"Perhaps the academics would be better served by going to the Game Developers Conference two weeks later and learn a thing or to."
[And I agree with the points made by Dennis above -- I am busy lighting candles at this very moment.]
Ah, but the bitter truth is that I doubt that I can convince my department to send me to GDC or E3, but (as the fact that this got into the NYTimes shows) an academic conference at Princeton is the kind of thing other academics understand. These are early days and interesting times, at least for me, and I think it might be better for academic critics to be just a little humble and not try to imply that we know everything and are somehow setting ourselves in a position from which we will dispense wisdom. Critics are critics. Academics are academics. Developers are developers. Sometimes, as with Eric Zimmerman or Gonzalo Frasca, individuals can wear more than one hat, but it is still fairly rare. We can learn from each other, but I'm all for haphazard intersections rather than a fixed game plan to demand utility from my work rather than the application of curiosity with extra disciplinary knowledge.