This is the first book about games and games culture that I have read, and I must say that it was both entertaining and informative. Gaming is becoming one of the main entertainment media of this generation and future generations and I'm surprised by the lack of academic interest in it. Or rather, the lack of coverage that gaming receives in the mainstream that takes it seriously.
Rossignol structures his book around his travels in Korea, England, and Iceland. In each country he meets gamers and game developers and examines the differences in games and their associated culture. The Korea section is particularly fascinating, with his examination of the effect gaming has had on youth culture in Seoul, where it's more common for youngsters to visit gaming cafes (baangs) than go out and obliterate themselves with booze.
These travel segments and broken up with short sections about games as propaganda, emergent gameplay, and other topics. These analysis sections serve as palate cleansers between locales and they suit the pacing of the book very well. Rossignol's thoughts about the importance of gaming as a tool to limit boredom were pertinent and made me realise that, as a gamer, this is generally the place they fill in my life. Sometimes entertainment serves for entertainment's sake. Play has been an important learning mechanism for humanity (and indeed much of the animal kingdom) and computer games are an-often elaborate and thrilling-extension of this.
Rossignol's writing is crisp and comprehensible throughout. The text rarely provides a paragraph with too much information to require more than one reading.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the effect of gaming on society, the motivations of gamers, and some of the reasons why we play games.