You read that headline correctly. The New York Times website now has a videogames section under ‘Arts.’ Someone must have realized Seth Schiesel’s been too long toiling away in the ‘Television’ section and called in a favor with the web engineers.
Schiesel’s been a Charge Shot!!! favorite before we branched out beyond gaming. He represents the industry well with serious, even-keeled coverage and quality writing. (That said, I wonder if he regrets saying The Beatles: Rock Band “may be the most important videogame ever” the way I regret implying that no one remembers Serious Sam.) Plus, he has a knack for seeing where games fit into the big picture while simultaneously being able to judge them on their own terms.
His recent review of LittleBigPlanet 2 pinpoints why it should be Sony’s system-seller:
“…computers and software are really all about unleashing creativity, not stifling it.
One of the saddest aspects of the electronic age is that even as computers have become more powerful and pervasive (ubiquitous even), the ability to create software for them has escaped the reach of everyday people.
[…]Of course making anything that lots of other people will actually enjoy still takes a tremendous amount of dedication and perhaps even skill. That is true in any realm of creation. But if you are, say, a parent who worries that video games are melting your children’s brains, ask them if they wouldn’t like to try their hand at actually making a game.”
It’s not just Schiesel contributing to this nascent ‘Arts’ subsection. Others are pitching in in the news department, weighing in on the handheld wars and recent news stories like the gaming buzz surrounding Tuscon shooter Jared L. Loughner. Give them some traffic. They deserve it.