Tag Archives: games criticism

Catachresis: A Way Too Scary Game (2013)


After “Where is the Citizen Kane of video games?” and “Who is the Roger Ebert of games criticism?”, the third most cliche question to ask about the critical state of games is, “Where is gaming’s Cahiers du Cinema?” The implication of this quandary is that gaming’s smartest thinkers should get together and create a coherent language and theory through which one can discuss games. While I agree it’d be beneficial to see a coherent critical community that was more willing to build on the work of its own members, I also can’t help but think the longing for a united manifesto ignores some of the great, singular work going on in the gaming underbelly. What truly fascinates about the original Cahiers collective is that so many of its luminaries articulated what they thought to be the language and meaning of cinema, then built upon it and experimented with those values in their own work. I’ve barely begun delving into the budding indie games scene — and I’m talking about the truly independent games, made by starving experimentalists programming largely alone — but one thing I’ve already noticed is that most of these fringe critics are also avid game designers. Writers as diverse as Tim Rogers and Anna Anthropy aren’t afraid to put their principles into practice when designing games, and going forward, I’d like to devote time to these works along with more mainstream titles. Continue reading

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