An exploration of the psychological effects - the pleasures, benefits and disbenefits - of computer games.
'Etchells writes eloquently ... A heartfelt defence of a demonised pastime' - The Times
'Once in an age, a piece of culture comes along that feels like it was specifically created for you, the beats and words and ideas are there because it is your life the creator is describing. Lost In A Good Game is exactly that. It will touch your heart and mind. And even if Bowser, Chun-li or Q-Bert weren't crucial parts of your youth, this is a flawless victory for everyone' - Adam Rutherford.
When Pete Etchells was 14, his father died from motor neuron disease. In order to cope, he immersed himself in a virtual world - first as an escape, but later to try to understand what had happened. Etchells is now a researcher into the psychological effects of video games, and was co-author on a recent paper explaining why WHO plans to classify 'game addiction' as a danger to public health are based on bad science and (he thinks) are a bad idea.
In this, his first book, he journeys through the history and development of video games - from Turing's chess machine to mass multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft- via scientific study, to investigate the highs and lows of playing and get to the bottom of our relationship with games - why we do it, and what they really mean to us.
At the same time, Lost in a Good Game is a very unusual memoir of a writer coming to terms with his grief via virtual worlds, as he tries to work out what area of popular culture we should classify games (a relatively new technology) under.
Pete Etchells is a Reader in Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa University, whose field of research is the behavioural effects of videogames on the human brain. This is his first book.
Paperback - B format
Ethical & social aspects of IT