Here at What I’ve Been Reading, it’s all video games, all the time! At least this week.
- Writing for the New Yorker, Simon Parkin theorizes as to why might Hideo Kojima have left Konami. Bottom line: Konami is more interesting in pursuing mobile development and making pachinko machines. Everybody, say it with me: Fuck Konami.
- Now for the first of two pieces about game development. Game developer Robert Yang explains his reactions to The Beginner’s Guide, which is resonating a lot in games criticism circles. I didn’t care much for the game, but I’m glad others are finding something of value in it.
- And now for the second piece. Using an anecdote about a trip to Maine, game developer Tim Conkling explains how game design isn’t intellectually valued by outsiders to the medium. I’d argue that this tendency is present even among people who are familiar with the medium, who have a tendency to value a game’s “artistic” elements over its “design” elements, or vice versa. This isn’t an old debate. A couple of years ago, I linked to a piece by Spelunky designer Derek Yu, who suggested that we should distinguish between “theme” and “craft.” I’m not sure what the solution is. I prefer a more holistic approach to analyzing games, but if separating theme and craft is what gets critics to pay attention to both, then it might be a worthwhile endeavour.
Alright, I’m done for this week. See you some other time.