Friday, 31 October 2008

The Art of Games Writing

Before buying a game, I always read reviews on-line beforehand. I do this because I find it very useful, sometimes you get the occasional moron who just sits there and repeatedly types 'This game is shit! Do Not Buy!' but the more you read on the more you realise that the author in question is an incompetent fool who doesn't know the first thing about games writing.

But then neither do I.

Today's post has opened up my eyes towards the concept. After reading many examples of games writing, I now have a better understanding on how challenging it must be.

On-line games writing, I find, is quite subjective. The articles in question consist mainly of very strong opinions and interpretations, however, they always succeed in backing up their argument. Sure, I may not agree but at least what is being said has some truth to it rather than 'This game is shit!Do Not Buy!' purely because the guy got stuck on the first level but didn't tell us why.

Also, the articles come across in such a way that you don't feel that you have to agree. So what if they didn't like the way a car was obliterated after it crashed, to some players that is what they seek out in a game.

Subjective reviews may not seem the best way to review a game as it is mainly down to the preferences of the player, but can objective rankings ever really work?

Some games have percentage scores sprawled across their cover but when playing it yourself you may not find it to your taste. But then what factors of a game make it scoreable? 'This game has a big gun (+2 points) but then this game has a red tree (-5 points). It's like giving the Mona Lisa a score out of ten, everyone's score is going to be different.

Which brings me onto my own writing. I feel that I write subjectively, but that is because I do. I read a page of facts and opinions and I break them down into my interpretations. For example 'New Games Journalism', I love it! Others would read it and see it as a page long rant about a random game, but to me I see it as an amusing article about certain aspects of a game that pissed this particular player off. I may not necessarily agree with them but I will still acknowledge what they say and then maybe undermine them later on my blog.

Speaking of subjective games reviews I will give you a link:
to quite possibly the greatest game reviewer that shall walk this Earth.

Watch this space...

1 comment:

Michael Powell said...

Rachel, I'm really enjoying your writing so far. Some really interesting insights and the link was great.