Steven Poole, a journalist from the UK, is someones whos insight into games has always intrigued me. I used to be a regular reader of Edge magazine, a UK gaming journal that catered for the more mature gamer. Edge tended to steer away from the childish stereotypes and over the top-ness of many gaming magazines, instead they tended to have more insightful features and reviews, never fearing to be honest – in a critical way. Occasionally they were rather too opinionated but it was a good read and one of my favourite parts was Steven Pooles column, one page a month dedicated to his thoughts.
Trigger Happy, originally published in 2000 with the subtitle “The Inner Life of Videogames”, is a book about the aesthetics of videogames: what they share with other artforms, and the ways in which they are unique. I also presented a BBC TV documentary entitled Trigger Happy: The Invincible Rise of The Video Game (I did object that a rise could not be invincible, but in vain) in 2004. For five years I also wrote a monthly column of the same title in the industry’s critical Bible, Edge magazine.
Stevens Edge Trigger Happy columns have been available on his website for some time now, and yesterday he released his book, to download, for free, to go along with them.
He says the book may not be free forever so head over and grab it while you can. If you’re a fan of video games and using long words then it’s a must read.