View your shopping cart.
Available for Special Order

Banner Message

Please note that online availability does not reflect stock in store!

Please check your SPAM folder for communications from us- for some reason our messages are being sent there more than usual :(

Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games

Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games
$17.95
An exploration of why we play video games despite the fact that we are almost certain to feel unhappy when we fail at them.

We may think of video games as being fun, but in The Art of Failure, Jesper Juul claims that this is almost entirely mistaken. When we play video games, our facial expressions are rarely those of happiness or bliss. Instead, we frown, grimace, and shout in frustration as we lose, or die, or fail to advance to the next level. Humans may have a fundamental desire to succeed and feel competent, but game players choose to engage in an activity in which they are nearly certain to fail and feel incompetent. So why do we play video games even though they make us unhappy? Juul examines this paradox.

In video games, as in tragic works of art, literature, theater, and cinema, it seems that we want to experience unpleasantness even if we also dislike it. Reader or audience reaction to tragedy is often explained as catharsis, as a purging of negative emotions. But, Juul points out, this doesn't seem to be the case for video game players. Games do not purge us of unpleasant emotions; they produce them in the first place. What, then, does failure in video game playing do?

Juul argues that failure in a game is unique in that when you fail in a game, you (not a character) are in some way inadequate. Yet games also motivate us to play more, in order to escape that inadequacy, and the feeling of escaping failure (often by improving skills) is a central enjoyment of games. Games, writes Juul, are the art of failure: the singular art form that sets us up for failure and allows us to experience it and experiment with it.

The Art of Failure is essential reading for anyone interested in video games, whether as entertainment, art, or education.

ISBN: 
9780262529952
Author: 
Binding: 
Paperback
Publisher: 
Publication Date: 
September 1, 2016
0

Paperback Fiction

Project Hail Mary
By: Weir, Andy
Devil House
By: Darnielle, John
Crossroads
By: Franzen, Jonathan
Death of Jane Lawrence
By: Starling, Caitlin
My Brother
By: Smirnoff, Karin
I Love You but Ive Chosen Darkness
By: Watkins, Claire Vaye
Love in the Time of Time's Up: Short Fiction Edited by Christine Sneed
By:
Cloud Cuckoo Land
By: Doerr, Anthony
Minor Chorus
By: Belcourt, Billy-Ray

Hardcover Non-Fiction

Solito
By: Zamora, Javier
Ducks
By: Beaton, Kate
Faith Hope and Carnage
By: O'Hagan, Seán
Woman Without Shame
By: Cisneros, Sandra
Stay True
By: Hsu, Hua
When McKinsey Comes to Town
By: Forsythe, Michael
What If 2
By: Munroe, Randall
The Breach
By: Riggleman, Denver
Over My Dead Body
By: Melville, Greg

Hardcover Fiction

Mad Honey
Author: Boylan, Jennifer Finney
Golden Enclaves
Author: Novik, Naomi
Hester
Author: Albanese, Laurie Lico
Billie Starrs Book of Sorries
Author: Kennedy, Deborah E
Which Side Are You On
Author: Wong, Ryan Lee
Whalebone Theatre
Author: Quinn, Joanna
Nights of Plague
Author: Pamuk, Orhan
Our Missing Hearts
Author: Ng, Celeste
Night Ship
Author: Kidd, Jess