Someone erudite and new to gaming, and yet totally open to considering video games on their merits, plays through the year’s biggest games. Great knack for observational details I hadn’t considered in games I’ve tried or even played through. And only someone writing for The New Yorker would compare mastering the XBox controller to learning all the parts for a Dave Brubeck chart, but it never struck me as pretentiously intended.
“Re Mark Greif’s essay “The Hipster in the Mirror” (Nov. 14): I am compelled to emit a piercing scream from my 82-year-old lungs at the jejune folly of the whole “hipster” syndrome.
When I was 17 and a freshman at New York University, the word “hip” was very specific. It meant being knowledgeable about jazz, sex and especially drugs. Then, in the 1950s, came the term “Beat.” I was one of the “Rent a Beatniks” organized by the Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah. Hippies came next, a sort of watered-down version of the outlaw mentality spawned by the drug and sex culture. Now, I simply don’t get the connection between “hip,” as anatomized by Anatole Broyard and others like Mailer, and new arrivals on the scene (Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Greenpoint) who are, as far as I can tell, simple poseurs looking for a more interesting identity. As an old bohemian, I resent this borrowed term which conceals its true yuppie identity.