The Guardian recently ran a rather inciteful piece on gaming, which you can read here. As you peruse the article, you’ll no doubt notice the worrying lack of sensationalism; the clearly misguided lack of panic and fear; the disturbing amount of understanding and genuine research that has gone into Bennett’s writing – in an unprecedented move, the woman actually played some computer games before writing about them. The deeply concerning conclusion is that a professional journalist has actually had the gall, the sheer rudeness, to treat gaming as a serious subject!
Still, The Guardian being The Guardian, the article will no doubt be completely ignored at best, or outright dismissed at worst, with the rest of the mainstream media sticking to their mission of demonising the medium of games. The politicians, after all, do need some kind of material to get their teeth into in order to rile up the plebs.
What never fails to amaze is the inability of politicians and journalists – both, presumably, enjoying at least a basic knowledge of cultural history – to identify that this has happened over and over again. It’s happened at the dawn of every new form of art/entertainment. The poor old world of music has to suffer it again and again as new, ‘threatening’ genres emerge. And every time – every single time – the usual process of hegemony absorbs the new upstart and within a few years it is either diluted beyond recognition or entirely accepted. That those making all the noise fail to recognise this fairly obvious trend makes you wonder why anybody listens to them at all.
Anyway, all this is a prelude to me saying that I’m intending to stick my nose into gaming journalism a bit more this year. I’m not entirely sure how yet, of course, but it’s something I’m going to investigate. Time to broaden my readership, methinks.