Oh noes, Cuppycake got controversial, which roused the interwebs into angry rebuttal. Let the flame wars rage! Actually, what she says isn’t very controversial. “Do they (game design bloggers) know what theyâ€™re talking about? Are they even good designers?” To which I answer, *shrug*. Am I a good designer? Yes! Because you must take my word for it given that I’ve worked on a few games and 38 Studios rocks your socks off. Okay, less jokes and more content after the break.
Answer: Some know what they are talking about, and some are good designers. Those two parts aren’t necessarily related. Blogs are full of opinions, so take everything you read with a grain of salt. Don’t believe anything any designer says–no matter how good they are–wholesale. You have to analyze the person’s opinion and decide if you agree or disagree with it.
I like to read blogs, books, and anything I can get my hands on. In books, I can always find some nugget of useful information; whether it’s because something in the book was good or bad isn’t the point, because it’s still useful.
I can also find most game design blogs useful (whether the designer is paid or armchair) if I read it regularly. Some blogs have a higher noise-to-signal ratio than others, so they become less useful and I read them less frequently (my blog goes through low signal periods… and I blame you).
The point is, there is no way of knowing. Read what the person has to say and see if there is any value in it. Try to be objective about what you read and judge the content rather than the writer–I even disagree with the great Scott Jennings sometimes! Read a blog without consideration for who wrote it, and decide for yourself if it’s worth reading (hint: Nerfbat is worth reading).