The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
User avatar
BogusMeatFactory
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6770
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:16 pm
Location: Farmington Hills, MI

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by BogusMeatFactory Sun May 19, 2013 4:25 pm

dsheinem wrote: But I think it is as disingenuous to attack IGN reviewers for not playing Adventure, Zork, or Outrun as it is to attack TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly reviewers for not having watched Hill Street Blues or The Honeymooners. That is, they can still offer fair and useful reviews of the latest episode of CSI Miami or How I Met Your Mother without knowing that history.


The question is, how much do you value the review. There is a difference in reviewing a Madden title and reviewing something like...oh...say Shadow of the Colossus, but I think that understanding the overall history and culture of gaming is important to a critic.

Do you think that a movie critic has never seen or heard of Alfred Hitchcock film?

I think the goal is to say that there needs to be a larger passion and love for the history of video games as a whole to better review. A lot of times reviewers give their personal opinion as fact. They do not take into account taste.

To be a critic of videogames is to be mindful of the various aspects of what makes a game, a game. A critic must be able to recognize genre and style and put taste to the wayside in the overall decision. They can state their taste and that is fine, but that does not mean that their opinion is the truth.

I just feel that a lot of reviewers have lost site of what it means to be a critic. I feel that way, not only for videogames but for movies as well.

It is a shame.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
User avatar
dtrack
24-bit
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:59 am

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dtrack Mon May 20, 2013 2:01 am

@finnSomniac:
Welcome to the forum.
No, i don't think video games are the successor of board games. More of a continuation of movies in general.
I didn't say anything like if a title already exist as novel it is stupid to make a movie of it or if a movie exist then making a game of it defies logic. Only if it doesn't change anything other than technically. Howewer, if it does thet it is not the same thing.
For example Kubrick's Shining is based on King's novel and he didn't take it as a "script". He took it as an inspiration but he result is an individual work by using the medium to create something that was is impossible with any previous medium.
Movies started to be documentaries (Lumiere) and fictions (Melies) in the 1890s. Later reduced to the core of the medium: the experinemtal abstract (Ruttmann). From these 3 early main categories fiction became the mainstream starting with the hollywood star-cult and "production value" principle on the top of shallow sentimentalism and one dimensional characters. Yes, it was all for the masses, the peasants, the uneducated just like pulp fictions. It didn't help the medium to be accepted as the 7th art and critics, philosophers, artists, writers and other intellectuals had to work on it for a long time but finally they succeeded in the long run (even if Hollywood still rises).

Video games are in similar situation now. Not because there aren't valuable pieces - even among the most mainstream - but the lack of critics, philosophers, artists, writers and other intellectuals. What do we have? Bloggers. And so called reviewers.

But back to the nature of video games. First games wasn't board games as we all know. Spacewar in the 60s then Pong in the 70s. Just like movies. Spacewar is fictional, pong is more in common with previously existing sport game: table tennis. Games then became even more movie-like. Not only by increasing immersion with improving graphics and sounds but the way games became story-driven. This tendency peaked in FMV games in the 90s and with that video games reached their rock-bottom in their history. There is something common with FMV games ans video board games. They are the least medium-specific games.
I think i have made myself clear:)
And tell me, how can a movie or a painting can be interactive? (other than interactive movie or interactive painting:) Seriously.
User avatar
Erik_Twice
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6252
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by Erik_Twice Mon May 20, 2013 5:19 am

dtrack wrote:A video game is a video game when it could't have realized the other way. Playing chess on the monitor is not a video game.

Then what's a video game if not a game played on a video-outputting device? :|

I don't really think it's interesting to have such a semantic debate and arguing Sid Meier games aren't really videogames isn't something I look foward to ( :lol: ). Rather, what I care about is: Do you disagree with my list? Do you think playing D&D or Francis Tresham's Civilization are important games to play if you are a critic? Do you agree they are historically important to the development of later games


finnSomniac wrote:I actually made an account just to respond to this topic.

I'm flattered! Welcome to the forums! :)

I think the idea of this is great, a list of "must play" games for critics, especially since games journalism (which to me, includes criticism and reviewing) seems to be written by awful bloggers with little skill in writing, and with really simple understanding of the medium.

