Lost in a Good Game (Paperback)
Why we play video games and what they do to us
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When Pete Etchells was 14, his father died from motor neurone disease. In order to cope, he immersed himself in a virtual world – first as an escape, but later to try to understand what had happened. Etchells is now a researcher into the psychological effects of video games, and was co-author on a recent paper explaining why WHO plans to classify ‘game addiction’ as a danger to public health are based on bad science and (he thinks) are a bad idea.
In this, his first book, he journeys through the history and development of video games – from Turing’s chess machine to mass multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft- via scientific study, to investigate the highs and lows of playing and get to the bottom of our relationship with games – why we do it, and what they really mean to us.
At the same time, Lost in a Good Game is a very unusual memoir of a writer coming to terms with his grief via virtual worlds, as he tries to work out what area of popular culture we should classify games (a relatively new technology) under.