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It’s Time To Start Trusting Video Game Reviewers

Houseman

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"It’s Time To Start Trusting Video Game Reviewers" is the title of the article, not my opinion. My opinion is lol. lmao, even.

The article expresses sympathy for the poor reviewers that get the game earlier than everyone else and they have to play it without guides or balance patches or help from the community. Sure, that might be valid, but that's also not the reason I don't trust them. I don't think that they're all particularly bad at video games. Note: I'm going to be thinking of "journalists" in general when the author says "reviewers".

They also hate video games, and chose to cover this beat because they want to destroy the entire industry. It doesn’t matter that wages are low across the sector and crunch is rife, especially when reviewing hundred-hour games with bafflingly tight turnarounds. We hate video games, and can’t wait to tear them down.
Yes, a lot of journos do appear to actually hate video games, and gamers themselves. "Gamers are dead", remember? Lots of journos are in it just to preach their political message. They're activists, using games journalism as just another front in the culture war. They'll talk about how there are too many white males in a game and not enough minorities, and how it's bad that the women are all attractive (normal). Everything is political. YOU guys preach that, don't you? And there are consequences to that message.

There’s a major problem with games marketing that fuels this feudal misery. Hype trailers for games years away from release whip fans into a fervour, and the excitement heightens to a level where any criticism of the game is seen as a personal sleight. Calling Stellar Blade’s protagonist Eve boring meant that you’re a part of the pro-censorship wokerati who can’t stand a beautiful woman leading a game.
No, marketing doesn't do this. "Everything is political" does this. If you like Stellar Blade, the other side calls you a "pervert pedophile incel". You can't just like games or not like games. The games you like have to say something personal about you, your beliefs, and your values, because everything is political. You did this. Of course you don't mention that in your article, because that would touch too close to the reality of the situation.

It’s not just an Elden Ring problem. When Kallie Plagge reviewed Cyberpunk 2077 for GameSpot, she was hounded by thousands of players for pointing out the game’s negatives. She didn’t like the edgy aesthetics that played no meaningful part in the gameplay, so she was labelled a prude. She pointed out offensive depictions of minorities, so she was called an SJW. She called out the technical issues obvious even on PC, so she suffered a barrage of hatred.
Again, you did this to yourselves. You let loose the plague and now you're getting the sniffles. If not liking the edgy aesthetics gets you labeled a prude by one side, then liking them gets you labeled a pervert by the other. Everything is political.

Plagge was at the receiving end of a whirlwind of abuse
And by the way, can we just tone down the hyperbole when we're really just talking about tweets? No, getting a mean tweet isn't harassment or abuse. Getting a phone call or getting emailed a picture of your house or your children is. Let's only cry wolf for real emergencies, please.

What gives? At what point do you start trusting game critics and those who review your games?
When you stand up to other journalists and tell them to knock off the political activism and stick to covering games. When you denounce the claim that "everything is political", and reject the fallacy that everyone holds the exact values of the fiction they engage with. When you undo the damage that you did, maybe then we can start trusting you again.
 
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Vendor-Lazarus

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Far be it from me to defend gamez jurnalistz, especially those that actively make it about identity politics.. However, they do touch upon one valid point, and one only. The hype, the fanboys, and not being able to critique or criticize bad gameplay aspects, or even state an opinion that you personally don't like some gameplay or mechanic in and about a game. Then the haters and trolls come out of the woodwork to bash you and downvote you. Negative things are seldom allowed. This could well be a consequence of overreaction to the above mentioned pushing though.
 

Slosh

"Yes, a lot of journos do appear to actually hate video games, and gamers themselves. "Gamers are dead", remember? Lots of journos are in it just to preach their political message. They're activists, using games journalism as just another front in the culture war. They'll talk about how there are too many white males in a game and not enough minorities, and how it's bad that the women are all attractive (normal). Everything is political. YOU guys preach that, don't you? And there are consequences to that message."

There is no unbiased journalism. anyone who makes it their job to comment on current events whether in gaming or even tech, will insert their own biases. To omit these biases makes for a lifeless review. I would rather read the review of a game from someone i hate, than read that same review where something like chat gpt removes all biases from it.

This is just journalism. Even when i write my reviews, my biases are front and center. but that's what it is to be a journalist. It is YOUR review or YOUR article. The part of the article that is YOU is a very important part of it.

I've also yet to see a journalist who hates games. Gamers yeah sure. As a gamer myself I find no one ruins gaming more than gamers.


