In The Ghetttoooooo (Not About Actual Ghettoes)

Today, I read Chris Hekcer talking about the relationship between videogame devs and videogame journalists. Thanks to the perverse incentives of the attention economy, vdeogame journalists have long since valued high volume reactions over producing what you could consider ‘good journalism’ – it’s not like the industry pays particularly well compared to advertising, of which it is an arm. I guess what I’m saying is, no, I’m not surprised at all to see specific examples of what Hecker was talking about, of journalists being loud and rude in the name of doing their job. This is pretty likely to be how it’s going to be as long as videogame journalism is going to cost consumers nothing while demanding a news cycle eight hours long.

Still, there was this interesting point Hecker said in his article, down at the end, where he referred to the ‘ghetto’ of ‘comics and toys.’

Now.

Look.

Toys as mass media forms, I’m going to guess, includes things like balls, and last I checked, there are some pretty important sporting events that use balls. I’ve heard of them and I’m a nerd. Toys include games like Monopoly, which has been studied by psychology papers. Toys include board games like our current rennaisance and educational toys and tools-as-games. Toys aren’t in a ghetto, I mean, c’mon, how many millions is the superbowl worth?

And comics?

Comics have enough pull right now that they’re getting blockbuster movies. Comics are growing. Comics have new distribution vectors, classical hsitory reaching back more than a century, academic presence and at least one Nobel prize for literature.

This is all while Hecker is framing his concern as hoping that Nintendo specifically focused more on videogames as an art form and less as a game experience, because he considered that Sony and Microsoft at least considered videogames as ‘peers to movies and books.’

Because when I think of enabling art and artistic expression, I think of Sony and Microsoft.

Edit: I wrote originally under the impression that Maus had won a Nobel prize for literature. I didn’t check that, and I was wrong. My bad.

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