Fun Inc: why games are the 21st century's most serious business

Prospect's arts and books editor has written the definitive book of 2010 on the global videogames phenomenon
January 13, 2010

People make many assumptions about videogames; only teenage boys play them, they increase anti-social behaviour and they tend to be violent. Fun Inc. dispels these misconceptions, revealing that 40 per cent of all videogame players are women, that most of the bestselling console games of all time involve no real-world violence, and that World of Warcraft's online community of over 12m players is changing our understanding of what it means to be sociable. Find out why the South Korean government will invest $200bn into its videogames industry over the next 4 years and how games are used to train the US military, to model global pandemics and to campaign against human rights abuses. Game worlds promise to transform our understanding of economics, business and communications. Whether you like videogames or loathe them, Fun Inc. will show you that you cannot ignore them. Over 30% off cover price! To buy the UK print edition of Fun Inc. on Amazon now, click here. Or, to buy the UK Kindle edition, click here. Readers in the US can buy the US Kindle edition of the book now; UK readers can also buy the e-reader version. The US hardback edition will be published by Pegasus in November 2010. To read a free preview, click here to access the Random House online reader.

"As I know to my cost, people with an interest in games are often asked to rebut the same old criticisms... Chatfield's approach to these issues in particular is sparkingly intelligent and nuanced. As he rightly points out, "the best games are a trigger for discussion, reading and writing – not an end to it"."- Steven Poole, The Guardian"A lively, thought-provoking and thoughtful read on an entertainment juggernaut many of us have failed to properly recognise. A good book, too, for parents, who might feel far more comfortably informed about a sector that can come across as—literally—an alien world their kids inhabit." - The Irish Times"A detailed and engaging analysis on an increasingly influential medium. Even non-gamers may find themselves seduced." - Esquire"Tom Chatfield's Fun Inc. is the most elegant and comprehensive defence of the status of computer games in our culture I have read... as Fun Inc. elegantly explains, computer game-playing has a very strong claim to be one of the most vital test-beds for intellectual enquiry." - The Independent"Tom Chatfield's absorbing new book about the gaming industry is to be welcomed... this book will make a thought-provoking read for those already won over to the delights of computer games, and an even more important introduction to them for those who remain sceptical."- The Observer"In exploring the potential of the medium, Chatfield covers much territory, briskly and with intent... His conclusion on what the future could hold is in equal parts daunting and lip-smacking. It should be read by gamers and non-gamers alike." - Time OutTom has also written widely on games, technology, media and arts for Prospect:. Almost all his work for the magazine is free to read online here, while his other writing for publications including the Observer, Sunday Times, TLS and New Statesman can be read on his own website.