The first few chapters - before he starts repeating himself endlessly about the significance of the written word - deals with what it was that set us apart from other animals.
He talks about what led to us becoming the dominant species (and predator) on the planet. The short answer is: lots of things, but it was the agricultural revolution, when we lurched abruptly from being hunter-gatherers to farmers, that literally and metaphorically sowed the seeds of our civilisation as it is today. Mankind bred exponentially, and that caused all manner of problems - both ecological and psychological.
What does this have to do with video games? Everything.
Basically, Harahi states that life was better when we were nomadic, spending a few hours every day looking for berries and slaughtering pigs.
Everything went wrong when we put down roots, started owning stuff that was "ours", and went from a familial framework of existence - where everyone was equal - to one that was hierarchical.
In the animal kingdom, there's often a genetic reason why some animals have a higher 'rank' than others of their own species - queen bees, alpha male lions etc. They can't help it; they're born that way. Humans are, at a DNA level, essentially identical. Pledging allegiance to a king, or a president, who has been appointed through some spurious, meaningless, rite of ancestry or politics or religion or celebrity, essentially pulls against our instincts.
We put the famous on a pedestal - we deify the Hideo Kojimas and PewDiePies of this world - but it makes us feel wretched about ourselves. It's why we'll turn on them in an instant - to feel better about our failings, to take comfort in the realisation that our gods are just as messed up as we are.
Working ourselves into the ground to pay the mortgage, or own more stuff, or living in noisy, busy cities, merely leads to depression and stress, and overeating, and addiction. We're trying to comfort ourselves by contorting our beings into shapes that are unnatural. No wonder so many of us break.
HEY HEY WE'RE THE MONKEYS
What I found really illuminating, from the perspective of being a gamer, is how much of our primal behaviour is reflected today in how we play. How gaming is very much in our DNA. Everything that makes us gamers was there the minute we climbed down out of the trees, the moment we sharpened a piece of flint into an axehead, or painted a rubbish mammoth on a cave wall.
Sapiens are a social species - something that is reflected in games like Journey and Destiny. We want to be part of something bigger. We don't want to go through life alone. We join clans, and talk about our exploits with others, and share stuff on Twitter hoping somebody will reach out to gratify us with a Like or a Retweet. A hand in the darkness, confirming that we are accepted into the tribe.
We fight pretend wars against other communities - survival of the fittest writ virtual - over our imaginary ownership of invisible, non-existent things, and bask in a glory that ultimately is meaningless and imaginary.
Our imagination is something no other species on earth has. It gives us an ability to buy into gods, and ghosts, and financial markets, and democracy, and Nathan Drake, and Blackrock Mountain, and Big Boss, and an impossible ideal of Hideo Kojima - things that aren't real and tangible, like trees, and dinner, and dogs, and sore throats.
Our impulse for storytelling - be it about a deity or Geralt of Rivia or the New York Stock Exchange - is what gives us games. Our territorial ancestry and social instinct gives us online gaming. And our instinct for gossip gives us social media.
Harahi says that we have to gossip. In an evolutionary sense, it allows us to share information about other sapiens - who can we trust? What's happening in other villages? Who did what to who? Why did Peter Molyneux upset that boy?
Our entire society is now fuelled through social media, tabloid news, and the likes of Perez Hilton and Gawker; we live in a world underpinned by gossip. It's often false, frequently malicious, trolling or cyberbullying, but much as it pains me to say it, such behaviour bonds us together (typically at the expense of the person being gossiped about). It's only our empathy - frequently lost when sat in front of a screen - that holds us back.
And empathy is just another evolutionary tool; we need it to know who is a friend and who is an enemy, and who might be about to attack us, or who might be receptive to making babies, or sharing a chicken with us.
Take all of this, throw it into a pot, give it a stir, and you get the modern games industry, the Internet, and trolling, and YouTubers, and the world. That's what I found most fascinating about the book - about how all of us, one way or another, want to adhere our own genetic programming, beneath the pressure of conditioning and rules that civilisation has placed upon us.
Because the hunter-gatherer instinct is still there. It has never left us. Don't believe me? Games seem to be locked into a format that demands ever larger, ever more complex, open worlds. It's as if we're sliding back effortlessly into hunter-gatherer-type behaviours, and I wonder if that's why such games are so popular.
When we're riding through 1984 Afghanistan in The Phantom Pain looking for cassette tapes, or scouring an UbiSoft map for collectibles, we're stroking the part of our primal brain that feels at home doing that. And in a world, in an age, where so much of what is expected from us pulls away from how we're meant to be instinctively, games might be more important than ever.