Thoughts & Such

Things I think and things I link.


This post is as much to help me remember what I’m doing as to promote the panels i’m appearing on at PAX East 2012. that said, if you want to watch me up on stage at the show, here’s when and where to do it.

Friday, April 6

Metacritic’s Standardization Problem (And How To Fix It)
Friday, 11:30 a.m., Arachnid Theatre

Metacritic has been criticized for a lot of things over the years, but one of its biggest problems is how it tries to standardize different scores from different outlets. An 85/100 from a site with tough grading standards is very different from an 8.5/10 from a site that gives good scores out like candy, and both scores are extremely different from a “B” grade from a site that doesn’t even use numeric scoring. Yet each of these scores becomes a simple “85” in MetaCritic’s calculus.  This presentation will lay out a new system, dubbed “Percentwise,” which converts scores using a percentile rating based around how outlets actually distribute their own scores across the entire scale. Under the Percentwise system, a game is judged based on an outlet’s actual average review score, rather than what that outlet says should mean “average.” Under the Percentwise system, 50% really is the middle-of-the-road!

Stuff Your Criticism, I Want A Review!
Friday, 3 p.m., Wyvern Theatre

Is there a difference between a game review and game criticism? Do you expect reviewers to talk about why a game is important in the annals of development or do you just want to know whether it’s worth your $60 or not? Should game reviewers even CARE if you’re going to purchase a title? As the video game media matures along with video games themselves, the purpose of a review isn’t as clear as it once was. Come hear what a panel of experienced reviewers and games media pundits have to say about these questions, and then let them know what *you* want out of your game reviews.

PANELISTS: Dennis Scimeca [Freelance Writer, G4, The Escapist, Gamasutra], Chris Dahlen [Freelance Writer, Kill Screen (co-founder), Pitchfork, Onion AV Club], Susan Arendt [Managing Editor, The Escapist], Mitch Krpata [Video Game Critic, Boston Phoenix], Kyle Orland [Senior Gaming Editor, Ars Technica]

The Blankety Blank Panel!
Friday, 6 p.m., Manticore Theatre 

Get ready to match the stars! Join a hilarious collection of writers, pundits, and comedians for PAX Game, the live version of classic TV game show Match Game. Members of the audience will be selected as contestants and challenged to predict how the panelists will answer excessively silly questions. Whoever matches the most answers wins! For a raucous evening of raunchy fun, stop by – and bring your sense of humor.

PANELISTS: Susan Arendt [Managing Editor, The Escapist], Graham Stark [Loading Ready Run], Kathleen DeVere [Loading Ready Run], Bob Chipman [Escape to the Movies, The Escapist], Kyle Orland [Senior Games Editor, Ars Technica], Mike Wehner [Tecca], Dan Amrich [Activision], Russ Pitts [Features Editor, Vox Games]

Saturday, April 7

How Not to Succeed as a Freelance Game Journalist
Saturday, 7 p.m., Arachnid Theatre 

Making a successful go at being a game journalist involves more than just good ideas and proper grammar. Join experienced editors (and former freelancers) Susan Arendt (The Escapist) and Justin McElroy (Vox Games), Kyle Orland (Ars Technica), Andrew Hayward (MacLife), AJ Glasser (Inside Network), and Rob Rath (freelance) as they discuss the common pitfalls, gaffes, and mistakes that give potential employers the wrong impression of you. Think it’s all common sense? Think again. If you’re interested in game journalism, this panel should not be missed!

PANELISTS: Susan Arendt [Managing Editor, The Escapist], Justin McElroy [Managing Editor, Vox Games], Kyle Orland [Senior Games Editor, Ars Technica], AJ Glasser [Managing Editor, Inside Network], Rob Rath [Freelancer], Andrew Hayward [Editor, Mac|Life]

 


It’s like a monster truck you can pour into your face!


“Hello from Disney Israel”

“I just want to see if Abraham Lincoln can beat a pirogi.”

-The inimitable Bruce Webster, in Pittsburgh


“Will money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?”
-Primitive Radio Gods, “Standings Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in my Hand”


“Those left standing will make millions writing books on the way it should have been.”
- Incubus, “Warning”


It’s been a long time coming, but my daily one-hour gaming project, Games for Lunch, has finally relaunched on Crispy Gamer. Get the details.


six more weeks of winter!


If you live in a Super Tuesday state, get off your butt and make your voice heard, people!


OK, so this video doesn’t discuss the issues or anything, but the Clinton/Obama divide on “the issues” isn’t wide enough to fit a needle’s thread through. It’s a bit over the top, but I think it captures what’s so special about the Obama candidacy, and why he’s going to surprise people on Tuesday. If this message can get to a professional cynic like me, I can’t imagine how others are responding.


No, I’m not going to write that many. But Malcolm Galdwell did, and it’s incredibly interesting. Take ten minutes and read it through.


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