Thursday, December 4, 2014

My latest PopMatters article is up, in which a document events in a galaxy far, far away.

I really enjoy writing about public cultural events, and nothing fits the bill like the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens release. I personally flop between genuine giddiness and pessimistic trepidation, but regardless of how the film actually comes out, the process of anticipating and theory crafting that comes with the build-up is fascinating.

I actually think this type of fan engagement is quite common in games. The games industry feeds carefully selected screenshots to the masses via the games press, and while most of the time it sits there ignored, occasionally enriching conversations pop up around it, or rewarding communities form around them. I think this is true of the infamous Destiny loot cave, and of the cooperative efforts around the mysteries of P.T. as well.

It's also true of some of the negative things that have occurred in the games industry over the past few years also. Tomb Raider received a lot of flak during its promotional phase regarding its depiction abuse and fetishization. Generally I think the team at Crystal Dynamics did an excellent job in the final product, but the conversation around the marketing strategy was fruitful nonetheless. We should be vigilant in our excitement and in our criticism.

One of the first articles I wrote on Experience Points so many years ago was about the benefit of hype. While a bit more jaded perhaps than I once was, I still believe there is a value in participating in cultural spectacles.

No comments:

Post a Comment