Comment Of The Week: Gaming Needs Constructive Criticism

The debate over whether or not Video Games are art seems never ending. Naysayers continue to naysay, of course, but after last year’s historic Supreme Court victory, it would seem at least officially, it’s time to admit that, yes, they are. But acknowledging something and internalizing it are two different things, and thus gamer culture still seems somewhat stuck, unsure of itself as simply passive consumers, or active participants in the interactive conversation between creator and audience that defines all other art forms. Accepting whatever you’re given gets you labeled a corporate stooge while offering even minimal criticism results in everyone calling you a hater.

Jim Sterling examined that tension aptly in a column this week, Videogames: Loving the Art, Hating the Business, which addressed the question he often gets, “why are you writing about videogames if they piss you off so much?”. As usual, our readers chimed in, and today’s comment of the week goes to Game Front reader BRBonobo, who suggested his own experience in art school as the model the gaming community should follow.

“Being able to criticize something you love is valuable.” This point really resonates with me.

When I have taken creative writing classes, the hardest part of the class is always getting my peers to give critical feedback. They always want to say “well, but it’s good,” and I find myself saying, “yes, but that isn’t the point.” I can only improve if I can see what is wrong with a project.

This is just as true for a video game. If no one is willing to talk about the flaws in even their favorite games, the next game will always be a little worse.”

We wholeheartedly endorse that, and not just because we enjoy the chance to let our inner cranks out for the day. Thanks, BRBonobo, and congratulations.

Of course, this week was full of great comments, and though we could only choose one as comment of the week, we were… amused, I’ll say, at the response our own CJ Miozzi received for his lengthy exploration of he’s afraid to review Diablo 3. As befits a series with such an intense fanbase, it only makes sense that the feature garnered some rather excited comments, but we were particularly impressed by the deft way a commenter calling himself Jonny reacted to CJ for having the temerity to admit fearing the rage of the fanbase. By expressing the rage of the fanbase.

Your article is bad and you should feel bad. Dont worry, say what ever you want on your final review, its not worth the reading based on this.

Fortunately, the good people of the Game Front reader community came to his defense, including this masterful comment by clamsarehot, that manages to attack trolls, and to troll, at the same time:

Note how fanboys don’t attack the content, they attack the person, because they don’t have an argument. Kind of like liberals.

It’s like mixing gasoline with the water you’re using to put out a fire. Well played sir, well played.

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2 Comments on Comment Of The Week: Gaming Needs Constructive Criticism


On May 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I actually found myself being excessively harsh when I critiqued my classmates’ work so they would get mad enough to tell me what was wrong with mine. Not sure if that was the right response, but it proved useful.


On May 12, 2012 at 7:13 am