*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 31, 2014, 03:41:27 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 87 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Book Reviews, RPG Reviews - US vs. international?  (Read 4973 times)
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« on: August 13, 2001, 03:17:00 PM »

I'm a little worried about posting this, but  . . . to bring some outside perspective to the "review issue" -

I heard an interview with writer Paul Theroux on the radio a few days back (go to http://www.commonwealthclub.org/01-05theroux-speech.html and you can read the whole thing).  Here's the snippet that most directly led me to write this post:

 " . . . look at the quality of the reviewers in the New York Times. You have a regular stable of reviewers. Does Norman Mailer ever review a book?  No. Does John Updike? Yes he does. Apart from Philip Roth, no.  William Styron, no. Do the elder statesmen of American letters write book reviews? No they do not. Do they in other countries? The answer is, all the time. So we have very few unenvious, very few Olympian figures who can assess a book. What we have are academics, want-to-be writers, angry, young untrained people. It's really sad. The books shouldn't be put in their hands."

There's more, about how even if a review praises him, he often finds 'em unreadable, and an earlier comment about "eunuchs in the harem" that's worth searching out.  But my point here is simply a) the notion that a quality review might be well served by the reviewer being skilled in the art (science, craft, whatever you want to call it) being reviewed is NOT unique to John Wick and RPGs, and b) the thought that it can/should be otherwise may be a uniquely American perspective.

Now, as I've said elsewhere, I feel a smart gamer can read even the worst, say, rpg.net review and get value - find out what's out there, a little about what it might be like, and etc.

I'm also quite happy Ron Edwards is doing reviews here at the Forge.

But I'd be most interested if the non-Americans out there could speak to this notion of a different attitude towards reviews internationaly than we have in the States.  Any support/opposition to that notion?

Gordon C. Landis

[ This Message was edited by: Gordon C. Landis on 2001-08-13 19:18 ]
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Philippe Tromeur
Member

Posts: 72


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2001, 01:33:00 AM »

Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2001, 11:01:00 PM »

Thanks, Philippe, that's just the kind of info I was looking for.  Some might argue that if the RPG "community" (ha!) started being less tolerant of "unprofessionalism" (in reviews and elsewhere), it'd gain more respect . . . who know ifthat's true?  Or even if it is, would it be a good thing?

Bah.  Entirely different subjects that don't fit in this forum, and probably aren't all that interesting.  Thaks again,

Gordon C. Landis
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Ian O'Rourke
Member

Posts: 273


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2001, 07:09:00 AM »

Not sure, but going on past debates over 'who should do reviews' Americans bring in the freedom of speach angle in way too quickly.


_________________
Ian O'Rourke
http://www.fandomlife.net">www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media, and Fandom Culture.

[ This Message was edited by: Ian O'Rourke on 2001-08-20 17:48 ]
Logged

Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
phillcalle
Guest
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2001, 12:57:00 PM »

You've got to keep in mind that freedom of speech*and a disdain for class barriers are ingrained in American culture.  Not that Americans apply either concept perfectly.  

*And yes, I realize that freedom of speech just means that the government can't censor, not that individual publishers can't censor.  But anger at censorious publishers or anyone who tells you that someone's opinion is automatically worthless is related to the rebellious spirit of the First Amendment.

If you want my pen, you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hand.
Logged
Ian O'Rourke
Member

Posts: 273


WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2001, 01:57:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-08-20 16:57, phillcalle wrote:
You've got to keep in mind that freedom of speech*and a disdain for class barriers are ingrained in American culture.  Not that Americans apply either concept perfectly.  



True, but sometimes people should learn just because you value the right to free speech, doesn't mean you have to speak out on everything

As for the class thing that's a weird belief, because I don't see the USA as less class driven than say the UK? The US class system is based on money (and to some extent colour), and it's also true that the US has political families that seem to hawk around the halls of power to such a degree they might as well be hereditary titles.

As you say, it's not applied perfectly. As for the rebellious spirit of first amendment, while its to be lauded for its principles, the attitude it instils in some quarters is not something to be proud of.

But this is going off topic.
Logged

Ian O'Rourke
www.fandomlife.net
The e-zine of SciFi media and Fandom Culture.
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2001, 04:20:00 AM »

Quote

You've got to keep in mind that freedom of speech*and a disdain for class barriers are ingrained in American culture.  Not that Americans apply either concept perfectly.  


Ha! Barely at all would be a better analysis; in fact I regard America as a heavily censored and censoring state, and also one exhibiting very strong class divides.

It is more accurate to say that this element is part of the self-image of the US state, but like all self-images it is also self-serving.  And I think the frequency with which it appears in this sort of debate arises from that specific social phenomenon - as with any enculturated social virtue, it is unassailable in argument (like the oft-quoted motherhood and apple pie).  It's use in this context is only to seize a putative moral high ground and thus imply the moral fecklessness of your opponent.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
FilthySuperman
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2001, 05:37:00 AM »

I know this is all getting off topic
But I have to put in a few friendly points.

IMHO, the banter about the first ammendment, it's merits, and how it is percieved and exploited by Americans as a whole is purely a matter of opinion.

Our country has been subjected in the last 10 years to some of the most barrier pushing forms of expression to rival, if not blatantly overtake those of other countries. Half of what we call "entertainment" would be highly illegal in many other countries. Therefore our viewpoint (no matter our opinion) is altered by constant exposure to people like:
Eminem, Marilyn Manson, Hugh Heffner, Howard Stern, Kevin Smith, and the Trey Parker/Matt Stone duo. Whether you are the type of person that embraces these things, or the type of person that feels revulsion at them, you are touched in many ways. Now before anyone states that other countries have the same things (Amsterdam's red light district for example) allow me to impart this: It is because we continue to push these barriers, and because there is too much interpretation into what our "rights" are that we either take a defensive, or offended stance on any form of expression. Therefore we choose, by nature, to be outspoken. That is something that is classless, casteless, systemless, and drawn across the gamut of race, religion, and morals. Americans soak up expression in all it's forms and opinionate on everything. I'm not saying we are better at "reviewing" or "dissecting" anything than anyone else, but as a culture we are more subjected and receptive thus making us more likely to "speak out". This also continues to say add to the old saying "everyone's a critic" because in some sense it's true here. Another good quote for americans is "Opinions are like ******es, everyone has one". To finalize, if you have a country of outspoken populace you are going to have a much larger amount of people making asses out of themselves. However, we also have some extremely insightful and talented people speaking out on very important things. They call America a melting pot, and with the bad you see, you cannot refuse to recognize the good. You also cannot compare our bad to anyone else's good. That's a flippant one sided viewpoint for the sole purpose of proving your own theorium.


T
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2001, 06:41:00 AM »

Gentlemen etc,

This thread is grossly off topic. This is the Forge, not debate and discussion of the free speech issue. Although everyone is being perfectly wonderful and courteous, and I imagine this is the ONLY example on the net of discussing this matter with courtesy, I am stopping the buck.

Please take it to private e-mail.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!