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Topic: Does a professional reviewer have a mandate to bring personal political biases into a review?

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Philip_J_Reed

101. Posted:

CM30 wrote:

See Yahtzee, the Angry Video Game Nerd or the Nostalgia Critic's fanbase. Or at least the minority who think that if the reviewer says it sucks, the game is objectively awful and so is anyone who likes it.

I've seen them. Only one of them has anything to do with current releases (at least on a large scale), so it'd be difficult to say that they're limiting the industry's output in any way. And none of them are using any kind of masterful power of mind-control. They have fans — admittedly in large numbers — who feel that their tastes align with these reviewers. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, that's what people SHOULD do: take into account that reviewer's personal tastes, and decide if it's anything like your own. If it is, put more stock in it, because it's probably going to give you a good idea of whether or not you'll like it too. If it's not...move along.

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DefHalan

102. Posted:

garywood wrote:

DefHalan wrote:

@garywood
But you can do that, that is the point. Why should we stop someone from doing that?

Once again, I'm not saying it should necessarily be stopped. I'm saying that if it's accepted, then the inconsistencies at least should be pointed out so people notice them. People are pretty good at not doing that!

Is that not what we are doing? We are discussing that right now. There are inconsistencies but at least people are talking about problems and not sweeping them under the rug.

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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garywood

103. Posted:

Haha, well at long last my point has actually been acknowledged. Sounds like I'll have to discuss it with whoever wrote that page:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

garywood

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DefHalan

104. Posted:

Sounds more like a problem with the readers not the reviewers.

garywood wrote:

Haha, well at long last my point has actually been acknowledged. Sounds like I'll have to discuss it with whoever wrote that page:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

And that is called being human. If you enjoyed Dead Space 1 you might mark Dead Space 2 higher than someone who didn't play Dead Space 1 or didn't like it. That is because you are more vested in a series than someone jumping in half-way through. If those pet peeves are important to the reviewer then it could have affected their experience.

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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Philip_J_Reed

105. Posted:

garywood wrote:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

Breaking news: Reviewer gives positive rating to thing he enjoys, negative rating to thing he does not. Full story at 11.

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theblackdragon

106. Posted:

Philip_J_Reed wrote:

garywood wrote:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

Breaking news: Reviewer gives positive rating to thing he enjoys, negative rating to thing he does not. Full story at 11.

hey, i was wondering when you were gonna show up. i got bored a while back trying to explain how this works, maybe you'll have better luck :3

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DefHalan

107. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

Philip_J_Reed wrote:

garywood wrote:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

Breaking news: Reviewer gives positive rating to thing he enjoys, negative rating to thing he does not. Full story at 11.

hey, i was wondering when you were gonna show up. i got bored a while back trying to explain how this works, maybe you'll have better luck :3

Yea I am getting to the point of giving up too. I feel like I am going in circles sometimes.

http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/44243746261/nickels-dimes-and-quarters
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/why-console-specs-dont-matter
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/200271/Video_Don_Daglow_on_nextgen_transition_traps_and_treasures.php

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garywood

108. Posted:

DefHalan wrote:

Sounds more like a problem with the readers not the reviewers.

Yeah, I'll agree on that one! To be honest, the more it's being discussed, the more it's seeming like the whole reviewing thing is just stupid anyway. Maybe more people should shake things up!

garywood

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garywood

109. Posted:

Philip_J_Reed wrote:

garywood wrote:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

Breaking news: Reviewer gives positive rating to thing he enjoys, negative rating to thing he does not. Full story at 11.

Well I feel like I've rather convincingly demonstrated that that's precisely what DOESN'T happen in the same way it does with everyday people.
But yes, I think it's time to bring this to a close.

