You will frequently read people speaking about a game […] in very artistic terms and then somebody will ask, “But is it fun?” Well, what does it mean to be fun? Is reading Crime and Punishment fun? Is looking at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel fun? What’s the artistic value of fun?
And that’s why we play board games right? For fun? If that’s what board game critics are to be judging then I think we need to seriously work out what we mean when we use that word. Our default mode is to let fun be a personal and visceral sort of thing. It’s not something you can define or get a hold of. You just feel it, and different people feel it for different reasons. If that’s the case, then board game criticism will probably remain what it is now—publicity and rules explanations.