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Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form Paperback – Mar 20 2012
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"When Anna Anthropy thinks of video games, she sees the potential to transform a genre. Anthropy show[s] us how the medium can be used for a greater good.”
“Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is about education. It is a how-to, indie history lesson, design theory 101, a manifesto, and, surprisingly, as memoir. It serves as an entry into the importance of games and how to make them. But it also is about why making them for ourselves is important.”
“Anna Anthropy's forthcoming book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is about the personal potential of games—how simple tools allow all kinds of people to tell their own stories interactively. But it's also a clever, thoughtful examination on game design, and why the medium is important and interesting.”
“Anna Anthropy is an independent videogame designer and critic, and a key personality in the ongoing paradigm shift that is slowly changing the way videogames are understood, by creators and players, and by the wider culture.”
—Patrick Alexander, Eegra.com
“These days, everybody can make and distribute a photograph, or a video, or a book. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters shows you that everyone can make a videogame, too. But why should they? For Anna Anthropy, it's not for fame or for profit, but for the strange, aimless beauty of personal creativity.”
—Ian Bogost, Director, Graduate Program in Digital Media, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Free of the constraints the giant studios labour under, one- and two-person teams are using an artisinal approach to make deeply personal and innovative videogames. Rise is a great guidebook to understanding—and more importantly, participating in—this dynamically evolving culture."
—Jim Munroe, co-founder of the Hand Eye Society and the Difference Engine Initiative
“Once upon a time, the game industry was a fervent of creativity, as innovators explored the potential offered by the new technology of home computing; today, it is a lackluster, thud-and-blunder torrent of commercial dross, selling to a diminishing audience of young males. Here, Anna Anthropy demonstrates how people from every background and walk of life are breaking free of the commercial cowardice of major publishers, and bringing their individual visions of the game to life -- and perhaps more importantly, pointing you to tools and ideas that will, should you so choose, allow you to create your own games. If game design is to be an art, as those of us who love games fervently hope, it must be rescued from its crushing commercial pressures. You can be a part of its future.”
—Greg Costikyan, Senior Game Designer, Disney Playdom
"Anna gives the world of video games a crucial perspective from her seat of authority within outsider culture, and illustrates how essential it is for the space to empower
voices of all kinds if it is to evolve."
—Leigh Alexander, game critic
"You would expect outspoken game designer and polemicist Anna Anthropy's first book to be controversial. You might not expect it to be so heartfelt—even inspirational. Equal parts autobiography, ethnography, and how-to manual, this book concisely makes the case for the unique power of "zinester" games—independent video games made primarily by one person. For newcomers to video games, it's a great introduction; for established video game designers, it's a wake-up call. If you're teaching a course about video game culture or video game design, this book deserves a spot on your syllabus."
—Adam Parrish, NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Program (Tisch School of the Arts), and author of the ZZT game "Winter"
About the Author
Anna Anthropy is a prolific game developer and critic and is the creator of Calamity Annie, Mighty Jill Off, and Lesbian Spider Queens of Mars among many other games, which are available on her website, www.auntiepixelante.com. She lives in Oakland, California, with her pet girlmonster and two lovely cats.
Top Customer Reviews
Part manifesto, part game analysis, and part practical logistics and advice, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is an important contribution to the quickly-evolving discussion around the creation of digital games in the current era.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Maybe Anna didn't play the same games that I did this generation, or even last generation, or even the one before that. Is Mirror's edge a game about shooting dudes in the face? Catherine? Demon's Souls? Limbo? Trials HD? Flower? Heavy Rain? Mass Effect? Isn't it horribly reductive to say that Bioshock is mostly about shooting dudes in the face, even when it's a first person shooter? Is that what that game is really about? I don't think so. Is Bastion a game that a stagnant industry produces? If so, don't you ever change, game industry.
Her message to us is that she isn't special ... that we all can, and should, do as she has done. Make games, lots of them, for and about the people we love, the things we care about.
This is a great first book about game design for high school and college students of all stripes (though perhaps not for the prudish, as Anna is unflinching in her approach to human sexuality and political controversy). It isn't for students that want to design games. It is for everyone, a manifesto that explains why you ought to make games.
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