Gamelife

Gamelife

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-53638-1

A Memoir

Michael W. Clune

“Beyond the brilliant observations that seem to pop up on every page, the scenes of Clune’s childhood make for equally compelling reading, dramatically rendered as they are in rich novelistic prose.”—Christopher Urban, The Millions

You have been awakened. Floppy disk inserted, computer turned on, a whirring, and then this sentence, followed by a blinking cursor. So begins Suspended, the first computer game to obsess seven-year-old Michael, to worm into his head and change his sense of reality. Thirty years later he will write: “Computer games have taught me the things you can’t learn from people.” Gamelife is the memoir of a childhood transformed by technology. Afternoons spent gazing at pixelated maps and mazes train Michael’s eyes for the uncanny side of 1980s suburban Illinois. A game about pirates yields clues to the drama of cafeteria politics and locker-room hazing. And in the year of his parents’ divorce, a spaceflight simulator opens a hole in reality. In telling the story of his youth through seven computer games, Michael W. Clune captures the part of childhood we live alone.

© Lauren Voss

Michael W. Clune is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of the memoir White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin and of two scholarly books, American Literature in the Free Market and Writing Against Time.


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