He’s called “icycalm” and he’d have you believe he’s the smartest guy in the room. He probably is; he certainly writes like it. He has played more games than I have—he’s played more games than my closest friends and myself combined. He knows what he’s talking about as a gamer. If you should read any gamers' views on gaming, you should probably read Alex’s.
The problem is that he writes as if he doesn’t want to be read. He insults his opponents and spends so much time telling you how smart and exceptional he is that you are forced to doubt it. His style and tone lead to most readers dismissing his writing. Neither he nor his ideas should be dismissed, but Alex insists on testing everyone’s patience. He’s saying some important stuff about gaming; he does himself a disservice by splattering insults and self-congratulation throughout his otherwise fascinating writing.
Two of Alex’s articles every self-respecting gamer should read:
- The heart of role-playing games isn’t smacking crap with a sword. In fact, most videogames classified as RPGs are far from deserving the title. Alex offers a great summary of the history of RPGs and how we’ve gotten to a this sad state.
- Arcade culture—we should regret that we’ve lost it (or that we’ve never had it) in the West. Alex analyzes the arcade culture in Japan with a certain reverence and respect uncommon in his work. He tells you why the arcade ecosystem produces amazing games and how Westerners entirely miss the point.
Yes, these articles are long. I assure you that they’re worth your time if you are interested in gaming.
[Alex has responded to my post by calling me "trailer trash", and a "fagot". Sounds good to me. -Ev]