The State Of Play: Creators And Critics On Video Game Culture, edited by Daniel Goldberg & Linus Larsson
The best way of reviewing a book such as this is to state at the outset that the authors of its various essays are writing for an openly and avowedly “progressive” audience. This book is not writing to an audience of anyone who would remotely be considered a decent or moral or upstanding person by any godly standard. Nor is this game meant for those who are fundamentally mainstream in their cultural focus. No, this book is written by and for people on the far leftist end of the political spectrum, people who rant against God, against straight white males, against a gamer culture that recognizes the authors of these essays as being deliberate in their attempts to pervert and corrupt video games to support a decadent and immoral social agenda. The community supported and represented includes the usual suspects of racial minorities, sexual deviants, and those who support them. It is filled by articles that prematurely claim the demise of a traditional gamer culture and a very small and incestuous group of deviant game designers who give plaudits and encouragement and support to each other and who claim that despite their sexuality and various kinks and resulting mental problems that they are not broken or damaged, probably trying to convince themselves as much as the readers of this book.
In terms of its contents, the book is made up of a bit more than a dozen essays that together make up about 250 pages of material. Most of the essays focus on either the quirky and hipster sorts of games that are made by these people, their praise of the deviant content of others, their deliberate delight in perverting the “real” world in their creation of fictional worlds, their praise of anti-biblical gnostic trends in roleplaying games , and their ranting about the hostility of gamers to their immoral and wicked social and political agenda. As is frequently the case in writings by leftist authors, there is an inherent contradiction. On the one hand, the text seeks sympathy for a supposedly subaltern group, but then prematurely shows its triumphalism against godly social norms, on the one hand claiming a broad solidarity but on the other hand engaging in name-calling and the same sort of bullying behavior it decries in others, on the one hand it blames straight white males for the damage that this world has suffered while on the other hand claiming to not be damaged or broken at all. The authors cannot keep on the same script, agreeing as to what they hate, but unable to keep their lies straight.
So, what is to make of this book, since it’s not a book that is worth reading and was likely only worth writing as a twisted and demented sort of therapy on the part of its various authors, much like the worthless trash that this ilk creates in terms of their games, which are repeatedly cited and praised as if they were artistic masterpieces rather than the masturbatory fantasies of decadent would-be social elites whining because they lost their minimum wage jobs as baristas and could not cope with the depression of their partners, or whining because they could not find the right sort of “natural” hairdo for their avatars in video games. In a sense, this book does not represent a text worth reading, although it likely will be popular within a certain sort of leftist video game players and those who generally support such causes, but rather it represents evidence that will likely be used against these authors if they make their gaming process too public, and as evidence that whatever hostility is being shown towards them is deserved based on their openly confessed desire to corrupt gaming culture and promote a deviant social and political agenda for all who care to see it, and who are able to stomach reading it.
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