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11 August 2010


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I too have spent more than two hundred hours playing Oblivion.

I actually DO need to be to be intellectually stimulated every minute. This is why I am so bored at work, why I don't do movies, tv, or audiobooks (they're all too slow for me) and why I spend every spare minute reading and solving logic problems... and playing Oblivion.

I cannot speak to other video games, but what I love about Oblivion is that it creates one giant sprawling narrative. It keeps my brain busy.

But how much time have you spent on the other single-player activity? :)
Seeing as how most of my intellectual stimulation these days comes from trying to figure out work issues, money issues, and health issues, I can reiterate that I'm just as happy to go intellectually unstimulated. Especially since my intellect isn't up to any of the above adult tasks.
Good on you for playing video games. Somebody should, to keep up with what the crazy kids are doing these days. I still say if it's anything other than Pac-Man, I'm not interested.

The other single-player activity has had far fewer contact hours than Oblivion. I'd rather have intellectual stimulation than... other types of stimulation.

I don't like work issues/money issues/health issues. When I say I like intellectual stimulation, I don't mean to imply that I like it when real life comes along and uses your psyche for a punching bag.

What about Ms. Pac-Man? She had a bow.

What REALLY scares me is that real life hasn't yet used my psyche for a punching bag (not really) and I still can barely cope. Ye gods. I fear anything and everything that is coming down the pike.

Nah, not a big Ms. Pac-Man fan, the bow always reminded me unnervingly of those weird bow headbands they stick on poor little baby girls with no hair. I bet there's a lot of baby girls getting headaches from those implements of torture.

I wish you a week filled with joyous stimulation of your choice, be it Oblivion or otherwise.

I tore through this book in two days. It's the reason I finally upgraded from a PlayStation 2 to an Xbox 360. Bissell made realize how many great gaming experiences I have been missing out on.

I'm currently 80 hours into Oblivion and loving every minute of it. It really is epic.

Being a gamer really added to the experience of the book. I can see how it would be hard to get into if you haven't experienced the gaming conventions/features/stories he discusses, but if you have, it really makes the book infinitely more interesting.

I don't know that the book will convert many non-gamers to gamers, but for gamers, it does a great job of reminding us how great games have become and are becoming.

Another great book on a similar topic is Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson. It's another great read.

Sarah L.,
I'm so glad you liked the book. I hope all gamers buy it and like it! I want Bissell to do well so he keeps writing NF, on whatever subject he chooses.

Yeah, I tried, but the world of gaming and I will never be one. Too many BBC movies out there to watch and re-watch.

I agree that being a gamer makes this book a lot more interesting. I also agree that Oblivion is astounding, although a bummer to play on a slower machine. (full disclosure, I spent way too many hours on Dragon Age last night)

My main complaint about the book is that it doesn't speak to non-gamers somehow.

Are you a gamer? Do you find it cuts into your reading time at all? Honestly, between work and family and reading and annoying adult tasks I don't know how people get it all done, plus gaming. Although I guess I do that stuff (poorly, mostly) and still make time for BBC shows.

I don't know--it's probably okay that not all books speak to everyone. I don't know that even Tom Bissell could explain the joy of gaming to me. (Although I did find parts of interesting, so I think he did what he could.)

I am both a video and board gamer, which I think makes me exponentially more geeky. It does cut a bit into reading time, but I think the mental state for video gaming is different than that for reading. I find video gaming better when I am mentally agitated. Either by changing focus on letting me burn off steam, it can cool me down to make it easier to read actually.

I should note that Civilization 5 is coming out soon. Oh goodness, now that one will eat into my reading time.

Following up on an earlier thread, I picked up Hunger Games from Target, but then received a number of books at the library including the wonderful A Visit From the Goon Squad. So, I will be reading Hunger Games, it just may take awhile.

Mr. CR likes both the video and board games too, although we don't have a gaming system here. Thank goodness for his friends who have Wii! Yes, I can see the appeal of something you do to turn your mind off--sometimes reading works for that, but not always.

Good luck with Hunger Games! I'll be interested to hear what you think of it.

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