infovore + criticism   82

How Auto-Tune Revolutionized the Sound of Popular Music | Pitchfork
Cracking cultural analysis of technology from Phillip Sherburne - a huge dive into the nitty-gritty of autotune and its impact across music and around the world. Deep and nuanced.
music  technology  writing  criticism  phillipsherburne  sts 
october 2018 by infovore
A professional book critic in praise of Amazon reader reviews.
"I’m especially intrigued by reader reviews written by people unfamiliar with the vocabulary of literary criticism. They aim to describe experiences that most of us recognize but that can be hard to articulate, and they have to make up the language for it as they go along." This is a great article on the various assets of reader-reviews, and where they set on the spectrum of criticism.
books  writing  reviews  criticism  literature  internet 
november 2016 by infovore
rotational » The Mechanic - Alex Wiltshire
Alex's column on game mechanics is one of my favourite new RPS features - they're all cracking, and a good example of understanding games by going to the source, rather than guessing - and also highlighting the fact that games are made by *people*, not just conjured out of thin air. Really good stuff.
writing  criticism  design  games  mechanics  alexwiltshire 
july 2016 by infovore
Arcfinity - We're reading BARRICADE by Jon Wallace
"There’s a general principle of book reviewing, set out originally by, I believe, Cyril Connolly. He advised reviewers that they should write for the reader when reviewing a book they like, but if they dislike it they should address the author instead. This creates a distinction between a public recommendation, which pleases the author and possibly makes readers interested, and a more personal discourse intended for the author, but which is likely to be discouraging and disappointing... Well then, Mr Wallace, what are we to say to each other in this semi-public place?" Oh boy. Christopher Priest really hated this book (and his argument seems reasonable, to be honest.)
sf  writing  criticism  christopherpriest 
june 2014 by infovore
The Criterion Contraption: #47: Insomnia
This is a great reading of Insomnia; I loved Skjoldbjærg's original from the moment I saw it, and this review really neatly encapsulates why I hated the Christopher Nolan remake so much. It becomes about fundamentally different things, and they're not as interesting as watching Skarsgard fall quite so low and never really recover. Also: I'll take Norway over Alaska any day.
film  ericskjoldbjaerg  insomnia  criticism 
february 2014 by infovore
Creative Restriction and The New Realism - Front Page - Magical Wasteland
"This is not to say that real human interactions are not ritualized to the point of mechanic in some ways, but that procedural rhetoric about human life nearly always makes a specific argument: life works this way, life works that way. Counter to this, Gone Home eschews systems; in particular, it avoids systemizing anything about its characters. Instead of portraying the characters themselves, or providing a set of interactions with those characters, it presents instead a series of artifacts from the characters’ lives without trying to build mechanics around them. The family is only present through those artifacts, the shapes and shadows each member leaves behind. In a certain sense, you could say that the game sets its sights low. But it also hits its mark extremely well– and by doing so achieves something greater than a reductive mechanical take on those same characters ever could. Gone Home is not intended from the top down to be “a game about life”, as some ham-handed experiments have been– instead, it simply represents or evokes certain lives very well (and therefore naturally becomes about life). The game allows its characters to exist on a plane that we usually reserve for ourselves." This is a fine paragraph from a very astute take on Gone Home; for someone who talks so much about games as systemic media, it's good to be reminded so eloquently of all their other qualities I'm prone to forgetting.
gonehome  games  criticism  realism  narrative 
august 2013 by infovore
It’s Not Working For Me: #crit | Mark Boulton
"Design critique is not a place to be mean, but it’s also not the place to be kind. You’re not critiquing to make friends. Kind designers don’t say what they mean. ‘Kind’ is not about the work, and design critique exists to make us better, but mostly, it’s to make the work better." Mark Boulton talks about the value of crits. I was introduced to the vocabulary and tone of the design/art-school crit at Berg, and find it useful, though I daren't think what 18-year-old me would have made of it. Stressing that it's not personal, it's about the work, and that that is contained within a magic circle, is really difficult, and it's really important.
art  design  process  crit  criticism  education 
may 2012 by infovore
On Endings - Kill Screen
"There’s still a smell of bullshit to almost every videogame story I read, even as it’s advanced to a very high level being in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. To me it derives from this politeness about the thing that’s experienced. In literary criticism there are really cutting deconstructions of things that are inadequate—Nabokov talking about what a fraud and charlatan Faulkner was—but there’s this really intelligent, but painfully milquetoast, quality to the way we appreciate games. It’s a reflection of how partially engaged we are with each one. We consider games primarily as ideas, rather than actual evolving relationships that we’ve had over time." Yeah, that. I enjoyed this discussion: I'm pretty sure you don't have to finish games to review them. Then again: I also think writing about games six months after they came out is way more interesting than trying to hammer through something to fit into a review cycle.
