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Submitted by matgrowcott 58d ago | opinion piece

How to Read a Game Review

An article discussing the changing opinions towards game reviews. From GamesReviews:

"There's always a lot of discussion when a review doesn't fit the chosen narrative of a game's hype. Even when it's pretty much spot on, fans of a given franchise will question why it didn't score higher when it's their very favourite new game, better than Grand Theft Auto V by miles "and look at what you gave that!" There's no talking to people who've decided their very own score based on a twenty second teaser trailer, but a worse kind of reader has appeared - the sort that don't know what a review is and how to get the most out of it. And, sadly, their number seems to be growing." (Grand Theft Auto V, Limbo, PC, PS3, PS4, The Last Of Us, The Last Of Us Remastered, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

thorstein  +   58d ago
Not bad, but there really, really needs to be an article titled: "How To WRITE a Game Review."

Make it an industry standard and make sure that flamebait titles like "Why (insert game title) is Overrated" are not allowed. That isn't a review. That is flamebait.

Final paragraph is spot on!
#1 (Edited 58d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
matgrowcott  +   58d ago
Funnily enough, I've worked with several sites that have internal writer's guides covering just that.

But then editors are willing to give their writers the benefit of the doubt, or know it's a big title and would rather publish sooner rather than later, or are caught up in the hype themselves and would have fired the writer if they'd given Bioshock Infinite anything less than a 10/10...

It's a mess, and I personally try not to work with sites that can't get their act together in terms of sticking to their own rules, but not everybody has the benefit of being able to choose the work they do or even realize it's happening, so it's a tough thing to, for want of a better word, 'police.'
Ezz2013  +   58d ago
the first problem with reviews is that some of them are done by people who are not even into the genre they are doing a review on
#1.1.1 (Edited 58d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report
matgrowcott  +   58d ago
@Ezz

The writer doesn't have to be into the genre, so long as they can review it objectively. It makes no difference at all.
MRMagoo123  +   58d ago
I am hoping they do a "how to read articles" one soon tho because thats a major floor on this site for a lot of users. I dont mean you guys didnt read but I thought it was relevant to the convo you where having.
SpiralTear  +   58d ago
Any article that uses the word "overrated" in its headline is probably not worth your time.
Tiqila  +   58d ago
So why is it that I have to be told how to read a review and not the author how to write it in the first place?

I read through a review only if it is written well and objectively. This is not the case for many "reviews" and the example of the misogyny in GTA perfectly demonstrates this.

"Yes, these are exaggerations of misogynistic undercurrents in our own society, but not satirical ones. With nothing in the narrative to underscore how insane and wrong this is, all the game does is reinforce and celebrate sexism."

Why should I read this as just a warning to those who prefer content with "strong" women? It is not. It is the author clearly stating his/her dislike and it is his/her opinion, because of his/her conclusions. The misogynistic aspects of GTA are very satirical in my opinion. Stating these things as a fact in an official review is a misrepresentation of the game and I will not try to "read it differently" what the author of the above article suggests, to compensate for the author of that reviews incompetence and personal opinion.
matgrowcott  +   58d ago
"So why is it that I have to be told how to read a review and not the author how to write it in the first place?"

Because you can't expect anybody to write specifically for you? Critics write about potential problems in the game, no games writer - with the exception of Jim Sterling, who plays the gaming community like a fiddle anyway (and look how many people say he's the "only trustworthy journalist") - is saying that their opinion is set in stone.

A review is as much about the person reading it as it is the person writing it. It's as simple as that. If you can't understand why your disagreement with Petit's comment stems from your viewing the game in two different ways, that's your problem, not hers. It doesn't make her unprofessional, it doesn't mean that it's not valid, it just means it doesn't apply to you.

It's not a misrepresentation either, it's an absolutely fair point and one that she backs up with the example of the difference in advertising. I disagree that it's problematic, as I say in the article, and it's not something I hope the developers ever choose to act upon, but a fair point nonetheless.

Which is my argument, one that you seem to have overlooked in your rush to be... what? Angry? For someone suggesting you learn how to judge your own feeling towards a game through the text of another person who by definition isn't you?

You think it was a useless aside that "misrepresents" the game. You're wrong. There will have been people for whom that statement was important, and your view of what the review should have said does little to change their opinion. You're not an important enough person to have your views eclipse those of others.
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Tiqila  +   57d ago
"A review is as much about the person reading it as it is the person writing it."

but why should I read articles I don't like because of HOW they are written? Consider the example from above again, if the author would have been able to state the misogyny aspect in a more accurate and less biased way, I might consider the article as worth reading.

I am the target audience of a review after all, why should I adept to the authors style? If I don't like a movie because of its presentation I don't watch it. Easy as that. No one tells me how to watch a movie that I don't like. I don't follow your logic here...
#2.1.1 (Edited 57d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
matgrowcott  +   57d ago
"but why should I read articles I don't like because of HOW they are written?"

You shouldn't. That doesn't mean those articles don't have value though.

"Consider the example from above again, if the author would have been able to state the misogyny aspect in a more accurate and less biased way, I might consider the article as worth reading."

See? What you're saying is it's a bad article because you disagree with what she's saying. She made her point, and perhaps she made it more strongly than someone less affected would have done, but it was still a point worth making.

It's not inaccurate just because it didn't upset you. It's not without value just because you're not the sort of person who notices what Petit noticed.

"I am the target audience of a review after all, why should I adept to the authors style?"

Someone interested in buying a game is the target audience of a review. I'd say that someone like you, who I'm presuming stays fairly savvy with video game stuff, would use a review to confirm your biases or as a yardstick of "when to buy."

Meanwhile, most reviewers write for an audience that knows absolutely nothing about the game, because we have to presume that's who's reading.

"If I don't like a movie because of its presentation I don't watch it."

A review isn't a piece of entertainment though, it's to aid in a purchase. Find a reviewer you enjoy by all means, but we're mostly here to critique a product. Anything else is gravy.

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