Full Free Digital Version Of Jim’s Book

I have to admit that I am still a bit of a sucker for reading things made out of paper, but I routinely wish that Ctrl+F worked on them. It’s a good argument for having digitized, searchable versions of books on the web. I gave permission for that to happen to This Gaming Life a long time ago, and I’ve just discovered that it has now been uploaded to the net.

It’s a book about the relationship between gamers and the games they play, and it’s a book dominated by experiences with PC games. You’d like it. You can still buy those beautifully papery versions here in the US and here in Europe.


  1. BooleanBob says:

    Paperback please Jim!

    I hate reading things on a screen, and I also want to give you some of my money.

    However unfeasible it may be, I demand it and therefore you must supply it!

    That’s how capitalism works, yes?

  2. Ian says:

    I really need to get around to buying This Gaming Life, but the pile of books I have yet to read is on the very cusp of taking over the world at the moment.

  3. iamseb says:

    Marvellous news. More authors should do this.

    Also the paperback has one of my favourite covers on my bookshelf. Who came up with it?

  4. Starcide says:

    Like what Kieron said about Replay… it’s pretty safe to say, if you like to read RPS, then you will like to read this book!

  5. Tei says:

    Sea of … Pirates.

  6. Web Cole says:

    Anyone interested in buying this I found it be a turribly intriguing and unique read. Highly recommend it :)

  7. Mungrul says:

    Woohoo, cheers Jim, I remember firing off a mail to you about this a while back to which you kindly responded.
    Thanks again, I’ll pick it up immediately :)

    • Mungrul says:

      Ah, got ahead of myself there.
      Still no ebook version that I can slap some cash down on?

  8. mlaskus says:

    Hah, you started with a quote from Vonnegut, I like it already.

  9. Decimae says:

    In my experience, gamers are rarely bored when they have access to their hobby.

    Strangely enough, this doesn’t apply to me. I’m terribly bored when I’m gaming, but just a little bit less then when I’m not. I do consider myself a gamer, though I don’t want to be one anymore. Perhaps it’s that what causes this.

    But still a great book, gives me a bit more insight in myself.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I know plenty of ex-gamers. Usually because of a change in personal priorities.

    • Richard Beer says:

      Yes, damn those personal priorities! I could not imagine being without my hardcore gaming PC a few years ago, but now that myself and m’fiancee are living in a small flat while looking to buy a big one, my PC is in storage because it’s too big and ‘non-essential’. How times change.

    • Decimae says:

      True. I do have a change in personal priorities recently. The only problem is, I’m not an ex-gamer yet, though I’ve been wanting to become one for at least half a year already. I still spend about all my time on the net, mostly playing games or reading about them, while I’d rather spend it somewhere else, like reading a book or something, or doing maths or physics. Those are all within my reach, I just can’t get myself to do them(the only thing I managed to do with them recently was a competition).

      But I’m not addicted. If I’m gone from the net, on holiday, I’m fine and I rarely think about it or I’d like to go do something with the PC.

      At least you’re giving me an excuse to reading a book, thank you. It’s a good one, too.

    • Clovis says:

      I’m often shocked at how bored non-gamers are. I have a friend who lives with us. She’ll just stare at the TV and fall asleep on a regular basis.

      I don’t know about y’all, but I even find “sleeping in” to be a weird concept. Why sleep in when you can do something interesting? That doesn’t have to be gaming obviously, but there has to be something better sleeping.

    • dancingcrab says:


      “I’m often shocked at how bored non-gamers are. I have a friend who lives with us. She’ll just stare at the TV and fall asleep on a regular basis.”

      What a wonderful quote.

    • DMJ says:

      This book is the perfect implement for showing non-gamers what it means to be a gamer.

      Failing that, the hardback can be used to beat some sense into their silly skulls.

    • DMJ says:

      And LO, the Reply Gods sometimes choose to SMITE the unbeliever by disregarding the “Click here to cancel reply” button.

    • RedFred says:


      Don’t drink much huh? Sleeping in is the cure to the common hangover.

  10. Down Rodeo says:

    Must finish this book! I bought it when it came out in hardback, that was… how long ago? I swear, I’ve read most of it! :p

  11. Dextro says:

    No proper EBook version for me to load on my kindle? shame… :(

  12. Dubbill says:

    I bought the papery edition last week and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.

