Recently on G4’s Feedback, one of the cast mentioned that critical thinking, being able to articulate tangible likes and dislikes, is an incredibly important component of being a game critic. Its a comment I’ve been pondering and its a comment that I genuinely enjoy because of the amount of thinking it has caused me to do. To say I agree or disagree with it would be a disservice and I’m not just saying that because I want a job as a game critic ;D Coupled with Joystiq’s installment on JRPG commentary, the wheels are turning.
The continual problem I have when writing and talking about games, or any form of art media, is the consideration of the individual. Can something truly be done right with consideration to the 8 billion people or so on the planet? Absolutely not. We are a disagreeable and opinionated race that is known for waging wars over the slightest discretion. Homosexuality? Religion? Interracial marriage? Halo? If a person’s depression is relative to their station in life and if that person can experience a depression equivalent to someone who is starving we’re screwed. That’s how that sentence ends.
So how in the world does a person communicate the qualities and short comings of a video game to another person accurately? The only conclusion I’ve ever come up with is that you don’t. I’m a sort of apathist or nihilist where many things are concerned. I don’t see the point in doing a lot of things because of the inevitable inaccuracy of communication. There will never be a true standard, only accepted viewpoints comprised of factions of public perception. There’s something truly to be said for a standard reaching a public majority but that never makes the minority wrong. There’s no black and white field of definition, only the ever evolving languages. Finding the like minded is comforting yet there can be no evolution of thought if everyone agrees. Leaving the comfort zone of being around the like minded is a necessity for evolution and oftentimes survival. Science evolves entirely on the process of proving itself wrong!
The most accurate research I’ve ever done to determine whether I’d like a game involves reading multiple reviews and previews with personalities I’m familiar with. To seek out my personal truth in their words. There is no single reviewer in existence whose review will tell me if I will like the game. Maybe that’s just something I have to accept about my own writing. To say its a failing in the human species is to criminalize our very genes. There is no point in it. Yes you can beat yourself up but all that does is leave unnecessary bruises. The situation remains.
With all that said, I really would enjoy to have discourse over anything I write on here, the TVGP forums, or on The Carousel. Please post and criticize freely. I wish to be a better writer and communicator even if its a fruitless endeavor.