The Starseed Observatory is designed to be an example of next-generation games criticism. The main content includes the best critique and analysis we could find or write ourselves; links to existing quotes, article, videos, podcasts etc.; and design conversations that explore many “what if” ideas. Just as important as the content are the tools we provide to help strengthen and extend the conversation through your participation. Using the design frameworks and the glossary of terms we hope that your Starseed conversations, wherever they take place, will be more clear and organized. We hope that if these conversations are public, that you’ll let us know so we can tie it into the Starseed Observatory. Or if you want to engage with the Observatory more directly, we invite you to submit articles and counter arguments on any of the featured content. Ultimately, we want everyone to have better conversations about games.
A message from Richard Terrell:
You could say this site is the result of an idea I’ve had since 2004 when I was in high school. Before twitter, youtube, and the social media explosion that started with web 2.0, I was a kid who loved to listen to the advice, comments, and opinions of everyone around me. Positive or otherwise, I grew up thinking that every voice had a context in which it is best understood. Standing in the middle of a sea of voices each with their own place and direction, creates something like a map inside my head. And that’s one thing I hope to convey with this website.
Recently Critical-Gaming conducted a survey called “After the Game,” which asked questions about how we enjoy our gaming experiences after we’re done playing. If you’re interested in taking the short survey, I suggest clicking here before continuing.
The result are pretty clear about a few things; we love playing games, talking about games, and looking up information about games. But the data doesn’t show the fear and uncertainty and isolation that exists within the gaming discourse. It doesn’t reflect the distrust many have over game reviews and journalistic integrity. It doesn’t hint at the dividing lines frequently fought over by various types of game writers and groups. It doesn’t convey the hesitation many have over the idea of consuming critical material about games for fear of losing a cherished aspect of their gaming experience. And it hardly communicates how a lack of clear language and specific examples keeps conversations from progressing past vague generalities.
So consider this website a major step for games criticism. Though a small team of critical-gamers came together to build this site, we did it so that we can better represent all gamers and better represent games.