Sunday, September 17, 2006

Critique of the Critique

If you get a chance
, check out Ryan Stancl's article about video game critiques.

It repeats a lot of the same old complaints (nobody's a video game critic, et. al.), but promises to introduce eight different schools of criticism using the game Katamari Damacy as its subject.

Now, my critique:

The first example critique is Biographical. Gamers see these all the time. They're all over the place. We're always reading about the designers and where they got their ideas and how much they can overhype their creations. Developer interviews fall into this domain. Devlogs would be Autobiographical.

Then there's New Criticism, which deconstructs the different elements of a work of art and examines the deeper meanings behind each of them. We see these all the time, too, especially on blogs. People will pull apart mechanics, themes, narrative and the interplay between all of these and more. Gamasutra provides plenty of New Criticism, as does Game Developer Magazine.

So why claim that hardly anyone is a video game critic?

Aren't we past that cliched, unproven complaint at this point?

Why not just write the article as an example of different critiques and not pretend that you're doing something revolutionary?

Still, I am looking forward to the next installment, when Stancl deals with both a Marxist and a Jungian perspective.

1 comment:

Patrick Dugan said...

I could imagine a Marxist take on Katamari, but from my experience in this blog circle, there is tons of intelligent criticism going on. Personally I like Ian Bogost's Unit Operations theory of criticsm, which is sort of an evolution of rhizome theory and deconstructionism with complexity theory.