PRINT September 1995


James Brook and Iain Boal's Resisting the Virtual Life

The widespread popularity of computer-based games represents a fundamental and rampant confusion as to what constitutes pleasure.

—John Simmons, “Sade and Cyberspace,” Resisting the Virtual Life, 1995


Resisting the Virtual Life is a collection of essays critiquing the romantic corporate techno-juggernaut currently careening down the info hypeway. With The Gutenberg Elegies, by Sven Birkerts, and Silicon Snake Oil, by Clifford Stoll, it may constitute a full-fledged anticyber backlash. Resisting is the more important of these books, thanks to the essentially materialist, politically left view that most of the writers collected in it bring to the subject. The bulk of the articles here explode the high-tech rhetoric of empowerment and democratization with facts, figures, and historical analyses. As such, Resisting rarely gets as philosophically silly as Stoll and Birkerts

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