"No, marketing doesn't do this. "Everything is political" does this. If you like Stellar Blade, the other side calls you a "pervert pedophile incel". You can't just like games or not like games. The games you like have to say something personal about you, your beliefs, and your values, because everything is political. You did this. Of course you don't mention that in your article, because that would touch too close to the reality of the situation."

Everything is political. But you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of that. Art is always political. Politics is more than just What you believe. It is also just the general complexities of living in a society. Ask any artist what their piece is about and you will find they have a deeper meaning for their piece than you could have ever gleaned from just looking at it or consuming it. Hell Stellar Blade is very political on it's own even before we apply our own biases and worldview to it.

"Again, you did this to yourselves. You let loose the plague and now you're getting the sniffles. If not liking the edgy aesthetics gets you labeled a prude by one side, then liking them gets you labeled a pervert by the other. Everything is political."


criticizing the state of gaming and gamers does not mean they are deserving of harassment. And once again the concept of everything being political is being misunderstood.
Just because she doesn't enjoy the imagery doesn't mean she doesn't like the game which is how it's treated.

as an example. I gently criticized Resident evil 4 in one of my reviews. and everyone who saw it either just assumed i hated the game or didn't really even play it. because I didn't consider it a perfect 10/10 it was determined i hate it and my opinion is bad. Never mind how much i praised the game.
And by the way, can we just tone down the hyperbole when we're really just talking about tweets? No, getting a mean tweet isn't harassment or abuse. Getting a phone call or getting emailed a picture of your house or your children is. Let's only cry wolf for real emergencies, please.

we don't see the whole picture and it is not the responsibility of those being harassed to prove to you the degree of their harassment. Maybe telling people to kill themselves because they criticize things we love is too strong a reaction to reviews of games.

When you stand up to other journalists and tell them to knock off the political activism and stick to covering games. When you denounce the claim that "everything is political", and reject the fallacy that everyone holds the exact values of the fiction they engage with. When you undo the damage that you did, maybe then we can start trusting you again.


Journalism is an art form and art is inescapably political. If you do not like what the journalist is saying stop consuming their work. I don't give a shit about Monet paintings or Stephanie Meyers. If i see their work i go about my day, instead of feeling the need to insert myself in the situation.

These journalists have done no damage. All the damage is perceived and not real. They are artists and artists write and create with their values and politics in the forefront. No matter who you get your reviews from. They are political. Whether they have your politics or mine.

You misunderstand Everything is political. All art is guided by a persons beliefs and values. All of it. Stellar Blades writers, George Lucas , Hideo Kojima, Monet, Zach De La Rocha, Tom Macdonald, Andy Samberg. All are guided in their work by their personal beliefs.
to attempt to make non political art is also political as committing political apathy is itself politics.





and as far as the state of gaming. Money ruined gaming. publishers took one look at the success fortnite , the success of the first battlepass in DOTA 2 and the success of horse armor in oblivion and it was over for us. These are the people who don't care about games. I am an EX EA employee and I'm here to tell you all the bullshit put into games we love came from the top. They do not care about the optics. they only care about money.
 

Houseman

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There is no unbiased journalism. anyone who makes it their job to comment on current events whether in gaming or even tech, will insert their own biases. To omit these biases makes for a lifeless review. I would rather read the review of a game from someone i hate, than read that same review where something like chat gpt removes all biases from it.

This is just journalism. Even when i write my reviews, my biases are front and center. but that's what it is to be a journalist. It is YOUR review or YOUR article. The part of the article that is YOU is a very important part of it.

I've also yet to see a journalist who hates games. Gamers yeah sure. As a gamer myself I find no one ruins gaming more than gamers.
I agree, there is no such thing as unbiased journalism. That's not what I'm asking for, nor what I want. I think it's okay for a reviewer to insert their own biases into their article, and impossible for them not to do so.

I just don't want "journalists" to preach to me. That's all.

For example, remember Jack Thompson? "Violent video games cause violence in real life!" Although he wasn't a journalist, that's an example of the preaching from 'journalists' today. If you want to talk about social commentary, or preach about morals, one can always start their own blog. But reviews are not supposed to be for preaching, they're supposed to be about the game. Reviewers have lost trust because they have lost sight of what their job is supposed to be.

If a reviewer says "I don't like the message of this game", such as in this Tropico 5 review from 2014, that, to me, is irrelevant information, and I trust the reviewer less for allowing that obvious bias into his review. I don't know who this person is and I don't know what his morals are, and I don't see how that's relevant to whether or not the game is good.

If I went to, for example, a Christian review website and they spoke about whether or not a game is suitable to play for someone who lives by the morals of Christianity, then the reviewer's take on the morals or message of the game would be relevant. But it's not anywhere else.

