female) representative of Sega, and Henry Jenkins's own chapter, ("Videogames as Gendered Play Spaces") provides an excellent discussion of how adventure-based games relate to traditional outdoor children's play, and a genuinely eye-opening analysis of 'Nights into Dreams' from a gender-focused perspective.
If you're interested in the subject and don't mind having to stretch your perceptions a little to accommodate when the book was written, ignore the negative reviews and pick this up.