Monday, 10 November 2008

Game Writing

I myself once considered a possible career of writing for a computer game magazine, or more specifically a Playstation magazine. I was maybe about ten or eleven and I would take great interest in what reviewers had to say about my favourite games. However, even now I feel a little insulted when I read a bad review of a game I like, and I’m privately thinking, “Absolute bollocks. What do they know?” But now I’m mature enough to realise that everyone is entitled to an opinion and that no one’s opinion is right or wrong, just different.

Opinions are maybe the most prevalent issue that a games writer faces. If one reviewer writes that a particular game is a good purchase and another writes that it would be a waste of your money, who should the reader believe. I for one don’t hold much faith in what a reviewer says because I think I can only really trust my own opinion.

Games reviewers are paid by the magazine they write for... I think.
What you will find in basically every computer game magazine you read is the objective ranking system, giving a game a score based on its content and characteristics. Again, this is only based on opinions. I quickly browsed through this month’s issue of PSM3. Most of the points they made to rate the game in question was based on opinion. This really isn’t necessary. All the reader wants to know is what is in the game so they can form their own judgment. At the end of the day, reviewers are just gamers, like us.

New Games Journalism has been used by game reviewers since 2004 and was created by Kieron Gillen. NGJ is pretty much a collection of subjective experiences gathered from both real life and computer games, forged to fabricate a unique story. I don’t often read the articles unless it about a game I love. The examples of what I have read in the past though are okay I suppose. I don’t have any particular feelings about it. I’ve tried to look up different styles of game writing but I couldn’t find any that I could say have definitely been used in game reviewing. I did find a technique called gonzo journalism however, which I found interesting.

When it comes to my own writing, I feel quite confident. I like the simple style I apply because using is never a challenge. I would say that I write objectively but at the same time I’m somewhat subjective. I like to think I use a healthy combination of the two.

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