I'm currently buried neck-deep in reading for my MA thesis on Gertrude Stein, but I'm starting to get really excited about being free to read anything I want this summer, and at the top of my list is fellow MSU and East Lansing lit mag alum Tom Bissell's upcoming book on video games Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter.
Beyond being a fan of Bissell in general, I've had a few tastes of his game writing in The New Yorker and The Guardian, as well as his writing at crispygamer.com. As someone who recently dragged myself through the original Final Fantasy, just to be able to say that I'd beaten it, I particularly enjoyed his piece on game difficulty and the downright sadistic although not entirely unenjoyable design of Demon Souls.
Final Fantasy XIII is sitting on my shelf, waiting for the thesis to be done, and I hope to use it and Mr. Bissell's book as a way to start talking about some of my own thoughts on games, narrative, and the way that I stopped reading sci-fi novels after playing Final Fantasy X. (Don't worry, a grad class, believe it or not, got me started again.)
So the point of all this is, if anyone wants to send me an advance copy, I promise to write a review. :-)