  13. Jerricho says:

    I got the hardback edition quite some time ago. I can vouch for its value as entertaining reading material.

    Btw, I partciluarly like that Sim City is the capital of PC land.

  14. ezuz says:

    Wow I’m just now figuring out that you wrote that book (Yeah I know the names should have given it away but I didn’t put 2 and 2 together).

    Bought the paper version a couple of years back and absolutely loved it. Would recommend it to all who either create video games, play video games or create software even. I know I do and realizing the different stages and types of gaming societies in the world is something every developer needs to do if he/she wants to be successful in marketing the product correctly.

  15. RiptoR says:

    Help me decide: hardcover or paperback?

  16. KikiJiki says:

    Having finished it mere days ago, I must say it’s a pretty damn good read, much kudos to you Jim.

    I was going to ask if there was a ‘preferred’ way of grabbing it on ebook, but it appears that aside from this version (which isn’t really an ebook) the only choice seems to be Kindle, which I thought was a tad overpriced, I believe it cost me something in the region of $22-24.

    Still, well worth the money paid. If you haven’t read it you should do so!

  17. Qeyleb says:

    Awesome. I also saw this in stores but only now realised the name connection — that that Jim is THIS Jim.

    Is there a bigger ‘full’ version of that map available anywhere? Or is what we see on the cover all that was made?

    • ezuz says:

      Oh yes please I’d love to have that map as my wallpaper

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I dunno actually. I guess I can try and get hold of it.

    • Luckylad says:

      I also would love to have that as a wallpaper preferably in something that can fit a screen resolution of
      1440×900 pixels
      I know its not common and it makes finding wallpapers around that size all the more unpleasant

    • ezuz says:


      You can find all kinds of wallpapers in all sizes

    • ezuz says:

      And that was a failed reply. Here

    • ezuz says:

      Or you could use this wallpaper search engine that I just found.

  18. RiptoR says:

    Might get them both, and give the one I like least to a close friend of mine :)

  19. CTRL-ALT-DESTROY says:

    I’ve just spent an hour and a half reading black words against a bright white background in a dark room and I don’t think my eyes will ever recover. My god it hurts. Curse you Rossignol!

  20. Tom says:

    Is there an ePub version for reading on iDevices available to purchase anywhere?

  21. pupsikaso says:

    Wait this is the whole book, for free? Can I buy this digitized version? It doesn’t seem right to be able to read it for free like that…

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Buy the paperback version if you like. Give it to someone. Use the digi version at your leisure.

    • _Nocturnal says:

      I love that. I will gladly buy paperback copies for myself and gifting purposes as soon as I have enough money. But the sheer convenience of being able to start reading now is just awesome. Kinda reminds me of these guys‘ idea. All the best, Jim!

  22. AtkinsSJ says:

    Not sure how my brain works, but seeing that you’d released it for free finally made me buy the paperback.

    • melzidek says:

      I also had been planning to buy this for a while, but wasn’t actually prompted to until this point. It being available for free makes us want to pay money! (this has to make sense on some level)

  23. Tei says:

    I will download and read it.

    I don’t buy much book, since I have a billions at home, at a point, you don’t have enough space for more books. And thats the problem with books: take too much space. If you have ever moved to another city or country, you know books are like black holes, his mass is superior to a galactic core. The gravity force that books suffer, is unrealistic.
    And if you suffer a home-disater, like a flooding, then you have stinky books that look like chewed by tchulu, and smell weird, and are the house for strange insects.

    So the problem with books, is that you buy a lot, and take over your home, to a point where you need two homes, one for your books, and another for yourself.

    And this why I have stoped buying books. The last book I have buy, was a digital book, and inside that one, I have 4000 books I have downloaded from the internet. Yes, my grandpater was a big Internet Explorer (bigger than Livingstone), and he fighted the pirated, and found a map to a isle, with a lost chest full of digital book, so he made home with that treasure, and now I can practically swim in digital books. :-I

    • Xercies says:

      I think thats why people invented libraries, which i feel are definitly forgotten in the book world. I love the library because it basically gets away from this problem.

