Creative Loafing Atlanta interviews Ian Bogost

By Curt Holman
Creative Loafing Atlanta

Video game innovation amounts to more than concocting new ways to kill computer-generated bad guys. In his book How to Do Things With Videogames (University of Minnesota Press, $18.95), Ian Bogost explores the multitude of ways video games can be used to create art, educate kids and grown-ups, play pranks, foster empathy, provide exercise and even achieve Zen-like relaxation. A Georgia Tech professor and award-winning game designer, Bogost has become the gaming-world equivalent of Roger Ebert or Lester Bangs, arguing that video games are attaining maturity as a medium, like movies and popular music.

When you were younger, were there particular video games that put you on your current career path?

I played a lot of games as a kid, but the one that really influenced me was Life and Death, which came out the same time as SimCity. You were an abdominal surgeon, in the same way you were a city planner in SimCity. You even had to talk to patients and tease out what was wrong with them before performing the surgery. At the time, that was most fascinating to me. It provided a view into a world that you wouldn't think about otherwise.

Read the original story
University of Minnesota Press Podcast

More than two dozen essays of Indigenous resistance to the privatization and allotment of Indigenous lands

Allotment Stories: Daniel Heath Justice and Jean M. O'Brien.

A fascinating and unprecedented ethnography of animal sanctuaries in the United States

Saving AnimalsElan Abrell and Kathryn (Katie) Gillespie on sanctuary, care, ethics.

How popular debates about the so-called digital generation mediate anxieties about labor and life in twenty-first-century America

Making creative laborers for a precarious economy: Josef Nguyen, Carly Kocurek, and Patrick LeMieux.



Browse our Fall/Winter 2022-23 catalog for exciting forthcoming books!

Viewing options:

Web collection

PDF (with accessibility features)