pixietalksgamergate

PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

Objective Game Reviews (part 1)

on September 12, 2014

Answers have been cut if they misunderstood question – ie, if the answer to 4 was referring to what they linked in q3, rather than the quote given in q4.

Some answers may have been merged – ie, where I’ve been given the same link/article/answer multiple times, I will just include link with a note of how many people answered with this in the format: [article](x5)

Some answers may not be included if they misunderstood the question – they may instead have moved to ‘bonus’ as a section. Will highlight if that is the case.

People are anon if they didn’t explictly say “call me x”. Email me again if you want to change that 🙂Anon referencing consistent within this topic, but not with others.


 

1. When you say “objective game reviews”, what do you mean?

Anon1: ” I mean one where you aren’t writing a review for close friends or people you support(or are supported by) financially. Due to years of CoIs, it has become harder to do so, but can still be fixed.”

 

Anon2: “This is a bit of subjective thing. I think that one of the problems is you have people with strong opinions expressing themselves in reviews, which is fine, but gamers aren’t looking for that. They’re looking to be informed. Here’s a potential analogy. Imagine you’re reading the review for a product, for example a toy on Amazon, and you run across one that starts off with a rant about how the toy cultivates unhealthy representations of gender to children, but ends with some minor issues with the toy’s joints, stickers, etc. The next review just details the issues without an opinion on what the toy represents. As a toy collector, I’m more interested in the second than the first review.”

 

Anon3: “For me an object game review is simply a review that covers both the good and bad aspects of a game e.g. graphics, game play, story etc. No agendas to be pushed i.e. let the customer weight up the pros and cons. ”

 

Anon4: “To me, an objective game review is one that’s looked at simply as a fan of video gaming; Not reviewing your friend’s game, not reviewing a game that you’ve been courted with. Specifically, reviews that are as far-removed from the hype machine as you can get, and I realize that’s practically impossible given the game blog industry itself. Someone who’s been flown out to preview a game at EA’s office and rubbed elbows with the team is going to have a certain amount of pressure to be kind. I just want to know if a game is good or not, and why.”

 

Anon5: “When I think of ‘objective game reviews’ I would say most people are referring to one thing, and that’s the highly corrupt ‘circle’ of indie game devs and game ‘journalists’ who all have connections in one way or another to each other, scratching each other’s backs for reputation and money.”

 

Anon6: “all reviews aren’t objective by their very nature they are opinion pieces, what the reviewer think about the game. that’s why it’s an issue when a reviewer know the developer and is friendly with him.
that’s the issue behind a lot of the journalist-dev relationships, if you’ve got a relationship with a dev (sexual or not) it’s going to color your review of his game. after all you’re going to be nicer to your friends then someone you don’t know. when you don’t disclose it that’s a major issue.
like i said a review can’t be objective but you have to keep your biases around what the game is, like it’s genre or combat system, once you let outside world biases permeate your review like your politics or friends you’re failing your audience, especially if you don’t disclose it.”

 

Anon7: “When we say objective game reviews we mean that. Some of us believe a “game” cannot be described as a whole but as a sum of all it´s parts. Story, music, graphics, control, gameplay… It´s the whole deal or nothing. Pretty much what happens with movies. When a “biased review” happens is when they disregard all of the other elements inside a game for one thing a reviewer doesn´t like. You have probably heard about polygon´s infamous Dragon´s Crown review, which many of us see it as unfair.”

 

Anon8: “Facts over subjective appreciation. I will agree that objectivity is an impossible goal, but reviwers should always try to get the closest as possible to the facts, letting subjective appreciations on the side (thats why you have analisys).”

 

Anon9: “Well, I don’t. But if I did, I’d say it’d be a review that focuses exclusively on things that are without debate. “This game runs at a solid 60FPS,” “This game has accurate and responsive controls,” “This game is buggy to the point that it hinders the experience.””

 

@Oboromusha: “Game reviews that focus on artistical and technological merits vs execution of concept. Politics are superfluous commentary. Gaming is apolitical.”

 

Anon10: “To me an objective game review is one that focuses on the merits of the game alone. I don’t want someone funded by the dev, friends with the dev, or in a personal relationship with the dev to review it without at least letting me know about these conflicts of interest. I understand it’s difficult to avoid forming these bonds in the industry but it’s not hard to throw us a “Hey I support these guys on patreon, etc” somewhere readable in the article. Being funded by the dev’s PR agent is a whole different beast and absolutely shouldn’t be happening at all.”

