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11:27am on Sunday, 13th October, 2013:



The Observer published its second TechMonthly supplement today.

It reminds me of one of those failing university Media Studies departments that in order to survive has to start teaching "computer game design". Almost none of the staff know about the subject, but how hard can it be? There are a few experts, who are hamstrung by having to explain everything in words technology-ignorant people can understand. For some reason, the main game reviewer is described as being a playwright, as if that somehow makes her reviews more credible than if she were described as a game critic. Overall, the magazine has the demeanour of someone who is smart enough to be aware that they're being left behind, but whose attempts to understand the new are limited to seeing it as a version of the old. It doesn't yet get what it is it's trying to comprehend, but is in the first full flush of confidence so it thinks it knows enough to educate the rest of us.

One of its pages is entitled "The Gaming Grid", which describes "the pick of this month's games". It's presented as a table, with one row per game and five columns. The columns are "Game", "What's the story?", "Gameplay", "Highs and lows" and "The verdict".

This is the column for "Gameplay":

Hmm, gameplay, yes...


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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).