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Why do video games matter? 20 books every player should read

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February 18, 2021 at 12:30PM

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Why do we play? How do games work? From games philosophy to sci-fi, here are 20 delightful and essential reads for gamers

At this stage in the pandemic, you may have started to question the amount of time you’re spending playing video games. Publishers have reported huge increases in the numbers of players on titles such as Call of Duty Warzone and Fifa 21, while Animal Crossing, launched in the first weeks of last year’s lockdown, has sold more than 30m copies, mostly on its seductive promise to bring friends together for tea parties on cute little islands.

Perhaps now, however, you want to spend some time away from games – but without abandoning them. Or maybe you want to find out why Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has such an unassailable grip on your attention. Either way, here are 20 books that tell us more about games, or are likely to be interesting to people who play them a lot. I own and love them all, and they will definitely make you feel better about putting 500 hours into Crusader Kings III.

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