an imprint of counterpoint



Writers, Artists, and Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels

Editor: Shanna Compton



Jim Andrews
Katie Degentesh
Drew Gardner
Ernest Hilbert
Shannon Holman
J. Brandon Housley
Shelley Jackson
Luis Jaramillo
K. Thor Jenson
Thomas Kelly
Nic Kelman
Roland Kelts
Mark Lamoureux
Aaron McCollough
Jim Munroe
Marc Nesbitt
Daniel Nester
Whitney Pastorek
Richard Powers
Todd Rogers
Laurel Snyder
Bill Spratch
Maureen Thorson
Marion Wrenn



Novelist Salman Rushdie once remarked to eXistenZ director David Cronenberg, that while he didn’t consider current video games to have attained the status of art quite yet, we should “[n]ever say never. Somebody could turn up who would be a genius. But if one thinks about noncomputer games, there are many which people say have the beauty of an art form. People say that about cricket, people say it about every game.”
Never say never. The writers, poets, programmers, visual artists, cartoonists, game testers, and championship gamers who have contributed to this anthology aren’t ready to. Video games have provided each of us with reasons to love them, whether as nostalgic links to childhood, imaginative escapes from the workaday world, competitive challenges to be met and conquered, or as vibrant steps toward a promising new art form. From the creation ofSpacewar! in 1962, through the golden age of the video game arcade in America, to the console-in-every household proliferation today, games have provided us with something books, music, the plastic arts, and even film have not. We get to act as well as react. We get to play.
From the introductionNo longer just for kids and hardcore geeks, video games have grown in sophistication and popularity with each passing year, and their cultural reach is expanding too–spawning blockbuster movies, university courses and degree programs, international conferences, magazines, and even a recent awards show on Spike TV. In GAMERS, editor Shanna Compton and twenty-three contributors talk about what gaming means to them and discuss the intersections between video games and visual art, film, fiction, even life itself in two dozen essays that cover an animated mix of topics from the esoteric to the purely entertaining. In the process, they offer not only witty, widescreen views of how video games have become part of the cultural landscape, but also insight into where they may be headed next.

Shanna Compton was Associate Publisher of Soft Skull Press and is the editor of LIT, the literary journal of the Creative Writing Program at New School University. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Paper | 7 x 9 | 256 pgs. | ISBN: 1-932360-57-3 | List: $14.95 | 11/1/2004

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