This book was right on the edge of being interesting and useful for my research, but it didn't quite make it. Many of the chapters focused too much onThis book was right on the edge of being interesting and useful for my research, but it didn't quite make it. Many of the chapters focused too much on philosophical theory (Plato and Nietzsche were quoted or referenced on numerous occasions) and not enough on practical arguments. I did enjoy the chapter on disability, but it seemed to be a stand-alone piece of good work....more
As a sometimes goth, a major gamer, and a grrrl, the title of this book intrigued me, so I decided to read it. Ultimately, the book has disappointed mAs a sometimes goth, a major gamer, and a grrrl, the title of this book intrigued me, so I decided to read it. Ultimately, the book has disappointed me immensely. I started with the chapter titled, "Gamers, Hackers, and Facebook -- Computer Cultures, Virtual Community, and Postmodern Identity." I feel as though the author did the most minimal amount of research possible for this chapter, and many simple mistakes are obvious to anyone who has personal knowledge of any of the too-many subjects presented therein. For instance, the author lists Nintendo and Wii as being independent of each other. Though "gamers" are listed as a major part of the subject matter in the title of this book, the only chapter that covers them is mainly about hackers and computers/technology in general, and the author admits that the hacker community is predominately male, then presents little discussion of female roles in said community. The book is simplistically written, as though for laymen, and dumbs down every topic it covers (making it even too simple for the average layman). Also, a lot of the sources that are researched seem extremely dated, even though this book was published within the last five years. The author references MySpace as a popular social platform, and anyone with a regular internet connection knows that MySpace is long dead. The author also makes very tenuous connections, like in one chapter where the Riot Grrrl movement is somehow tied to fan fiction.
Basically, most of the text in this book is just telling me extremely basic things that I already know. Perhaps some of the information is unknown to people outside of the sub-cultures that I personally inhabit, but a lot of the information presented seems to be readily apparent to most people.
Plus, the book contains and discusses in detail the ever-prevalent negative media hype that unwittingly goes hand-in-hand with any misunderstood sub-culture. I feel like I've heard enough about the goth scene "causing" murders and suicides -- I didn't really need a reminder of all of that negative hype....more
Wow. That wasn't a good wow. This book is poorly written, poorly researched, and the author shows no shame in his conceit regarding both himself and tWow. That wasn't a good wow. This book is poorly written, poorly researched, and the author shows no shame in his conceit regarding both himself and the company that he worked for. Now, I'll be honest -- I didn't pick up this book because I was interested in business advice. That was my mistake. I picked up the book because I write about video games and I thought this might provide some interesting insight into the mind of one of the creators of the X-Box. But the author's tendency to ramble (usually about himself) and his frequent use of incorrect and un-cited quotations became irritating pretty quickly. Again, however, in the name of honesty: because of these annoyances I didn't end up reading very much of the book. I skimmed it. It's just not the book for me. Maybe it will be useful for someone who reads it for its intended purpose....more
Evan Skolnick, writer for a number of games with interesting variety such as Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, Over the Hedge, and Spider-Man 3 (the surprisingly better of the three Tobey Maguire-based Spider-Man games), has finally written a book that should have been brought to the public long ago: an honest guide to writing good stories in video games. Skolnick teaches the basics of storytelling, something that a veteran creative writing student would already know, but that a member of a video game development team may have yet to learn. He stresses that all members of the development team are responsible for creating an engaging story, and thus should have a basic understanding of how a story is created. Though I personally have learned many of the important techniques and terms that Skolnick presents to his audience through creative writing classes and my own personal study of the subject, someone who is not an English major and writer like myself would likely be unfamiliar with the concepts. And that is exactly the audience that Skolnick is looking for: those game developers, programmers, or even artists who have important roles in the creation of a game and thus should be familiar with the narrative writing process. In other words, Skolnick sets out to cure the creative writing illiteracy of the average game creator-to-be in the hopes of providing the world with more advanced and engaging narrative video games. Skolnick uses a number of examples throughout his book through which to demonstrate various storytelling techniques. He does fall back on Star Wars as an example many times because a) a large majority of the population has seen at least the original trilogy and b) the series is well known as being a prime example of "The Hero's Journey," one of the most basic and well known plot structures in existence. Skolnick doesn't only use film examples, however: he also gives many wonderfully detailed examples from popular video games and books. Another nice thing about Skolnick's work is that the writing is not too technical, nor is it condescendingly simple. The text is legitimately enjoyable to read. I even found myself re-learning old knowledge through a new lens, which I found helpful and fascinating. This book seems like something that anyone interested in writing or in video games would benefit from. I feel that Skolnick's book is a leap forward towards public understanding that video games can be literature, and often are. The next time I hear an argument against video games and their impact on society, I intend to direct the cynic to Skolnick's book.
