Gamer Theory


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Listen to a short interview with McKenzie WarkHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane Ever get the feeling that life’s a game with changing rules and no clear sides, one you are compelled to play yet cannot win? Welcome to gamespace. Gamespace is where and how we live today. It is everywhere and nowhere: the main chance, the best shot, the big leagues, the only game in town. In a world thus configured, McKenzie Wark contends, digital computer games are the emergent cultural form of the times. Where others argue obsessively over violence in games, Wark approaches them as a utopian version of the world in which we actually live. Playing against the machine on a game console, we enjoy the only truly level playing field–where we get ahead on our strengths or not at all. Gamer Theory uncovers the significance of games in the gap between the near-perfection of actual games and the highly imperfect gamespace of everyday life in the rat race of free-market society. The book depicts a world becoming an inescapable series of less and less perfect games. This world gives rise to a new persona. In place of the subject or citizen stands the gamer. As all previous such personae had their breviaries and manuals, Gamer Theory seeks to offer guidance for thinking within this new character. Neither a strategy guide nor a cheat sheet for improving one’s score or skills, the book is instead a primer in thinking about a world made over as a gamespace, recast as an imperfect copy of the game.



One of the more astute media theorists currently at work, Wark is going for major bonus points with Gamer Theory, and he indeed racks them up. Gamer Theory opens a new level for media studies, offering a successor paradigm to the culture industry thesis..l and the spectacle society critique of the Situationists.

— Vince Carducci (Popmatters)

This is only a book about video games in the way that the story of Noah’s Ark is about the weather.

— Laura Stokes (Brooklyn Rail)

Wark goes deep into many subtle mechanisms… Results are controversial as any Wark effort, but they are provocative and sometimes really inspiring, so often opening new possible paths for interpreting games and even different other digital environments.

— Alessandro Ludovico (Neural Magazine)

Not since Steal This Book has a book’s radical packaging so threatened to upstage its radical content.

— Julian Dibbell (Village Voice)



Gewicht 348 g
Afmetingen 127 × 19 × 210 mm








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