games  reviews  criticism  killscreen 
april 2012 by infovore
The Digital Humanities and Interpretation -
"When another scholar worries that if one begins with data, one can “go anywhere,” Ramsay makes it clear that going anywhere is exactly what he wants to encourage. The critical acts he values are not directed at achieving closure by arriving at a meaning; they are, he says, “ludic” and they are “distinguished … by a refusal to declare meaning in any form.” The right question to propose “is not ‘What does the text mean?’ but, rather, ‘How do we ensure that it keeps on meaning’ — how … can we ensure that our engagement with the text is deep, multifaceted, and prolonged?”" Which is interesting, as is the whole article - the author is not convinced by the 'digital humanities', but he still links to some very interesting stuff about algorithmic criticism.
humanities  literature  criticism  literarycriticism  algorithms  data  datamining 
january 2012 by infovore
Kill Screen - Review: L.A. Noire
"Cole Phelps has no health bar, no ammo count, and no inventory. He doesn't write journal entries, and has no safe house or property. He doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, doesn't smoke or drink or sleep around or go out with his friends. I have seen nothing of his wife and children, his passions, his hates or his desires. He walks into a crime scene and barks his introductions like a dog, rude and abrasive; petulant and bullying. He carries himself like a child playing dress-up, weak-chinned, pale, and aimlessly angry. Cole Phelps is kind of a prick.

But when I look at what's going on around him, I can't really blame him. What to make of this Truman Show-esque existence, this vast, toothless city? If I were trapped in such a purgatorial nightmare, I'd probably behave badly, too." This is good, and expresses in poetic and critical terms one of the many reasons I just don't care about LA Noire.
killscreen  lanoire  criticism  review  videogames  openworld  hollow 
june 2011 by infovore
The IF Theory Reader | The Gameshelf
"So is it worth reading dusty IF history? Well, I haven't read it yet. But I can say that the book really represents a tour through the past ten years of the IF community's thinking. Some of the essays are from 2001; some have been revised for this edition; some are brand-new. Many have been published in other forms, so if you've been devouring our blog posts and essays for the past few years, you will see few surprises. But if your awareness of IF dates from the last century -- or if you've been following us only casually -- I think this book has something to offer."
if  interactivefiction  games  writing  criticism  reader 
march 2011 by infovore
In Print: KillScreen | ben abraham dot net
"To apply the same point to videogames, ‘we’ are exceptionally good at the analytic mode and extremely poor at the rhetorical persuasion. As a cohort, we’re remarkably analytical. There are not many writers, bloggers, critics, etc of videogames who are either committed to the persuasive communication of the veracity of their feelings, moods, and strange hunches about videogames, but there sure is a lot of people willing to point out the textual or dramaturgical features of XYZ latest game." This, many, many times over. It's one reason I tire of so much wordy criticism at the moment: it is exhaustive, but lacks direction. (This, for me, was the gap between my first years at university and my final year: finding the courage to make my own arguments, rather than just synthesizing everything around me).
writing  games  criticism  analysis 
december 2010 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Cow Clicker
"In cinema and theater, we often hear about method acting, a technique by which actors try to create the situations, emotions, and thoughts of their characters in themselves in order to better portray them. In creating Cow Clicker, I rather felt that I was partaking of method design, embracing the spirit and values and ideals of the social game developer as I toed the lines between theory, satire, and earnestness." Bogost calls it Method Design; I've been describing it as "systemic satire" - the making of satirical mechanics.
games  criticism  mechanics  satire  socialgames  facebook  ianbogost  cowclicker 
july 2010 by infovore
Build Blog » Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical Analysis
"More primal and immediate than any of the previously mentioned examples, it was couch cushion architecture that established the basic building blocks of our design logic. Unrepresented and ignored for too long in the architectural industry, today’s post pays respect to the wonders of couch cushion architecture. We’ve rounded up a (mostly) admirable collection of projects, taken from a randomly conducted search on the internet. Join us as we take a critical analysis of the architecture, methods and design philosophies of living room furniture re-appropriation." Charming, and generous, too.
architcture  criticism  design  children  play 
june 2010 by infovore
Starship Troopers | Film | The New Cult Canon | The A.V. Club
"Even if you don’t find Starship Troopers as prescient as I do, the years have been kind to it, if only because it’s now removed from the context of whatever expectations people might have had for it at the time. It seems absurd now to write it off as some silly piece of escapism, as its detractors complained, and the amount of detail Verhoeven and Neumeier... I suspect its future is bright: The line between the world of Starship Troopers and Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed gets thinner every day."
