Rise of the Videogame Zinesters

by Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy may seem disillusioned with the state of gaming, but it should be obvious to any reader of this book that she has a great love of the medium and is optimistic for its future. Anthropy is a long-time gamer and game creator, so the criticism she levels at the industry is grounded in her experience on both ends of a videogame. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is part-history, part-how-to that gives an overview of games and their histories in the first half, and shows the readers how to start making their own games in the second. Throughout the text, Anthropy calls for games that are more personal, more accessible, and more diverse. While she understands (and explains) why the industry focuses primarily on games where the player spends most of her time killing other characters, Anthropy wants to play a different kind of game, made by a different kind of person. Anthropy wants everyone – regardless of their access to technical knowledge or money – to make games, because she wholeheartedly believes in power of videogames to tell meaningful, personal stories. I found Rise of the Videogame Zinesters to be an engaging book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in small, personal games, as an overview of the genre. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters is provocative and inspiring, an almost-manifesto. It is not heavily engaged in games scholarship (though Anthropy is clearly aware of the work of people like Ian Bogost, for example), so those coming to Rise of the Videogame Zinesters with that expectation may be disappointed… Continue Reading