Wikipedia corrections, virtual Hong Kong, and Kanye West. All that and more in this edition of What I’ve Been Reading!

  • At his personal blog, GB Burford advocates for thinking of video games primarily as a medium that is capable of being artistic, rather than thinking of video games as being “art” or “not art.” To draw an analogy with books, a best-selling novel might be considered art, and a science textbook wouldn’t be. While that’s a fairly clear distinction, works such as biographies and memoirs muddy the waters a bit. Classifying individual video games as “art” or “not art” is fraught with similar complications, and in practice, often ends up being a reflection of a critic’s attempts to deny or boost the legitimacy of a work (as I’ve argued previously). Still, I think Burford’s proposals are a step in the right direction.
  • Writing for Medium’s Backchannel blog, Andrew McMillen tells the story of Bryan Henderson (a.k.a. Giraffedata) who has spent a large portion of his life manually correcting Wikipedia articles with the grammatical error “comprised of.” Until I read this article, I didn’t even that could be considered a grammatical error, but “comprises” properly means “includes,” not “composes.” However, at this point, the mistake has slipped into common usage, so I’ll probably continue to use both the correct and the erroneous definitions of “comprises.”
  • Writing for Grantland, Rembert Browne implies that the general public who loudly expresses their opinions online and in public fora is hypocritical in their criticism of Kanye West for doing the same. Though I don’t want to excuse some of West’s more egregious actions, I’m inclined to agree slightly with Browne. However, I think he elides one of the more important reasons for the vituperation West has received: West doesn’t act the way a “respectable” black celebrity is supposed to act, according to the public. But public opinion might turn: I think most reasonable people would take an asshole like West over a rapist like Bill Cosby any day.
  • Finally, GamerGate: the trap from which none of us can escape. Philip Wythe of Gamemoir writes about Law and Order: SVU’s recent GamerGate episode and explains why it failed. I saw the episode myself, and while I’ll refrain from tearing it shreds for being colossally unrealistic, fear-mongering televisual shit, I will say this: if the final message of your episode is “women should stay out of video gaming if they don’t want to get sexually assaulted,” then you done fucked up, son.

Alright, that does it for this week. See you next week, nerds!

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