I see three main points in Darius’s argument:
- It’s not necessarily more “noble” or whatever to express something in videogame form, particularly if it’s not working for you.
- Often expressing something with videogames primarily serves a meta-rhetorical purpose or benefit (“Look, X made a game about Y”), which might actually detract from or even reverse the desired expression.
- Often the desire to express something with videogames is really just a desire to gain approval from a particular audience associated with videogames (he uses Twine games as an example), which may or may not be a valid goal but it’s wrong to bind it to videogame expression.
I find (2) particularly true, as I’ve experienced it with nearly every game I’ve ever made. And I think (3) is the smartest critique yet of the whole formalist/zinester controversy.
As for (1), the key is the for you, and Darius makes clear that he’s speaking for himself, but suspects others may feel the same (they do). It may occur to you, as it does to me, that games actually might indeed be the best medium for expressing certain things—say, the operation and experience of systems. And I think Darius would agree and say, “Sure, fine, go for it.”
Sometimes we do things for the wrong reasons. Making videogames isn’t noble as such. Nor is writing novels or making gelato or throwing pots. Nor do they need to be. Sometimes we just do things because we do them. Finding the right things to do or make in the right situations for the right reasons, given our own talents and desires and circumstances, this is a task at which everyone could improve, videogames or no.