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Rise of the Videogame Zinesters [Paperback]

Anna Anthropy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 April 2012
Part critical essay, part manifesto, part DIY guide and altogether unprecedented, Anna Anthropy's Rise of the Videogame Zinesters shows why the multi-billion dollar videogame industry needs to change - and how a new generation of artists can change it. In this first intergalactic offensive against corporate systems of production, condescending media coverage and pervasive 'gamer' culture, Anthropy takes a look at the new artists who are beginning to build an alternative body of work. A unique guide for anyone who wants to join the coming revolution of videogames.

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Rise of the Videogame Zinesters + Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: SEVEN STORIES PRESS (19 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609803728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609803728
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read and well worth picking up 15 May 2012
By Kyle
Format:Paperback
If you've ever enjoyed a videogame of any sort, you'll likely find a lot to enjoy in this book. I read it pretty much straight after finishing Jane McGonigal's Reality Is Broken [...] and I cannot praise it enough. It's part potted history of videogames, part manifesto for DIY game-making, and part rallying call for a change in the videogames industry. Anthropy's core ideas are:
1) videogames are an artform that offers a unique way for individuals to explore and express their ideas about relationships and dynamics, and
2) that large, industrially-produced games necessarily play it safe and do not explore or express the full diversity of ideas and backgrounds present in contemporary culture.

She does this in an entertaining and informative manner, alternating between her personal history with learning to make videogames and a history of the videogame industry, explaining along the way the industry is in its current form and what changes she hopes to inspire. She provides some great advice not on the specific details of how to make a game, but on how to think about making a game that's fun/interesting/expresses an idea you've had. She expounds the idea of crap art [...] and, by implication, termite art [..], and overall it's very difficult to read this book without being infected by a desire to download the free tools she discusses and just learning as you go.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As the public becomes more aware of "indie games", this book makes the case for "folk games". 27 Mar 2012
By new Object - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I eagerly ordered Anna Anthropy's book, being a fan of her important ongoing work in the "indie game" scene. Anna is a creative force and a passionate advocate for games as folk art and digital vehicles for self-expression. She also makes legitimately fun games! This book offers perhaps some of the earliest thoughts in an increasingly public conversation about games' status as art, and serves as a great introduction to an "alternative" world of game development that the average person may not be aware of. This is a large topic simply because of its many facets, and as a shorter read, the book can only act as a primer to these many facets - such as tools for game development, contemporary folk game auteurs, and their games, etc. 'Zinesters is well-written and I think Anna does this topic justice while making the subject accessible to anyone who may have no more experience with game development than simply consuming its output. I think the book falls short in convincing a skeptic that games as art are on the same "level" as the more classic forms. For me, it's an unimportant matter, but some might be looking to this book to convince them. Finally, Anna appears to be of the mind that game creation is a kind of zero-sum, um, game where having less "white male"-developed games is necessary to have more non-"white male"-developed games. Game development is more democratized/open/folk than ever now, while simultaneously "white male" games are consumed more than ever - I think this merely reflects the dichotomy of "pop/mainstream" art and "folk/alternative" art that seems to be present in every artistic medium.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queer Theory meets Game Design 22 April 2013
By Tori Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a quick read, more like a manifesto for the indie games movement than a guide book although the last chapter includes a walk-through of some programs you can use to get started. Anthropy mixes her personal history with observed comments about the game industry and design freely - that's the zine part of this book. Don't let that put you off! There are really good ideas in here about how games could reach a broader audience and be more inclusive.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 4 Feb 2013
By Stahljunker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Essential reading if you're into indie games / queer games / scratchware scene or studying games. Personally I'm more of the latter group and found this a very illuminating & relatively painless reading experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read and Heed... 15 Mar 2013
By fiendish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A unique and valuable perspective that serves as a sort-of manifesto and how-to for the new era of do-it-yourself indie game making.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A call to create 27 Jan 2013
By hipscumbag - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the introduction is a little bit bumpy (Anna and I want very different things out of games, and Anna's introduction makes it seem as though the book is almost meant for an exclusively LGBT audience), I found myself won over by her enthusiasm for independent game development. Anna urges you to make something, make anything, and mentions a variety of tools and tricks for churning something out with a minimum of labor. Game development can be very difficult to get in to, so her insistence on easy, personal, fun projects is refreshing and enabling.
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