Too Much Murder in The New Yorker

The title of Nicholson Baker’s chat about his New Yorker video-game article is “My Son is Killing Me”. Which is a far better title than the print title of the article: “Painkiller Deathstreak”. Why not give the article the much better title? Because another article in the same issue, a profile of Gil Scott-Heron, is called “New York is Killing Me.” Too late.

2 Replies to “Too Much Murder in The New Yorker

  1. Both those titles are terrible.

    A decent title would be “Violent video games can help parents bond with their children.”

    The title of anything on the web should be completely, utterly, boringly descriptive of the content, using the most ordinary language possible (“children,” not “kids,” for instance). On the web nobody wants to have cleverness or mystery meat up front. There’s no time for that. If the title of the Google result or Google News result is not crystal clear and accurate, then bye-bye. It doesn’t matter how clever you are if nobody reads you.

    With video and audio it’s even more important, because you cannot skim the content.

    If you have your own blog and it’s not a money-making venture, you can do whatever you want, I suppose. But if you’re being paid for content, then the editor needs to see to it that interested readers can find your piece and recognize that it would be of interest to them.

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