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Public Books: How to Write about Videogames

By Matt Margini
Public Books

How to Talk about Videogames by Ian BogostVideogames have come a long way on their march toward intellectual respectability since the late Roger Ebert insisted, first in 2006 and then again in 2010, that “games can never be art” because of their openness to player interaction.1 If one thing still impedes them, it’s that “narcissism” that Bogost describes, which becomes disastrous when coupled with the misogyny that continues to define the medium in public discourse. To critical onlookers in the Ebert tradition, as well as many self-identified “gamers,” videogames are not only a medium designed for men—and young men in particular—but also a conduit for the enactment of ego-driven power fantasies.

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