NOTE: I received a free review copy of this book from BloggingForBooks.org. This in no way means that I have falsified my review -- had the book been garbage, I would certainly have let everyone know....more
I can't wait to read the actual book. This audio book was fun and full of awesome extras, but I feel like I will probably have a whole different experI can't wait to read the actual book. This audio book was fun and full of awesome extras, but I feel like I will probably have a whole different experience when I read it. This was definitely one of the best autobuigraphy/memoirs I've yet read, though. Fey is just like us... but maybe better. She doesn't have any lurid scenes of sex and violence (and she warns us of this lack before the book begins), but I'm okay with that. I like reading about someone who's rather normal and sane every once in a while....more
Yes, I read all of the negative reviews at the top of this book's page on Goodreads. I still loved it. I think the book's failing is entirely in its tYes, I read all of the negative reviews at the top of this book's page on Goodreads. I still loved it. I think the book's failing is entirely in its title. People go into it thinking that it will be an instructional book that will tell them how to be a woman, when really it's a memoir, telling us about the author's life, with a lot of opinions added throughout. And don't forget -- that's all they are and all they ever claimed to be: opinions. The author is merely expressing the way SHE believes is the best way to live HER life, and she is passing these ideas along to anyone who will listen in the hopes that she can help someone who is questioning how to live her own life.
Now, I did read the American publication of this book. I read in some of the reviews that there were some politically incorrect terms used, and I saw the places where some of them should have been, but they seem to have been edited out in this version of the book. My opinion about her political incorrectness is that we should take it with a grain of salt. She's human and humans make mistakes. It hasn't become widely known that words like "retarded" are considered offensive, and she may have grown up using that word, thus her use of it in her writing. Lots of "great" writers who have great ideas to present have made some really offensive statements in the past. I feel that Moran's politically incorrect statements are problematic, but not enough so that we should disregard the entire book.
Though I usually have strict personal guidelines for grammar, spelling, and such, I actually found myself okay with Moran's very casual writing style. She did use an awful lot of capitalization, but that just felt like it gave insight into her excitable personality. I also liked the format she used in her chapters. She would begin each chapter by telling us something about her experience with , and then she would tell us her personal opinions about said problems or aspects of female society. Examples include bras, body hair, periods, strip clubs, childbirth, etc. By formatting her chapters in this way, readers are able to see context for her opinions.
In the end, I feel that whether you agree or disagree with Moran's opinions, it was good for her to get those opinions out there in print just in case they helped a few women who were lost and didn't know how to feel about themselves or society. Or even if they didn't help anyone at all (which I doubt), at least Moran added some interesting points to the discourse about the female gender and its treatment in society.
Now, if only she knew Amanda Palmer instead of Lady Gaga. That would have made for a much more interesting chapter about women in entertainment....more
Before I review this book, you should know two things: I am working on my Master's Degree in English, and I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyaBefore I review this book, you should know two things: I am working on my Master's Degree in English, and I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
From an academic standpoint, this book is TERRIBLE. It's 30 pages long -- no more than a lengthy essay, really. The book has apparently not been edited at all. A quick google search of the publisher reveals that this book was published by a self-publishing company (whatever that means). If the author didn't repeat herself so often the book would be much, much smaller than 30 pages. It's frustrating -- let's leave it at that.
That said, I was able to finish this book because, as a fibro sufferer, I could relate to some of the things she said. For that reason, I would actually recommend this book to someone who wishes to know more about what it is like to have fibromyalgia, though I would give them a good disclaimer about the lack of editing. Unfortunately, there aren't many books about fibromyalgia out there yet, so this will have to do for now....more
I am currently being treated for Fybromyalgia, and when I began the treatment I went to Amazon to find some good books to read on the subject. This waI am currently being treated for Fybromyalgia, and when I began the treatment I went to Amazon to find some good books to read on the subject. This was one of the more highly recommended books, so I picked up a copy. The book is true to its title -- it gives you the basic, essential things that you need to know about your condition, as well as tips and suggested coping mechanisms. I was especially interested in the diet section. Being a vegetarian, it was surprising to me to see that eggplant can, for some people, be a pain trigger.
This is a small book, but I thought it was very helpful regardless, and its compact size makes it easy to carry it in my purse when I go to doctor's appointments....more