I made a quick infographic to summarize the discussion around games criticism
And where we go astray is step two. It’s the gamer equivalent to “Don’t like ‘Murica? Then move!” It’s a complete deflection from the real problems with identity and representation in one of the most powerful and popular mediums we have. It sets up a false dichotomy, as though anyone who offers criticism must then go and make a game.
We can have both. We can have intelligent criticism that is acknowledged and embraced with engaged discourse AND we can have diverse populations creating games (that may or may not be conventional).
Film criticism, music criticism, art criticism, literary criticism… all these forms of critique are accepted as part of the process of creating artistic experiences. While it can be aggravating, these fields have figured out how to (usually) work amicably to set up intelligent discourse. Gamers and game designers need to not take it personally (and those who criticize need to offer up critiques in a constructive, intelligent fashion).
<steps off soap box>