Amazing article, but there's one part I'm not sure I agree with:
Said plainly: There are absolutely broad, American cultural norms that have been spread around the world through a dominant, global media industry. I’m just not sure that critical media analysis is part of that set of cultural norms.
Critical media analysis isn't (all cultures have "media" whatever form it takes), but video games criticism is heavily influenced by american culture, or at the very least anglo culture. I don't know how many game's critic you could name that aren't from a dominantly anglophone country. But the thing is, I'm french-canadian, and I couldn't name a lot either. On one hand, they don't have the reach or the support of a relatively big network to boost their signal (Critical-Distance is open to stuff in other languages but I don't know how much they actually get), but on the other, there aren't that many to begin with.
That brought me to wonder on why that is. If you look at movie criticism, the french community is vibrant. Hell, entire movements in cinema (like the french new wave) were born out of the french critics community. The difference is that France had its national cinema. An industry and a craft very distinct from others, be it american, iranian, british, quebecer, etc... Outside of indie games, if even that, there isn't really any "national game making identities". French movie criticism was informed by how french movies were made, and what they said. When french critics then analyzed foreign movies, their views were informed by their particular experiences. At best, video games have a divide between western and Japanese games (and even that is not so clear cut). So of course game criticism is influence by american cultural norms, because most games are informed by american cultural norms. Even games made in Ubisoft Montreal (as much as a Ubosoft game is made in one place) aren't really different from a game made in the US. Witcher 3 is in the same weird position. On one hand it is a national product with its identity. But on the other it is a AAA game published with a majorly anglo public in mind. Like you said a complex issue.
Hopefully as tools become more available to individuals from around the world, we may see more games from France, Quebec, Iran, Palestine, India, etc. that have a unique identity that reflect their reality (racial, linguistic, cultural, and so on), and in turn will form critics from these places who have a different voice. My hope is that american critics will signal boost these voices.
So, this is just under the throne room in Skyhold. The floor of the tower where Solas is chilling didn't load in time and I fell through. If you get to close it vanishes and you will hear a kinda Christmasy song. Pretty funny easter egg.