film  cult  satire  criticism  avclub  starshiptroopers 
june 2010 by infovore
Fullbright: Quick Hits 2
"For instance, when a film critic with a Twitter account says that video games are not art, the natural followup becomes, "Well then... what is art?" And suddenly we're in some goddamn flourescent-lit student lounge, sitting on a nine-dollar couch across from a dude whose shirt is self-consciously spattered with daubs of encaustic, hip-to-hip with the girl who stamped each page of a copy of The Feminine Mystique with an ink print of her own labia, hearing the guy over our shoulder mention Duchamp for the sixth time this week, and it all just needs to stop right now." Well said, Steve.
stevegaynor  art  games  videogames  writing  criticism  stopitalreadydudes 
april 2010 by infovore
Are Games Design? | Edge Online
"I tend to see them as having much more in common with the approach of an architect or landscape designer in terms of shaping and creating flows, confluences and possibilities for enjoyment... As a result I really do think that critical appreciation and commentary from the world of architecture and design could be illuminating and progressive." Jones on the lack of perception - outside games criticism - of games as design objects (rather than media objects). It is excellent; I agree with it all.
games  design  criticism  mattjones  edge  toyetics 
january 2010 by infovore
Fullbright: The middle child at peace
"...maybe this is the best of both worlds. An audience that, having crossed the barriers to entry, is by its nature more invested in our work; a public profile by which we have the means to occasionally reach into the mass consciousness, but which affords us the freedom to continue experimenting with subject, form, and style; an industry which is truly international; which is capable of producing both multi-million dollar blockbusters and single-creator labors of love (and releasing both on the same platform); which manages to be neither too big nor too small, and is the more vital, unique and exhilarating for it. We are a medium for us, and while there are more and more of us every day, we'll never be for everyone. In a way, that's beautiful." I think Steve's about right.
games  criticism  comics  culture  stevegaynor 
november 2009 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: The servant and the someday song
"...sometimes I fear our endless preoccupation with making the case for video games is self-defeating. It feels defensive and, at its worst, produces a kind of micro-culture obsession with analysis: a 24/7 bloggo-Twitter tilling and re-tilling of the same small plot of dirt. In this self-absorbed environment, each new game's worth is measured by its ability to move the needle on emergent narrative, artistic expression, genre refinement...or whatever criterion we're applying this week to prove games matter to people already convinced." Yes. Not the reason I've been taking a break from writing about it, but something that plays on my mind before I put fingers to keyboard.
games  writing  criticism  michaelabbott  blogs  navelgazing 
november 2009 by infovore
The Neil Kulkarni guide to being a record-reviewer / In Depth // Drowned In Sound
"Accept that everything you say will be forgotten and ignored but write as if you and your words are immortal. Don’t just describe but justify – make sure the reader knows WHY the record exists whether the reasons are righteous or rascally. And always remember you’re not here to give consumer advice or help with people’s filing. You’re here to set people’s heads on fire."
writing  criticism  reviewing  journalism  advice  tips 
july 2009 by infovore
auntie pixelante › level design lesson: in the pyramid
"this is good level design." A lovely dissection of a couple of screens from Super Mario Land; detailed, spot-on, carefuly analysis from Anna Anthropy. Amazing what you can do with four types of block.
game  design  supermarioland  levels  space  analysis  criticism 
july 2009 by infovore
Well Played 1.0: Video Game, Value and Meaning | ETC-Press (Beta)
Well Played is now out, and can be read online and purchased from Lulu. It's exactly the sort of thing I've wanted for a while - a reader for videogames, and for the actual experiential side of them - and it's got some great authors contributing pieces on a host of games. Worth your time, for sure.
games  writing  reader  stories  books  publishing  analysis  criticism 
may 2009 by infovore
Welcome, <em>Wired</em>. We call this land "Internet" | Boing Boing Gadgets
Joel Johnson rounds on Wired for the gulf between their online and printed formats; the comments thread turns into a much more rational, and reasonable, discussion from many Wired staff, past and present.
magazines  wired  blogs  online  media  print  criticism 
may 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra: Greg Costikyan's Blog - Twiggy Game: Will Videogaming's Future Look Like Boardgaming's Past?
