I wrote this image-laden article in fulfillment of a poor, neglected Requested Articles entry.
It's a little list-driven, but, then again, so is the game which it describes. Which by the way, you should try if you haven't, because it's mind-numbingly boring and will help you understand the article better. Cheers!
MeepStarLives 21:20, March 6, 2010 (UTC)
OK, I like the humour ideas in this one and I think that there is a lot of potential to be used. Some of what you have done already is good but needs work, I'll do my best to help you improve the article. The first thing that sprung to my mind as I completed the article was that you seem unsure what you want it to be. At times you seem to be driving the humour more towards following the in-game character through the things he needs to do, and the other thing you seem to be trying to do is to talk about the game from a review standpoint and essentially say overtly how bad the game was. The attempt to fuse the two has the effect of making the article's humour feel non-committal above anything else. Permit me to expand, a lot of the impact that your jokes have on a reader comes by knowing where they come from, if you take a look at any of the featured articles you will notice that they all establish a role for the narrative voice in the article, be it a character, a narrator, or simply an informative commentary. With your article I wasn't sure who you had intended the voice to be assigned to, at times you speak as though you are informing us about the game and its features, and I think this is the one that works well, you use jokes like "A vase with three flowers that will wilt, in a way not at all dissimilar to every relationship you've ever had." the matter of fact way that this sort of humour is presented takes advantage of the tone to basically say that the fact the reader's every relationship has failed is just as indisputable as the fact there are flowers in the office. However at other times you speak with a different tone, saying things like "... taking care of your chiseled physique so that she doesn't kick you out like the fat sack of shit you are because she just can't get aroused anymore." comes from a different standpoint and, I think, a less enjoyable one. This different idea takes a more informal approach and rather than talking about the game informatively makes an observation essentially overtly taking the piss out of a part of the game. I think that your first idea works a lot better and some more work on the tone in the second half is desirable, as this is where the less enjoyable tone dominates. My thoughts were that you turned to this different viewpoint in an attempt to distance yourself from the list driven style of the first half (I'll get to that in a moment), but I would discourage you from this, if you need ideas for ways to change the way the article is working try taking a look at this, if only because it provides some new ideas for you, also scour the Wikipedia article for some ideas.
As far as the article goes generally, you are correct that it is indeed list driven, there is nothing massively wrong with lists in small doses, rather like most prescription drugs, but they do become tiresome when they are used to demonstrate all the points in an article. What I would suggest is that you take a look at the relatively short review of the game that I gave you above and examine the way they avoid putting everything into lists. My personal advice to you is not to scrap the whole list idea but rather to flesh out the entries with prose. For instance you could talk about controls or game experience. What I mean by experience is that you can say things like "Players have described the process of buying and selling on the game's stock exchange as 'A reasonable alternative to boredom' and have heaped on such accolades as 'The numbers are easy to see'" These do not have to be real players obviously, but I think something like this would really help you flesh out your prose, you could also check out this article, where the author is doing a similar thing to you, that is describing game-play in a very boring environment. My final point on humour is that I think you are devoting a disproportionate amount of attention to the whole girlfriend/sex aspect of the game, yes it is reputed as being one of the most poorly executed parts of the game but I think you concentrate on it a bit much with 3 images being related just to that idea, along with a sizeable chunk of prose. Yes, mention this aspect of the game by all means but try not to devote too much time to it unless you can make it feel necessary. The type of humour you use in the first half of the article is superb and I think your main focus should be on replicating this.
The concept is good and you nearly carry it off without incident. The idea of relating the bleakness of the game world to the reader's own life is a good idea and I think that this is an angle you shouldn't neglect when you take a second look at this one. I don't mean to give the impression that what you have already is useless because it isn't by any stretch of the term. The main thing you need to look at here is the general idea governing the direction of the article. I think that the idea of giving a scathing impression of the game is a good one though I would encourage you to experiment with a tone that suggests the game is really involving and innovative, when in fact the opposite is plain for everybody to see. The existing tone is good enough, any improvements are bound in the above, just make sure it is consistent, whatever you decide to do with it, try to avoid fusing tones it can make you sound rather unprofessional.
Prose and formatting:
Now my gut feeling as I started reading the article was that this would be quite a challenging one to format and you have done better than I have anticipated, the formatting on the final image and relating caption contributing hugely to this, so well done there. As far of the rest of the formatting goes, I can sum my criticisms up quite neatly in three words "spread things out", the images are all to be found in the centre of the article and it is as if there is some kind of image hoe-down going on there. Ideally there should be some white space between the images and you should try to avoid placing images directly opposite one another on the page as it squeezes the text into the middle and makes everything look generally untidy. The spelling and grammar is pretty good and all I can recommend is a quick proofread to make sure no errors have sneaked into the article, it is generally good practice to proofread after any major edits. If you don't want to do the proofreading yourself then feel free to make use of the proofreading service.
The images themselves are good and, aside from the second to last one, amusing. Your captions are pretty good too, I especially like what you have done with the image of the player character and the lawyer, which relates the plot to the game in a very original way. My only advice would be to sort your formatting. As far as captions go, they are very good, when you find them, I thought that you would gain more laughs from them were they displayed below the images rather than the reader having to hover the mouse over the images, as many readers will not do this and will thus miss these jokes, which would be a shame as they are excellent, this is completely up to you however.
My overall grade of the article.
Looking at your overall score I feel quite harsh, but on reflection I think it emphasises the fact that the article has some excellent foundations and executes some parts of the concept brilliantly and others not so well. If you can devote a bit more time to the parts that you think need improvement you will have an excellent piece of work here. Remember that this is just my opinion and it is intended to help you out, not tell you to do this and that, the final decision is yours and you should seek the opinions of others as part of the improvement process. If you do have any questions or comments for me then feel free to leave them on my talk page and I will do my best to help you out. Good luck making any changes.