Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter. Tom is a superb and versatile writer, and he's the perfect one to have written on this subject for a popular audience--it's funny and self-deprecating, yet it investigates something very important: the fundamental nature of our relationship to narrative.
Though the book is a bit rambling--many chapters feel as though they were written to stand alone elsewhere--Bissell never strays very far from this thesis, which is that narrative is gaming's biggest problem. Not that the narratives aren't good enough--which, if you'd played even the very best military shooters, you'd agree they probably aren't--but that they're narratives borrowed from other forms of art, particularly Hollywood films. Video games, Bissell argues, need to find their own kind of stories, based not in authored narrative but in the mechanics of play. Through interviews with industry thinkers and detailed descriptions of games, he makes a great case for games as art, even as he proves that they haven't yet really figured out how to be art.
There's also some great memoir-y stuff, including a chapter that describes Bissell's cocaine-fueled devouring of Grand Theft Auto IV, and many very fine descriptions of the places where games are made and the characters who make them.
It's almost enough to make me want to go out and buy an Xbox 360. But I think I'll stay married instead.