 

Anon11: “Game reviews that do not just focus on one or certain parts of a thing, but both the looks, feel, gameplay, performance, quality of storytelling, and so on. Ones that might say, “yes, I feel like the story is laboured but the shooting mechanics are solid and the transitions between dungeons feels seamless, rather than as arbitrary in the previous incarnation. It runs like a pig even on medium settings, though, and frankly the port for the PC is atrocious. While enjoyable, you might want to take this into consideration.” Things that emphasize both the good and the bad rather than “holy shit this game is awesome 10/10″. In addition, not by someone that has personal ties, whether good or bad. That’s where we get bias from, attacking (or praising) the developer as much as the game. Maybe that’s a pipe dream. But I know I have been increasingly frustrated with Rock Paper Shotgun as of late because of the tone of their articles, despite enjoying the older Wot I Think things.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “I am more to the thinking that being an interactive media, a game’s experience can be different not only for different people, but if the same person choose to play it again. That being said I believe it is nearly impossible to make a fair and true “objective” game review, and instead there should only be opinion pieces based on the experience said person had with that game. But making it CLEAR that it’s only that person’s opinion and not facts carved into stone.”

 

Agayek: [Began with note: “First off, I want to make it clear that, most of the time, when people say “objectivity”, it’s not actually in relation to reviews. It’s in relation to news. Most people are sane enough to realize that opinion pieces cannot be really objective, and they typically mean removing the blatant bias you can find in articles like this one, which slanders a man’s name based on a pseudonymous facebook accusation and nothing more.”]

“Simply put, to not be influenced by personal or financial ties to the product.  Put bluntly, we don’t want to be lied to or manipulated in order for the author to help boost a game’s sales.”

 

Anon12: “well the term objective review is kindof silly, because reviewing art is inherently subjective, but what i atleast would say is that they ought to critique the game on what it attempts to be and not on some political desire the reviewer want’s to be in the medium. like say criticizing games for not adhering to feminist ideology, or not being liberal enough,… in the end we want to know wether or not the game is worth buying, is it fun?”

 

Anon13: “Objective game review is when a reviewer can put aside his own tastes to see the deeper value or put himself in position of someone with different tastes or biases. For example “The artstyle of the game doesn’t really suit me but I can see there has been a lot of work put in it and it has high ammount of detail” or “I’m not a big fan of techno music which was used in this game but fans of the genre would probably like it” or “I find no problem with this game being just a mindless slasher, but people who would like something more from a game might get bored quickly” or “I personally give this game 6/10, however if you are a fan of these settings or simply don’t care about a comprehensive narrative, feel free to add a point”.”

 

Anon14: “I mean reviews that aren’t influenced by publishers or devs who offer material rewards to reviewers. Or reviews influenced by the author’s biases. If he or she states his biases from the get go, then I have no problems in reading said review.”

 

Anon15: “I mean that I want a game to be judged solely on its mechanics, story, immersiveness, strength of character and level of involvement, and judgement be based solely on that. Not whether a game is “problematic.””

 


 

2. Do you think reviewers with very obvious biases against certain genres – ie, like Yahtzee  + MMOs – have a role in game reviews?

Anon1: “They can offer critique actually, in an opinion piece(As long as it’s clearly laid out what it is).”

 

Anon2: “Yes, but in my opinion, eliminating bias completely is difficult if not impossible. I just think that bias related to games suits the gamer culture better than bias related to values or beliefs.”

 

Anon3: “It is hard to be 100% objective in a medium that is essentially art (I consider videogames art). People are not robots and therefore will interpret things differently. In short biases will exist. I personally think if those biases are disclosed, then the audience will be able to make a decision. Take yahtzee for instance. He hates mmo’s but in pretty much every video he says “I fucken hate mmo’s.”