"The Twiggy Game is a charming cultural object from a bygone era; it's also a stark representation of what went wrong with boardgames, and a stark warning for what can go wrong with games as a whole -- at least, if we fail to inculcate, in ourselves and in others who love games, an aesthetic that prizes something beyond the brand." Costikyan on the dangers of games having a 'lack of culture'.
culture  criticism  gregcostikyan  games  writing  history 
may 2009 by infovore
ihobo: Ten Game Development Vices, Part One
"In this piece, each of the departments involved in making a videogame are examined and accused of one particular vice. In making these assessments, the assumption behind each is that the purpose of the videogames industry is to make games that players want to play, and not to make the games that developers want to play." It is good, and I'm looking forward to the second part.
development  games  industry  criticism  difficult  casual  mainstream  budget 
april 2009 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Against my Better Judgement, I Discuss Citizen Kane and Maybe Art
"The problem with all this is that we're asking the wrong question. The “are games art?” question is boring...
The interesting question, to me, is what /kind/ of art games are. That is, we should be asking ourselves what kind of formal dynamics and pleasures are inherent in the medium, and be able to identify when these formal capacities are used well." Sensible, rationally thought out, and also a reminder as to /why/ Kane is used as a benchmark. "Command of formal capacities" is an important phrase.
art  videogames  criticism  games  iroquoispliskin  writing  citizenkane 
april 2009 by infovore
Cruise Elroy » The game that was a book
"As I tried to unravel Braid’s interstitial text I realized that solving the puzzles and understanding the text required very similar approaches. Their concealed machinations and thematic ambiguities are teased out using the same mental processes, and are part of the same overarching search for meaning. In a way, I was “reading” everything in the game. It’s not the unification of narrative and gameplay that we’ve come to expect, but it’s a refreshing and effective one." Dan Bruno has an interesting perspective on Braid; not sure I agree with it entirely, but the feelings he describes are certainly familiar.
games  braid  literature  writing  criticism  exploration  comprehension 
april 2009 by infovore
Palindrome Semiotics
"The genre of the palindrome, playful and ludic as it is, nonetheless has a strong implication of violence. In the work of its foremost practitioners, Velemir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as some of their postmodern successors, the palindrome is closely linked to death, cannibalism, beheading, and murder."
language  semiotics  russian  palindromes  criticism  culture 
april 2009 by infovore
Alex Payne — Mending The Bitter Absence of Reasoned Technical Discussion
"Usenet, IRC, forums, blogs, and now media like Twitter have all been black-marked as houses unfit for reason to dwell within. And so we roll our eyes, sigh, and quietly accept the idiocy, the opportunism, and the utter disrespect for our peers and ourselves that is technical discussion on the Internet. This need not be the case. It is possible to have a reasoned technical discussion on the Internet. People do it every day, particularly in smaller online communities where social norms are easier to enforce. We can do it."
programming  discussion  argument  rhetoric  criticism  conversation  writing  alexpayne 
april 2009 by infovore
Well Played - Forthcoming: 2009 | ETC-Press (Beta)
"The goal of this book is to help develop and define a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Video games are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis. By inviting contributors to look closely at specific video games and the experience of playing them, we hope to clearly show how games are well played." Looks fantastic - great selection of writers, great selection of titles, and what the games canon needs. More Like This, please!
games  writing  books  publishing  criticism  analysis  experiential 
april 2009 by infovore
Grand Text Auto » The Tell-Tale Brick
"This is not a book about the VCS, nor breakout, nor video games and video game culture; it is a chronicle of the experience of that entity we might call “the player.” Oddly, there is little I can take from it in terms of approaches to video gaming or thoughts on the VCS Breakout. But it did enlarge my perspective and help me think about physiological, cognitive, and, let us say, monomaniacal aspects of video game play. Nervous, very dreadfully nervous Sudnow has been, but why would I say that he is mad?" Sudnow passed away very recently; I really ought to read his book, more than ever.
games  writing  criticism  books  arcade  davidsurnow  ethnography  breakout 
february 2009 by infovore
white on white - By Lorenzo Wang
"So why not embrace it? That's why You Have To Burn The Rope is fantastic... for games to become art there must be an awareness and a conversation with its own history. Film, music, and literary critic call this allusion, but for the creators, this isn't just a word, it's a dialogue. Which means it should invite participants. For me, I'm far more intrigued by stop-motion artist Patrick Boivin's attempt at turning a linked sequence of videos into Youtube Street Fighter." I'm not sure I agree with Wang on YHTBTR, specifically, but this paragraph is reasonably sensible.
games  criticism  culture  historiography  dialogue 
january 2009 by infovore
Mapping the Brainysphere: 29 blogs switched-on gamers should read « Subject Navigator
Lots of good stuff in here, and, indeed, most of the blogs I started following this year. Somewhat flattered to have snuck in myself. It's a great starting point if you're interested in the games-crit-o-sphere, and nice that representative posts have been pulled out from each blog.
games  criticism  blogging  blogs 
january 2009 by infovore
LRB · John Lanchester: Is it Art?
