Can you study a video game too much?

Nate Garrelts has a new book out called Meaning And Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays .  I have not read the book, but I will admit that it looks intriguing.  I’ve looked into ordering it for our library, and it’s on my Amazon Wish List as well.  However, I do question how much you can read into a video game.  TechDigest has doubts as well.  One example is quoted in Top 10 things you never knew about Grand Theft Auto (because you’re not brainy enough):

“Edges are employed to define geographical, social, and aesthetic boundaries, and within the overall ludic framework of the game’s magic circle, the city’s aesthetic and psychological edges also come to signify various ways of understanding play spaces in relation to the city. The idea of space as ludic depends in this sense both on the spatial properties outlined by game play as well as the created sense of enclosures…”
– from ‘Cruising in San Andreas: Ludic Space and Urban Aesthetics in Grand Theft Auto’ essay by Zach Whalen.

Does this make you want to play the game? I wonder how much fun the authors had while playing the games, or if they had any fun at all.

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