 

Anon4: “Absolutely, just not in those genres. If someone doesn’t like FPS games, it doesn’t matter HOW much fun or how well-written Shooterman 2 is. Similarly, a hardcore RPG fanatic might not really ever get the difference between Soccer Goals 2010 and 2014. I think being up front about these sorts of things is relevant, too. I can’t remember which magazine it was specifically but I think it was either old Gamepro or EGM that actually listed a reviewer’s preferred genres and the kinds they disliked. It helped dial in on the vicarious “would I like this” meter that we all look for in reviews; If the writer sounds like the sort of person we identify as, we tend to believe them a bit more. I’ve both bought games I didn’t think I’d like and loved, and bought games I thought I’d love and hated, because of my “relationship” with a reviewer’s history.”

 

Anon5: “Absolutely, as long as they make it known to their audience that they may be biased in what they’re saying. ‘Now this is just my opinion, but-‘ or ‘Now I know I’m not the biggest fan of FPS games, however-‘. That’s what I would like to see.”

 

Anon6: “i personally do, there are some reviewers our there i don’t trust at all (my earliest example of this was Adam sessler and jrpg’s, he’s terrible at them) but that’s not what gamergate is about.
if someone doesn’t understand a genre for fans of that genre it’d be really obvious because they have more knowledge then him, and will tell he’s full of it. so it’s not really what we care about.”

 

Anon7: “That´s another problem of it´s own. Youtube brough the recognition of personalities that would be irrelevant had they not voiced their opinions. Personally I don´t care for these personalities. I find them entertaining at most.”

 

Anon8: “No, and this goes on both sides, a game is not better for having female characters nor worst for not having them. Good and Bad over subjective appreciation is what you don’t need in a review, you could warn the audience, saying something like “the game armoury consiste mostly in revealing clothing for females and big armor for males”, this can be proven as fact if its, but making a good or bad argument wouldn’t be a fact.”

 

Anon9: “Absolutely. Far more so than the people who stick a “score” at the end of a review.”

 

@Oboromusha: “To those who cannot apreciate those genres, surely helps them avoid things they don’t like. Reviewers, when clear about their personal tastes are useful to like-minded people. Reviewers should not be high authorities on gaming, but rather reference points for the diverse crowd that is the gaming community.”

 

Anon10: “Oh indeed! They should just be aware enough to let us know that they have that bias is all. even a quick “I don’t really care about mmos” somewhere so a new reader can easily pick up on this bias would be quick and easy.”

 

Anon11: “Yes. Views of an outsider into a genre are just as important as enthusiasts. More reviews is not a bad thing at all.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “Absolutely! There are people that agree with those opinions and, for them, these reviwers end up being a better source for them because their taste is alike.”

 

Agayek: “Absolutely.  The problem is not bias.  The author’s preferences are usually pretty clear, especially if they have a larger body of work for the reader to examine, and so the reader can make a judgment where the author’s bias reflects their own.  The problem is potential external influence over the review that the reader has no way of determining.”

 

Anon12: “i have no problem if that bias is game-related, they don’t like a certain game genre, if they are open and clear about that then i have no problem, as long as they don’t complain and talk about that incessantly , nobody likes someone complaining about stuff like that non-stop. biases are not a problem so long as they don’t hide that”

 

Anon13: “Yahtzee is a PERFECT example of a good reviewer with huge biases. All his points make sense and he fully discloses that he is not a fan of something in the first place. Also he doesn’t let his biases blind him (he can see that a fan of said something could like it) and he even gave a positive review to an MMO Firefall recently. I think that there surely is place for people with biases if they can see beyond them.”

 

Anon14: “Yes, of course. I consider Zero Punctuation to be more of a comedy show sprinkled with critique, rather than a review.
As long as reviewers wear their biases on their sleeves I have no problem with this.”

 

Anon15: “Absolutely. They hold a certain entertainment quality that they’re very open and obvious about, and I’ve never really seen Yahtzee attempt to pass himself off as a journalist. I’d consider him more of a pundit with comedic qualities.”

 


3. Can you give me an example of what you consider to be an “objective game review”?

Anon1: ” I’d have to come back on this one, due to me being busy researching other things. I will come back to this in a separate email though.”

 

Anon2: “http://www.pcgamer.com/review/xcom-enemy-within-review/ – I think this review presents a balanced view on the game Xcom Enemy Within, and even adds his opinion to a degree.”

