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New Games Journalism

An issue of experience..

Bow, N*gger... the name alone drew questions at first glance. Surprisingly this was a really neat look at a combination of a review based on real game-play experience. It reminded me of the review that I read over for Puff. It dealt with playing, then a dispute between players, but the focus of the article remained clear. It was written to tell you about the experience and the game. I suppose it could be debated that the main point in this article dealt with racism and online ignorance, but the author proved to be above that and on another level. From my understanding this was an older game given a resurgence of life from this review. I liked how in the end we still knew no more about this player than in the begining.

The article State of Play dealt with the differences between a simple review and pieces of work like Bow N*gger. Video game journalism, the term itself is music to my ears. All things I like are involved. I used to be a subscriber of Playstation Magazine (PSM) and I remember how the articles were formatted. They basically either pointed you towards buying the game or told you not to waste your time. Once the game had been out for a while then the cheats began to emerge. There wasn’t enough to get you hooked every time on a game. This article on the State of Play dealt a lot with the reasons why Bow, N*gger wouldn’t fir into the structure of today’s gaming magazine industry.

It’s the same reason that we don’t always get quality journalism in other areas of the news as well. These writers simply don’t have enough information about the game to write an in depth personal account. I’m not saying they don’t have knowledge of gaming. I am saying that they can’t know about every game. Just like a journalist covering the sports beat one day and nuclear fission the next. They can’t be an expert on it all, but they can have “basic knowledge”. For many reasons that is why when gamers read an article by a person with “basic knowledge” they often feel like they know more than the writer. In most scenarios, they do.

Important Applicable Quotes:

“Magazine writers rarely get more than a couple of days with a game.”

“Most video game magazine staff just don ?t have the correct experience or training to pull off this kind of writing. There is a thin line between subjective and self-indulgent and it's one that magazines tend to throw themselves straight over.”

Comments (1)

Great points, Leslie. To get to know a game well, you first have to be motivated to buy it; then, invest time in mastering it. Writing a thoughtful magazine article about the experience will take even more time, so it's not something you tend to see in the glossy magazines. And the level of analysis on the online gaming sites is often weak -- often, but not always.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 3, 2006 4:46 PM.

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