[Michael] Clune is out for something slightly different. “Gamelife” uses his memories of playing games as a lens through which to tell a literary coming-of-age story—a bildungsroman put forth in units of screen time. Tightly focussed on that evanescent period between the age of seven and early adolescence, the book’s chapters are each devoted to one of seven different computer games, which together form a sort of digital topography of Clune’s childhood. Unlike many other books and films on video games, the result is a true memoir rather than a veiled manifesto. There are no soaring paragraphs about, for example, how video games offered Clune redemption or purpose.


December 3, 2015