Ian Bogost (the Cow Clicker guy) knows of what he speaks.
Mostly interesting for the high v low culture game stratification argument IMO.
I think the analogy can be taken even farther than Radoff takes it. Not only is the high/low divide beginning to replicate itself in games in much the same way that it has in comics, TV, movies, etc. Bogost himself is almost precisely analogous to the kind of critics you tend to get just as a medium/genre/form/channel begins to generate its own critical discussion. Bogost’s ideas have really done a lot to explain how games work and why they are important . He’s done a great job expanding our notion of how games communicate (see “procedural rhetoric”). But, having done that, he now wants to seal off what games are, to fight over the boundaries. Bogost wants to turn his previous observation of how games already are into a dictate about what they should be.
It’s frustrating, but it’s exceedingly normal. It happened in both comics and cinema, where observations about the importance of visual techniques became critical ideas that only the visual was important. TV’s doing it too now, a little bit, what with its insistence on complexity and serial narrative etc. etc. But like, you know: popism. It happens. It’s cool. I don’t really dig it, because I think it’s confusing the idea that games can be good with the idea that games must always be good. It’s a natural overreaction to prevalent ideas that games are always bad. But it’s not really valid.