Power of Play – Ben Miller

I had rather conflicted feelings while reading the article, and had a hard time taking many of its observations or assertions seriously. On the one hand, many of her points hold merit, but are often 

This starts with the whole focus on “urban / street” games, an already dubious category because of its name’s similarity to marketing buzzwords you see in music and movies. The closest the author ever gets to defining is on pg 144, where she says it cuts across genres. Besides this feature however, she never offers up a taxonomy to give the term meaning. Because of this, I got the impression she selected games that held the traits that she goes on to criticize, which turns any conclusions drawn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

She also often introduces or phrases the conversation in such a way as to highlight her intended point, even when it seems to run counter to reality. Such as the prevalence of these “street” games which exist only by her own categorization. Also the role of games as separate from the shortcomings of any other cultural work in continuing flaws of cultural representation.

That said, many things she noted, such as issues of racial or gender representation, are very much issues within games and the gaming subculture. But this article came across as an egregious oversimplification that misses the point.

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