Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rise of the Videogame Zinesters

By Anna Anthropy

This isn't a zine, hell, this isn't even a book about zines. It's a book about the concept of video games as zines. And there are some interesting ideas in here concerning the video game industry in it's current form, how diversification of the type of people who make games would probably improve the industry, and how it's easier than most people think to make video games.

Anthropy brings forward the idea of DIY games that are distributed for free online as an equivalent of zines. They can be made by only one person, made with no commercial intent, and made just because you want to make something. In fact Anthropy says you don't even have to show people the games you make, but that by creating games (even terrible ones) you get a better idea of how games are constructed, and also become more creative yourself (something I definitely think is good!).

I think there's lots of really interesting stuff still to be said about video games, and while reading this book a quote from a video game creator came back to me: "a video game is the most effective way I can express myself." I thought that was really fascinating and shows a side of video games that most people don't realize exists.

Of course, there are also lots of problems with this book. It really stretches to hit two hundred pages, is fairly repetitive in places, and there are a lot of games (and ideas) it just completely ignores. I'm not sure I could really recommend this book, but at the same time I'm not sure of other books that cover similar areas. Are there any?

Mostly though I just wish that I encountered more zines about video games. If you've made one get in touch! I'd love to read it.

(I'd also kind of love to get a zine on a 3.5 inch floppy disk, but I would have no way of actually reading it...)


  1. Well a good documentary that explores the personal expression aspect of indie games is Indie Game: The Movie.


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