It may seem an extraordinary and unlikely fact that videogame criticism has developed into a vibrant area of serious academic study. As Ian Bogost, one of the field’s most important contributors, observes, “Like a toaster, a game is both appliance and hearth, both instrument and aesthetic, both gadget and fetish. It’s preposterous to do games criticism, like it’s preposterous to do toaster criticism.” Yet Bogost quickly adds that games are hardly unique in this respect. Indeed, nothing has entirely escaped cultural criticism in our time: “Not literature, not film, nor theater, art, food, wine. We just stopped noticing that the criticism of forms like these are just as bonkers as critiques of toasters or milk or videogames” (xii). For all of the inherent absurdity of game criticism, it is also increasingly evident that...

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