By George Smith / November 8, 2011
Thesis: Games exist for one purpose, and one purpose alone: To be as AWESOME as they possibly can at all times.
This may seem simplistic. It may seem shortsighted. It may even seem -subjective-. These are common mistakes, but mistakes they remain.
If a game isn't awesome, it's rubbish. That is the golden rule, it is the whole of the law, the apex of everything.
It does not matter if a game breaks every single record held by every entertainment product on the face of the planet.
It does not matter if a game leverages the emerging global social media juggernaut into a dynamic space for non-traditional users of interactive entertainment products in an attempt to monetize a platform for communication blah blah blah.
It does not matter if the increasingly sad game journalism circuit trips over itself to declare a game the most profound thing since the last time they declared an overly simplistic piece of coded vomit "art".
Your profits, business jargon, and pretentious accolades are beneath the artform. They're most certainly beneath this site. Your game prints money? So what. Your game got press in Forbes? Eat a sack of dirt. Your game was recognized by the pitchfork rejects/new games journalists as "art 4 realz?"
This is us not giving a shit.
1. A game has a single obligation: To be awesome. This does not preclude a game from making a statement or delivering a message. This tenet of faith is absolute, and simply states that games have an obligation to be awesome -before- they set out to elicit tears.
2. A game's single-player component is the most important part unless the game is specifically designed and advertised as being multiplayer-only.
3. Casual/social gaming is a crude, barbaric approximation of the artform in the same way that a person who films a child's birthday party is nowhere near the level of Scorcese, Spielberg, etc. It is not the same on any level, and the game journlolist racket shows its irrelevance in placing all "games" on equal footing.
4. Game Journalism is an oxymoron. For the most part, it consists of 4 basic archetypes:
a) Middle-aged fratboys and their goofy antics.
b) Token skirts making a career out of their rack and a thesaurus.
c) "New Games Journalists", i.e. those who would be Pitchfork reviewers, except their ADD keeps them from listening to an album all the way through.
d) Liberal arts majors who took one Intro to Sociology class and are now frothing at the mouth with rage because Lara Croft was well endowed.
5. Videogames have already proven their "legitimacy" several times over, and should therefore stop apologizing each and every time they deal with material one can see in any given night of network TV.
With the obvious exception of the first, this article of faith is the most important. It is the most important because there exist flavors of premium stupid who will look down their noses at you, at us, dismissing the emergent artform of the new century, an artform they loudly and proudly proclaim to be entirely ignorant about.
20 minutes after they insult you and the artform, they will go watch Jersey Shore, in a completely unironic fashion. What I'm saying is, Fuck those people, give them no quarter, give them no ground, no, not one square inch.