 

Anon3: “Probably the best one would be Angry Joe. His reviews are as objective as you can be without becoming a robot. ”

 

Anon4: “If you’re looking for a specific reference to someone’s review, no. I haven’t read game reviews in a long time, opting instead for word of mouth from friends. I think that’s the crux of it, really; We want to see reviews from people who want to play games, not from people who get paid to review games. Again, I realize this is impossible to have in reality.”

 

Anon5: “If you look at any of TotalBiscuits ‘WTF Is’ videos on Youtube or if you remember what IGN’s reviews were like 5 years ago (but certainly not anymore).”

 

Anon6: “not really, but i think total biscuit’s “WTF is” series if fairly close.”

 

Anon7: “Have you gone to nintendolife.com? Here´s a review for TESLAGRAD http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/wiiu-eshop/teslagrad No bias, no ‘why is there not a female/transgender/black protagonist’. What it digs upon are elements of gameplay as it should.”

 

Anon8: “Present what the game is, what the game present and how does it present it. I don’t have a game review in mind to link, but basically, you can talk about distinction of genres in the game, or races, if its not about making a statement. Like, a game reviewer using skyrim races to push a racism discussion, as a discussion is fair, in a review, not soo much.”

 

Anon9: “See 1”

 

@Oboromusha: “Any review provided by Youtubers such as Jimmy BGaming, ProJared, ReviewzoneHD, ThatOneVideogamer and many others. Some like JonTron and Lord Karnage provide comedy while still being insightful and objective.”

 

Anon10: “Sadly it’s been so long since I’ve seen one I couldn’t begin to dig up a link. TotalBiscuit and the youtube crowd though have been pretty good on that front. They don’t have any real ties to the industry beyond being simply gamers. So they review on merit and with the knowledge of what gamers are looking for in games.”

 

Anon11: “Not really. I don’t want to trawl ancient logs looking for a good example, or scanning back issues of PC Gamer UK. Not right now, anyway. I did enjoy Kieron Gillen’s articles, but that -was- years ago.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “As I said before, a game’s experience can vary not only from person to person but through multiple playthroughs from the same person. It’s an interactive media, therefore it cannot be reviewed as a movie or a book. Again, #gamergate has never been about game reviews.”

 

Agayek: “Pretty much anything by Yahtzee or Jim Sterling is a pretty good example I feel. They have their individual bias, but they don’t hide them, and they are honest with their readers. If you want a specific article, a quick search turns up this, which seems like a pretty solid review of a game I haven’t played.”

 

Anon12: “agnry joe’s review of gta5, and most of his reviews, i’d say total biscuit’s work as well”

 

Anon13: “Unfortunately I don’t have anything specific. Perhaps “WTF is…” of TotalBiscuit? I might remember incorrectly but he is able to see a game from multiple stand points. I think his newest look at Dead Rising 3 is quite good in this regard.”

 

Anon14: “http://www.gatheryourparty.com/2014/02/28/thief-review/

 

Anon15: “To be honest? No. Not since the late 90s. I feel like ad revenue forces people into a box where it’s impossible to be negative about a game’s actual shortcomings mechanically, etc. I think TotalBiscuit’s “WTF is…” series is very helpful to my buying decisions.”

 


4. Do you think that this is a neutral/objective statement about a piece of media, or an example of bias and opinion? Explain why please. “The most novel thing about [this piece of media] is how lumpy, labored and relentlessly episodic its narrative is.”

[PixieJenni note: this line is an extract from Godfrey Cheshire’s review of The Notebook via www.rogerebert.com. The paragraph it’s taken from in full is:

“The most novel thing about “The Notebook”…is how lumpy, labored and relentlessly episodic its narrative is. If one went into it knowing nothing of its origins, the film’s lack of dramatic structure might suggest a singularly inept screenwriting exercise that somehow made it into production. In fact, it’s close to impossible to imagine this movie being made had it been based on an original screenplay rather than a well-regarded novel, “Le Grand Cahier,” by Agota Kristof, a Hungarian who writes in French.”]

Anon1: ” I’d have to come back on this one, due to me being busy researching other things. I will come back to this in a separate email though.”

 

Anon2: “It sounds fairly neutral to me, but then…that’s just me.”

 

Anon3: “Sorry, I have no idea what this is trying to ask.”

