Just one more maudlin anecdote.
For a while, I didn’t think I could make anything creative. I didn’t have any interest in writing about love, death, or any cliché. I wasn’t even sure if I was smart enough to comment on media like Ian Bogost does. Unfortunately, this was not a standard I came up with on my own. It was reinforced in school activities and everyday speech. When I was in tenth grade, my literature teacher told his students that no one in high school should write poetry because we, as teenagers, know nothing. Opinions like it came from multiple sources, so I never created; I never even tried.
That’s where Anna Anthropy comes in. Her book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form is what every gamer needs to hear. Whether you like it or not, all gamers are partakers in this art form. Video games are the only medium that requires participation. Anthropy takes that a step further to say that being a participant alone isn’t enough to make the gaming experience great. She has a unique and personal perspective throughout her book. It’s written in the first person, and many of her examples are of games where she knows the creators and can somewhat speak on their behalf. Although she claims that this book is not a how-to guide for game development, she does offer many useful tools and advice for creating your first game.