git: ‘gud’ is not a git command
As I am writing this on short notice, I decided to contribute something small, bereft of the literary referential signals expected by my New Yorker-tote-bag-armored contemporaries. Instead I present to you: a list of ten book recommendations, each of which will either inspire you or reveal my lack of experience, depending on your age and/or maturity and/or propensity for playing old video games. Amazon affiliate links not included.
These are in no particular order.
1. Walkaway, Cory Doctorow
Imagine a world where git is a physical reality. Yeah, I’m not sure I want to do that either. But Cory did (among other things, e.g. a post-scarcity society). Opinions may vary.
Bonus points: Makers.
2. Thrown, Kerry Howley
Actually, I found this belatedly via a recommendation from Frank Lantz. Sidenote: maybe we can all reignite the “formalist approach to game studies” debate.
3. The Aesthetic of Play, Brian Upton
If you study game design you’ve probably read this already. If not, it provides a general model for evaluating all kinds of media. If you study game design and you haven’t read this, why haven’t you read this?
4. Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
You already have Snow Crash, Anathem, and Diamond Age on your “maybe someday I will finally get around to it” readlist (and Big U on your “true fan” readlist), so why not pile on a more recent work?
5. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
Go grok the obligatory classic.
6. Animal Liberation, Peter Singer
If I had to pick one title from this list that clearly identifies me as a software developer, I would pick this book. What says “Groovy” more than the definitive classic of the animal movement?
7. The Peripheral, William Gibson
So, you read Neuromancer…
8. The Marriage, Rod Humble
“Hey, that’s not a book!”
If you enjoy The Marriage, you may also enjoy Ian Bogost’s A Slow Year. 侘び寂び anyone? (hey Kris L.)
9. A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick
Obligatory Classic: Return of the Obligatory Classic.
10. Against Everything, Mark Grief
For some, it is whimsical; for others: formative.
We all have our own vision of the future, but what I have found in the practical visionaries I respect the most is a fundamental belief that something is missing, and the inane impetus to create or proselytize a solution. This is only one little part of it, of course, but it is important. Maybe you will find a bit of it in the authors above.