Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

Why Do We Read Game Reviews?

A Dead Space 3 review reignites the games-as-art debate.

Posted on February 5, 2013, at 5:23 p.m. ET

What is the proper function of a game review? To millions of paying customers, games should be evaluated as technological products and rated objectively on a series of salient metrics (graphics, sound, gameplay, control), the way CNET would break down a new television. But to an ascendant class of independent designers and like-minded fans, games are culture and should be considered the way Jennifer Homans sees a ballet or Anthony Lane watches a movie: in terms of emotional impact and broader cultural context. It's a tricky distinction precisely because mainstream gaming studios overtly balance their work at the fulcrum between satisfying customer expectations and satisfying their own creative ambitions.

And the messiness of the distinction leads to exchanges like the one today between Bennett Foddy, the academic and independent game designer (and former Cut Copy bassist), and Arthur Gies, the reviews editor at the gaming site Polygon. It began when Foddy took issue with what he felt was Gies' overly "mechanistic" positive review of the game Dead Space 3, out today:

I'm fascinated by the extent to which Gies takes the position that most games don't deserve the same cultural designation as movies, music, and books. Given the epic disagreement between game critics and Roger Ebert on the now-exhausted question of games as art, it's surprising to see a games journalist come down on the "no, with exceptions" side of the argument. At the least, this spat is the latest proof that the leading voices in gaming are by no means monolithic.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

ADVERTISEMENT