This book needed a stronger editor. While the reviews claim that you can get into it without being a gamer, I found I only got through big swaths of it by serious skimming and page turning. Although I was motivated to like it, and did find its premise intriguing enough.Page corners that I turned down:"The intellectual value of video games, Johnson argues, has to do with the fact that they aren't explicit about their rules. Unlike a traditional game, such as chess, where the rules are fully spelled out in advance, you have to uncover the rules of individual video games as you go along." p.20"This is a vitally important point, that a game cannot function without active and continued participation from a human being. It is a model because it is also a mental model, and that mental model is never complete, is always a changing, working instance. As you play, you will think about the goals the game has set for you. . . Consciously and unconsciously, you keep the game moving by wrestling with your personal model of its goings-on. Your personal impression of the game is the model you use for dealing with it." p.148"This, in some way, is my answer to Chris Suellentrop's claims about how games impinge on our imagination. These gamers, these modders, aren't following given rules: they're making new ones. Mods do not answer to commercial pressures or to the ideas that game developers are supposed to have accepted. Creating a mod is a project for the inspired and the truly committed, affording imaginative possibilities that cannot be found elsewhere." p.157So he makes an argument for games as legitimate entertainment, but my eyes still glass over when he really starts getting into the depths of specific games.