Ever get the feeling that life's a game with changing rules and clear sides, one you are compelled to play yet cant win? Welcome to gamespace. Gamespace is where and how we live today. It is everywhere and where: the main chance, the best shot, the big leagues, the only game in town. In a world thus configured, McKenzie Wark contends, digital computer games are the emergent cultural form of the times. Where others argue obsessively over violence in games, Wark approaches them as a utopian version of the world in which we actually live. Playing against the machine on a game console, we enjoy the only truly level playing field - where we get ahead on our strengths or t at all. Gamer Theory uncovers the significance of games in the gap between the near-perfection of actual games and the highly imperfect gamespace of everyday life in the rat race of free-market society. The book depicts a world becoming an inescapable series of less and less perfect games. This world gives rise to a new persona. In place of the subject or citizen stands the gamer. As all previous such personae had their breviaries and manuals, Gamer Theory seeks to offer guidance for thinking within this new character. Neither a strategy guide r a cheat sheet for improving one's score or skills, the book is instead a primer in thinking about a world made over as a gamespace, recast as an imperfect copy of the game.
McKenzie Wark is Associate Professor of Cultural and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College and The New School for Social Research. He is the author of several books, most recently Dispositions.