"The gaming community, or let’s say the ones with voices -popular developers, media, and maybe celebrities if we have those- have a cake eating problem. We want to be taken seriously as an artform but don’t often value critical analysis. Game criticism and academia are held in disdain and shoved in corners, dubbed inapplicable. Recycling the same themes, mechanics, and ideologies of game design passes through reviews and feature articles without scrutiny."On the one hand, we gamers want our games to be respected as 'art'. On the other hand, the minute any sort of critical lens is placed on themes or mechanics of a game, the cry from many corners is "It's just a game, why are you taking it so seriously? Get a life!"
But you can't have it both ways. The more that games develop in complexity and scope of their content, the more they will be measured for cultural relevance and judged for their themes. And we'll have to accept that such a development means we gamers need to start seriously examining what and why we play and be prepared to offer better in reply to serious analysis of them other than "It's just a game."