Bias is fine. Preaching morals is not fine.

Everything is political. But you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of that. Art is always political. Politics is more than just What you believe. It is also just the general complexities of living in a society. Ask any artist what their piece is about and you will find they have a deeper meaning for their piece than you could have ever gleaned from just looking at it or consuming it. Hell Stellar Blade is very political on it's own even before we apply our own biases and worldview to it.
An auteur like David Lynch would refuse to explain what their art is about, because he feels that his "authoritative" explanation would rob others of their own interpretations. And that's a beautiful thing. But what an artist intends to say with their art is not what I am focusing on. It's what the journalists say that the art is about.

The journalists do not abide "complexities". Complexities would be acceptable, because that means that there are several valid ways to navigate a problem, each with their own pros and cons. No, journalists would rather simply. "There is only one right way at looking at this". A Stellar Blade reviewer does not say "one can look at Ms. Stella as either objectified or empowered...". There is no nuance here. It's either right or wrong, good or evil.

And seeing things in black or white parallels neatly the whole culture war and political views of many people. It's either democrat or republican, conservative or progressive, nazi or lgbt-ally. We can't have "very fine people on both sides". There can't be complexities for people who have taken a side.

Art may be political and have much to say, but game journalists often don't.

criticizing the state of gaming and gamers does not mean they are deserving of harassment. And once again the concept of everything being political is being misunderstood.
Just because she doesn't enjoy the imagery doesn't mean she doesn't like the game which is how it's treated.
Nobody deserves harassment. Also, meant tweets aren't harassment.

I would say that 90% of people who read the author's review don't know who the author is. They don't follow them on social media. They don't personally trust the author. So the author's value-based tastes aren't important or necessary.

Perhaps if you're a "personality" who builds up their own independent following, then maybe they can talk about their own personal likes and dislikes. In that case, they've attracted people who like what they like and dislike what they dislike.

If I'm just reading a random review from someone I've never heard of before why should I care about the author's values or morals? Why does the author think I care? So, why should a random reviewer insert their values into their review to an audience of random people?

But the core point that my post revolves around is that, in the current climate, what you like or dislike says something about your morals and values. If you dislike "empowered women showing off their goods", you're a prude. If you dislike "sexualized, objectified women" you are a feminist. If you point out how these things are one and the same, just from a different point of view, you are a mysoginst. Those are the rules that games journalists have established. So those same rules apply back to them.

Her criticism of this aspect was not based on gameplay, but it was from a moral point of view.

we don't see the whole picture and it is not the responsibility of those being harassed to prove to you the degree of their harassment. Maybe telling people to kill themselves because they criticize things we love is too strong a reaction to reviews of games.
It is also not the responsibility of the general public to believe one's unproven claims of harassment.

If you do not like what the journalist is saying stop consuming their work.
That's kind of like saying "If you don't like the President, just don't listen to his speeches". Whoever the President is, the actions that he takes and the speeches that he gives influences what other people do. And somehow, someway, it makes it way to your doorstep, whether you like it or not.

Similarly, even if you ignore all the journalists you don't like, their influence and the consequences of their words end up impacting the hobby. You can ignore the journalist, but not the impact.

These journalists have done no damage.
Here's an archive of video game women that were made "ugly on purpose" to avoid being accused of objectifying women by games journalists: https://badspot.us/Ugly-on-Purpose.html

That's just one example of the damage games journalists have done to games.

They are artists and artists write and create with their values and politics in the forefront.
It's very possible to not do this. Unless you're a political cartoonist or something, you can recognize that you aren't God, and that other people exist that don't hold your views. If you're really humble you can even think that the views of other people are just as valid as your own!

to attempt to make non political art is also political as committing political apathy is itself politics.
I don't want non-political art. I want art across a spectrum of political beliefs. But it seems like, in gaming, this sort of diversity is not allowed. Put a trans pride flag in a game? Acceptable! Put something like the Dixie flag in a game? Not acceptable!

Political art that is only restricted to one view is also known by another name: Propaganda.

I am an EX EA employee
QA?
 
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Houseman

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Actually, it's funny you mentioned this topic because I was about to post this.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDmD0ZhjFZY)

While it is also in defense of games journalism, it's a much more mild and balanced take on it I find. I'm interested in hearing people's opinion of it here.
I watched the first half of it, but then stopped once it got to the Dr. Disrespect stuff. I'll watch the second half now.

I like how the author is allowed to say "gamergate" (9:16), but on The Escapist and Second Wind, you aren't allowed to mention it. I guess Frost must not have gotten the memo, or maybe it's rules for thee but not for me.