More than not having an understanding, my problem is that such an understanding isn't seen as necessary. It's common to see writers from places like Kotaku or IGN cover shooters and JRPGs without having any previous experience with their genres, admitting it so in the first lines of their reviews. How can that happen? Is the bar set so low that it's seen as acceptable?
Looking for a cool game? Find it in my blog!
Latest post: Often, games must be difficult
http://eriktwice.com/
User avatar
dtrack
24-bit
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:59 am

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dtrack Mon May 20, 2013 7:06 am

The point is playing 40 games won't turn a blogger into a critic.
AppleQueso
 

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by AppleQueso Mon May 20, 2013 7:20 am

dtrack wrote:The point is playing 40 games won't turn a blogger into a critic.

I don't think that was ever the claim to begin with.
User avatar
dtrack
24-bit
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:59 am

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dtrack Mon May 20, 2013 7:24 am

AppleQueso wrote:
dtrack wrote:The point is playing 40 games won't turn a blogger into a critic.

I don't think that was ever the claim to begin with.


Really? Then I am considering to add another 40.
Ohgod
ejamer
128-bit
 
Posts: 667
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:00 pm

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by ejamer Mon May 20, 2013 7:29 am

.
Last edited by ejamer on Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
dsheinem
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 23006
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dsheinem Mon May 20, 2013 7:59 am

BogusMeatFactory wrote:
dsheinem wrote: But I think it is as disingenuous to attack IGN reviewers for not playing Adventure, Zork, or Outrun as it is to attack TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly reviewers for not having watched Hill Street Blues or The Honeymooners. That is, they can still offer fair and useful reviews of the latest episode of CSI Miami or How I Met Your Mother without knowing that history.


The question is, how much do you value the review?


If I want serious and intellectual game criticism I wouldn't turn to IGN, just as if I wanted serious TV criticism I wouldn't turn to Entertainment Weekly. These are outlets that exist primarily to entertain and/or offer general suggestions about the allocation of resources (time or money). On that score, I do value these kind of reviews as one data point of many about whether the game, show, film, etc. is worth checking out...but I doubt anyone makes any/all purchase decisions based on a single review from a single critic/site (this is why Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, etc. have some value). These reviews are geared towards helping people make a choice more than they are designed to be an insightful analysis of a game (despite any pretensions towards the latter that they may occasionally proclaim).

BogusMeatFactory wrote:There is a difference in reviewing a Madden title and reviewing something like...oh...say Shadow of the Colossus, but I think that understanding the overall history and culture of gaming is important to a critic.


What difference is there? A better review of either game will take into account more history/culture and have a deeper awareness of the elements of the games.

General_Norris wrote:More than not having an understanding, my problem is that such an understanding isn't seen as necessary.


It's not. Not for what these sites are designed to do.

General_Norris wrote:It's common to see writers from places like Kotaku or IGN cover shooters and JRPGs without having any previous experience with their genres, admitting it so in the first lines of their reviews. How can that happen? Is the bar set so low that it's seen as acceptable?


Really? Is it common? Does it happen once a day on these sites? Once a week? A year? Can you cite a dozen recent reviews or more where this is the case? I just think that the bar for reviewing on these sites is and should be "how does this game compare to the competition?" not "what is the place of this game in history?"...it would be nice if they could address the latter with some authority, but that's not requisite.

EDIT: I think I stated this more succinctly on the previous page...
User avatar
dtrack
24-bit
 
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:59 am

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dtrack Mon May 20, 2013 8:22 am

Ok, so we all agree that in-depth criticism on these kind of sites (IGN etc) is not necessary. The business keeps going without these arguments (theory, history, cultural and media context etc). But i'd ask the other way around. Are there sites/books/magazines doing that? Not specific ones on a specific game or case-study but in general. Something like Racketboy guides but a bit more journalistic or can i even say academic?
User avatar
dsheinem
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 23006
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: 40 Games critics should play

by dsheinem Mon May 20, 2013 8:27 am

dtrack wrote:Ok, so we all agree that in-depth criticism on these kind of sites (IGN etc) is not necessary. The business keeps going without these arguments (theory, history, cultural and media context etc). But i'd ask the other way around. Are there sites/books/magazines doing that? Not specific ones on a specific game or case-study but in general. Something like Racketboy guides but a bit more journalistic or can i even say academic?


You'll find some of what you are looking for in Critical Game Studies
Return to Games As Culture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests