Friday, 7 March 2008

Error: Epiphany





I was recently thinking about this little blog, and found myself wondering if a) ‘Is this the right approach?’ and b) ‘Is there any point to this?’ The first question was easy. No. The second was less simple. This is meant to be a game criticism blog, a strange subgenre of gaming blogs that I enjoy reading but ultimately have doubts as to whether any serve much greater purpose. We complain, we compare, we invent, we love on and we hate on. Will it change anything? Unlikely. Will it eventually stumble upon the key to the perfect game? I find it doubtful. So what do ‘I’ and others alike get out of reading and making them?

I guess it has on some levels given me a greater appreciation of videogames as a medium, although I often feel we’re reading into things that aren’t there. I’ve been introduced to more overlooked games that I wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise, and I’ve learnt a lot of little gameplay ideas which, not being a games developer, are kind of useless for me to know about anyway. So okay, it feels a little hopeless, this isn’t a professional blog, and nor do I want it to be. My true interest lies in the world of film and directing anyway, not games development or journalism. But maybe this’ll work if I look at answers to the first question, my approach.

I don’t think I’m being personal enough. This is a blog, not a commercial site, but I’ve gotten in the habit of writing in a way that is reminiscent to that style. This post is proberbly the first where I’m just rambling from my mind rather than structuring as if creating a school essay. I also find this place sterile, lacking in humour. Maybe that links in with the ‘personal voice’ thing, with me previously deeming jokes not appropriate for ‘serious game criticism’. I hate that term too! I feel like too many of these blogs focus only on ‘criticism’ and leave out the ‘appreciation’. Games are meant to be fun, and that’s why we play them. Maybe we only start complaining about ‘lack of emotional depth’ and ‘shallow stories’ when we forget about that. Let the films and books do that side of things, which they’ve mastered so well. Perhaps we should keep the games purposely shallow and devoid of intellectual merit, treat them as entertainment, not art.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but expect things to change a little from here on. I’ll try and be more personal, more casual, and funny. I'll try and talk more about the good things and less of the bad. And gone are the times where I force myself to sit down and think of something to say. If nothing comes to mind, then no updates. I also want this place to open up to what’s happening in the game world more, rather than essentially talking out of any context as to what’s going on out there. I don’t want to give up with this, not because there’s exactly anyone who’s gonna be let down, but because I think it could be enjoyable if I can get the hang of it. And it looks pretty.

I’ve already got a list of game blog writers who I generally respect, and I look forwards to what they’ve got to say. Starting this place has given me more of an appreciation for what they do. It’s a nice little online community that I wouldn’t want to leave behind so soon, so I’ll see how things turn out.

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