Game Theory

All hail the video game critic!

Now I don’t play video games much myself. I leave that to my personal video game adviser, Jason, who, frankly, does play video games much. And yet, even though I have no real need for a video game reviewer, I find myself, almost weekly, turning to the “Game Theory” column of the New York Times’s Circuits section. Charles Herold is the reviewer there, and he has forged what, for me, is the perfect voice for a critic. He is personable and first-person. He acknowledges conflicting points of view, but stands by his own experience. And he accepts that he has a really fun job.

While I’m at it, I want to give similar kudos to the New York Observer for its movie reviewing (even though I’ve let my subscription drop). The Observer, the pleasantly pink weekly, also gives its two reviewers real columns where they can develop trustworthy (or otherwise) personae. Of the two, I find the venerable and aged auteurist Andrew Sarris to be a cinematic soul mate, at least when it comes to enjoying movies or not. I rarely ever agree with his counterpart Rex Reed. What’s fun is that the Observer lets them overlap from time to time, unlike more staid papers that take an official position.

In short, I like a bit of personality in my criticism. I think it’s charmingly old-fashioned–and more accurate.

One comment

  1. Great blog, dude. Also, nice point on the issue of voice in reviews. I’ll often keep reading a reviewer with an intriguing voice even if I disagree about what’s actually being reviewed (Armond White springs to mind). Anywayze here’s one of my old stabs —

    Suikoden 2 review at

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