Shawn Elliot (best known from GFW, EGM, and 1up) has started a symposium on his blog focusing on game reviews. While this may not be too earth shattering by itself; the scope of it is. The symposium encompasses topics such as Review Scores; Review Policy, Practice and Ethics; Reader Backlash; Reviews in the Age of Social media; Reviews in the Mainstream Media; Casual, Indie, User-Generated Games; Reviews vs. Criticism; and Evolving the Review.
A pretty hefty list to say the least. Along with these topics is a long list of major game industry journalists taking part including Dan Hsu, N’Gai Croal, Leigh Alexander, John Davison, Jeff Gerstmann, Stephen Totilo, and others. Each person has a unique perspective to bring into the conversation with Shawn playing moderator.
The first part of the symposium is up right now with the topic of review scores. The conversation bounces around from merits of reviews, to practices of reviews, to impact of reviews on the reviewer. It’s a fairly long read, but I think it’s important that most interested in reviews or games journalism do so. At a time when game magazines are dieing off, large games journalism sites are dwindling, and smaller game focused sites are rising I think these conversations should be had.
It’ll be interesting to see the coming parts of the symposium as topics get more complex and gain relevance with recent events.