(9:28), yes we do need a cultural reset. Like I said, we need the games journalists to stand up and start calling out their peers when they do things wrong, lie, or use their platform to be political activists. No, it is not on the consumers, the general public, to fix the issues with games journalism. It is their problem to fix, not ours.

The problem with them is like the problem with cops. "ACAB". So-called "good cops" don't turn in their "bad cop" brethren, so they become "bad cops" by association. The same applies here. In 2014, the journalists circled the wagons because they were all part of the same conspiratorial email group. They didn't call out their peers because they were all part of the same club. We see the same today. The independents who dare to call out other journalists get dogpiled and demonized, their sites taken down and their accounts banned.

A recent example: https://thatparkplace.com/youtuber-...ditor-nick-calanda-called-for-mass-reporting/

Game journos should all be held accountable for as long as they are willing to abide the behavior of their peers.
 

Arnox

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Now this was a good intellectual challenge. Basically, the core question behind this is, "Should people still have control over their PI after they've publicly posted it?" And I think the answer is a definite yes. We get after corporations and governments for saving PI that we might have posted publicly but then asked them to delete later. Apple, for example, was recently caught saving and holding onto people's iCloud photos from years back. We got rightly pissed at them for doing so. But if an individual does the saving, is it really any better?

Why is it important that these names be saved anyway? It implies that once someone fucks up majorly, they shouldn't ever be forgiven. But life is change. Now, if someone's committed a CRIME, that's different and very quickly becomes a police/legal matter, but putting that aside, someone writes one or even multiple terrible articles. Is that something that should be held over their heads for the rest of time? Shouldn't we be evaluating people not for their terrible takes in the past, but what they're saying now? I dunno, mang. I think we got way bigger fish to fry here in the gaming space.
 

Houseman

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"Should people still have control over their PI after they've publicly posted it?
This isn't something like "whoops I've accidentally been too loose with my information and doxxed myself", this is "Hi, my name is Bart Edgemoss, and I work at Kotaku. I put my name to every article I write, and I have Kotaku listed on my resume and my public LinkedIn account, where I also use my real name".

These people are making no attempt at being anonymous, and every attempt at being known.

These people can always attempt to disassociate themselves from their past work, change their names, use a pen name, or not have it on their resume if they want to be forgotten.

Why is it important that these names be saved anyway? It implies that once someone fucks up majorly, they shouldn't ever be forgiven
Lists like this, and the Sweet Baby list, are so that consumers can more easily avoid the things they don't like.

By the way, don't you have a "Official Congressional Blacklist"?


someone writes one or even multiple terrible articles. Is that something that should be held over their heads for the rest of time?
If someone does think it's that big of a deal, they can go to the site mentioned in the article (it's back up), and look it up. Most people aren't so picky. This site is not forced upon anyone. You aren't sent a warning in the mail whenever you consume media that was once touched by someone who used to work at Kotaku.

Similarly, if one really cares, they can go to the credits and look up everyone involved. It would lead to the same outcome.
 

Arnox

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This isn't something like "whoops I've accidentally been too loose with my information and doxxed myself", this is "Hi, my name is Bart Edgemoss, and I work at Kotaku. I put my name to every article I write, and I have Kotaku listed on my resume and my public LinkedIn account, where I also use my real name".

These people are making no attempt at being anonymous, and every attempt at being known.

These people can always attempt to disassociate themselves from their past work, change their names, use a pen name, or not have it on their resume if they want to be forgotten.
I think the difference here is that (I'm pretty sure anyway) if one of the writers requested that Kotaku pull all their PI from the site, they would respect that wish, or at very least, the employee would have some legal ammunition if they didn't. (Again, could be wrong about that.) With LinkedIn, it's even easier to remove the PI. Just edit the page and boom, you're done. Now, of course, LinkedIn's probably still saving THAT PI in their servers regardless of user request, but that's another conversation for another time.

In a case like Smash JT's, it's more difficult and much more dubious to just request that that information be removed. Smash JT is probably gonna refuse, and if he was smart, he might have uploaded that information to a host that doesn't give a shit about how many complaints others make as long as the bills are paid and the local authorities aren't involved. Alternatively, he could just make sure that the website is backed up and reproducible, ensuring that however many complaints he gets, he can always upload everything somewhere else at a moment's notice. (In fact, it looks like he did this very thing as the site is entirely back up and running as of this writing.)

The result of all of this, regardless, is that someone's PI is no longer in their control, but instead in the hands of somebody else.

Lists like this, and the Sweet Baby list, are so that consumers can more easily avoid the things they don't like.
But remember that we should be evaluating people based on their current takes. How they are currently. If they've progressed at all. And we'll never see that if we're constantly checking whether someone had a really bad take once.

