New Games Journalism


New Games Journalism (NGJ) refers to a type of video game journalism in which creative analysis and subjectivity are used to explore design and culture; It was coined in 2004 by Kieron Gillen in his manifesto. It was, in part, a response to the downfall of many review networks at the advent of the indie game movement in the mid 2000’s (gamers kept slamming them for being biased and too surface-level):

Now that the great publishing beasts have been defeated and their ashes scattered to the four corners of the Earth, we might take a brief respite to mull over where we have ended up. The “New Games Journalism” movement proposed originally in Kieron Gillen’s Manifesto gave some of us the courage to write about our “subjective” experiences of games. And there is something liberating in the idea: instead of relying upon the traditional objective review criteria (ie. on a 1-10 scale) we could turn to our experiences for inspiration (Chris, 2009).

It’s a similar idea to travel journalism.

Unfortunately, the movement went down the path of being purely a matter of individual opinion as opposed to how our connections to games might reflect a social movement–game play and player experiences become highly separate entities. Furthermore, as Chris puts it, “instead of providing deep critiques of games and reflect upon what they express of our societies as they are now, the vast majority of critiques cherry-pick superficial aspects of a game” (2009).



3 Responses to “New Games Journalism”

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