    • terry says:

      Tei: You should start doing twitter. I need something more profound than the Dalai Lama in my inbox.

  24. Phil Wells says:

    Yes – Kindle edition here.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Is the digital copy all sideways as well?

  26. Dingo says:

    Just read the intro and I’m already hooked. Though, I hate long screen readings, so I’m off to the Amazon! ^_^
    Gratz on a job well done!

  27. terry says:

    Crumbs. Ah well, I’m still glad I got a tome edition. I tried reading a few pages off the screen and it hurt my brain – plaintext damn you!

  28. i am paul newman says:

    just read the london chapter, didn’t think it would be this good, you’re like nick hornby with a stronger stigma

  29. measurements says:

    I absolutely love the comment about the map image. I don’t think I’ll ever create a media text that will be consumed (and enjoyed) by strangers. I’m too self-analytical to just make. You made this book and moved on. Also Clovis is genius. The amount of times I’ve said to friends ‘I don’t really run out of things to do, cause I can always just play games’. You think they’d all have tried it.

  30. TooNu says:

    OH OH !!
    Coincidence or what? I just read this book last week and it is REALLY great. I Think everyone should be made to read this book if they play games. Thanks again Jim!

  31. Colton says:

    I’ve always wanted to read this but was sad there wasn’t a copy at the Ann Arbor public library – thank you for having a digital version available :-)

  32. nullspace says:

    This article seriously fails as an advertisement because it doesn’t include the word FREE. I was following the links expecting at each one to be stopped by a demand for money. At the very least I thought I’d have to register for the site and suffer some spam.

    Instant Gratification: 1
    Too Good To Be True: 0

    Also, I’d like to mention that my favorite sentence so far is “Being less romantic than other maladies of the soul, boredom has been relatively neglected by humanists and scientists.” I read it, understood it, moved on, and then I had to go back and reread it to make sure that you didn’t actually write that boredom is too boring.

  33. Thiefsie says:

    I read about an hour of this so far… good read… although at the start it seems that you are making the generalisation that because you have singled out a few special examples of people where gaming is good, that that somehow applies to every nerd banging on about ‘leave me alone I want to play Q3’.

    I need to read further but my impression is if I gave this to a non-gamer it still wouldn’t improve their view on gaming.

    I got the impression that was a part of the goal of this book.

    The other thing I felt about reading the start was it was justifying people screwing other things in their life up because of a game obsession… whether that is ok or not I don’t know… but sadly it had me thinking, that yes I adore gaming, but unfortunately I could/would not drop my (admittedly very enjoyable work) to be in the game industry. But then again that is maybe more telling about me than anything else. You guys fight the hard crusade to further our cause (or my hobby)…!

    Otherwise good job chap, well done for following your heart/soul into the industry. You’re a great writer aside from anything gamey so wasting that in finance/whatever would be very depressing.

    I will read further and must thank you for putting it up free like this.

    Interestingly being available for free I am more inclined to buy it from you than I was before. Almost like an ultimate demo…? – it proves you have faith in your product.

    As an aside… I obviously know nothing about book publishing… so with a book like this do you make a pitch to a publisher and then do the book once they are game or do you have the whole thing written first and shop around to find a publisher who wants it from reading it?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Thiefsie: I think that’s part of what Jim is saying there. As in, the people who “screw up their lives” says something about them, and how they feel about games. If you don’t… well, as you say, it also says something about you.

      There’s something I think Ballard said. When asked for his advice on becoming a writer, he always said “Have something to fall back on”. Because he knew that anyone who followed that advice should never be a writer, and having something to fall back on would ensure that – and also ensure that they were okay in life. People say they want to be a lot of things. It’s what they do which differentiates between them.

      That said, I just googled around, trying to find the quote, and found John Grisham giving the “Have Something To Fall Back On” advice seriously. So horses for courses, etc.


  34. luckystriker says:

    Yes, I have the hardback and it’s lovely. I recommend it if you’re into owning nice books.

    • luckystriker says:

      yes…another misplaced reply. It was meant for RiptoR and Jim.

  35. zipdrive says:

    Hey, I’ve just started reading this thing! After paying for it, too. Oh well, at least Jim will be able feed himself for another day with my money.