Classifying game criticism
There are several classes of article being written under the general “game criticism” category.
Gamer navel gazing: “I played a game or heard about people talking about a game. Here is my random opinion.” This is the most rampant and least useful.
Journalist navel gazing: “I write about games for the gaming press. Why am I doing this again?”
Academic justification: “I see connections that may or may not actually exist between games and the rest of art history and / or philosophy. Tenure?”
Industry drama: “I heard that something vaguely controversial occurred in the game industry. OMG.”
Game developer analysis: “Here’s a working game. Here’s the experiment. Here are the repeatable lessons I learned.”
Only game developer analysis is useful to someone who seeks to improve future games by engaging in the radically straightforward act of making games. I realize that there are other types of readers out there, but to be blunt, they consistently fail to effect change. And I make the assumption that you want your writing to change the world.