Death by Video Game by Simon Parkin
Danger, Pleasure, and Obsession on the Virtual Frontline

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...Parkin’s book misses its chance to reflect the complexity of the gaming landscape. Death By Video Game presents the video game genre as smaller, simpler and less challenging than it truly is.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

"The finest book on video games yet. Simon Parkin thinks like a critic, conjures like a novelist, and writes like an artist at the height of his powers—which, in fact, he is." —Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

On January 31, 2012, a twenty-three-year-old student was found dead at his keyboard in an internet café while the video game he had been playing for three days straight continued to flash on the screen in front of him.

Trying to reconstruct what had happened that night, investigative journalist Simon Parkin would discover that there have been numerous other incidents of "death by video game." 

And so begins a journey that takes Parkin around the world in search of answers: What is it about video games that inspires such tremendous acts of endurance and obsession? Why do we so thoroughly lose our sense of time and reality within this medium? How in the world can people play them . . . to death?

In Death by Video Game, Parkin examines the medical evidence and talks to the experts to determine what may be happening, and introduces us to the players and game developers at the frontline of virtual extremism: the New York surgeon attempting to break the Donkey Kong world record . . . the Minecraft player three years into an epic journey toward the edge of the game's vast virtual world . . . the German hacker who risked prison to discover the secrets behind Half-Life 2 . . .

Riveting and wildly entertaining, Death by Video Game will change the way we think about our virtual playgrounds as it investigates what it is about them that often proves compelling, comforting, and irresistible to the human mind—except for when it’s not.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Simon Parkin

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Simon Parkin is an award-winning writer and journalist from England. Over the past decade his criticism and journalism has featured in numerous high-profile publications, including New Yorker.com, Harper's Magazine, the Guardian, New Statesmen, ESPN, BBC and a variety of other publications. A sought-after video game pundit, Parkin has been a guest on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live. He writes investigative pieces, profiles, criticism and essays on a variety of subjects, often around culture, video games and technology, some of which are collected on his website (www.simonparkin.com). Death by Video Game is Parkin's first non-fiction book.
 
Published June 21, 2016 by Melville House. 272 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Humor & Entertainment, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Death by Video Game
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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Molly Sauter on Aug 03 2016

...Parkin’s book misses its chance to reflect the complexity of the gaming landscape. Death By Video Game presents the video game genre as smaller, simpler and less challenging than it truly is.

Read Full Review of Death by Video Game: Danger, ... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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