book review

More Than A Game, The Computer Game As Fictional Form

Barry Atkins (2003)

Barry Atkins is Lecturer in English who has taken an interest in computer games. In this work he examines the way these works construct stories. Atkins hopes to justify that "the Tomb Raider series is a representative, however primitive, of a new fictional form" by showing that it can be 'read' as "self-conscious fiction in which serious play is made not just in game terms, but in terms that literary critics would recognise play with the possibilities and limitations of storytelling” (30). His work focusses on four games. Apart from Tomb Raider these are Half-Life, Close Combat and SimCity. Taking these games he does cover a broad perspective of gaming ranging from the adventure genre, through the first-person shooter to the strategical and management game.