Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feedback on Feedback

Shawn Elliott was on the GWJ Podcast talking about the whole symposium backlash. It's an interesting response and he does a better job explaining his intentions with the symposium. There's also the huge losses gaming websites are taking, including 1Up, which I'm gonna miss. There's also a really frank chat about the Pavlovian response culture that develops with writing online.

I don't fare well but I'm not really relevant to the discussion. I do recall pointing out that all of those people do criticism on the side. The points in my Kael piece are no longer really valid as an attack on the symposium, but based on that first post I think you can see why I had the wrong impression. Elliott's goal was to provide a window into a couple of people talking about how they work and their thoughts on video games. I'm not really going to bother defending IGN, I just find their reviews to be pretty decent mechanical guides to games so long as you ignore the score. I'm kind of amazed the podcast didn't take me out back and shoot me in the head, internet speaking.

The actual backlash itself is taking on a life of its own now. PixelVixen707 and Chris Dahlen have both started weighing in with their own questions and advice. At the very least, the whole thing is stirring up a much bigger nest of bees than even I thought existed.

Having since calmed down and been yelled at several times, I wonder if the whole thing would've gone better if I'd written something polite. Hell, it was polite compared to the first angry blog posts people wrote in response. I'm also now on a lot of people's shit lists that I really like but I doubt that will change anytime soon. Can you even apologize online, after something is out there and the impact has been done? When I look at the different responses I've gotten over the week I'm glad people now know what they were missing by the lack of criticism. Given the number of people who have told me they plan to start writing it on their own, I think there's a real hunger for it. Would that have been possible if it had just been a tepid suggestion?

There's not much to it now but to wait. The symposium is going, though the later questions interest me more than the current ones. I thought about going through it and plucking the more insightful quotes but I think I'll just leave it alone. I'm going to keep going at my usual pace once Popmatters fires back up and I'll be continuing the Critic Essays. What I'm really hoping though, is that people will keep producing the criticism we all wish video games had on a more regular basis. At least then this whole mess won't have been for nothing.


Shawn Elliott said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're on some shit lists. You're not on mine -- not that that matters much. And I hope that you don't take my comments on the podcast too personally.


L.B. Jeffries said...

No worries man, that means a lot to me. I'm glad I listened to the podcast and got a better understanding of where you're coming from. I realize now how misplaced my frustrations were.

Shawn Elliott said...

It was probably more frustrating for me to see a few intelligent critics assuming that a) I was stupid enough to think that excellent writing about games doesn't exist, b) that I was prosposing a prescriptive manifesto, and c) that those involved think that theirs are the only voices that matter.

Keep writing -- I'll keep reading.