10-1 | Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America

Book Review

Cultural Code: Video Games and Latin America

Phillip Penix-Tadsen
Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016. Acknowledgments, notes, references, and index. 333 pp. $53.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780262034050

by Tom Apperley

First Paragraph:

Phillip Penix-Tadsen’s objective with Cultural Code is to “bring together the criti-cal vocabularies of game studies and Latin American cultural studies in order to offer the first synthetic theorization of the rela-tionship between video games and culture” (p. 1). In this regard, the book takes on a valuable perspective from George Yúdice, that to understand the relationship between video games and culture—both how video games use culture and how culture makes use of video games—are equally important. In addition to Yúdice, the book is influenced by well-known Latin American cultural studies scholars like Beatriz Sarlo, Néstor García Canclini, and Jesús Martín Barbero. The influence of Latin American cultural studies makes the intellectual framework for the book unique. It gives Penix-Tadsen’s analysis significance far beyond its regional boundaries.