By the way, don't you have a "Official Congressional Blacklist"?
Mhm. And what's on that list is straight up crimes against the entire United States, as in, I literally think that every single person on that list should be arrested today, jailed, and then questioned. They don't have to answer if they don't want to due to possibility of confidential information, but if they don't, then their ass gets booted right out of congress and that former congressperson's state now needs to hold an emergency election. And until they elect someone to replace that former congressperson, they effectively forfeit one of their seats in congress.

Sure, people in a state can vote corrupt babies into congress, but if they do, then I think it's only fair that that state gets to clean up after them as well. Their mess. Their cleanup.
 

Houseman

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In a case like Smash JT's, it's more difficult and much more dubious to just request that that information be removed. Smash JT is probably gonna refuse,...
I would have no idea. Perhaps SmashJT is open to removing people off the list if they request. The guy said he removed Nick Calandra off the list, so we know he's not set in stone about every name there.

The result of all of this, regardless, is that someone's PI is no longer in their control, but instead in the hands of somebody else.
That's what happens when people have memories and writing tools, I guess.

But remember that we should be evaluating people based on their current takes.
That's what you think we should do, and that's a fine opinion to have. Others want to hold grudges.

I, for example, am not going to buy No Man's Sky no matter how many free DLC expansions there are, because Sean Murray lied before the game was released, and still has not acknowledged or apologized for that. That's my decision. If I want to boycott a product because I don't like someone on the team, that's my decision. If someone doesn't want to consume a product that Japanese person worked on because they're a racist, that's their decision. If they want to make a racist list about it for other racists to consume, that's their business. Non-racists aren't going to care, and it would be weird for someone to object to being "outed" as Japanese, for example.

These lists are opt-in. By that I mean that nobody is forcing anybody to use these lists. You can use it if you want, and if you don't care, don't use them. You seem to be acting like everybody is forced to click "I acknowledge that these people from Kotaku/SBI worked on this game" before purchase.
 

Arnox

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That's what happens when people have memories and writing tools, I guess.
But this goes beyond memories and writing tools, doesn't it. We're not in the 1920s anymore. Communication capabilities have VASTLY changed. It used to be that all one would have to do to start over would be to go to another city/town and that was generally that. Corporations didn't have computers back then to both catalog and recall customer information with just a keyword search away. Nowadays, people can potentially access exact information about you from literally anywhere in the world. Instantly. And with that, personal control of PI becomes much more important. People should now be able to choose where their PI is hosted, if it should even be hosted at all.

Now what I WILL say for you is that when someone becomes famous enough, many parts of their PI start to quickly become public record and there's little anyone can do about that. But that's not who we're talking about here. We're talking about some game journalists who had/have some disagreeable opinions.

I, for example, am not going to buy No Man's Sky no matter how many free DLC expansions there are, because Sean Murray lied before the game was released, and still has not acknowledged or apologized for that. That's my decision. If I want to boycott a product because I don't like someone on the team, that's my decision. If someone doesn't want to consume a product that Japanese person worked on because they're a racist, that's their decision. If they want to make a racist list about it for other racists to consume, that's their business. Non-racists aren't going to care, and it would be weird for someone to object to being "outed" as Japanese, for example.
But that decision doesn't require PI to make. Hello Games said a lot of things about No Man's Sky. No Man's Sky released. It didn't have many of the things that was said were going to be in it. Therefore, you won't buy No Man's Sky. And there you go. Simple.

These lists are opt-in. By that I mean that nobody is forcing anybody to use these lists.
Well, that's a bad defense. By that logic, people who break into databases and leak PI like SS #'s and addresses are fine because they're "opt-in" as well and nobody's forcing anybody to look at those leaks. In the end, you're arguing for the right to hold a grudge against someone. Which... I don't know. It's really grey. But personally, I lean towards a person having control over their PI.
 

Arnox

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Who cares?
Other racists, I'd imagine. But it doesn't matter if quite literally nobody cares at all except the person posting that list. It is the person's right to decide who gets that information and how they should use it. Like, for example, instead of donating to charity, it's my right to spend $100,000 on a sports car and drive it right off a cliff just to see what happens. Because it's my car. I own it. It's my property.
 

Houseman

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It is the person's right to decide who gets that information and how they should use it.
And how should that right be enforced?
If you know something about me that I don't want you to know, can I order that the information be wiped from your mind, or that you should have nanomachines injected that prevents you from speaking it aloud, Metal Gear style?

