cover image Press Start to Play

Press Start to Play

Edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams. Vintage, $15.95 trade paper (544p) ISBN 978-1-101-87330-4

Even those who doubt the editors' claim that "video games have come to play a vital role in modern human civilization" will be enthralled by these 26 stories (most of which are original to this volume) exploring what video gaming does for and to its participants. The main character in Robin Wasserman's "All of the People in Your Party Have Died" painfully chooses selfish practicality over passion. Physical metamorphoses reveal the essence of a macho lawyer in Marguerite K. Bennett's equally pessimistic but hilarious "Stats." Players discover valuable truths by testing the limits of a fantastic scenario in Cory Doctorow's "Anda's Game." Some stories, such as Chris Kluwe's "Please Continue," vehemently argue against too much immersion in gaming, while others, such as Charlie Jane Anders's "Rat Catcher's Yellows," simply respect the potent allure of living for a brief time in a fantasy world. Wilson and Adams (Robot Uprisings) have assembled a provocative assortment of thoughtful stories, making a valuable contribution to ongoing conversations about the future directions of video gaming. (Aug.)