Living a thousand lives: Lorenzo Fantoni talks about video games - Review

Living a thousand lives: Lorenzo Fantoni talks about video games - Review

Living a thousand lives. When reading the title of Lorenzo Fantoni's book dedicated to the history of video games, it is difficult not to rethink a thought expressed by Umberto Ec or about reading:

"Whoever does not read, at 70 years old will have lived only one life: one's own. Who reads will have lived 5000 years ”

The concept expressed by Eco referred to reading, but this principle could also be applied to the world of video games. On the other hand, if we talk about narrative, understood as an experience of personal enrichment, it cannot be denied that the world of videogame entertainment has offered and continues to offer the possibility of living other lives to those who approach these universes in pixels. .

Living a thousand lives, Lorenzo Fantoni guides us in the evolution of the world of video games

A difficult concept to share with those who still do not struggle to see a form of modern narrative interaction in video games, with a dignity equal to that of other declinations of the world of entertainment, such as literature, cinema or comics. On the other hand, as Fantoni himself rightly says in the introduction of Living a thousand lives:

“Telling them to those who do not live them is a complex experiment, above all because many are represented only by their oldest examples or by image of thousands of children who instead of studying, playing football in the streets or reading 'a good book' spend their days playing Fortnite "

Enclosed in this thought we find the main obstacle that a book like Living a Thousand Lives has to face, that is a prejudice rooted in the common thought that video games are evil, an obstacle to the healthy growth of teenagers. And it does not matter that videogame entertainment is now an intergenerational factor, as demonstrated by documentaries such as High Score, even today the adventures in pixels bring with them an experience of prejudice and demonization that does not take long to emerge at the first opportunity.

An attitude that Fantoni knows well. He made his profession of his passion as a gamer, becoming one of the main communicators of the world of videogames and its branches, from the printed word to the television context. Living a thousand lives is another step on this path, which is intertwined with his personal experience. An aspect not to be overlooked, given that it is the basis not only of the volume published by Effequ but of Lorenzo's life as a gamer.

Family history of video games is not only the subtitle of Living a thousand lives, but it is the key reading of Fantoni's book. Anyone who knows Lorenzo, even if only virtually on social media, is well aware that for the author of this volume there is a strong intense emotional experience within the pages, which is intertwined with the dissemination purpose. It is not easy to find a balance between the journalist's instinct and the desire to share their experiences with other enthusiasts, yet the journalist Fantoni manages to bring out with the right spaces Lorenzo, the video game enthusiast who wandered through the arcades of the Florence in the 80s in search of a digital adventure, at the price of a token.

Disclosure and personal experience

This is the charm of Living a thousand lives, knowing how to tell evolution of video games from a scientific and technological point of view alternating it with the emotional growth and awareness of those who in these alternative worlds have experienced different experiences, of those who have lived the thousand lives to which the title refers. Starting a path that was born with the first electronic games in the first half of the 1900s, we come to our days, in a parallel between science and the diffusion of the videogame entertainment market that it is impossible not to feel like a common territory between author and readers. br>
Reading Living a thousand lives is an experience that can certainly be more enjoyable by those who have personally experienced the events and titles quoted by Fantoni. Knowing who could potentially read his book, Fantoni set up his volume as a sort of game book, a crossroads that did not make linear reading mandatory, but that offered each player the opportunity to decide their own journey through the history of videogames. .

Player not reader, because with this interesting choice Lorenzo invites us to play with his reconstruction of the history of video games, as if we were in an old-fashioned graphic adventure in which our choices guide us along a common story , but that it was also ours. One of the many thousand lives, so to speak.

A story, different paths

A diversity of approaches that Fantoni recommends at the beginning of Living a thousand lives, without forgetting readers who have not a past as a gamer. For them, the vanilla reading is foreseen, i.e. the linear one typical of a book, referring to a computer term referring to those software without customization and faithful to the original form of their conception, a name derived from vanilla ice cream, the most widespread and less 'custom'. If you are crazy about these little insights, Living a thousand lives is the ideal book for you, considered as between a historical reference and a personal memory, Lorenzo shares with us anecdotes and terminology on the history of video games, revealing some easter eggs that even the most passionate gamers may not know.

When you start reading Living a Thousand Lives, we have in our hands the book by Lorenzo Fantoni, journalist and popularizer, but in short we pass to the feeling of being seated at a table in an arcade with Lorenzo, an old friend with whom to share memories and anecdotes of the common passion for videogames. The emotional key with which Lorenzo welcomes us not only in the world of video games but in his passion is engaging, it creates an empathic bond with the reader, a common background that makes the experience with Vivere mille vite unmissable and exciting.

While presenting some small typos escaped during the review, Living a Thousand Lives is a volume that cannot be missing in the library of an avid gamer and of those who want to discover in a different and exciting way what is hidden in the world of pixels. A fascinating and exciting journey made such by the honesty and transparency with which Lorenzo welcomes us into his passion, opening up to us as one would do with friends.

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