 

Anon4: “Is it possible for something to be of neutral opinion? There doesn’t seem to be any bias, but it’s without context: I don’t know the relationship between the creator and the reviewer, but calling something “lumpy” or “labored” is an opinion, not an objective fact. Similarly, calling it novel tends to lend a positive tone to it, but “lumpy” and “relentlessly episodic” doesn’t strike me as praise.”

 

Anon5: “I think everything in the public spotlight, be it politics, movies, games, etc deserve criticism. Not sure what else I can say, sorry.”

 

Anon6: “i don’t really think it’s much, i don’t even understand what lumpy means, and relentlessly episodic seems like an odd thing to say. you’re either episodic or you’re not you can’t be relentlessly episodic, just an odd sentence honestly.”

 

Anon7: “As I said before, a game is a sum of all it´s parts. If you are scoring a game based on that single paragraph you are doing it wrong. If it is a remark, it´s understandable. Hell, some RPGs could come into that description perfectly without being bad games (like Tales of Symphonia).”

 

Anon8: “You can discuss the media, you can talk about your subjective appreciation with others, but those are discussions, articles, or others, a review is not the moment to talk about those things.”

 

Anon9: “Not really. Speaking of novelty is inherently subjective.”

 

@Oboromusha: “Neutral does not apply to reviewing. It is based on personal tastes. As for Objectivity, this statement would describe an aspect worthy of consideration to anyone who does not like that style of narrative. So yes, objective.”

 

Anon10: “Definitely an opinion though that doesn’t immediately mean it’s not somewhat objective. The language leans much more towards opinion but the material may very well be labored and episodic. Stronger negative language in my mind at least would be required to lose all of the objectivity. There’s simply terrible media out there that’s impossible to be completely neutral about in a review.”

 

Anon11: It is opinionated, but there is always going to be opinion. Opinion isn’t fundamentally bad, because you can’t really have objectivity for stories. But if I read that in a review, it tells me how the person felt about the game and gives me ideas how it plays out. Maybe the concerns are not necessarily all that bad, maybe they’re underrepresented.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “As an interactive media, games can only be fairly reviewd as an opinion.”

 

Agayek: “I see that as an opinion grounded in an understanding of storytelling. There’s an argument to be had that it’s ‘objective’, but I personally don’t see it. It is however exactly the kind of examination that reviews should be based upon. Opinions grounded in an understanding of the medium, not an opinion grounded in an ideology.”

 

Anon12: “neutrality is impossible, lukewarm or middle-ground is definitely possible. an example of a bias would be carolyn petits complaint about female characters in gta 5, a game that was 1 about masculinity and 2 satirized EVERYONE. its like complaining about COD being too violent”

 

Anon13: “By itself, this statement won’t do. The best way would be to give some very concrete examples of why this reviewer finds this particular piece of media good in this regard. Perhaps a detailed description of a piece that he has strong feelings about or giving a comparison to other known piece of media. If something like that won’t be provided than we only know about it in the context of reviewers taste which is not enough.”

 

Anon14: “I would say this is biased towards said piece of media.”

 

Anon15: “That sounds like an example of something with a negative connotation. It also sounds like a contrived salad of buzzwords with little actual application or meaning. Almost as if the writer is intentionally padding the narrative? Is it unbiased? Yes, but it’s also very poorly worded, in my opinion. It sounds like they’re essentially saying the product is boring, but they won’t come out and say it, which is the opposite of what I actually would want to know in relation to a future purchase decision.”

 


 

5. What would you like to see covered in a review ie gameplay, mechanics, story, music, fun, narrative, etc.

Anon1: “I would like to see gameplay covered, as well as potential game breaking bugs, and a synopsis of the beginning of the story told.”

 

Anon2: “I’d like to see graphics (mainly the art), controls, ambiance, narrative, story covered. I think fun is an interesting aspect to write about, but that can be very subjective.”

 

Anon3: “This will probably take too long.”

 

Anon4: “Er…yes? A review should cover the parts that make up the game. Gameplay is important, because we need to know if a game works. Mechanics are relevant, as well. Story, music, narrative are all relevant in telling a story or setting a tone. Fun is subjective, but it’s also true that I’ve played games with rich environments, interesting mechanics and good gameplay that just… never stuck with me. There’s nothing wrong with someone saying “Metro 2033 has an interesting story, with fun tangents from traditional FPS fare, but I just couldn’t get invested in it despite the polish.””