Of course, realistically, there's no way to yank information out of someone else's mind. There's no way to enforce that "right".

It's my property.
I think information about you ceases to become just "your property" once you speak it aloud, write it down, or otherwise pass that information on to someone else. Once it enters their brain, it is also "their property".
 

Slosh

1 if you don't want journalists and reviewers preaching to or at you, consume different media. It's time to accept publishers like kotaku, ign , etc are not for you anymore. Stop consuming media you don't like

2. Lynch is one artist of billions. If someone asked me what a particular piece of mine meant, I would tell them the story of that pieces creative process.

3. art (videogames) are open to interpretation. If you do not like how the art is being interpreted stop reading from that author. When i read a kotaku article or ign, I enjoy the work, but i do not take what they say as being THE AUTHORITY on the issue. I am capable of consuming and interpretting art on my own. The purpose of the review is to see someones perspective or understand THIER experience playing the game. Thats the point.

4. I don't see this as being culture war bullshit. and I'm not followng with the lack of complexities.

5. The journalists interpretation of the games politics are unwrapped by their own. Whether we like the interpretations or not are irrelevant. Stop consuming media you don't like.

6. The author are not usually faceless. They were hired by the company to write because the company like their writing. ipso facto the company agrees with the politics of the author or doesn't care. Which brings us to stop consuming media you don't like

7.If someone is hired to write and are allowed to attribute the writing to themselves and not "kotoku writing team" they were hired as a personality.

8 if you are reading a random review from someone, It is thier job to make you care, part of doing so is inserting themselves (ie: politics, beliefs, personal life) into the review. I am a no name reviewer and I do this in all of my reviews. Stop consuming media you do not like

9. If you are caught up in the whirlwind of identity politics these things matter. The core point only reflects the internet culture. in real life when i go out and tell people I really like miramax films I'm not hit with a volley of brain rot like i would on social media. These issues only occur on the internet.

10. These are not rules game journalists have established.

11. Her criticism was based on her personal beliefs which is what she was hired to put on display. It was HER review. not yours, not mine, Not the Angry video game nerds. That was Kallies review.

12. Who the president is is unrelated to games journalism. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SOMEONES WORK STOP CONSUMING IT.
I don't like the work of rachel maddow, when i see her work i move on. i don't linger and seethe. I don't care who consumes her work because thats not my business. I do not consume media I do not like and neither should you.

13. Even if thier influence affects work you like, engaging in their work is not going to stop it. Everytime that article is opened if if it's being consumed in hate they are still being paid. stop consuming media you do not like.

14.I'm going to say this as nicely as possible.
This is the stupidest fucking shit i've ever seen in my fucking life and I live inone of the worst educated states in the country.
Oh no the women in games are less attractive or the tv portrayals are not as attractive as I'd like them to be. oh no

AAA gaming being a shit show is more important than the attractiveness of the women in the games to me is not even on my list of things that are important for a game to be good. Studios like Arkane austin and Tango being shut down are still more pressing issues than "ugly women" and is more inline what we as gamers should give a shit about.

15. As a lifetime artist. My politics are deeply ingrained in all of my art. my music, my poetry, my reviews. my games, my movies everything. That doesn't mean I think I'm a god, and i highly doubt the games journalists think they are god too. They have been picked and prodded constantly since 2016 and if they show any weakness they are picked and prodded more. Which i think is where the current disconnect lies.

16 if you want art across a spectrum of politcal beliefs consume your media that way. Find organizations that have more diverse opinions. Because if it hasn't been made clear kotaku and ign aren't the ones for you. Stop consuming media you don't like

17. Trans pride flag isn't the flag of a traitorous regime that was satisfied killing thier own countrymen so they could keep slavery. And yes I am aware that flag is actually the virginia battle flag.

I live in the south, deep south. There are alligators that cross my property and my grandparents told tales of the rougarou. I am as south as it gets without being in the lowest part of the pan handle.

I know actual literal KKK members. So when they fly the virginia battle flag. it is not because as you said "I love slavery and want to bring it back!" but rather very pointedly "White Supremacy!"

Which is why developers tend to not put it in games.
Developers also might not put it in their games because, and I think this is a safe anecdote, are pretty liberal and see that flag in that light too.

I'm not sure even Running With Scissors developers (POSTAL) would put it in their games unless they are lambasting it and they are quite centered politically

18. Art is inextricably tied to the artists beliefs. and in most cases propaganda. so yes. But it's not the issue you think it is.


19. QA but training to join the animation team as a rigger before the studio shut down. at the time I was working closely with the producers and making a transition, but Andrew wilson had other plans.
 

