Occasionally we stub out our crack pipe (hard but do-able), log off the forums and give up our angry Internet man jig to don a smocking jacket, pour ourselves a Malibu and read a book like in the olden times. This weekend we donned three smoking jackets, poured ourselves three Malibus and finished reading three books. Our English teacher will be so happy with us.
First up is Jacked The Unauthorised Behind-The-Scenes Story of Grand Theft Auto which makes us feel ignorant about the history of video games in the same way that Replay A History of Video Games highlights how ignorant many games 'journalists' are. Yeah we loved Lemmings and knew that DMA made GTA but we didn't know that they were Scottish. Shame on us. The book is a good read. The first thing it made us do is want to play GTA again. Five hours later we picked the book up again and cringed over how gushy Kushner can be sometimes. But I guess that's the deal when you are writing an unofficial biography, it pays to be a bit idol-worshippy in order to keep the main characters onside.
The next thing we read was Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney- Official Casebook it is a manga. We know. We don't know why we bought it. Curiosity I guess. It has been sitting on the shelf for a long time and to be honest I wish I had left it there. It is a bunch of short stories around the Phoneix Wright characters and is shit. Proper shit. The stories don't make any sense in a universe that already doesn't make much sense in a medium that is attractive largely because it regularly fails to make any sense. One of the stories actually ends with "And then they defended the case and won". Still there's some gratuitous ghost tits if that's what floats your boat.
The last thing that we're reading and haven't quite finished yet is Jesper Juul's A Casual Revolution Reinventing Video Games and their players. Like some of Juul's other papers he does a fine job of nicely metricising everything and comes up with some pretty good metrics for defining casual and hardcore gamer- terms that a)Are banded about too often b) We don't like to use. Unfortunately, this book appears to have come out just before the smart phone revolution and the spread of the FTP model. This isn't to say that the discussion isn't still valid but some of the points are undermined with what actually then happened.
So there we go. I recommend that every would be game thinker picks up the first and last book and give them a read. Then pick up the crack pipe, put on your beanie and jump back on the Internet and shout at each other.