Lanchester writing about games, from the point of view of a smart person who's actually played the games he described. I certainly don't agree with all his points, but I don't disagree with them all, and he's not mouthing off: he's making smart connections and indicating more than a passing familiarity with the medium. Might write a tad more on this.
games  writing  culture  criticism  art  lrb  johnlanchester 
december 2008 by infovore
Farewell: Maggie Has Left the Tower
Bye, Maggie Greene. You made Kotaku a much, much better place, and you'll be missed. After your sabbatical, please get back to writing about games somewhere.
games  writing  criticism  blogs  kotaku  maggiegreene 
december 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Essential Jargon: Procedural Rhetoric
"What I like about the rhetoric idea is that it places the accent on how the work operates on the player, and this is essential for an interactive medium. What I don't like is that it's a resolutely utilitarian framework for critical analysis: it focuses in on the way that games might change our opinions for good or ill at the expense of the way games might transport, entertain, humiliate, and ravish their users." Pliskin on Bogost's Procedural Rhetoric; both the post and its comments are smart, nuanced discussion around the idea.
games  criticism  rhetoric  ianbogost  iroquoispliskin  proceduralrhetoric 
december 2008 by infovore
The Problem with Games Journalism: Part One | Snappy Gamer
The comments thread on this is pretty epic, and I'm really not wading into that one. Suffice to say: it's quite a while before somebody mentions the word "criticism", and it's not in the main body of the article at all. That's the important word, to my mind.
games  writing  criticism  journalism  rant  misguided 
december 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Is Death the Mother of Beauty?
"Prince of Persia isn't Ninja Gaiden, and this is OK, because it's not aiming for the same tension-filled experience. It's a game that wants to be lyrical. It wants to be an musical instrument rather than a crucible, and it succeeds in this goal." Point taken. I might end up giving the Prince a chance, when my current crop of challenge-heavy games is worn down.
games  princeofpersia  ubisoft  criticism  iroquoispliskin  stylisation  lyricism 
december 2008 by infovore
Games are Software « Save the Robot - Chris Dahlen
"I come from a software background, as well as an artsy-fartsy one. I want to see games as art, but they’re also supposed to work as logically-constructed bodies of code. And in a lot of cases, reviewers need to see them as software rather than as art. Here’s why..." I think Steve has some good points here, but I'm not totally swung yet; after all, games might _be_ software, but do we _experience_ them as software? I'm not sure that we do, and that's why we respond to them in the manner we do.
games  software  criticism  review  development  stevegaynor 
december 2008 by infovore
A Consequence of Action | Gamers With Jobs
"The obstacles that exist are mere impediments to my motion, puzzles placed only to slow me down or stop my free-flow kinetic improvisation. No time to think or overanylize, only time enough to move. This is what the essence of gaming should feel like: a sincere, wholehearted attachment to the action (or actions) that one sets into play. It is a moment where the motivation at hand is intention only, whose aim is exploration and discovery, refined. It is the escape, distilled and realized." GWJ on Mirror's Edge, and never rewinding, never looking back.
games  criticism  momentum  motion  mirrorsedge 
december 2008 by infovore
gewgaw » Mirror’s Edge
"When the mechanics are broken there - no matter what great ingredients or designs you had - the dish disappoints. Execution is very much part of the analysis there - as is service, mis-en-scene. Food is never evluated (in the Guide Micheline sense) out of context… but the mechanics are fundamental to everything else." Robin Hunicke on another parallel to games criticism; I think she might be onto something, and it's another good contribution to the mound of Mirrors' Edge coverage.
games  criticism  mirrorsedge  robinhunicke  food 
november 2008 by infovore
Just What is Innovation Really Worth?
