Death by Video Game

  • by Simon Parkin
  • Narrated by Toby Longworth
  • 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Canada, volunteers are raising money for charity by playing marathon stints of Penn & Teller's Desert Bus, probably the worst video game ever created.
Across the globe, thousands of viewers tune in to Kurt J. Mac's epic but seemingly pointless voyage towards the outer realms of Minecraft's procedurally generated world.
In Iraq, mothers encourage their children to enter Call of Duty competitions to keep them off the bomb-ravaged streets of Baghdad.
And in Taiwan, a spate of deaths at gaming cafés is raising questions about what playing video games does to us.
In Death by Video Game, renowned gaming journalist Simon Parkin delves into the lives of obsessive gamers to answer the question: why do we spend so many hours of our lives in virtual playgrounds?
Telling the stories of gamers and the developers who create the worlds they obsessively inhabit, Death by Video Game is a window on the human stories that have made video games the 21st century's most vibrant cultural medium.

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What the Critics Say

"The finest book on video games yet. Simon Parkin thinks like a critic, conjures like a novelist, and writes like an artist at the height of his powers - which, in fact, he is." (Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and God Lives in St. Petersburg)
"One of the most effortless and masterly voices in video game writing." (New Statesman)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An insightful account into the world of videogames

What made the experience of listening to Death by Video Game the most enjoyable?

The author definitely knows his stuff. He shares his own experiences in the video gaming world and reveals to us some interesting and surprising roots of how video games came to be and have developed over the years. (The account about The Sims games was the most surprising one for me).


What about Toby Longworth’s performance did you like?

The narrator did a very good reading of this book. Since Mr. Parkin's writing was - I guess I'd describe it as - intelligent, it matched perfectly with Mr. Longworth's accent when he reads it in his normal voice.

Bonus points to Mr. Longworth for attempting to do the foreign accents of some of the people Mr. Parkin interviewed throughout this book.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I've always liked video games and when I heard that someone had written a book about it, I instantly jumped to purchase this. I'm very glad that I did though.

I wasn't able to listen to this in one sitting although I did listen to it in instalments while driving to work and back.


Any additional comments?

I think the only thing I'd say I was disappointed with is the ending. It just ended so abruptly. Some books usually end with the author giving us people's predictions on what the future of their topic will be. Mr. Parkin doesn't talk about what the future of video games will be though - even after he tells us its history, the development of the games, the impact it has on society, culture and players. I would have liked to hear about that and this would have been a more 'complete' book.

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- baharnn

Okay but not that much to say

Bit repetitive after a while. It did hover me new insights into what diversity of games and motivations to create them is out there, and that I enjoyed.
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- Olaf

Book Details

  • Release Date: 20-08-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios