Experience Points: Objectivity In Gaming Is Dead
When we write about games, gaming and the industry at large we’re not tied to concerns about objective truth. I’ve spoken about this before, but many of us are tethered to this notion that writing should be balanced, nuanced with facts supported by a logical standpoint that weighs the pros and cons of a game, an issue at hand and the happenings within this very industry.
The truth is the state of gaming is strongly influenced by impact-driven opinions that lay bare strong feelings and thoughts about an issue that may not be of the popular persuasion. If you take a read of a certain article about the upcoming Bungie game Destiny, you’ll catch my drift. Many writers try to asses the movement towards total subjectivity in games writing and games journalism as new games journalism, most notably Kieron Gillen. The central nugget that can be take from Gillen’s initial introspection is that when you or someone else writes about game we are talking about our subjective experience, about the “real reasons” for us why a game affects us in a certain way. This subjectivity facilitates us following through with a certain perspective or train of thought.
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That is not to say that objectivity is not present to a degree within some articles you may come across. Many of us still write about the technical aspects of games which can be objectively assessed. Writing about mechanics shouldn’t be frowned upon. The general assumption is that we should always be writing for the “mainstream audience” because as we all know the gamer audience landscape has shifted demographics and games criticism and journalism should tend towards a focus on this “audience”. But this depends on who you feel you are writing for. I say throw in all the jargon you want if it makes you feel better.
From my perspective, when writing I’m not focusing on the “ideal audience”. I’m writing for myself and trying to share how I see things in gaming and across the industry. Of course, some writers are driven to constructing articles which can be considered click bait. Although in other ways some writers are trying for the sake of a point to demonstrate opposition to the mainstream point of view and general acceptance of how things are, the status-quo.
However, to be perfectly honest the status-quo is boring. Being fair and objective is monotonous. Flame wars are exciting. Internet warriors battling it out in comment threads about their favourite games, PS4, Xbox One, resolutions and labelling every person with a different viewpoint as an “Xbot” or a “$ony Pauper” is the current space. You know what let us share our opinions may the run forth about the internet landscape in a kaleidoscope of colours, rage-inducing and ego-bruising to boot. Because what lies within many turds of comments is a “nugget” of good discussion, and in rare instances you can see a good discussion blossoming and growing. That my friends is where we can find the objectivity that so many gamers seek.