I think that their willingness to pick up the unfinished Games Quarterly subscriptions is a great way for them to get their name out in a big way. (I had never heard of them until then). Hopefully the support of the gaming community will encourage game publishers to include inserts in Knuckebones.
Yes and no. I think it's a question of format/genre. If you're trying to steer people to games, the focus shouldn't be on new releases (which is what reviewers generally review, right?). "Best deduction games" or "So you wanna be a wargamer"- type articles would do a better job of making the most out of your word quota.
From what I've seen of Knucklebones, they follow the ideas you cite. What are the best games about Zoos? Best dice games, etc. When it comes to getting a message across, it's always much better to say what you want people to do ("Play Settlers of Catan if you want wholesome experience for your family of four."), than what not to do ("Stay away from Crocodile Pool Party, it's the worstest game evAR!").
If that's unnecessary positive spin, then I guess I'm guilty of being a spinster. At the risk of horribly throwing this thread off-topic, this same argument works well for the whole Ameritrash/Eurosnoot flap: Where the Ameritrash movement went horribly wrong was in making the campaign about the negatives of Eurosnooting, instead of the positives of the blowing up your buddy with rocket launchers and constructing story around your gaming experience...
I think we basically agree, but if they're doing feature articles of the sort I've mentioned, then reviews should be a mix of positive and negative. That is, if the goal is to attract/retain a game-savvy readership. If everything's good, you're no longer credible. And readers can't really interpret which silences are signficant. Especially when the magazine is published every other month, it's impossible to determine which games didn't get reviewed because they sucked (rather than because of space and time constraints, reviewer's failure to deliver a piece, etc.)
That said, it makes no sense to run a negative review of an obscure game (whereas positive reviews of obscure games are among the most valuable reviews). So maybe the best policy is review the big new (hyped, easy to find, brand name) games objectively and always save space for undiscovered treasures.
Last edited Wed May 2, 2007 6:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)