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Escapist 106

July 17th, 2007 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Escapist

The new Escapist has an article from yours truly about games journalism. I struggled a bit with this piece and there was some back and forth with the editors Russ Pitts and Joe Blacanto. It was eventually cut down some because it lost its thread a bit. Maybe my central conceit couldn’t hold the longer form. I lost some stuff I liked, but ultimately they made the right call I think.

That’s the thing about writing. Sometimes things only work halfway well. A good editor will help you find your feet.

So visit for my article, but stay for Russ’s review of reviews and Sanya Weathers’ ruminations on the evolution of the web media.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Scott R. Krol

    Good read, very valid points! I’m not sure if the monopoly on coverage though really makes a difference though. While newspapers and general interest mags do cover things like movies, music, and other entertainment forms more regularly than gaming, those pubs are still not the first place (or even secondary) you would go for info. For example, if I’m interested in learning more about what’s happening in the world of guitarists, I’m checking out Guitar Player magazine, not the arts section of the NYT. So even if the gaming press did leak into these types of publications at a higher level of visibility, I’m not sure if it would really help, of it we’d just see the NYT Preview of Hot Upcoming Games You Have To Play.

    If the gaming press is to change there is no better time than now. The vicious retail cycle is what created the futurist mentality after all, but as the world of gaming has widened to more and more folks not going down that route, the press doesn’t need to follow that cycle either. Of course the “big” publications will always have to, as their survival is tied in too closely with the advertising revenues they earn from the publishers, but others can start taking chances and creating more meaningful publications.

    Of course, maybe 90% of the gaming public wants glitzy previews. I would gladly read a monthly magazine devoted to something like the history of gaming. Say each month they examine one game, interview everyone involved with it, talk about how its design jelled, and so forth. I know a number of people who would want to read something like, too. But would that be enough?

    Anyway, good good stuff.

  • JonathanStrange

    Interesting article with several good points. In particular, I would welcome gaming writing that does “question intelligent people about game design in general” so that we could understand the more abstract goals and gaming philosophies behind a game’s creation.

    Details about a specific game and its gameplay/units/graphics become dated very fast. Reading a Starcraft preview/review was just as irrelevant two months after the game’s release as it is now.

    Yet I think we’ve all come across an older article or essay on a subject – not necessarily gaming related – where the topic is the struggle to turn a concept into a practical reality. I’ve read designer’s notes on motorcycles or guns – topics I’m not particularly interested in – that were fascinating even though the products involved are decades old now. While many gamers might just want a picture or game specs, I think those gamers are probably just skimming internet sites anyway.

    However, what if you could “hook” just a few of those who today are only looking at the latest release because that’s mostly what gaming seems to be about? Maybe they’ll become interested in the “process” if only more attempts were made along that line.