Project: A Short Guide to Writing About Games

[General,Projects] (02.02.09, 10:19 pm)

I met with one of LCC’s faculty the other day, the extremely wise and knowledgeable Karen Head, who is an expert on all things Jane Austen. She was kind enough to lend me a book, Timothy Corrigan’s A Short Guide to Writing About Film, which is useful in analyzing film adaptation and thinking about the language of film reviewing and criticism. I spent some time reading through it, and suddenly realized, we need one of these for GAMES. Think about it: a guide to thinking about and writing about games critically, aimed at a general audience. To my knowledge there are no sources about this addressed to general audiences.

There are game reviews, which discuss the space of playing games, but there are few general reviews that discuss games that might lead toward their conception as aesthetic artifacts. I know there are discussions and essays to this effect, but, as everyone in game studies is quick to tell you, we are in want of a language for talking about these things. We have works which aim to discuss design with a critical vocabulary, and these efforts are to be commended, but few to think about them from the perspective of the consumers. Game reviews have yet to reach the maturity of film reviews, but I think that this could still be achieved. What is missing is a guide to writing about games that focuses on them as works, as artifacts which convey messages and meaning. Such an approach would examine mechanics and gameplay as compositional elements.

I want to write this, but it will take a bit of time.

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