Thursday, October 20, 2016

Warcraft: Mechanics Criticism

The key to writing good videogame reviews is to not focus too much on the plot as revealed through some cut scenes, but to fold in discussion of mechanics and the interactive experience themselves. But it's completely uninteresting to say "this mechanic was/was not fun" or "this vintage platformer builds on the challenge modes from [other game]" in terms of the mechanics alone. The point is to describe how the mechanics relate to the other themes of the game, and represent a work of art in themselves, complete with ideological explanations.

For instance, this piece about the matchmaking system in World of Warcraft and modernity.

This doesn't mean that any political analysis of mechanics is correct, like the cliche that "leveling up" is just a desire to become the ubermensch or something like that. You still have to do good and correct analysis.

(In the above piece, the author could have taken the time to draw a connection between the Rise of the Bourgeoisie narrative so common in fantasy epics, where various classes are liberated and meritocratic capitalism succeeds overcoming tribal prejudices, and how that relates to the LFG tool deconstructing informal social networks.)

No comments:

Post a Comment