You might quibble with exactly how important British writer Naomi Alderman says video games are, but if you've ever felt that games don't get their due by the public at large, here's a verbal salvo to keep handy:
It's a curious fact that, though videogames are now the world's largest entertainment industry in financial terms, they are rarely reviewed in the mainstream media. There's a thriving world of academic discussion about gaming but Newsnight Review or The Culture Show hardly ever feature them, and newspapers give them far less coverage than those other pointless-but-fun games played on a field with a ball. It's curious too that, despite their financial success, it's so easy to find people who've not only never played a videogame but who feel viscerally that they're a pernicious waste of time. If games are an artform, arts journalism is mostly uninterested. If they're a sport, they're not one we treat as admirable. The sale of games is increasing by 20% a year but, outside the gaming press, we're not really talking about them.
That's the first paragraph in writer Naomi Alderman's recent review of Fun Inc., a book about the games industry.
I'm sure some people will say the issues that Alderman raises will be wiped out as generations of people who grew up playing video games rise into positions of power everywhere from the White House to the editor-in-chief chairs of major newspapers.
I'm not with those people, subscribing to my theory that video games are more like musical instruments or foreign languages, things that take practice and skill to indulge in and for which there will always be a vast population of non-participants and outsiders.
Review: Fun Inc: Why Games are the 21st Century's Most Serious Business by Tom Chatfield [The Guardian] [PIC]