Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Recommended reading

Several smarty-pants writers have convened over at Slate to have a highbrow discussion about the year in games. N'Gai Croal, Stephen Totilo, Chris Suellentrop, and Seth Schiesel are participating in the inaugural year-end "Gaming Club," and if you've been looking for some deeper criticism than where a game plots along the graphics-sound-control axes, it's the place to be. It also provides Totilo another venue in which to advocate for Desktop Tower Defense.

On the Totilo front, I have only recently begun to read the MTV Multiplayer blog, and I like it a lot. It's a group blog that follows the Kotaku/Joystiq/Destructoid formula, but -- how to put this -- is interesting to read. They're currently running a series about women in games that I highly recommend.

One of the dark secrets of the game playing community is the way the prototypical male player really does seem to jealously guard his hobby. It's not exactly a "no girls allowed" club, but any woman in the industry, from Jade Raymond back to Killcreek, is always judged as much by her looks as what she produces. Most men don't have to deal with this. When Jack Tretton says something idiotic about the PS3, the reaction may be rude and crude, but the criticism is aimed squarely at the content of his comments -- not his hair, fashion choices, or inherent frailty. (Cliff Bleszinski is the exception that hilariously proves the rule.)

As always, the solution isn't to preach or moralize, but to provide a dialogue just as MTV Multiplayer is doing. Good stuff.

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