Over at Gamasutra, Jeff Vogel posted a tongue-in-cheek article concerning video game reviews. From his blog:
One Last, Horrifying Truth About Game Reviews
I’m ancient, and even I don’t use them anymore. There’s no review that can tell me anything I can’t get by watching the game on Twitch.tv for ten seconds and checking the Steam reviews to make sure it’s not too buggy.
I’ve been in this category myself for about a decade, though I wouldn’t call myself “ancient” just yet. Practically speaking, I’ve been playing games for 30 years now. There’s very little a typical game review can tell me about a game. And with so much content out there for free, there’s no need to consult with the Sushi-X’s of the world anymore to find out if a game is worth my while.
But what if we want something more from our critics? Yes, Mr. Vogel’s sage advice to “read only what you want to read” and “everybody is entitled to their opinions” is useful. If you want to, say, create a personal echo chamber or avoid confrontation. Again, what if we want to, oh, I don’t know. Learn something useful from a critic?
We may be flat out of luck there when it comes to reading commercial game reviews. And by that I mean, reviews that appear in magazines or IGN’s of the world. We know from the GamerGate controversy that the widely-read critics tend to be ideologically incestuous, and their politics skew left. Nothing wrong with the latter, as far as it goes. But the first observation renders a large majority of their critical content useless in the scheme of things.
You can pick any color you want, as long as it’s red.
See the problem here?
I’ve avoided writing game reviews on this website, partly because I don’t desire to engage in affirmation-seeking types of readers, but mostly because I don’t have the time to write a proper review. Yeah I know. How convenient of me. And what’s a “proper” game review, anyhow?
I’ll answer that question when I’ve had time to think about it.