Sunday, 6 December 2009

New Games Journalism

I’ve always bought review magazines for games. I even bought one for film once but that was a once off. Every holiday or every time there was a new exciting game of interest I’d be there buying the latest copy of X360 or OPSM to keep me occupied and hyped until the games release. I love flipping through the reviews searching for epically hyped games and also the ones that should have never been made. Reading about them getting ripped from page to page about how ‘buggy’ or ‘stupid’ the mechanics where. Reviews like that nearly made me want to be a game journalist.

Now I still buy the odd X360 magazine because I find it honest and extremely entertaining. I am also subscribed to EDGE, a less bias but more punishing magazine that I enjoy for the technical articles about the future of gaming.

I have not as yet come across a NGJ or a New Game Journalism article. After reading an example I was unsure how to respond. The article was written in the form of a story with the reviewer talking about one instance with one fellow gamer. I see this as no way to review. Basing a review around one scenario sure is entertaining and engaging but offers little in specs or quality of the game its self. The fact the story was based on another player’s response was even worse as it in no way points out game play but instead picked at the social problems the multiplayer had to offer.

I really am against this for of writing, it may not be for promoting sales or scores like other styles but I don’t think it goes deep enough into the games structure.

This is why I find EDGE magazine good, because not only does it review every console so as not to be bias, it does so in a structured way, sure it may not be as ripping as X360 and may be more serious and harsh but it supports its reasoning. All magazines and reviewers are going to face some form pressure from games companies and consoles to promote their games but they should try to keep this minimal just to be fair. In the end it is just one persons opinion about a game, and I always trawl the internet even if I have magazine to hand.

Just to be sure.

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