What do you get when you take some of the most well-spoken writers in the gaming press and throw them into a round table discussion on the year in video games? You get Slate Magazine's first annual Gaming Club, which assembles Slate's Chris Suellentrop, Newsweek's N'Gai Croal, Seth Schiesel of the New York Times, and MTV's Stephen Totilo to discuss the video games that made 2007 the "best year ever for video games." They talk about the finer points of BioShock - the Citizen Kane of video games - versus Tetris, the joys of Desktop Tower Defense, the massive growth in the handheld gaming segment, and the future of gaming as we know it. Through twelve pages of back and forth and one podcast the gaming intelligentsia manage to cover the entire year and then some, and it is a fascinating read if you've got the time and vocabulary and cognitive power to keep up. In the latest post, Seth Schiesel manages to neatly sum up my main criticism of this Gaming Club concept.
This has been great, but my, haven't we been serious! All of us have been so busy weighing industry trendlets and esoteric points of game design that I almost fear we have come to resemble the chin-stroking, self-styled sophisticates that made the arts writer such a lampoonable stereotype in the first place.
I don't actually think they hit that point until that paragraph.
What Slate's Gaming Club lacks is a layman. I think it would be much more interesting if every fifth post was from a less-erudite fellow, who instead of responding with countless paragraphs of exhaustive analysis and intellectual musings simply responded with, "Um, what?"
The Gaming Club [Slate Magazine]