Video game journalism, more so perhaps than in any other media, is a growing and adaptive form. Unlike its counterparts in film, music and literature, the language of review is still coalescing into what it someday will be. Our industry is still maturing.
The newness of our media, as well as the general misconception of our user base, both contribute to the things that make video game journalism interesting and frustrating. Our reputation as entertainment is still the same as it was twenty years ago – the image of video games as something played solely by children or hormone addled teenage boys. Companies still market towards these groups, and the reviews around most games is still brought down to mostly “is it fun” rather than the traditional language of review that is used in more established media.
When as an industry we cannot seem to intellectually or maturely handle human sexuality, gender issues, and/or an adult concept of violence and its consequences it is no surprise that reviews rarely move past this point. A language of review moves past words like good, bad, awesome, cool. Those are words that express subjective feelings and while they have a place in reviews, they cannot be the sole language of the review. A proper language of critique is a necessary invention towards creating a more mature and balanced journalistic identity.
Being a part of this industry, even if only from an internship perspective, is incredibly fascinating. I get to participate in this creation of a language of critique and move forward with the rest of the industry as they tackle the problems facing them. As gaming and the journalism surrounding it change and grow, I hope to continue being a part of the industry.