Khoi Vin has written an excellent post calling for more criticism within the field of graphic design. The entire piece is surprisingly relevant to the current state of video game criticism:
Like it or not, you can't have a serious discourse about an art form until you have people whose sole involvement in that art form is criticism. You need, in effect, an independent press. Actually, to be clear, what you need is an economic model that can support a corps of passionate, clear-thinking individuals who are dedicated to vigilantly watching over the progression of the medium. Recent troubles aside, this is why art, film and architecture have achieved such great heights in our society: those art forms are economically robust enough to support a vibrant critical class.
The question is, with games as ubiquitous and “economically robust” as they are, what is preventing the rise of a vibrant critical class? Could it be that the enthusiast press is using its size and influence to masquerade as a critical community and, by effect, suffocating the true emerging criticism?