 

Anon5: “All of the above and more, ESPECIALLY if it’s a site/channel that gets dozens of thousands of hits every day. If it’s a small site, such as Gamnesia (which I frequent), I still expect a certain level of judgement among the writers to give a fair critique of a game they are ‘reviewing.'”

 

Anon6: “it should give you a general feel for the game, genre, mechanics, story, how deep it is, length of story, if the MP is good or if it exists. if it’s unique say why, if not compare it to other games that could be it’s inspirations. also the overall feel, this is gonna sound weird but games are a bit like cars you can talk numbers all you want but end of the day it’s about how it feels when you get behind the wheel and drive.”

 

Anon7: “As with any product review… Is it worth my money? Is a part of a game that´s not of the reviewer´s taste guarantee that I will not like the final package? Is the sexualized image of an amazon/witch enough for me to dislike everything else included? CAN I HAVE A SECOND OPINION on these delicate subjects?”

 

Anon8: “I’m mostly into mechanics, but to be honest what I think it would be fair and cool, it would be to have a review, made of facts, and then make a different article for appreciation and discussion. You could have a 4 minutes review video about the game and what the game presents, and then link it to a discussion video or article. We are not again people talking about video games, we are against people pushing agendas in moments where is not even proper to do so.”

 

Anon9: “All of the above. A good reviewer should be able to professionally rate objective qualities of a game (mechanics, graphics) while expressing their own opinion on the subjective qualities (“fun factor,” story).”

 

@Oboromusha: “All of the above, along with graphical fidelity and platform comparisons in performance. Most gamers want to make the best choices and many are multi-platform owners.”

 

Anon10: “Overall gameplay, a little info on mechanics, and any notable features such as an excellent soundtrack or well crafted story.”

 

Anon11: “Everything. All of it. More detail in a review is good. It might be a technically marvellous game, but it might just be a tech demo – many though Doom 3 was basically that for the id tech behind it, but I enjoyed it.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “The personal experience of the person with said elements.”

 

Agayek: “In an ideal world, every review would cover the mechanical aspects (controls, performance, narrative structure, level design, sound design, etc), the things that have measurable quality standards, as a metric for technical quality, and then go into what the author of the review liked and didn’t like about it and what their opinion on it is. To put it a slightly different way, I would like to see people separate “like” and “good” in reviews, instead of conflating the two.”

 

Anon12: “gameplay most of all, story and characters second. i perhaps like the story more, but i know that gamers most of all just game, so that’s what it ought to be about”

 

Anon13: “Gameplay, functionality and fun (however it must be properly punctuated WHY it is fun or unfun) should be most important. Then, obviously bad or great things about graphic, artstyle, music and story. For example, plot holes, low/high quality of art/music. The least important part, however it still should be present, are personal feelings of the reviewer toward these things and of course each point should be properly explained (why he likes or dislikes something).”

 

Anon14: “All of the above. But, in my case, I prefer to know as much as possible about the gameplay. It is just the kind of gamer I am. Some people prefer the story and others the graphics.”

 

Anon15: “Gameplay, mechanics, how the mechanics function, DO they function, story, music/sound design, narrative, unique aspects, and overall, does it work as intended. Is it a buggy mess? I want to know. Is it unfinished? I want to know. Is there locked paywall content? I want to know. Where I can purchase it, should I choose to, and any affiliation with the game, its developers, etc. (In the case of a KS/IG game.)”

 


6. What do you think the difference between an op-ed and a review is (if any?)

Anon1: “An op-ed is where people clearly are stating their opinions on a subject in general. A review should be focused on a singular product, preferably without painting it overly much with your opinions.”

 

Anon2: “Op-ed’s are typically done by outside writers, and provide a good contrast to a review written by the editorial staff.”

