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Links 1 through 10 of 71 by Tom Armitage tagged criticism

"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).

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"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.

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"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.

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"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."

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"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.

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"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.

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"...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.

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"...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.

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"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."

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"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.

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