I’ve been thinking about this, so I wanted to say one more thing: I don’t think the comments of the IndieCade reviewers were terribly evil or unfair. I do think that their comments reveal a mindset, very common in the world of games, that is worth criticizing and analyzing – but I wouldn’t say they were evil or ridiculous. But what I’ve realized in thinking about it is that I’m generally not very fond of the idea of competition, of judging games against one another. With an artform this radically varied, that just feels like the wrong way of approaching the subject, and one that imposes false criteria of excellence. You can’t stick all these games into one bag.
That also makes me think that perhaps the more appropriate form is the exhibition, where games can display their variety and uniqueness without having to try to outdo one another in fields that aren’t even relevant to them. I don’t know about you, but I’d be more honoured to be included in a list with people that I admire than to be told I’m better than them, because I know that I’m not.