Sunday, February 14, 2010

Phoenix Games blog

An old friend of mine has undertaken a interesting blog project. His website, Phoenix Games, seeks to post at least one reminiscence per day related to video games.

Victor Paul Alvarez is a traditionally trained journalist employed as the Editor for several small town newspapers in Rhode Island. His passion is pop culture and video games in particular. Victor believes video games are poised to become the next big shift in narrative -- much like prose overtook verse, and the novel became the dominant literary form. He's got an interesting viewpoint worth pondering...

Anyway, he has been cranking out video game reviews like crazy the past few years in order to make a name for himself in the field, and in an attempt to find the correct voice for literary critique of the form. Not so easy. How do you criticize a media that is still in the process of defining itself?

The Phoenix Games blog is an attempt to find the connections between the games and the real lives of people. Some of the posts are straight up reviews of old, classic games; but others are tied to fond memories. What makes a game great??? The same kinds of things that make a movie great, or a car great, in the minds of the consumer. It isn't necessarily the quality of the game itself, but the role it played in the person's life. While it looks like most of the posts are still by Victor himself, he's enlisted others to provide guest posts. It's tough to write one article a day about any topic, no matter how passionate you are about the subject.

I'm told the blog has some good buzz in the video game community. Possibly that's because the main critical style in vogue these days is the "ripper" in which every possible flaw is exposed and subject to dissection. Generally, these posts aren't snarky, but seek to emphasize the positive about the game.

I've linked the blog in my Blog Roll on the left hand of the page. Even if you're not an avid gamer, I hope you'll check out his blog and sample some of the posts.