 

Anon3: “My definition of an op-ed is a piece is writing that is the sole opinion of the writer/group/whatever and as such should be labelled as so. It is subjective and opinionated and therefore may be one sided. In essence it is giving someone your two cents on an issue etc. Reviews and news articles on the other hand should be objective, without bias or if it is biased should be disclosed. Report what is there (with research) and as it is. ”

 

Anon4: “Op-ed is someone’s opinion. A review should try to be as informative as possible. I’d liken it to a movie review; Anyone can watch a movie and enjoy it, but it takes a practiced and knowledgeable eye to be able to tell WHY something is a beautiful shot. Super Mario Bros.3 starts off easy, like most Mario games, but a discerning player will notice how it gives you the basics of some mechanics without explaining a word: You get a powerup in the a ? block right from the start, and after the second easily avoidable enemy there’s a koopa. Kicking it will hit a ? block on the ground which shows you 1) you can kick koopas and 2) you can hit blocks with objects.
That block gives you another powerup, and then there’s a long line of easy enemies. This clears a runway ending in a jump, and if the player runs down it, they fill a P meter. Jumping with a full P meter will let you fly for a brief period of time, and there’s even an ascending line of collectable coins off of the “runway” to show you secrets can be hidden off-screen. Without using a single written word, Mario 3 teaches you more in the first 30 seconds than most modern tutorials do in an entire levels, and it’s something that I think would be lost on a lot of people today.
That’s a rant, I suppose, but it shows the difference between someone playing games and someone understanding games. I’d want someone who can see these things reviewing, not someone who just enjoyed playing Mario.”

 

Anon5: “I’d say that op-eds are more biased, but given what’s been happening the last few weeks, maybe they’re both as biased as each other…”

 

Anon6: “a review needs to focus on describing the game and only the game, without outside world interference, you want to talk about it in context of stuff like that write an op-ed.”

 

Anon7: “An opinion piece makes it personal. A review shouldn´t be personal. If you want an opinionated piece on a game, so be it but don´t destroy a game with a bad score because you as a reviewer didn’t like something. We wouldn´t be so upset if the score of a game was treated just as that… but then again there is Metacritic, and one lone number can be the difference between a mass success hit and a blown fuss.
http://venturebeat.com/2009/08/27/the-influence-of-metacritic-on-game-sales/

 

Anon8: “Supposedly op-ed is from editorial, what the magazine or site support. A review can be outsider of those. But basically a review should follow a clear structure where is more about the game and less about the reviewer.”

 

Anon9: “Reviews, if you want to get technical, are a specialized sub-category of Op-Ed.”

 

@Oboromusha: “Grafting matters of social commentary into the gaming paradigm, completely dismissing the game as means of expression of the creators ideas and purposes is op/ed. It is saying “I believe this game should discuss this issue”.
A review is saying “this is how the game is, what I think it works, what I think it doesn’t. You should probaly get it if you like this kind of stuff (or not get it, if you don’t).”

 

Anon10: “An op-ed looks like a review, smells like a review, but isn’t a review. It’s a person’s opinions presented as fact regardless of their personal knowledge of the matter. In my book a review is worth a thousand op-ed.”

 

Anon11: “A review talks about what the game is, an op-ed tells us why it’s something specific.”

 

@Jeronimous_: “A review has to be objective. As games is a interactive and complex media, the experience vary, therefore can only be an opinion.”

 

Agayek: “In my mind, the difference is that an op-ed can be about whatever topic, while a review is about a specific game. Beyond that, not much. In the end, they’re both opinion pieces that present a conclusion and arguments based on facts that support that conclusion.”

 

Anon12: “op-ed is where one talks about a certain aspect of games, the industry, the media. a review is where they analyze and decide why a game is worthwhile”

 

Anon13: “Op-ed can (and mostly is) all about how the author feels about something, what are his feelings and opinions on matters. It also doesn’t have to be so strictly explained and detailed. Review should first of all base itself on facts and things that personal taste won’t affect and if it’s impossible the reviewer should try his best to overcome his personal view while describing the material.”

 

Anon14: “Op-eds are about the authors opinions regarding a certain subject, while reviews should strive for objectivity.
Like I’ve stated above I have no qualms with reviewers being biased towards the product they review, my only requirement is that I am informed of said bias at the start of the review.”

 

Anon15: “In my opinion, while a review is essentially still an opinion and subjective, you judge a product objectively on its strengths and weaknesses. Dinging a game for your own personal preference in this manner would be akin to giving Street Fighter a lower score because you’re opposed to violence, or Mario a lower score due to cruelty to turtles, which would then make your article no longer a review, but an op-ed. If you’re unwilling to state your biases separately in your op-ed pieces, then I would recommend that a journalist simply recuse themselves from a product that clashes with their biases. “

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: