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off-topic: the lester bangs of video games

from Chuck Klosterman’s The Lester Bangs of Video Games

Sorry, that was misleading. There is no Lester Bangs of video games. Why?

“It’s weird that Entertainment Weekly doesn’t have a video-game column, and that The New York Times only writes about gaming sporadically,” says Henry Jenkins, a professor of comparative media at MIT and the author of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. “Aesthetic criticism exists in this industry, but only as arguments among gaming scholars and game creators. And the gaming industry suffers because of that. There is a very conservative element to gaming because absolutely everything is built around consumerism. Game designers are asking themselves questions about how a game should look and what it should do, but not about what the game is supposed to mean.

And that, ultimately, is why the absence of video-game criticism is a problem. If nobody ever thinks about these games in a manner that’s human and metaphorical and contextual, they’ll all become strictly commodities, and then they’ll all become boring. They’ll only be games. And since we’ve already agreed that video games are the new rock music, we’d be facing a rather depressing scenario: This generation’s single most meaningful artistic idiom will be–ultimately–meaningless.

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