Dunkey’s critique was aimed at the writers not YouTubers who work at these publications. I think his critique is extremely valid, and definitely worth considering. Just so we are clear: just because he is brash, doesn’t mean his words shouldn’t be taken seriously, rather we should engage with what he is saying.
Dunkey is right. Most game critics suck. I’m 23 this year, so kind of young, but have been reading games magazines and websites basically for as long as I have played, and sadly most “critics” lack the ability to actually think fuckin’ criticically.
For instance a critic will tell you a certain game made them feel a certain way, but not elaborate on why it made them feel that way, what it means that they felt that way, and whether feeling that way was a good thing. We need to demand of these journos that they start approaching games in a manner that allows them to contextualize the worlds and narratives of these games, within our own.
How can this be done?
Stop reviewing games. Reviews tend to, as Dunkey illustrates, confine writers. Usually most reviews will have writers just describing games and putting an arbitrary score on it, and that’s that. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
More thoughtful and meaningful writing can be nurtured if these journos just let themselves return to write about games long after they are released, and they have had time to develop some thoughts on the shit.
Stop giving me news. I can get this shit from developers’ twitter, facebook, and YouTube accounts. Give us analysis, criticism, and storytelling.
And finally we should not let our “love” of games stop us from being critical of them. A writer I love reading, Rawiya Kameir, tweeted that “critical thought is a skill and a media climate that overvalues fandom and enthusiasm doesn’t allow young people to develop”. While this was in relation to music writers also fuckin’ up, I think this can definitely be extended to games media. I could never express what the original Mass Effect trilogy means to me, but that won’t stop me from shitting on Andromeda, and we need to be willing to do this.
Most game sites are structured in a way that does not allow their writers to develop critically, and by extension their readers will never develop as well.
So Dunkey is 133% right. Really his critique highlights some of the problems that these new media types always be crying about, but doing nothing about: “everyone’s on social” (not true, social is also stupid), “write a story on everything” (no, there is enough fuckin’ news in the world), “these millennials don’t read, Let’s shift to video” (N.O. NOOOOOOOOOO)!
Christ, these new media types really piss me off. lames.
What does millennial even mean?
Anyway you should really check out this album by my spirit animal: