Bogost, "Persuasive Games"

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    Bogost's book was a difficult read for me personally, but I feel as though I gained a lot through this book. He does a good job of providing a generous amount of information as well as a wide variety of examples. He splits the book into three sections; politics, advertising, and learning. Prior to his section on politics he speaks about rhetoric. I enjoyed the section on visual rhetoric, which talked about the the manipulation of pictures to evoke a certain attitude towards the reader.
    In the politics section Bogost talks about the failures he encountered in his endeavor to create a political game that would involve gamers in the political community. He talks about his game the Howard Dean Game for Iowa, which receives a negative review. The game failed to create any sort of interesting deviation from other candidates, and so it was no an effective tool in promoting Howard Dean or his ideas.
    The advertising section of the book was by far the most interesting in my opinion. The example of the Kool Aid game was a look at how companies used games to, for lack of a better word, exploit children to sell their product. Children needed to collect 125 proofs-of-purchase, which when we consider the amount of sugar needed to make 125 pitchers of Kool-Aid at 65 pounds, it makes me wonder if thats a healthy type of advertising.
    The learning section of the book was also a very interesting part of the book. I especially enjoyed Bogost's discussion of Animal Crossing. The game occurs in real time, which coincides with the the users system time. Its the type of game that encourages family to explore the game together, but also teaches certain values. One particular task that the game provides is paying off the mortgage of your house. Learning to earn and save so that you can make payments is a skill that will most definitely be useful to children later in life.
    Overall I think that while I had difficulties at times with this book it really presented me with some new perspectives on the gaming industry. It was definitely clear that games can be used for beneficial purposes such as education and, when done correctly, informing citizens on politics. Games also have a negative appeal as well, with advertising that can be considered questionable.

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