"The point in pointing out these numbers, since we’re throwing out analogies to films and videogame innovation, is that it seems that no matter how well a movie is interpreted as “innovative” by a reviewer, the truest mark of success lies in its ability to inure itself with the consumer." No. Commercial success is just one kind of success, and films like Eraserhead have had a far greater impact on young filmmakers than any amount of box-office smashes. The real rarities are films such as the Godfather or Citizen Kane, which manage to be box-office smashes and innovative masterpiece.
wrong  criticism  innovation  success  games  films  movies  reviews 
november 2008 by infovore
Keith Stuart: Do game reviewers really understand innovation? | Technology |
"The 'better sequel' mentality is damaging both to the games industry and to the quality of games journalism. It is a deferral of critical responsibility, a patronising pat on the head for the developer who dared to dream and fell short in some mythically vital way. I don't want to be frustrated by dodgy controls either, but then I'm willing to blunder through if I'm going to get an experience I never had before." And this is why I've been sticking with it; I think Keith is on the right lines with this quotation.
games  innovation  criticism  writing  keithstuart  review  mirrorsedge 
november 2008 by infovore
Curmudgeon Gamer: Review: Mirror's Edge
"A man can only eat so many cheap sniper shots, so many deaths by machine gun from over 75 meters away, so many attempts at a final tricky jump to a tiny ledge across a giant gap, so many degrading restarts... Sometimes I hate games so very much." Sadly, much of this is pretty true.
mirrorsedge  games  reviews  criticism  commentary 
november 2008 by infovore
GameSetWatch - Opinion: Fallout 3 - Escape From Vault 101
"Fallout 3 is a tribute to intent. It's not a rallying cry for any cause or even a cautionary tale about the hypothetical horrors of nuclear holocaust. It's a statement on the worthlessness of inaction. It's about not staying in the vault."
vault  fallout3  games  writing  bethesda  criticism 
november 2008 by infovore
Far Cry 2's slow burn | Procedural Dialogue
"Far Cry 2 doesn’t so much attempt to define a memorable experience and effectively communicate it to the player as it does to define a set of rules and an environment in which memorable experiences are likely to happen, letting the player loose in that world." One of my favourite pieces of writing on FC2, if only because it captures the nature of the game so well.
farcry2  criticism  games  emergent  openworld 
november 2008 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: The big ignore
" recent years, [the stage has] moved away from those practices. Today, we better understand the importance of offering kids the very best we can do. They are no different from the rest of us. They respond positively to quality, and they quickly grow bored and restless with mediocrity... We might consider a similar approach to video games. If we want our kids - heck, if we want all of us - to enjoy quality games, we must pay attention to and promote those games that deliver quality."
children  entertainment  games  art  quality  criticism  michaelabbott 
november 2008 by infovore
GameSetWatch - On PixelVixen707, Brinkvale Insane Asylum, & Slow Burn ARG Craziness
"Wow. Ever get the feeling you've been thrown for a loop? I did just that, when I worked out that GSW commenter and erudite game blogger, PixelVixen707, appears to be not just a smart game blogger, but a fictitious front for some kind of damn weird ARG/online story." Down the rabbit hole we go, again.
arg  criticism  games  writing  rabbithole  journalism 
november 2008 by infovore
Abstract Heresies
"You want to know what I think? I'll tell you what I think. Here's what I think: Java Java Java is is is too too too damn damn damn verbose verbose verbose. That's what I think. And I'm sticking to it. So there."
java  criticism  formfollowsfunction  programming  development 
november 2008 by infovore
SLRC: Hocking's Masterpiece
"Far Cry 2 is about you and death. Of course every single person you meet wants to kill you. Of course you spend about as much time fighting the environment as other persons. Of course you are clinging to the barest scrap of health and well-being; Even the malaria is trying to kill you."
farcry2  games  criticism  critique  clinthocking 
november 2008 by infovore
Presentation | Thinking After Dark
"The international conference “Thinking After Dark: Welcome to the World of Horror Video Games” unites scholars who all study a corpus that has been left out up to now: horror video games. Considering the relatively slow progress of generic studies among the recent surge of academic interest towards video games, this event represents a major first step."
academic  academia  conference  horror  survival  games  criticism  survivalhorror 
november 2008 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: The problem with play
"But these arguments aren't getting us anywhere because the problem isn't the games. The problem is the _play_. When we engage with games, we _play_ with them. We don't read them; we don't attend them; we don't view them in a gallery. We _play_ them. And that's a big problem."
games  play  criticism  workethic  culture  media 
october 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: The Limits of Escapism
"This is the challenge, it seems to me: it's to do with the tools of design-- rules and states-- what other media do with images and sound: reveal the world as seen through different eyes, with lapidary clarity and moral courage. And this means moving beyond merely empowering and entertaining the player."
iroquoispliskin  escapism  play  games  media  art  criticism  entertainment  story  narrative 
october 2008 by infovore
Jonathan Jones: Alan Moore knows the score | Art and design |
"...we're always being told art should disturb. Moore makes artists like the Chapmans look like the middle-class entertainers they are. He's a real force of imagination in a world that is full of fakes. If there was any justice this man would get the Turner Prize."
comics  art  criticism  alanmoore 
october 2008 by infovore
RPS Verdict: Spore | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"This is something I said about Spore a while back, actually. I thought Spore could be a little like what Understanding Comics is to Comics. As in something from the form which uses the form to explain the form." Oh, I like that as an idea. He can be a smart one at times, that Gillen.
criticism  tutorial  discussion  games  pc  spore 
september 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: I Sic Brecht on Arsenal Gear
"To me, these bizarre sequences represent adaptations of classical Brechtian stagecraft to video games. The way we interact with a game is different than the way we interact with a staged fiction, and by manipulating the tools specific to game-interaction-- the interface and the mission-delivery system-- Kojima delivers that sense of alienating weirdness that's the hallmark of the Verfremdungseffekt." I like Pliskin's commentary here - the absurdity of Arsenal Gear was great, and much preferable to the boss-rush that followed it.
mgs2  criticism  brecht  surrealism  postmodernism  metalgearsolid  hideokojima 
september 2008 by infovore
Insult Swordfighting: A New Taxonomy of Gamers: Table of Contents
"The series "A New Taxonomy of Gamers" wrapped up last Friday. For your convenience, here are the links to all 11 parts in one convenient post." Oh, this looks good.
games  theory  play  criticism  taxonomy  design  players 
august 2008 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: Wrapping up the Braid conversation
"The negative side of this, as your experience illustrates, is that Braid just lacks any immediate sense of fun. It does not set out to entertain you, and with the exception of some pretty aesthetic moments it makes you earn the pleasure you take from it. (Portal, which makes for a good point of comparison, wants the player to like it and desires to be understood in a way that Braid does not.)" I think Pliskin is spot on, here
braid  games  play  entertainment  criticism 
august 2008 by infovore
Patsquinade - How my not-great plot happened: a mini post-mortem
"An interesting article at Rock, Paper, Shotgun tackles BioWare's tackling of issues tackling modern society, tackling one of my Mass Effect plots in the process. I responded in the comments, and after looking at how much I yammered on, I figured it was worth posting here as a look inside how these things get into the game, and why some things that seem dumb get done." Patrick Weekes follows up the RPS post criticising his own plot elements with some frank self-criticism, and some interesting explanations; a reminder of how hard creating any kind of meaningful choice can be.
rockpapershotgun  writing  games  masseffect  bioware  criticism  postmortem  plot  story  narrative  choice 
august 2008 by infovore
Game Designer Jonathan Blow: What We All Missed About Braid | The A.V. Club
I need to think on this more; there's a lot of meat in it, and some interesting commentary, but suggesting that "the entire bachelor’s degree in English is all about bullshitting things" I find somewhat insulting. I'm frustrated because it feels like Blow is pushing for people to find the "correct" interpretation, rather than any valid criticism they can back up. Still, there's also some excellent stuff in here, but it's the first thing he's said that's rubbed me the wrong way a little (and I'm not just talking about the 'bullshit' comment).
braid  criticism  avclub  jonathanblow 
august 2008 by infovore
Feministe » Hair-pulling and braid-weaving
"It seems to me that Tim and the nameless characters of the epilogue represent archetypes of some kind. They don’t stand in for every man and woman, certainly, but they’re emblematic of a certain kind of dysfunctional relationship, one where “I’ll protect you” turns into “I’ll control you.”" A smart, sharp reading of Braid, that understands its gameiness.
braid  games  criticism  writing  critique  narrative 
august 2008 by infovore
Fullbright: Quick Critique: Braid
"I don't begrudge Blow an attempt at addressing important historical events, but the weight of the atomic age seems too much to address with a few lines of text that feel incongruous with the rest of the production." This is, I think, a worthwhile point. I'll be returning to the whole "atomic bomb" question in a blogpost soon, I hope.
braid  games  play  critique  criticism 
august 2008 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: Is this what we want?
"It's a shame to me that a game with Braid's narrative, artistic, and aesthetic aspirations is inaccessible to so many people hungry for exactly those things." Yes. Much as I adore it, Braid can be awful hard at times. A smart game for smart gamers, alas.
videogames  play  criticism  art  braid  difficulty  accessibility 
august 2008 by infovore
Braid Review // Xbox 360 /// Eurogamer
"In the context of Braid's melancholy mood, [the classic Mario quotation] becomes a bona fide commentary on the human condition. Our princess is always in another castle." Braid exists. Braid is real. Dan Whitehead's review is very good.
braid  eurogamer  games  play  review  criticism  jonathanblow 
august 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Trash, Art, and the Games
"...the price of acquitting ourselves of the charge of infantilism is the disavowal of what is vital and compelling about the games themselves." Pliskin on applying Pauline Kael's criticisms of film criticism to games.
games  criticism  paulinekael  infantilism  childishness  art  trash 
july 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: O Tempora! O Mores! (pt. 1)
"...arguments of this exact form have been raised against nearly every distinctly modern art form." Barber's book sounds interesting, if flawed. Pliskin's criticism is, as ever, good. It's getting exhausting linking to him.
culture  criticism  consumption  consumerism  writing  marxism  benjaminbarber  games  play  childishness  society 
july 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Gamers are Maximizers of Utility
"I thought this decision to attach a reward to the choice represented a failure of nerve on the part of the designers ... wedding a gameplay-reward to a decision that ought be governed by one's sense of character and motivation."
iroqouispliskin  criticism  games  writing  gta4  narrative  gameplay  storytelling  reward 
july 2008 by infovore
Click Nothing: Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock
"By throwing the narrative and ludic elements of the work into opposition, the game seems to openly mock the player for having believed in the fiction of the game at all."
games  story  criticism  narrative  bioshock  storytelling  interaction  play  design 
july 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: The Final Exam
"The capacity to convey narrative through interaction is a constitutive rather than accidental feature of the medium. Every time a designer exploits this ability we get closer to finding [...] what forms of expression are unique to games..."
games  criticism  narrative  story  art  expression 
july 2008 by infovore
'Grand,' but No 'Godfather' -
Junot Diaz on GTAIV in the Wall Street Journal. Excellent writing, on the nature of good vs. great and great vs. seminal; on what art does to us; on how it needs to go farther. Smart, engaged, written by someone who gets culture and who *plays*.
junotdiaz  criticism  writing  games  play  gaming  gta  gtaiv  narrative  art 
july 2008 by infovore
Industry Apologetics: It's Not Just A Game
"“It’s only a game” is a phrase that agrees with all of those who ever looked down their noses at the medium... who want to promote the kind of prejudice that will keep games from ever achieving widespread respect for everything they are."
games  play  culture  society  writing  criticism  media  kotaku  mainstream 
july 2008 by infovore
Crispy Gamer - Column: Print Screen: "Dungeons & Desktops" and Writing Gaming History
"it's a shame that a book as significant and thorough as [this] isn't better than it is, a victim of poor editing, poor organization, and a frustrating inconsistency, as the book veers from true history to trite encyclopedia..."
games  rpgs  criticism  writing  computer 
june 2008 by infovore
Grand Theft Auto: Sentenced
"I wish Rockstar had made a better game for Liberty City and I wish they had written a better story for Niko Bellic. Because these are two of the most memorable characters you'll meet in any videogame." A great piece of criticism.
gtaiv  criticism  games  play  review 
may 2008 by infovore
Comic Book Resources > CBR News: COMMENTARY TRACK: "Invincible Iron Man" #1 with Matt Fraction
Fabulous panel-by-panel commentary on Matt Fraction's first issue of Invincible Iron Man from the man himself. Spoiler warning, obviously, but otherwise, it's great.
mattfraction  comics  marvel  ironman  commentary  criticism 
may 2008 by infovore
Click opera - Lost ways of looking at looking
"What's so remarkable about this series is that it seems more apposite, subversive and thought-provoking than ever". The book certainly shaped some of my own approach to art and criticism when I was at university
art  tv  criticism  johnberger  history  culture  television  waysofseeing 
may 2008 by infovore
The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) [dive into mark]
Mark Pilgrim looks at Kindle through what's been said about it so far, and what's been said about the act of reading in the past. His comparisons prove depressing, and worthy of at least some consideration.
kindle  publishing  electronic  reading  amazon  jeffbezos  analysis  criticism  service 
november 2007 by infovore
LRB | John Lanchester : Short Cuts
The banning of Manhunt 2 will prove to be a good thing if it helps companies like Rockstar to realise that the industry’s ambition should be the opposite of everyone else’s: to get off the front page and into the arts section.
games  arts  culture  criticism  lrb 
july 2007 by infovore
New Statesman - Sex, snobbery and sadism
"There are three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a school boy bully, the mechanical two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult." Wonderful 1958
newstatesman  bond  jamesbond  ianfleming  fiction  novel  review  criticism 
february 2007 by infovore
New Statesman - Imaginary friends
"To conflate fantasy with immaturity is a rather sizeable error. Rational yet non-intellectual, moral yet inexplicit, symbolic not allegorical, fantasy is not primitive but primary." Ursula le Guin on fine form in the NS.
ursulaleguin  fantasy  sf  writing  fiction  literature  essay  criticism  children  reading 
december 2006 by infovore
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