Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

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May/June 2010 Issue

Video games are supposed to rot your brain, but this thoughtful and funny game-by-game memoir makes a convincing case that virtual adventures can be as emotionally resonant as the real thing. For Bissell, gaming is truly a mind-expanding experience: “You constantly find things, constantly learn things, constantly see things you could not have imagined.” He counts the 30 coked-up hours he spent playing Grand Theft Auto—and appreciating its surprisingly traditional moral code—among his most treasured memories.

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