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07/01/2003

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Raph

I think it was Lum the Mad, aka Scott Jennings. Unlike Lester Bangs, though, he crossed over and joined the creatives.

Christian McCrea

I'm just trying to find some webhosting and how the hell to use Movable Type (and not be somehow lessened as a person). Then, all your dreams will come true!

Christian McCrea

I'm just trying to find some webhosting and how the hell to use Movable Type (and not be somehow lessened as a person). Then, all your dreams will come true!

chris

Hmm, I'd agree with you about the guys from OMM. Why did they stop writing, anyway?

tom p

I don't know about 'the Lester Bangs of video games' or whatever (no one ever says "Lester Bangs was the Pauline Kael of music journalism"), and I only really have experience of UK games journo's but I allways enjoy reading Stuart Campbell stuff check out the archive on his web site for an extensive selection of his writings
( http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/estate/dh69/wos/ ) .

I read Stephen Poole's column in Edge where he expands on topics he covered in Trigger Happy (he does good book reviews in the guardian too).

Tom

misuba

There will never be a Lester Bangs of gaming, because gaming is a bourgeois activity. It encourages people to stay home and tune out. Rock is more or less the same way these days, but that's a different argument.

I'm just in a bad mood today, don't mind me.

ZYirAH

Very romantic aritcle. Nicely written, but I have to say I much prefer discussing games with other gamers on web forums / chats than listening to anything any dim witted 'reviewer' has to say. Game reviewers are all goons. 'Nuff said.

Brent

This is a wonderful idea, but if games were worthy, they would have attracted such critics already. You can't just make a plea, "Hey fanboys, learn how to write! Infuse us with the conviction that games are art and not just a kind of mental masturbation!"

Alright, that's a bit extreme, but you have to have artists before you can have critics. I mean, a lot of artists. And not just a bunch of programmers and technicians. And they'll have to make an actual New Game Idea(tm).

But like I've said all over the place, people don't play games to get insight or to experience aesthetics, they play to indulge in their personal fantasies of power. Take the narcissism out of games and then maybe we'll have a chance and the critics will pay attention.

ZYirAH

Oh I don't know. I think I could name dozens of games that are, unquestionably, art.

rob

I might get laughed out of town for this, but the most passionate writing I've seen lately has been on Penny Arcade. I think if Tycho harnessed his energy into more coherent and focused essays, he would produce the kind of stuff you're talking about.

Or not.

Jia

I'm going to have to agree with Rob here. Penny Arcade is the voice of my generation.

The reason they have such a fanatical devoted following isn't just because of the pretty pictures Gabe draws, it's just what lures them in. Tycho's posts and reviews are what I stay for.

Sure he tends to write "fuck" a lot and sometimes goes off on a tangent, but I consider him arguably the best "Lester Bangs" candidate out there.

ZYirAH

I'd have to say the comics themselves are what have always held my interest. I remember when they posted this one at loony-games. I laughed out loud in my cubicle. Only one other person in the whole office even got the joke. That kind of hard core humor just can't be found anywhere else.

Stephane Bura

To me, the Lester Bangs of video games is Tom Chick.
And he's funny too.

ClockworkGrue

I could probably me-too the accolades of Penny Arcade. I'd also point out that misuba's point about games encouraging people to stay home and tune out doesn't seem to take into account LAN parties, which are group social experiences that exist only because of gaming, and can involve quite large groups. There are also the odd tournaments (such as the recent Penny Arcade Soul Calibur 2 tourney). Perhaps our mythical game critic demi-god will arise from these circles?

On that note, perhaps Gaming's Lester Banks is currently writing in Korean?

Quietmob

There are people trying to be more 'serious' about gaming culture, like the folks at Joysticks101, but they still haven't really succeeded.

After thinking about it, I'd have to agree with most folks here, Tycho from PA is probably one of the best game writers (and sometimes general purpose writers) around. When he gets descriptive, you can easily see what he's talking about in your mind's eye.

Being a gaming writer (or goon as someone called us all ) it's a tough deal trying to write material outside of reviews, news and previews. Why? Because everytime we do, we get flamed by readers for having an opinion they don't share, or not covering such and such LAN fest, obscure game or whatever, or many writers fear that if they talked about the real world of games, most people would tune out.

Lester's articles reached out to everyone, not just gamers, and right now, game writing is all about games and gamers, and the rest of the world really doesn't care that much to hear about the late night gaming fests, controller flinging moments or days spent in anticipation of patches and new releases. We can make it as flowery as we want, but that's generally what it boils down to.

tom p

I have to admit that I don't get penny-arcade, I don't find the comics funny and the writing, though fluid and passionate, isn't exactly insightful. Obviously a lot of people love it so if anyone can point me in the direction of some particularly enlightening posts I'd be glad to reappraise.

Quietmob

I don't think PA is terribly "deep," it's just that they say what's on their mind, and they do it with a punk-ish flair you won't find anywhere else.

And the part I think is the funniest about Penny Arcade, is that they can rip the heck out of a company's games (Microsoft especially), yet still that same company continually ships them new games to try in desperate hope of getting it mentioned. Microsoft even shows them new games up at the Redmond campus, which, many the PA crew has then shredded (the games) in a later post. It's a cool little pseudo-subversive vibe. They shred "the man", and yet "the man" still begs for their attention. (Sorry, that sounds terribly hippie-70's, but better wording escapes me right now, my mind is slowed by barbeque food and apple pie).

But I don't think people will be saying "man, Tycho's writing was what gaming is about" ten years from now when they've both retired the comic and gone on to other things. But right now, it's still the best gaming stuff around.

C

tim rogers

C

tim rogers

Hugh

Think simple. Learn different. Macinstruct.net

Hugh

Think simple. Learn different. Macinstruct.net

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