Games are not

The difficult and definitive guide to what video games are

By David Myers

Games are not


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2165-3
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: August 2017
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Popular philosophy, Games development & programming, Popular culture, Society & social sciences / Popular culture, Humanities / Popular philosophy, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, Games Development & Programming, Cultural studies, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, GAMES / Video & Electronic


How do we reconcile a videogame industry's insistence that games positively affect human beliefs and behaviors with the equally prevalent assumption that games are "just games"? How do we reconcile accusations that games make us violent and antisocial and unproductive with the realization that games are a universal source of human joy?

In Game are not, David Myers demonstrates that these controversies and conflicts surrounding the meanings and effects of games are not going away; they are essential properties of the game's paradoxical aesthetic form. Games are not focuses on games writ large, bound by neither digital form nor by cultural interpretation. Interdisciplinary in scope and radical in conclusion, Games are not positions games as unique objects evoking a peculiar and paradoxical liminal state - a lusory attitude - that is essential to human creativity, knowledge, and sustenance of the species.


1 Games are not cooperative
2 Games are not designer intentions
3 Games are not references (of the conventional sort)
4 Games are not narratives
5 Games are not beliefs
6 Games are not gameplay
7 Games are not toys
8 Games are not simulations: part one
9 Games are not simulations: part two
10 Games are not commodities
11 Games are not what you think
12 Games are art (because games are not art)


David Myers is Distinguished Professor of Mass Communication at Loyola University New Orleans

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