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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Reader's Diary #3003 - Edward Ross: Gamish/ A Graphic History of Gaming

Not much of a gamer myself (like most kids from my generation I was into Super Mario Brothers, my wife and I still play Dr. Mario after suppers as a sort of routine, and I dabble with simple game apps now and then, but that's it), I wasn't sure how into Edward Ross's Gamish: A Graphic History of Gaming I'd be. However, I've read nonfiction books on other topics I'd only had a passing interest in before, and like the better ones (Salt by Mark Kurlansky, for example), Ross's book also won me over.

Gamish is very well researched and it's amazing how much he fits into a mere 200 pages, most of which are drawn. All without making the book come across as a simple listing of facts. He traces the history of gaming, from the very idea of play, board games, to the present day of video games. He gets into the psychology, art, and science of it all. All while he's clearly a gamer himself and enthusiastic about the medium, he doesn't shy away from controversial topics like addiction, violence, racism, and misogyny, offering a very fair balance and perspective. I was never bored for a minute.

The art is easily accessible and uses fantasy to compliment the theme and drive certain points home. 

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