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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
Why We Love Video Games: Stories from the Virtual Playground by Christopher Robert Burnap is the first book I have ever read that is an homage to video games and how they can affect and add enjoyment to our lives. As a part-time gamer myself, I can appreciate the influence and sheer escapist enjoyment these games can give. Burnap uses each chapter to discuss a different time period through his own growing up and introduction to games from Super Mario Brothers to Halo, with an emphasis on multi-player offerings. To say Burnap is an unabashed fan of video games is an understatement. Just read the title of his book or the first sentence of his introduction: "Video games are absolutely amazing.” Throughout his book, he begins each chapter or section with a quote from celebrities in business and innovation including Elon Musk, Jane McGonigal, Don Cheadle, the actor, and of course, George Lucas among others.
Yet, Why We Love Video Games is more than just an homage to games and why we play them. Burnap feels strongly that playing these games, especially with other game enthusiasts, can promote community and fellowship. He writes in clear, relatable language that does not rely on the technical acronyms most gaming geeks use. A touching chapter focuses on how the author and his father bonded when they played certain video games both liked. I was reminded of the fun I had with my own son playing the video game GoldenEye based on a Bond movie many years ago. Also touching was how the author met his wife playing video games, married and started a family while building a state of the art video game parlor in their forever home. This book is for anyone who has ever enjoyed playing a video game and need not feel guilty about it. Now, excuse me, while I play that RPG game I own.