Boss Fight is proud to present our first multi-author collection, Continue? The Boss Fight Books Anthology.
In these digital pages, Anna Anthropy celebrates her second favorite Epic MegaGames title, David LeGault offers a tour of the lost 80s Action Max console, and Mike Meginnis tells his Best American Short Stories-selected tale of a father and son who become obsessed with the saddest adventure game in the world.
The eBook collects a diverse survey of essays and short stories from Boss Fight series authors Michael P. Williams, Ken Baumann, Jon Irwin, and Darius Kazemi, as well newcomers Matt Bell, Tevis Thompson, Rebekah Frumkin, Brian Oliu, Salvatore Pane, Mike Lars White, and Rachel B. Glaser.
This book began as a bonus for Kickstarter backers and eventually ballooned into a full-length collection. Some of the pieces in here, like Rachel B. Glaser's short story, I've enjoyed for years. Anna Anthropy's essay began as a chapter in her ZZT book. Darius Kazemi's essay was the first thing I'd read by him, and was one of the things that made me interested in working with him in the first place. For me, the book was a terrific chance to throw out the rulebook on what a Boss Fight book is and simply publish some of the video game stories and essays I loved. – Gabe Durham
"The fact that the writers & editors approached this writing with such maturity, levity, and commitment to the medium & its aspects is what makes this a quality anthology. It truly embraces games as a medium rather than just a children's pastime. It shows the beauty, the horror, and the truth that video games have the power to unlock within our hearts & minds."– Matt Lewis
One of the tenets of Boss Fight Books: There's no right or wrong way to write about video games.
You can tell the story of how a game was made. You can tell the story of how a game was marketed and sold. You can show a game's influence on other games. You can show how players used a game in surprising ways the creators never intended. You can read a game critically as you would a book or film. You can narrate a playthrough. You can analyze mechanics. You can write for an imagined audience of game designers. Or superfans. Or lemurs. You can write a glorious takedown. You can write a feverish defense. You can discuss how a game's reception has changed over time. You can describe how a game lifted you up or tore you down. You can mine an obsession. You can use a game to typify a trend you're seeing in gaming. Or in culture. You can use the vocabulary of games as lenses through which to look at the world. You can conceive of your video game writing as pure criticism. Or as pure reportage. Or as art itself. Or as a big embarrassing love letter.
These are just examples. I list them not to define limits but to point to limitlessness. Games writing is a medium, an opportunity. As Darius Kazemi writes in "Fuck Video Games," "You can always drill down, and there will always be more to discover about a medium." As Ian Bogost writes in How to Do Things with Video Games, "We can understand the relevance of a medium by looking at the variety of things it does."
Well, here in this anthology are some ways to write about video games. While our main series emphasizes the patience of focusing on a single subject, this book leaps between subjects and styles as manically and gleefully as a Battletoads speedrun. And in another departure from our other books, this anthology includes some fiction, which opens up the experiment to even more possibilities. What these essays and stories have in common is only that I think they're great and wanted to share them with you. Beyond that, they're much different from one another in style, approach, and content. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Boss Fight Books