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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > November 2018 > Shock to the system

Shock to the system

Video games like the Bioshock series have much to teach us about our past, present, and future, writes

PERSONAL ESSAY

I HAD REBUFFED my six-year-old’s pleas to download Fortnite for roughly the 50th time on a rainy Sunday when he switched tactics and left me speechless. “But Mom, didn’t you help write a book about really violent video games? And isn’t it, like, a school book? So playing Fortnite is kind of like doing homework!” He’s right, of course. Not necessarily about the Fortnite homework – it’s nowhere I can see on the Grade 2 curriculum, at least not yet. But as co-editor (with Felan Parker) of the academic essay collection Beyond the Sea: Navigating Bioshock, I am a firm believer that video games have a lot to teach us about our past, present, and future. And as a series that spans a crucial decade within the games industry and the academic study of games, as well as an overwhelmingly volatile decade within our political climate, Bioshock provides a particularly useful lens through which to view video games’ ever-shifting and heavily debated social and cultural impact.

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