Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

November 30, 2020
Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World

An acclaimed critic argues that video games are the mostvital art form of our timeVideo games have seemingly taken over our lives. Whereas gamersonce constituted a small and largely male subculture, today 67percent of American households play video games. The average gameris now thirty-four years old and spends eight hours each weekplaying—and there is a 40 percent chance this person is awoman.In Bit by Bit, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand theexplosive popularity of video games. He travels to governmentlaboratories, junk shops, and arcades. He interviews scientists andgame designers, both old and young. In charting the material andtechnological history of video games, from the 1950s to thepresent, he suggests that their appeal starts and ends with thesense of creativity they instill in gamers. As Ervin argues, gamesare art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political—andbecause they turn players into artists themselves.