New Game Journalism.

From Slashdot games, a report about New Game Journalism. It’s sad that decent writing requires a manifesto to achieve what is taken for granted elsewhere.

A great example cited is the piece Bow, Nigger from Alwaysblack.com. The personalization of game-play, the fluid movement of the report from the ludological to the interpersonal to the critical – hopefully, it’s prescient. When we’ve seen this kind of conscientious writing about games in the past, it’s often been about writers and journalists approaching games from the outside, and giving us boring first-person accounts of their fumbling with the interface. In this case, the writer has enough mastery of the ludic regime to write and work through the game, instead of just hacking at it from outside. My FFXI play has hammered home to me just how central the mechanics and logistics of fighting together, levelling, solving missions etc. is to the experience of supposely “non-game” elements, like sociability and aesthetics – in the MMO environment, immersion is not necessarily created by versimilitude, but by multimodal engagement in tasks with shared meaning, and the mutual expectations and obligations therein. But, of course, writing about the game and not the session of play is also the boring route taken by traditional game journalism. It’s good to see the evolution of the form – and of the reception of the form – at work.

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