Porn & Pong 

Or, Why Lara Croft Has a Vagina

book3-570x300.jpg

I'm pretty qualified to wear the label of "gamer." Not because I have a collection of games that would rival the shoe collection of a certain Filipina politico and not because I've gotten trashed in a dive bar with the guys who made Halo. No, I'm a gamer because while reading Damon Brown's Porn & Pong, a book on the sociosexual influences games have on our society, I found myself nitpicking the details.

Here I'd thought Brown's "smart prostitute management" portion of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a feature entirely fabricated by the media. At least it was when I spent 50 hours with the game. And at what point in The Sims did I have to find a broom closet to retrieve a mop to clean up a water spot my virtual miscreant left on the floor? If it helps you, feel free to imagine all these gripes as high-pitched, nasal, and incredibly annoying.

I'm the first to admit that all of the above issues are really quite inconsequential in the larger scope, but they also reveal one of the bigger question marks I still have about Porn & Pong: Who exactly is this book written for?

On the one hand, Brown does an excellent job of covering the admittedly short history of the medium while making it relatable for anyone, regardless of their experience with a joystick. I could easily hand this off to my mom and after a few hours she'd have a much greater understanding of why exactly people pay me cash money every few weeks.

On the other hand, I have no idea why the hell my mom would ever want to read this book. Maybe someone who already enjoys videogames would like to know more about why Lara Croft has a vagina, but I get the feeling that anyone with an interest in complementing their gameplay experience with this sort of background info would have already picked it up from any of the dozens of other sources in which it has appeared over the last two decades.

Nothing Brown presents in Porn & Pong is going to be a huge revelation if you're already mired in gamer culture, and I just can't see the average person choosing the book over Stephenie Meyer's sparkly vampires.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

  • Girls

    New memoirs from Elissa Washuta and Lena Dunham explore young women, the body, and mental illness.
  • Come Closer

    Groundbreaking poet Rae Armantrout brings her lyrical writing to Portland.
  • More »

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy