Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
142 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [6] | 

BGG» Forums » Gaming Related » Gaming Articles

Subject: New York Times article on the Scramble for Africa controversy rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
badge
None of this is real you know, right? Go out in real life and smell the roses. Unless you're allergic.
Avatar
Microbadge: I purchased 100 microbadges in a single day.Microbadge: We are all going to be dead, so why sleeve?Microbadge: My contribution was deemed PyuredeadbrilliantMicrobadge: A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.Microbadge: I love falafel!
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/style/board-games-cancel-...

I imagine a thread on this could get all spicy, so I suggest people leave their spice jars unopened!

My first thought is that I'm always happy to see my hobby represented in a mainstream journal. Second, I wonder if they've done a good job of talking games. In this case, I think Mr. Draper basically has. He seems familiar with the games in question and doesn't sound like an idiot when talking about them. (He also gave a nice shout out to Spirit Island, one of my faves.)

Do you all think he did a decent job covering the topic?

Are the top 100 really 94% white men? I mean, there's Eric Lang, Hisashi Hayashi, and Elizabeth Hargrave, who aren't, but I don't know the gender or ethnicity of lots of game designers. If true, that's a pretty tiny portion.

Did he pick the right examples? I wonder why he didn't bring up This War of Mine or Freedom: The Underground Railroad, both of which cover difficult topics in a very serious way.

(You be you, but I'd suggest not rehashing the controversy in question. I mean, what's the point? My bias is in favor of publishing stuff and then let the consumer decide, but I can see why other folks think otherwise. I don't think anybody's gonna convince anybody and the topic has been argued a lot already!)
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Gutierrez
United States
Burbank
California
flag msg tools
badge
"A pilot's greatest virtue is to know when to run" -- "What's this, a joke?"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don’t know the numbers, but I can’t help, but feel that the author didn’t either.

Seemed to me that it was written by someone who doesn’t know much about modern board games. I’m probably just salty about the whole thing...
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Breit
Germany
Hessen
flag msg tools
badge
Smell the flowers...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(fwiw, the 94% come from this study: http://analoggamestudies.org/2018/12/assessing-gender-and-ra... so should be assumed to be accurate for December 2018. Of course, the top 100 change regularly, so it might be different now, but I would not expect a dramatic shift in the proportions over the last 7 months)

I think Mr. Draper gave a very thought-through discussion on the subject. The article has the problem all reporting on niche hobbies has, where you have to explain the hobby to outsiders, so for people who are in the hobby (as in, the BGG audience), the article can come off as simplistic.

But I think that generally it is very good when mainstream media engages with board games as a medium, especially in a critical and thoughtful way (like the article did). Good for him for getting a quote from Cole Wehrle, and for mentioning the guy in Nigeria (also, props to that guy).

The only way forward is by having a conversation. And I think the parallel he drew to video games is very relevant; that really struck a chord with me. Will be interesting to see where the hobby goes in the next few years.
43 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Olli Juhala
Finland
Turku
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Level 13 BGG posterMicrobadge: Castles of Burgundy fanMicrobadge: I'm a Yokohama fan!Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: A Feast for Odin fan
It is a pretty solid article. Well written and pretty even handed. It's way more in-depth about boardgames than a lot of quick-pass articles you see, and that is good.

I don't think it's fair to nit-pick on why they didn't bring up this particular counter-example. They may not have necessarily come up in their research. Spirit Island was a good example, because it directly deals with the topic at hand, that of colonization.

As for designer's being white men, that's a pretty good number. Like, Elizabeth Hargrave has one published game, granted, popular and well-recieved, but she's just broken through. Whereas I can list nearly endless amount of established white guy designers. Now, if you want to nit-pick that point, it does kinda ignore the East Asian markets, which have a number of established non-white designers, but they are also kinda thing of their own, with still fairly limited number of market penetration hereabouts.

A quick glance of the top 100 on BGG has Elizabeth Hargrave, Eric Lang, Ananda Gupta of Twilight Struggle (credited with only that game, and a co-designer), Jonathan Ying of Imperial Assault (co-designer), Hisashi Hayashi and judging by the name Juma Al-JouJou of Clans of Caledonia, although I will suggest the situation is slightly better now than it was, say, 3 or 5 years ago.

15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lisa Kenny
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
Avatar
I found it an interesting article and it seemed quite balanced, which seems to be a rarity in journalism these days, so yes I think he done a good job.

Well in regards to designers I’d expect them to be people that have grown up playing games for the most part. If the game playing population demographics claimed do exist, wouldn’t you expect that result? It would be fantastic to see more global designs come out of other countries etc, but surely this will only occur as participation in the hobby increases from those countries. Language is a huge barrier in the regard.

Did he pick the right games? I thought the games picked highlighted what he was trying to explain (although I haven’t played most of them, so maybe I’m not getting your question correctly).

As far as games being cancelled etc. I find it disappointing that certain topics seem no go zones. Yes they may be offensive to some people, but is avoiding that more important than ensuring history isn’t forgotten? I think how they are presented is obviously going to be a contentious issue, but it’s surprising how many people really know so little about world changing events. I’ve only learnt about many things because they have been referenced elsewhere. The biggest issue I find here is people seeing their own agenda as being more important than other people being able to be exposed to things and drawing their own conclusions.

I grew up with my older brothers playing Axis and Allies. I’ve learnt so much about the Second World War due to curiosity being triggered because of that game, that regardless of any negatives you might paint about playing Nazis Germany etc that I am much better off for it than not.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason J
msg tools
The article seemed pretty biased to me.

1)He just kind of hand waved away the fact that difficult subjects are commonly being addressed in other media by just saying board games are fundamentally different than other forms. I can't imagine any article trying to say "should authors be writing about X." He needs to be much more convincing with this argument. One can be just as active and engrossed reading a book or watching a movie as playing a game.

2)Him basically saying the vast majority of the posts in a thread with 1,000 or whatever were useless really gives off kind of a holier than thou impression rather than an unbiased presentation I would expect.

3)He seems to at least imply that board game reviewers are doing a disservice by only judging based on mechanics and gameplay rather than the underlying theme. I completely disagree. When I watch a reviewer, I only care about how the mechanics and theme interact to create a mood/atmosphere/fun experience, etc. I can tell for myself if the game morally offends me.

4)They 94% statistic was poorly used. Why use stats for that and then anecdotes from conferences to say things seem to be improving. How about actually checking the data? Is the 94% even surprising if the customer base is heavily skewed? How does it compare to other industries?

5)He doesn't really offer much for alternative explanations. For example, he hypothesises that the reason for so many games about Colonialism is due to the fact that most designers are white males. Perhaps.

It is equally or perhaps even more likely that the reason Colonialism is a common theme is that board gamers like games that involve a historical setting (can't even describe how many WW2 games exist) and they also like to build up engines/grow things (cities/civilizations/economic engines,etc).

22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Germany
Mannheim
Deutschland
flag msg tools
Avatar
I found it quite good and he picked relevant persons to interview, which in itself means he had to delve quite deep into the hobby (I mean, where does a non-gamer start to end up interviewing Wherle and Reuss? That takes some research).

I also like to think that society moves forward and sometimes that means that something that was absolutely ok 20 years ago is a no-go today. I think the article shows that some authors like Cole Wehrle that touch those subjects in a thoughtful way. That usually doesn't mean that themes are off-limits, but that an author has to do his homework covering the theme in a respectful manner.

About representation: I like to think that most boardgamers are actually aware of the topic, but in the end, we have to admit there is a road ahead of us. For example, the SDJ/KDJ Jury is mostly men, and only white people. Which doesn't mean they don't care: The SDJ has taken a stance against racism with "Spielend für Toleranz" and recently got Julia Zerlik into the Jury, who has a successful Youtube Channel. But we can't simply say there is no problem.

I think we can't ignore the medium. In Boardgames, there is always the emotional high of doing well and ultimately, winning. It's already hard and needs some thought to make a movie or tv-show where you are forced to identify with a person or group that we consider morally wrong. In a game, any thought-provoking mechanisms and themes have to consider the fact that you still might feel pretty good if you win or make a good move.

And to be honest, most colonialization or trading in the mediterranean themes in Eurogames are actually tiresome to most, and I do indulge if a game has some actual scientific background, be it historical or natural sciences. I am happy that in 2019, I can colonize Mars and not some part of Africa where actual people lived, and I am happy that games with fresh themes like Prêt-à-Porter, Smartphone Inc. (because how about trading in the here and now) have a chance on the market.

For me, there was actually new stuff in that article, I didn't know a thing about neither train nor about the African boardgame scene and a board game cafe in Abuja. How cool is that? For me, that ended with a very positive note.
23 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Breit
Germany
Hessen
flag msg tools
badge
Smell the flowers...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MrPerfect1 wrote:
The article seemed pretty biased to me.

1)He just kind of hand waved away the fact that difficult subjects are commonly being addressed in other media by just saying board games are fundamentally different than other forms. I can't imagine any article trying to say "should authors be writing about X." He needs to be much more convincing with this argument. One can be just as active and engrossed reading a book or watching a movie as playing a game.
I do think that board games are fundamentally different from other forms of media (just like all media are different from each other, that's why we have them, after all). I understand your point, but I don't think HIS point is that board games should not engage with difficult topics.
Also, I think the same critical examination applies to all media. The headline he chose might be a little click-baitey, but ALL media should expect scrutiny with regards to difficult subjects like colonialism.

MrPerfect1 wrote:
2)Him basically saying the vast majority of the posts in a thread with 1,000 or whatever were useless really gives off kind of a holier than thou impression rather than an unbiased presentation I would expect.
Haven't read that thread so no clue how accurate his assessment is. The length of the article is an issue here, how would you describe a 1.000-post discussion in short without massive omissions; also, that probably wasn't the point of the article. But I see your criticism, I guess I just didn't read his comments like that.

MrPerfect1 wrote:
3)He seems to at least imply that board game reviewers are doing a disservice by only judging based on mechanics and gameplay rather than the underlying theme. I completely disagree. When I watch a reviewer, I only care about how the mechanics and theme interact to create a mood/atmosphere/fun experience, etc. I can tell for myself if the game morally offends me.
I disagree with your disagreement. The point of a review is to examine ALL aspects of a work of art. A film review only focussing on issues of lighting, framing, etc. would certainly leave a lot to be desired.

It is up to the audience to decide which parts of a review are relevant for their decision to go see the movie or buy the game. You can tell for yourself if something offends you and you absolutely should! That does not preclude the option for reviewers to talk about THEIR opinion about the theme/subject matter.

MrPerfect1 wrote:
4)They 94% statistic was poorly used. Why use stats for that and then anecdotes from conferences to say things seem to be improving. How about actually checking the data? Is the 94% even surprising if the customer base is heavily skewed? How does it compare to other industries?
Fair criticism. There's a lot of factors at work here explaining the demographics. But I don't think he leaned on that statistic to heavily and did not use it to vilify "board gamers" as a whole, just pointed out a fact.

MrPerfect1 wrote:
5)He doesn't really offer much for alternative explanations. For example, he hypothesises that the reason for so many games about Colonialism is due to the fact that most designers are white males. Perhaps.

It is equally or perhaps even more likely that the reason Colonialism is a common theme is that board gamers like games that involve a historical setting (can't even describe how many WW2 games exist) and they also like to build up engines/grow things (cities/civilizations/economic engines,etc).
Also a fair criticism. There are many possible explanations he doesn't mention. At least he clearly labels his hypothesis as such and does not treat it as an established explanation.

(also I would like to add that "being interested in history" and "liking engine-building" both do not preclude critically engaging with the theme/subject matter of the game at hand. I do certainly not know enough about Scramble for Africa to make an assessment so this is not meant as a comment on that specific situation; just pointing it out in general.)
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Germany
Mannheim
Deutschland
flag msg tools
Avatar
I think the Vice Article does it a bit better, but it's long tail journalism, so they can delve a bit deeper and don't necessarily need to inform people who have no idea to the topic:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vb9gd9/a-cancelled-board-...

It should be noted that it's the actual boardgame community that criticized "Scramble for Africa", not some outside force or evil journalists criticizing the poor boardgamers who just want to play.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Breit
Germany
Hessen
flag msg tools
badge
Smell the flowers...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(Just for reference, there are threads on the same article:

- in the Wargaming subforum: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2248555/nyt-should-board-ga...

- and in the RSP subforum: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2248516/scramble-africa-new...)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Mogensen
Denmark
Silkeborg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cetequ wrote:
The only way forward is by having a conversation.
To a limit.
I don't have any opinion about Scramble for Africa. I don't know the game and I fully respect that this is a business decision of GMT.
But much of this general debate (like the arguments about Puerto Rico) feels to me as exactly the same as back in the 80s when the religious right tried to insert their view of morality into the role playing genre and declared D&D for satanic.
I don't think there's any conversation to be had with such extremists.

Quote:
And I think the parallel he drew to video games is very relevant; that really struck a chord with me. Will be interesting to see where the hobby goes in the next few years.
I don't think the gamergate video games stuff is relevant to any of my 30+ years of board game experiences at all.
That there are misogynists bigots in a online forum for a hobby I don't have and don't care about, really has no impact on what I do with my hobby.
Don't try to transfer that controversy just because the word "game" appears in both.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Olli Juhala
Finland
Turku
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Level 13 BGG posterMicrobadge: Castles of Burgundy fanMicrobadge: I'm a Yokohama fan!Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: A Feast for Odin fan
moriarty wrote:
cetequ wrote:
The only way forward is by having a conversation.
To a limit.
I don't have any opinion about Scramble for Africa. I don't know the game and I fully respect that this is a business decision of GMT.
But much of this general debate (like the arguments about Puerto Rico) feels to me as exactly the same as back in the 80s when the religious right tried to insert their view of morality into the role playing genre and declared D&D for satanic.
I don't think there's any conversation to be had with such extremists.
Well, it's kinda hard for people to have a conversation with you, if you assume they are extremists, and don't have a valid point of criticism.
30 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Olli Juhala
Finland
Turku
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Level 13 BGG posterMicrobadge: Castles of Burgundy fanMicrobadge: I'm a Yokohama fan!Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: A Feast for Odin fan
skutsch wrote:

(You be you, but I'd suggest not rehashing the controversy in question. I mean, what's the point? My bias is in favor of publishing stuff and then let the consumer decide, but I can see why other folks think otherwise. I don't think anybody's gonna convince anybody and the topic has been argued a lot already!)
Hey skutchs, I have a question on this:

Do you think the "market" can only make decisions through raw purchase? That heavy criticism of an announced game before it's release is not a market action? I would assume a publisher can make decisions whether a game is financially good decision to publish before committing more funds to it's printing.

This is just because I see often the implication that "market decides" means "whether a game makes money or loses money once it's on sale", but there's a lot more phases to publishing a game than just printing and releasing.
16 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Breit
Germany
Hessen
flag msg tools
badge
Smell the flowers...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
moriarty wrote:
cetequ wrote:
The only way forward is by having a conversation.
To a limit.
I don't have any opinion about Scramble for Africa. I don't know the game and I fully respect that this is a business decision of GMT.
But much of this general debate (like the arguments about Puerto Rico) feels to me as exactly the same as back in the 80s when the religious right tried to insert their view of morality into the role playing genre and declared D&D for satanic.
I don't think there's any conversation to be had with such extremists.
I absolutely agree that there are limits to conversations; and that trying to argue with extremists is pointless.
But I think this is not what happened in this case. I don't want to argue about the Scrambe for Africa situation because I absolutely do not know enough about it to argue one way or the other. But I don't think that the people who started this conversation were extremists. They voiced their opinion, it was argued, and someone made a decision. That may very well have been the wrong decision (again, I don't know, I'm not qualified), but the fact that a conversation took place at all is absolutely a good thing in my opinion.

