A special Leigh Alexander themed selection of pieces presented without comment, for your casual perusal.
‘“You” Suck’ by Leigh Alexander at Sexy Videogameland, posted Dec 14th, 2007:
Which raises a crucial points about this whole Web 2.0, user-generated content, world-building age that some rather smart people are certain is the future of games. We don’t all want to make our own stories, characters and worlds. To some, if “you” really is the “character of the year,” it’s not good news. And I’ve said I wish I’d added a “for better or for worse,” clause in there, because haven’t I just written a lot recentlyabout how, as The Plush Apocalypse tidily put it, “‘You’ is an anonymous, homophobic, misogynistic dickhead?”
‘Opinion: Hot Headlines and Hype Cycles — Who’s responsible?‘ by Leigh Alexander at Game Set Watch, posted Oct 26th, 2008:
Here’s another thing journalists and game developers have in common: They feel, quite a lot of the time, that they will never be able to please their audience no matter what they do. We won’t be able to make audiences happy, so we’ll stand for just being able to hang on to their attention.
‘SVGL’s Official Metal Gear Solid Drinking Game‘ by Leigh Alexander at Sexy VideogameLand, posted Jan 24th, 2008:
Whenever your commander reminds you via codec that you’re on a stealth/sneaking mission: Swill red-blooded American beer. Whenever a female, on codec or otherwise, alludes to your legendary status, your mysteriousness, your quietness, your handsomeness or how otherwise impressive you are: Drink beer. Whenever one of your advisory team breaks the fourth wall by instructing you to push controller buttons: Drink beer. When you’re told to rescue a scientist: Drink beer. When you’re told you have to pick up all your own equipment: Drink beer. When the scientist you rescue pees himself: Take a cold, Russian shot. When anyone else pees themselves: Take two shots. When your rescue mission fails: Lick the salt and wash it down with a squirt of lemon juice. Chase it with vodka until the horrible bitter taste goes away.
‘Here it comes‘ by Leigh Alexander at SexyVideogameLand, posted on May 9th, 2008:
Weighing methodology for game criticism against that of music and film has become the norm, regardless of whether or not the comparisons are relevant. We’re wondering how we can embrace and leverage this evolution…
N’Gai said… Leigh,
If Pauline Kael or her editors had decided that her mandate was “more about sharing movie culture with the curious or the casual,” movie criticism would be all the poorer for it. The same would have been true of music criticism if Lester Bangs or his editors had decided that his mandate was “more about sharing music culture with the curious or the casual.” I believe that if my peers in the mainstream media and I do our jobs correctly; if we write clearly and lucidly, general interest readers are capable of absorbing far more genuine and truthful portrayals of what it’s like to experience an individual game than we are currently giving them.
To my eyes, you have quite a fortunate situation and a really enviable opportunity at Newsweek (though I want to be clear I’m not disparaging you and calling it “luck”) and I’m glad you’re leveraging that role to try and bridge the gap a little bit at a time.
People ask me a lot where I want to “end up” in my work — with a gig like that at a similarly sophisticated mainstream publication, probably.