Book Review: Neoludica Art and Videogames 1966-2011

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Neoludica is an Italian exhibition on art and video games, held in conjunction with the 54th International Art Exhibition-Venice Biennale. They have a facebook page and blog but they are all written in Italian.

This is the companion book for the exhibition. 256-page paperback about A5 size. It collects 30 essays from 33 artists discussing the relationship between visual art and video games.

I only managed to finish reading two essays before I gave up. I can't even describe what the first essay The Italians Do It Better!! is about except that it's got something to do with the purpose of having a video game art exhibition. It's written in an academic style that I don't think any gamer will understand or appreciate.

Take this passage for describing digital architecture in a later chapter:

The heritage cyber-architecture derived from deconstructionism, other than the splitting up of the pair architecture/habitation, consists in the possibility of broadening the idea of "form" in the direction of parametric non-Euclidean fluid geometrics, a thing that as not happened yet in video games.

It's like that for all the essays. No gamer I know talks like that.

The pictures in the book are of photos with context that's difficult to associate with, video game screenshots and art inspired by video games (the abstraction of fan art). Photos of people playing with computer/console cables? Seriously? I would rather see pictures of how the cables have evolved. And they do not even show the many games that have undisputed good or iconic art.

I regret buying this book based on the book title which has the words art and videogames, and video games should be two words by the way.

I'm not sure who the audience is for this type of book, certainly not for gamers who actually play video games.

Neoludica Art and Videogames 1966-2011 is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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6 Comments

first comment in your blog,

first comment in your blog, following you since a lot of time...
this is very embarassing for me, because here in Italy we don't have a videogame industry, it's not something "worth investing for". then these books came out and all these people who don't care for this subject speak about it as they do with anything: with a sofisticated use of words that make you feels like they-are-very-smart-and-they-know-what-they're talking-about.and-you-just-don't.
It's sick. And it's sad, because people like me, who wanted to apply in videogame or movie art departments, don't have neither university where to study these subjects nor a work to find, so we can just go outside the country. the concept artist here just don't exist as a job.

Oh your blog it's really fantastic, thank you very much for inspiring me (and a lot of people) with every arcticle you write!

I just bought this book, and

I just bought this book, and I can say its hard to understand for a gamer, but I think this book is not intended for them, instead its really enjoyable if you are studying Arts and want to know some examples on how the industry of videogames has influence over contemporary artistic expressions.

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