Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter

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Penguin, 2006 - Psychology - 254 pages
18 Reviews
The $10 billion video gaming industry is now the second-largest segment of the entertainment industry in the United States, outstripping film and far surpassing books. Reality television shows featuring silicone-stuffed CEO wannabes and bug-eating adrenaline junkies dominate the ratings. But prominent social and cultural critic Steven Johnson argues that our popular culture has never been smarter. Drawing from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and literary theory, the author argues that the junk culture we're so eager to dismiss is in fact making us more intelligent. A video game will never be a book nor should it aspire to be-and, in fact, video games, from Tetris to the Sims to Grand Theft Auto, have been shown to raise IQ scores and develop cognitive abilities that can't be learned from books. Likewise, successful television, when examined closely and taken seriously, reveals surprising narrative sophistication and intellectual demands. This book is a hopeful and spirited account of contemporary culture. The author demonstrates that our culture is not declining but changing-in exciting and stimulating ways we'd do well to understand. The glow of the video game or television screen will never be regarded the same way again.

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It is the most boring book that I have ever read in my love. It literally brought me to tears knowing that I had to read it for school and yet it was just soooooo boring. It amazes me how he knows so much about how game makers captivate our minds and how he wonders how we are so much more eager by games than books! His book is a prime reason why I am so much more interested in games than books. Maybe he himself should have taken notes on the game makers ways so that his book wouldn't have been so time wasting. 

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superficial and circumstantial arguments. but interesting concepts


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About the author (2006)

Steven Johnson is the author of seven bestsellers, including Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator s Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites most recently, outside.in and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.

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