“It’s too late,” said Death.
“No it isn’t,” answered Jenny.
So this morning I attempted to wake up for Sailor Moon Crystal and failed. But I ended up dreaming about it. I dreamed that the Black Moon Clan was introduced, so the Senshi were apparently going to be dealing with simultaneous threats from them and the Dark Kingdom. Rubeus and Koan worked at Crown and they were mostly comic relief. It actually didn’t seem like they were evil yet. At the end of the episode, Wiseman went to visit Metallia who was literally just an amorphous cloudy blob thing. Then that fucking “ooh” Haruka/Michiru music started playing and Metallia called Wiseman “Leonard” and lowered his hood with her…blob tendril. Tumblr exploded with people shipping them.
Suffice it to say, several hours later when I watched the actual episode, I was sorely disappointed it wasn’t this.
I think an incredibly important part of games journalism (and any kind of journalism, really, but especially entertainment journalism and especially games journalism) is being able to evaluate things from the perspective of someone other than yourself.
I actually learned this through the articles on the official Magic: the Gathering website. As corporate-owned media goes, it’s good stuff; there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes info, a good sense of humor, and most importantly, a lot of different parts of the audience catered to.
One of the most important ways they divide up their audience into different segments is the idea of Timmy, Johnny, and Spike, demographics based on what motivates that player to play - what’s fun for that player.
- Timmy plays to experience something. What’s fun for them is creating cool moments, doing something they’ve never done before, making their friends laugh, and generally, having a good time.
- Johnny plays to express something. What’s fun for them is doing something clever, doing something that isn’t supposed to work, creating a work of art out of how they play.
- Spike plays to prove something. What’s fun for them is overcoming the opponent’s challenge, to get an advantage through superior knowledge or skill, and overall, playing to win.
Most gamers have at least a little of each, but most have one or two dominant. (And yes, it is annoying that all three have stereotypically male names.)
And the thing is, the default view for when you’re talking seriously about games and what’s good in them and what’s bad in them is the Spike. It’s a deeply-held and mostly unexamined assumption that the “hardcore” gaming audience - the audience that’s invested in games as a central part of what they do and who they are - is interested in winning first, and other reasons for playing second. But the thing is, that’s just not true, and sets sell a lot better when they’ve got stuff for Timmy and Johnny and Spike. And unless you understand this, you won’t be able to talk about what does well and why. It’s a widely-acknowledged truth in the Magic community that unless you’re able to imagine or at least acknowledge the Timmy viewpoint and the Johnny viewpoint, any journalism you do about this subject will have large, unexamined holes, and won’t be able to explain what’s going on.
Now. It’s a deeply-held and mostly unexamined assumption that the “hardcore” gaming audience is male and straight and (in the US, at least) largely white. But the thing is, that’s just not true. Unless you’re able to imagine or at least acknowledge other viewpoints, any journalism you do about this subject will have large, unexamined holes, and won’t be able to explain what’s going on.
We need people who can make that change - who can talk about games (and comics, and politics) from perspectives other than their own, who are willing to put the time in to find out what those perspectives are and listen to those who have them. Else, we will go the way of newspapers and Wizard Magazine, slowly fading into irrelevance.
Reblog for the afternoon/evening crowd~