Commentary on the state of video game reviewing
September 20, 2006

Worth a look (from a while back):

"However, it's not their job to act as shaman for a culture easing itself into even greater integration with technology. It's their job to associate a single integer with the most subjective type of experience ever devised by our species. It hardly seems possible. So when they fail at it, when they fail to represent the depth of these experiences, what are we saying exactly? That they are human beings, possessed of finite minds, saddled with the task of cramming the undefinable into the discrete universe? That hardly seems like something you can hold against a person.


"Let's just call it out: objectivity in matters of personal enjoyment is a yeti, a wholly mythological concept. It is, in fact, perspective - the perspective they stripped out in the name of professionalism or objectivity - that I'm coming to them for. These guys aren't covering a bombing in Basra, they're telling me whether or not a game makes it fun to shoot alien mushrooms with a focused lason pulse."

--Tycho from PA

and this...

"News: Game Journalism: the continuing comedy" -- Front page Sept 6th 2006:

"... Here's a slightly different spin on it - these people have too much pressure on them to put this stuff together. Even as game review sites and magazines decrease in relevance, what with all them free websites on that internet (and as they increase in popup ads and lag, in the case of games radar - jump ship christian nutt, we still respect you!), the staff of these sites still have to review every goddamn thing that comes out, in order to fight for the remaining scraps. So, really, they don't have time to create something along the lines of what we might want to read, that is to say a personal experience with/about a game from a writer whose opinions you trust, or at the very least, recognize as valid. In some ways it's not their fault, and they're just trying to do their jobs the best they can. And besides, these aren't written for us, largely, they're written for the skater kids and 'bought a PS2 for Madden' crowd."

which was in reference to this:

(I Review a Review by Gabe)

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honestgamer honestgamer - September 20, 2006 (09:39 PM)
That made for some darn fine reading.
maru maru - September 21, 2006 (12:31 AM)
and that's what I'm here for!
zigfried zigfried - September 21, 2006 (05:44 AM)
I happened to see these articles when they were posted, and I don't remember why (probably because they were linked from IC). What I do remember is liking them. They felt fresh, despite the current trend of everyone and their mothers bemoaning the state of game criticism/reviewing.

What I liked is that these articles base their arguments on personal opinions of what they want to read, as opposed to most similar pieces which fluff themselves up with pseudo-factual statements to "prove" the failing of game reviewers but never get around to making any kind of personal point. In other words, these articles that you've linked follow their own advice and produce something both personal and useful. That helps give me a goal (one of many) to remember in my own writing.

I also happen to agree with them. I agree with PA about Enchanted Arms, too. That game rules.


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