But yes, we absolutely have to make sure that it remains a productive discussion, and do not veer into silencing people because they disagree with you.

Quote:
wrote:
And I think the parallel he drew to video games is very relevant; that really struck a chord with me. Will be interesting to see where the hobby goes in the next few years.
I don't think the gamergate video games stuff is relevant to any of my 30+ years of board game experiences at all.
That there are misogynists bigots in a online forum for a hobby I don't have and don't care about, really has no impact on what I do with my hobby.
Don't try to transfer that controversy just because the word "game" appears in both.
Misunderstanding. I wasn't talking about the gamergate stuff specifically, but just how generally video games have transformed from a niche activity into a generally accepted medium, and how with that additional exposure came additional scrutiny (which is bad if you liked the way things are) and also additional creativity (which is great if you like new and interesting perspectives). I personally lean towards the latter, but obviously to each their own. But the emergence of new perspectives does not preclude the continued existence of people who prefer it the way things are. No one is talking about making it illegal to publish games about colonialism or other difficult topics. If the interest is there for a particular game, it will sell regardless.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
This post has been removed by a moderator - Politics
Response to removed post
Response to removed post
Response to removed post
This post has been removed by a moderator - Politics
Response to removed post
Phil
Germany
Esslingen am Neckar
Baden-Württemberg
flag msg tools
MrPerfect1 wrote:
The article seemed pretty biased to me.

1)He just kind of hand waved away the fact that difficult subjects are commonly being addressed in other media by just saying board games are fundamentally different than other forms. I can't imagine any article trying to say "should authors be writing about X." He needs to be much more convincing with this argument. One can be just as active and engrossed reading a book or watching a movie as playing a game.

2)Him basically saying the vast majority of the posts in a thread with 1,000 or whatever were useless really gives off kind of a holier than thou impression rather than an unbiased presentation I would expect.

3)He seems to at least imply that board game reviewers are doing a disservice by only judging based on mechanics and gameplay rather than the underlying theme. I completely disagree. When I watch a reviewer, I only care about how the mechanics and theme interact to create a mood/atmosphere/fun experience, etc. I can tell for myself if the game morally offends me.

4)They 94% statistic was poorly used. Why use stats for that and then anecdotes from conferences to say things seem to be improving. How about actually checking the data? Is the 94% even surprising if the customer base is heavily skewed? How does it compare to other industries?

5)He doesn't really offer much for alternative explanations. For example, he hypothesises that the reason for so many games about Colonialism is due to the fact that most designers are white males. Perhaps.

It is equally or perhaps even more likely that the reason Colonialism is a common theme is that board gamers like games that involve a historical setting (can't even describe how many WW2 games exist) and they also like to build up engines/grow things (cities/civilizations/economic engines,etc).

1.) Mostly irrelevant for what he did though

3.) See that's the difference. He created an objective criticism while you just phrase a subjective demand. What you do is irrelevant to the topic. But asking that reviewers should review the game in its entirety is a logical and understandable point. Because they should. Theme and presentation matter a lot. Even if a person does primarily look at mechanics, he/she is still influenced by the rest. One can praise Puerto Rico's mechanics but hardly ignore the fact that your working force is coloured brown, shipped to the new world and then used to work without any pay. I'm sure that theme doesn't matter here. Come on.

4.) While I generally would agree, using it to just compare enters the ground of logical fallacies. Comparisons have to be done very carefully, so at this point I would also rather avoid it until more research has been done in general. Just doing what you propose, would provide nothing more but an obvious whataboutism-argument or sentiment that is of no use, while putting the author in a bad position.

5.) Creating explanations is actually the point where he should stop entirely. That's not his job, that's the job of a (social)scientist. He has no understanding about any of that and lacks the insight. That might sound harsh but he hasn't qualified to do social scientific work and the work he does has a totally different access to the topic than science. A person in his position takes explanations from scientists researching on the topic and doesn't craft results itself. All he can propose is assumptions, nothing more. So actually I would take a step back from doing that altogether and if existent refer to knowledge about it. Otherwise it's just fantasizing.



To give also my own view on it instead of just addressing others:
I personally am torn. There are games where I had to draw a line and I wouldn't play them depending on which roles are offered in a theme. E.g. let's say you had to manage a Nazi controlled KZ. Could offer the best worker-placement mechanic known to mankind, I wouldn't even get close to it (that's why theme is relevant).
To pick a rather extreme example.

However, I also think, to a certain degree, gaming is about playing roles and so should allow to step into those.
Pirates are bad people, slavers, murderers and caused or still cause a lot of suffering.
Yet playing a pirate captain ordering to plunder can be a great experience in a boardgame.
That's part of the fun and not serious at all.
No one is playing out any secret demand to kill people and sell slaves at that point (although it might be that a person has that need though, you never know).
It's having fun to do something without actually doing it and thus not having any consequences.

Which means, not every game linked to perform a certain role is automatically a problem.
But the medium "boardgame" has, in its current boom, like any other medium (video games?) of its type, to check how far it can go and whether what already has been done is acceptable.

That possibly needs people to review their stance towards a few games with a new perspective.
Maybe some we liked aren't acceptable. And there will be more games overstepping a line where the community is responsible for making a clear cut and disallow it. Where that is, is a matter of a consensus in its sensibility towards such topics.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason J
msg tools
cetequ wrote:


I disagree with your disagreement. The point of a review is to examine ALL aspects of a work of art. A film review only focussing on issues of lighting, framing, etc. would certainly leave a lot to be desired.

It is up to the audience to decide which parts of a review are relevant for their decision to go see the movie or buy the game. You can tell for yourself if something offends you and you absolutely should! That does not preclude the option for reviewers to talk about THEIR opinion about the theme/subject matter.
I guess we just fundamentally disagree. If I am watching Siskel and Ebert for their review of Supersize me, I am not looking for a review about the philosophy of consumerism or about the hiring practices that were employed to produce the documentary. When I turn on their review, I want to find out if it was well acted, well shot, and entertaining.

I want the review to cover things I do not already know. I can research consumerism and the ethics of fast food without having the reviewer spend time on it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
This post has been removed by a moderator - Politics
Elias Någonsson
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
LisaK88 wrote:
As far as games being cancelled etc. I find it disappointing that certain topics seem no go zones. Yes they may be offensive to some people, but is avoiding that more important than ensuring history isn’t forgotten?
I don't think there's any topics that are really no-go zones. Rather, the objections are to *how* certain games handles the topic. For a completely different topic that is highly sensitive, take the subject of sexual consent. If someone published a game where the goal is making max money off of a sex trafficking ring, that is likely to be objected to by a lot of people unless handled extremely well. Yet you have a game like Consentacles, which deals specifically with that topic and is well-regarded. The *topic* isn't the issue, the way it is handled is.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexander Breit
Germany
Hessen
flag msg tools
badge
Smell the flowers...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MrPerfect1 wrote:
cetequ wrote:


I disagree with your disagreement. The point of a review is to examine ALL aspects of a work of art. A film review only focussing on issues of lighting, framing, etc. would certainly leave a lot to be desired.

It is up to the audience to decide which parts of a review are relevant for their decision to go see the movie or buy the game. You can tell for yourself if something offends you and you absolutely should! That does not preclude the option for reviewers to talk about THEIR opinion about the theme/subject matter.
I guess we just fundamentally disagree. If I am watching Siskel and Ebert for their review of Supersize me, I am not looking for a review about the philosophy of consumerism or about the hiring practices that were employed to produce the documentary. When I turn on their review, I want to find out if it was well acted, well shot, and entertaining.

I want the review to cover things I do not already know. I can research consumerism and the ethics of fast food without having the reviewer spend time on it.
yup, we do just fundamentally disagree =) nothing wrong with that, obviously.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [6] |