Houseman

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1 if you don't want journalists and reviewers preaching to or at you, consume different media. It's time to accept publishers like kotaku, ign , etc are not for you anymore. Stop consuming media you don't like
Way ahead of you!

But I'm primarily responding to the "It's time to start trusting video game reviewers" article, and explaining why I disagree. I'm not just complaining about journos out of the blue. Call me an amateur video game journo critic, where I critique the critics. I criticize, because I want it to improve. I criticize because I care about the hobby.

The people who are complaining aren't just hateful goblins, they're passionate. They don't hate-watch content just to rile themselves up and, as you say, seethe about it because they like being angry. They complain because they want the thing to be better.

Imagine that you are a karate master from Japan, trained in the martial art since you could walk. Then, as an adult, you come to America and see how western Karate is taught. You are appalled. The beautiful art form you learned has been ruined completely, watered down into an after-school activity where black belts are handed out like candy. These so-called black belts have no actual skill in self-defense, and would be useless in a real fight. When they lose fights, they damage the reputation of karate. They are making everything worse.

"So don't go to those McDojos if you don't like it!" Of course, you don't. But you care about karate as an art form, a martial art, and a hobby, so you set out to prove that your way of karate is better than all the other ways. You challenge the American masters to fights (in proper settings of course, like tournaments), and mop the floor with them. Then you open up your own dojo after proving yourself and pass on what you've learned, the right way. Many martial arts movies have a plot similar to this.

You, care, so you set about improving things. You don't just bury your head in the sand. That sometimes means confronting people who are making things worse. Nothing is made better if the karate master never takes action.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." - The Lorax.

So thank you for your concern for my well-being, but to just stop consuming media that I don't like, or to just consume what I do like isn't going to change anything.

6. The author are not usually faceless. They were hired by the company to write because the company like their writing. ipso facto the company agrees with the politics of the author or doesn't care. Which brings us to stop consuming media you don't like

7.If someone is hired to write and are allowed to attribute the writing to themselves and not "kotoku writing team" they were hired as a personality.
Do you take note of the reviewer whenever you read a review of Kotaku or IGN? I never used to do that, back when I read reviews. I just read the review, and didn't know or care about who wrote it.

8 if you are reading a random review from someone, It is thier job to make you care, part of doing so is inserting themselves (ie: politics, beliefs, personal life) into the review.
This is interesting, so let's focus on this. In fact, I've deleted some of the other stuff I've written in this post just so we can focus on this point and not get distracted.

Okay, so what should be the job of a reviewer? I would think it's to REVIEW THE GAME. Sounds simple. I don't care about who the reviewer is, what their beliefs are, who they voted for, what gender they are, or anything else about their personality or private life. I'm interested in THE GAME, not the reviewer. That's how it's been back before youtube and streaming, back when I got issues of "Electronic Gaming Monthly" in the mail.

For example, here's a review of MGS2: Substance from a copy of EGM that I know I owned back in the day: https://archive.org/details/electronic-gaming-monthly-issue-162-january-2003/page/200/mode/1up

Notice how the reviewers do not inject themselves in the review. That's how it used to be, and in my case, I was able to care about the review just fine, without knowing anything about the reviewer.

But that's just been my experience with game reviews. I'd be interested to know if it's different for you. We're probably in the same age range, so if you were interested in gaming as a kid, what gaming media did you consume growing up?

Do you think that something has changed? That the old EGM model of reviews don't work anymore? That reviewers NEED to inject themselves and their politics into their reviews or else it'll put the company out of business?

Now, if you're a "Personality", like Jim Sterling, then the focus of the review is more about "how the game made Jim Sterling feel; how Jim Sterling reacts to it". People are there for the personality, the game is just secondary. I would think that most reviewers are not personalities.

9. If you are caught up in the whirlwind of identity politics these things matter. The core point only reflects the internet culture. in real life when i go out and tell people I really like miramax films I'm not hit with a volley of brain rot like i would on social media. These issues only occur on the internet.
Yes, I agree.

The problem is that these authors are writing for those who are caught up in the whirlwind of identity politics. That's their audience. So they cater to their audience throwing more fuel to the fire. If you showed Alyssa Mercante's Shadow of Erdtree review to someone who doesn't have a twitter account, they'd probably die of cringe.

10. These are not rules game journalists have established.
Yes, the rules are, "what you like or dislike is who you are as a person". This can be seen across all media, even. When a girl-power movie flops, the director comes out and blames men for hating women.




