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‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.

After a long struggle, the paperback version of my book, “Dangerous Gamers,” is available. Now you can read my ramblings critique of the new over-bloated class of cultural commentators and their latest controversies concerning allegedly violent, sexist, and racist media, including entertainment and (video) games.

There’s something for everybody in there. Do you want to know about the “science” of aggression and violence in media or even about that new-fangled Implicit Association Test paradigm that magically proves how everybody is guilty of wrongthink? Read chapters 4 & 5, Part 2. Are you interested in the vacuous and surprisingly empty “arguments” of Tropes vs. Women? Chapter 5, Part 3 might interest you. Do you want to know about some of the first academic assaults on gaming, how they first spawned from literary criticism, or how Sid Meier’s Civilization is allegedly legitimizing genocide and American exceptionalism? Then Chapters 5 & 14, Part 1, and Chapters 4 & 5, Part 4, are for you.

Are you more interested in the greater issues of “media effects,” literary criticism, and the alleged consequences of “dangerous narratives”? There are many chapters about that, too. Have you ever wondered what “politicization” truly means (spoiler: it has little to do with political content and sociopolitical thought in fiction)? Check Chapters 11-13 (Part 1) and many others. Do you want to know more about the ever-expanding class of commentators, pundits, ideological annotators, and other cultural parasites? Well, that’s almost half the book!

dangerous gamers table of contents

There’s even an Appendix N!

The book is available in Kindle and Paperback format, and you can buy it clicking the image below or the one in the sidebar (both are Amazon Associate links.) The Kindle is in the MatchBook program, which means that if you buy the paperback version, the Kindle version will only cost you 0.99$ (this may take a few hours to go live, though.)

If you like the book, remember to leave a short review (even a single sentence may be enough.) These things help.

Update: final version of my book. Paperback incoming.

The final version (1.2) of my book, Dangerous Gamers, is available. Typos and some odd grammar constructions have been fixed. To ease reading, the formatting of the e-book is now as close as possible to how it is going to look in the paperback version. If everything goes well, that should be available next week. I have already bought one proof copy to see how it looks. There shouldn’t be any problem, but there may be some complications with the stupid cover (curse you, KDP and CreateSpace!) which is why the book isn’t available yet.

I also have added a few extra “mini-chapters.” This is stuff that, for one reason or another, I failed to add to the original version. It’s not essential material, but it’s stuff that helps to get the point across:

-A few paragraphs about the influence of globalization and foreign (i.e., non-American) markets in the content and criticism of mass culture. That’s something that’s actually very important since the business of politicizing culture is, well, a business in the English-speaking world, but it’s also inextricably linked to marketing and consumption, which nowadays is global.  I added this at the end of Chapter 1, starting at “The questions and issues  I talk about in this book cannot be…

-The inevitable suckiness of “political” or “message” fiction, explained by pointing out at their extremely short and shallow range of emotional expression, meaning that the protagonists and characters are humans in name only. Unlike other chapters, where my point is mostly about unnecessary or misplaced content and readings (“this shouldn’t belong in entertainment and games”) here I explicitly mention that the narratives of politicized storytelling are false since they are a gross mutilation of human nature.

I added this part at the end of chapter 12, starting at “The problem with so-called “political” stories is not…” and it may be one of the best parts of the book.

-A few paragraphs about the importance of “nicotine” and “poisoning” metaphors when talking about media effects. Those appear at the beginning of chapter 20 (or Part 2, Chapter 4 in the paperback version)


 

Unless I come across another minor issue (probably a typo or some annoying comma that refuses to stay where it should be,) I won’t make any more updates until (and if) I make a second edition.

Now you can buy the final version of the best book out there about the politicized commentators of games and entertainment and our contemporary moral panics. Why the best? Well, because I say so and, besides, it’s the only one.

 

Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.

This post is a parolation (parody + interpolation) of this article from The Guardian, “Far Cry 5’s violent civil unrest is a much-needed reality check for games.” Unfortunately, this FC5 nonsense came too late for my book, because it’s like the perfect manifestation of the phenomena I describe there.

I recommend reading both articles (The Guardian’s and mine) at the same time, side by side:

Continue reading “Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.”

Asimov’s Adventure editorials IV: Hollywood, movies, and pew-pew sci-fi.

This is the editorial of the last issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Adventure Magazine, a short-lived magazine from late 1978 to late 1979. I guess he had no idea the magazine was going to be canceled since the subject of this editorial —even if interesting— is probably not about what one would write for a final issue.

Anyway, I liked his comment on how destroying a spaceship in words is as easy as doing anything else in words. That’s something many people who write as if they were filming a movie (or a video game) usually forget.

You can read the other editorials here: first, second, and third.

Continue reading “Asimov’s Adventure editorials IV: Hollywood, movies, and pew-pew sci-fi.”

Asimov’s Adventure editorials III: on mythology, sword & sorcery, and economists.

This is the third editorial [first and second] of Asimov’s Science Fiction Adventure Magazine, a short-lived magazine with only four issues (from late 1978 to late 1979,) where the famous writer explained his understanding of adventure, science fiction, fantasy, and their place in the current scientific era.

His thesis is that there is an important abyss between the pre and post scientific understanding of the world, especially concerning the problem of how to manipulate the universe or to make it work for us. He isn’t wrong, though, but I’d really like to know what was his opinion about writers like Jack Vance, who were aware of that pre and post scientific chasm but consciously played around it to undermine it and mix the different worldviews. Unfortunately, I have never come across any suggestion that Asimov knew or cared about Vance.

Continue reading “Asimov’s Adventure editorials III: on mythology, sword & sorcery, and economists.”

Reading Nebulas (2017) Things with Beards, by Sam J. Miller

By focusing on the Hugo Awards I may have given the impression that the problems with fashionable science fiction and fantasy are a “Hugo” problem. The Hugos have become a bit of a battlefield and an arena for various trollish antics (the only interesting thing about the Hugo Awards, if you ask me,) so that’s a reasonable misunderstanding. But it’s not a Hugo-only problem because the same symptoms can be seen in the other two big SFF Awards: Nebula and World Fantasy Award. And when I say the same I mean it because this year’s Nebula and Hugo short story nominees are almost the same:

Hugo Nebula WFA comparison

Continue reading “Reading Nebulas (2017) Things with Beards, by Sam J. Miller”

“Asimov’s adventure” editorials II

When reading Asimov’s editorials on adventure I got the impression that he probably would have wanted to write more of them, perhaps thinking the magazine was going to last longer. A certain idea or thesis seemed to be developing on those pages, one about the place of adventure in literature, its relationship with science fiction, and so on, but sadly we’ll never know if it had a conclusion.

Continue reading ““Asimov’s adventure” editorials II”