Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Good Games Journalism?

Posted by deckard47 on October 14, 2009

I have several posts brewing: an Among Thieves post that goes something like “Whooooooooooo!” is the one I’ve repeatedly stopped myself from writing. Of course, there is that oft-delayed Elika/PoP article that no one really misses. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to escape for long. Finally, there is a long post about Risen and the series that RPS is doing on it.

For now, I wanted to link to a blog that I’ve never read before, for some reason or other. Lewis Denby writes for a lot of different places, but this is his blog. He has a series of posts where he discusses and frets over how to be a good “games journalist” (and finds the term to be as prickly and popularly il-defined as I find it to be). They’re interesting, and here is the most recent one. It’s a great blog, and even if you don’t agree with him, realy worth reading.

I really do want to write about Risen, especially after learning about the whole vocal Gothic fanbase/Eurogamer review kerfuffle. I am, as always, secretly and reservedly jealous of those who can engage/dabble in that peculiar new writing format, “New Games Journalism.” It’s an iffy term, if you ask me, and will hopefully be augmented (New? Really, how “new”? New since when?), but the combination of in medias res/pseudo stream of consciousness theatricality is one I’m fascinated by.

I’d actually like to do one for Risen, mostly because I’d like to test myself and see what the hideous results would look like. It might not even go up on the blog, especially if it is actually terrible. I think it will require a degree of self-knowledge and unselfconsciousness that I have never possess. Mostly, I expect that after every sentence I’ll stop typing and think “but you didn’t really think about it that way. You thought about it in a more game-y way.” Anyway, if you want to read an interesting series of articles in what I’d describe as an almost NGJ style, check out Alec Meer’s series over at RPS.

Also, I’m close to beating Among Thieves. It is wondrous, and al naysayers will be banished.


2 Responses to “Good Games Journalism?”

  1. Shaquil said

    I say stick to what you’re best at. Unless you’ve honestly slipped into a coma of pleasure while playing the game, in which your mind visited a vista of unparalleled beauty and perfection, I see no point in trying out NGJ. Unless you’re high while writing. Then, give it a shot!

    But take that with a grain of salt; I personally find NGJ to be a form of ego-stroking for the writer, and completely ineffective in terms of explaining to the reader if and why they’ll like the game. Which… isn’t fair to anyone but the writer. Oh well.

  2. deckard47 said

    I actually have the exact same reaction. Then again, that’s why if I do this, is will be a secret, silent test to see how much it annoys me. When I read most of these things, the first thought that runs through my head is this: “No one actually thinks like that while they’re playing.”

    I strikes me as a profoundly narcissistic and unrealistic way of writing, something that is entirely artificial and postured. I think you’re right, you’d have to be high, or in some bizarre state of euphoric game shock (and let’s face it, Risen is not going to lead to such a fate).

    Still, if I’m going to be so mean to the art, I might as well try it, so I can know exactly what it is I’m mocking.

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