A more succinct phrasing of what I was getting at in the last post:
Video game critics are better at talking about interactivity than aesthetics.
Art critics are better at talking about aesthetics than interactivity.
In video game reviews, aesthetic criticisms are largely concerned with "visual style." Here, the authors tend to fall into the same art/craft distinctions that critics in "The Art World" did away with a century ago. Graphical and physical realism is favored over creativity, even if the game under review deals with science fiction, fantasy, or similarly unrealistic subject material. I will need more time to unpack the terms "realism" and "creativity."