‘Fear and Loading in Game Journalism‘ by Christian McCrea at The Escapist (circa 2007).
Chuck Klosterman’s notorious piece for Esquire wants to know where gaming’s Lester Bangs is hiding, and many people have cited the piece for its assertion that most game writing is stuck describing technology. In response, some other manifestos and declarations bemoan the New Games Journalists for not describing technology enough. However, it is right at the end of Klosterman’s piece that he hits the nail on the head: “If nobody ever thinks about these games in a manner that’s human and metaphorical and contextual, they’ll all become strictly commodities, and then they’ll all become boring. They’ll only be games. … This generation’s single most meaningful artistic idiom will be – ultimately – meaningless.”
When game writing is at its best, it puts play before the game. Gaming doesn’t need a Lester Bangs. It doesn’t need a Hunter S. Thompson. It needs anybody who has the inclination to make simple, human connections between technology and human truth.
‘A planet without Square-Enix‘ by Tim Rogers at Kotaku.
In case you’re looking to me for an explanation of what happened, here it is: a man had a brand new video game in his hands, still shrink-wrapped and in a double-taped plastic bag, and he already didn’t care about it anymore. He was already thinking about something else — about The Next Big Thing, which was more or less The Thing That Hooked Him All Those Years Ago, Only Shinier. This is the type of human being corporations like Square-Enix are manufacturing.
‘digital authorship, computers and writing at #cwcon‘ by Alex Reid at Alex Reid dot net
What you could see really happening at C&W was an explosion of Twitter. Twitter was certainly a presence last year, but this year it seemed like there were multiple people tweeting nearly every panel. People chimed in from a distance. Conversations cross-polinated across panels. What we can see with Twitter at C&W is the possibility for highly productive, real-time digital collaboration. Of course the final product won’t be on Twitter, but Twitter can provide a kind of rhetorical lubricant.
Meanwhile if 10 of us write a book together, maybe it sells 5-10,000 copies rather than each us writing one that sells a couple hundred. Not as an essay collection of course, because those don’t sell, but as a collective author, some kind of institute or think tank perhaps. I’m not sure. What I am sure of though is that we need a new model of scholarly work and dissemination.
‘It thinks- Some Reflections on Blogging‘ by Levi Bryant at Larval Subjects.
The mediums we use are not mere props or tools that we deploy for ends that we already possessed or intended on our own, but rather change us. For this reason, it is better to say it thinks rather than I think. This can be dimly glimpsed in the case of blogging or of comment sections on blogs. It is not that I share my thoughts, and then that others share their thoughts. To be sure, something like that is, of course, going on. But there is also a much more diffuse, distributed mind at work on a blog and across blogs. The others that speak and participate are a part of the thinking. The mind is not so much something in each of these speakers, but rather is that assemblage of participants.