Following the controversy surrounding Carolyn Petit's GTA V review on Gamespot, MWEBGameZone writer Stephanie Duchenne thought it was appropriate to look at the issue of bias in gaming reviews.
Good question. In a way I feel that a review is always biased. To be honest, I want it to be, I want to get a sense of the journalists personal experience with a game. I hate bland reviews. I don't however read reviews to determine if I will buy a game, I read it as a story.
Reviews are always going to biased in some way - if you objectify the entire thing, you may as well just skip the review bit and go with whatever the press release says. glitches or obviously wrong or broken things with the game itself are one thing, but you're playing a game, watching a movie, listening to music. These things work because they raise an emotional response from the participant in this, and by its nature is going to be subjective, because it means something different from person to person. So she has strong feelings about certain parts of the subject matter, oh well. Just move on, dammit!
You say that like they send bigger sites press kits or something...I mean it's not like they give you giant free things.
True, but in some cases they do. So either suck up a bit of bias, and weigh in on multiple reviews which will have SOME sort of subjectivity in them, -or- take what the press kit says at face value.
Click on "Related images" ;)
I think for the fact that you have a person reviewing a game always implies that the view is going to be subjective. On that basis, its reasonable to assume that a level of bias is going to creep in, because people are a sum of their experiences, so if they have had poor experiences with a title or publisher in the past, its going to creep in. Those I can kind of accept, but the other forms of bias that I am wary of are those caused by commercial factors (advertising revenue from the publishers makes the site think its necessary to give games a good rating), ulterior motives (hidden agendas on the part of the author) and popular opinion sway (the journalist is more concerned with what other people say rather then expressing their own opinion).
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