And this review of Kingdom Come

"But there's also a big problem. There are no people of colour in the game"

"What muddies the water further is whose interpretation it overridingly is: creative director, writer and Warhorse co-founder Daniel Vavra's. He has been a vocal supporter of GamerGate and involved in antagonistic exchanges on Twitter (collected in a ResetEra thread). More recently, he wore the same T-shirt depicting an album cover by the band Burzum every day at Gamescom 2017 - a very visible time for him and his game. Burzum is the work of one man: Varg Vikernes, a convicted murderer and outspoken voice on racial purity and supremacy. He even identified as a Nazi for a while."


"This game is racist and sexist and should be removed!"

You get the idea.

Her criticism was based on her personal beliefs which is what she was hired to put on display. It was HER review. not yours, not mine, Not the Angry video game nerds. That was Kallies review.
That's fine, she can have her review and put as much of her personal beliefs into it as she wants. However, there are consequences to that.

If she wants to make moral judgements based on the games "edgy aesthetics", then she should be prepared to be have moral judgements thrown right back at her, which means she gets called a prude.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Again, I'm not calling for "objective reviews" or reviews without a reviewers opinion, I'm just saying, if you want to throw moral accusations around, expect to get accused in return.


Oh no the women in games are less attractive or the tv portrayals are not as attractive as I'd like them to be. oh no
I thought you were an artist. How would you feel if someone told you to alter your art, because some people find your art offensive. You would object to that right? You would say something like "no, it's my art and I get to make it how I want and you have no say", right?

The same thing is happening here. Art is being tampered with. You can say "oh, I only care about whether the game is good. What about the gameplay?!" A game can be "good" and also soulless. A game can be full of soul but also bad. I would say that art should be art first, and then "good" second.

AAA gaming being a shit show is more important than the attractiveness of the women in the games to me is not even on my list of things that are important for a game to be good. Studios like Arkane austin and Tango being shut down are still more pressing issues than "ugly women" and is more inline what we as gamers should give a shit about
I care about the art. I even care about games that are bad. I care that they are pure expressions, that they are the story that the artist wants to tell. Everything else is downstream from that.

Forcing a character to be less attractive, or to be ambigously brown, or to dress more modestly to be made fit for "modern audiences" is antithetical to being a pure expression of art. Taking an artistic vision and trying to make it blander and inoffensive so that it can be made into a AAA game and appeal to AAA-size audiences is what's killing AAA gaming. Maybe AAA games should die if we need to sacrifice artistic expression just to have them.

They have been picked and prodded constantly since 2016 and if they show any weakness they are picked and prodded more. Which i think is where the current disconnect lies.
This brings us back to my main thesis: they started it, we're just playing by their rules. They wanted to make it personal, okay, turnabout is fair play.

They can call a ceasefire anytime they want, but they have to actually admit where they went wrong first.

if you want art across a spectrum of politcal beliefs consume your media that way.
There isn't enough of it to even occupy my time because of what I'll explain next.

Which is why developers tend to not put it in games.
Developers also might not put it in their games because, and I think this is a safe anecdote, are pretty liberal and see that flag in that light too.
Few developers are willing to express views that fall outside the narrow window of "liberal" views that is considered acceptable. And that is not necessarily because few developers exist that hold these views, it because they fear that they cannot express these views and survive (financially). Games journos will demonize any game that dares try, and attempt to ruin the careers of all involved before the game is even released. Cancel culture.

This is also antithetical to expressions of art. Certain games journalists will try to destroy expressions of art that they don't like. This should offend every artist and everyone who cares about gaming.
 
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Arnox

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I think information about you ceases to become just "your property" once you speak it aloud, write it down, or otherwise pass that information on to someone else. Once it enters their brain, it is also "their property".
Sorry I was so long in posting a reply. Stuff kept coming up and I kept forgetting to post something here.

Sure, once it enters someone else's head, there's not much you can do, but that's someone's HEAD, not the internet. The point here isn't to somehow mentally remove pieces of PI from someone's mind, but to simply prevent it from spreading any further to other people's memory. Or at least, to attempt to stop it. Whether stopping such a spread is actually effective or not is another discussion entirely. But keep in mind, your argument would also apply not just to PI made public, but also to any other PI that happens to fall under any other person's eyes. By your argument, a government worker at Social Security has the full right to do whatever the hell they want with our addresses and full names and birth dates and etc.
 

Houseman

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a government worker at Social Security has the full right to do whatever the hell they want with our addresses and full names and birth dates and etc.
They probably sign documents stating that it is punishable by law to improperly handle people's information, similar to the medical field with HIPPA.

Regardless, I don't think anything should be done about a racist who wants to catalogue Japanese people working in an industry, or a GGer cataloguing people who once worked at Kotaku.
 
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