Sunday, 18 November 2007

Week 5: Writing About Games

After spend a fair few hours reading up on 'New Games Journalism' I came out with mixed thoughts, for each piece was unique and had certain qualities that I had never seen in games journalism before. 'Dreaming in an empty room: a defense of Metal Gear Solid 2' really dove deep into the game and analysed it in a way that I had never seen before, and it bought up some interesting points.

Whilst 'Possessing Barbie' dove deep into the mind of the gamer, showing how much we relate games to real life when playing them. Other examples such as 'Shoot Club: Saving Private Donny' and 'Going Planetside' were entertaining to read, and portrayed someones experience in an interesting manner but did not prove as intriguing as the first two I mentioned. (It seems a bit weird that im reviewing a review, but ah well!)

The issues that face reviwers are the fact that this is their opinion, and quite obviously people have different opinions, but I don't think that should be a reason for reviewers to make their reviews more objective. I feel this way because, to me, playing a game is an experience and if I'm reading a review hearing about experiences that changed someones view of the game is important. Sure features are important to understand the gameplay and how it works, but I would rather hear of how the reviewers jaw dropped than how many characters are available.

I often hear people say that you can't sum up a game with a score, be it 9/10, 87% or 3 stars, which is true, but the thing, is they have to. Why? Because sometimes people don't want to read pages and pages of information on the game, and how it captivates one. I admit, I would be like this sometimes. Take for example the new Ratchet and Clank game, I'm not a fan and would not shell out £45 pounds for it (the first Jack and Daxter was awesome though), but I took a look at the review out of curiosity, saw the score and though "meh". The score a game gets can also act as advert for the article itself, if I look at the score and it got 95%, I think "hmm this might be worth reading if the reviewer rated it this highly"

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