Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Video Games and Pauline Kael

Earlier I was pondering the idea of borrowing from the art world to better understand virtual worlds. At Pop Matters, L. B. Jeffreys questions whether video games need a critic like the late Pauline Kael. Kael was a film critic and regular contributor to The New Yorker. In her work, Kael was against any particular set of rules or guidelines for art or criticism. Instead, her belief was that the only requirement was to astonish the viewer/reader. As Jeffreys points out, though, the problem with video game criticism today is that it doesn't serve to generate any enthusiasm or appreciation for the games. Are we being too academic in our interpretation of video games (and virtual worlds)? Should we be following Kael's lead and attempt to undo the intellectual approach of analysis?

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