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Gamelife: A Memoir by Michael W. Clune
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Gamelife: A Memoir

by Michael W. Clune

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I spent half an hour trying to figure out the shorthand for this book. It's a description we try to come up with for all the entertainment we tell others about: Oh, this movie's like Batman but with zombies. That book is like Dickens if he got bored halfway through and just filled out the rest with random sentences (oh wait, that's regular Dickens).

I failed in this case. It's not really like anything. The best example I can give is it's the memoir equivalent of "literary fiction" - as defined as a genre novel that uses big words, flowing prose and a disjointed rhythm enough that people call it a work of "literature" instead of a book. It could just as easily have been fiction. The distinction really doesn't matter in this case.

It's the story of a childhood lived through videogames. It's a story that many probably relate to, though I hope to God not too much. Clune definitely writes with a voice that can keep you interested (in the way that someone grabbing you by the throat and pulls your face right next to theirs keeps you "interested"), and the man knows his way around a videogame. I was wavering the whole way through, but I guess it says something when my biggest complaint is that I really wanted to know what happened after it ended. ( )
  thoughtbox | May 27, 2016 |
Did you grow up in the 80's and 90's spending thousands of hours playing computer games by yourself? Do you enjoy reading creepy memoirs that uncannily describe your own childhood? Then this is book is for you. Pick it up and prepare to receive insights into the deep questions you ask yourself about the gaming life that no one else seems to talk about. You know who you are and what I am talking about. Find this book, read it, and then think about it. ( )
  BenjaminHahn | Oct 17, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865478287, Hardcover)

You have been awakened.

Floppy disk inserted, computer turned on, a whirring, and then this sentence, followed by a blinking cursor. So begins Suspended, the first computer game to obsess seven-year-old Michael, to worm into his head and change his sense of reality. Thirty years later he will write: "Computer games have taught me the things you can't learn from people."
Gamelife is the memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent gazing at pixelated maps and mazes train Michael's eyes for the uncanny side of 1980s suburban Illinois. A game about pirates yields clues to the drama of cafeteria politics and locker-room hazing. And in the year of his parents' divorce, a spaceflight simulator opens a hole in reality.
In telling the story of his youth through seven computer games, Michael W. Clune captures the part of childhood we live alone.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 08 Jul 2015 13:13:54 -0400)

Video games began to obsess Clune when he was seven. They began to worm into his head and change his sense of reality. This is his memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent gazing at pixelated maps and mazes trained eyes for the uncanny side of 1980s suburban Illinois. A game about pirates yields clues to the drama of cafeteria politics and locker-room hazing. And in the year of his parents' divorce, a spaceflight simulator opens a hole in reality.… (more)

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