Thanks to the 3-4 people who debated the issue maturely, without bringing any attitude or resorting to personal attacks. That's a worthwhile skill when it comes to these sort of issues and I think you're probably right for the most part on this one.

garywood

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PrincessSugoi

110. Posted:

Well, that ended much better than I thought it would. :-P

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ClockworkMario

111. Posted:

garywood wrote:

ClockworkMario wrote:

I don't think there's a need to criticise games for violence – as long as they don't glorify it – because they're only fantasy, a way to do things I'd never dare or would be able to do in real life. That's part of their charm for me.

Besides, very few games I've played offer only mindless action. In games like Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 the players actions are often questioned and criticised.

Oh me neither, I was just saying that it's a big inconsistency if we accept criticisms of female portrayal but then never say anything about violence. GTA definitely glorifies violence!

Yeah, you raise a good point. I suppose violence is so integrated in entertainment, that it's not even questioned, whereas the depiction of women is relatively new issue.

On the action point, yes I accept that there are plenty of games that are on the border and do retain a sense of artistic achievement, like those that you mention (although compare Mass Effect 1 to Mass Effect 3) but there seem to be a worrying lack of AAA games that go in completely different directions and still manage success. The only ones that come to mind are Portal 2 and Skyrim.

True, not every COD and BF offer food for mind but do they even need to? Does every game have to have deeper themes? I have no trouble with games that could be regarded simply as entertainment, not art. Something to spend few hours on and unwind after school. Same could be said about movies. Films like Clockwork Orange offer societal criticism, while something like the recent Riddick serve over–the–top rumble. Different games cater different needs.

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garywood

112. Posted:

ClockworkMario wrote:

True, not every COD and BF offer food for mind but do they even need to? Does every game have to have deeper themes? I have no trouble with games that could be regarded simply as entertainment, not art. Something to spend few hours on and unwind after school. Same could be said about movies. Films like Clockwork Orange offer societal criticism, while something like the recent Riddick serve over–the–top rumble. Different games cater different needs.

Oh yeah, I completely agree with that. The thing that had got my alarms going was that a few series that were of a different genre were slowly turned into mindless action games (Resident Evil, Mass Effect (relatively mindless), Dead Space, possibly Final Fantasy by the looks of it). If the Tales serious decided to follow suit, the JRPG would be more or less dead!
That strikes me as problematic. Mindless action shouldn't be taking away from other genres, they should be exist in parallel!

Edited on by garywood

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banacheck

113. Posted:

Philip_J_Reed wrote:

garywood wrote:

"Not to mention, some reviewers often have a Bias Steamroller, which can also cause them to take points off of a work merely because they have certain pet peeves, or add points because they like the franchise."

Breaking news: Reviewer gives positive rating to thing he enjoys, negative rating to thing he does not. Full story at 11.

I agree but you cannot say GTAV is bad because it depicts violence, then go on to say a game like Bayonetta2 is totally fine. Because Bayontta2 also depicts violence, so the reviewer has to point out the violence in other games also. Which in some cases thay don't, and even go on to defend the violence in other games, well GTA is more realistic etc. Which doesn't matter wether its realistic or not because the game is still depicting violence. Also games like GTA have a bad rep anyway from society & the media with people with small minds, so what ever society say's much be right? yes just like years ago when society ridiculed people with different colour skin.

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theblackdragon

114. Posted:

@banacheck: 'society' has changed since the days of racial bigotry being a-ok in the media. 'society' is still changing now, which is why we're having this discussion in the first place. A reviewer bringing up the idea that GTA:V is inherently sexist and/or misogynistic isn't something that should be silenced — we shouldn't demand it of them or say that they should be obligated to report on such things if they didn't bother them, but should they be barred from having mentioned it within the context of the review if it did impact the game that much for them? Absolutely not. A reviewer feeling comfortable enough in their own skin and their place in society to say that these sort of things bothered them enough to mention should not be as surprising to anyone as it apparently was in this case.

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CanisWolfred

115. Posted:

@banacheck As with the sexualization, it's more about how the violence in GTA is presented and glorified that people see as a problem, not the violence in general. There's a limit to everything, and by some people's standard, GTA goes too far too often. If anything, I'd say the people unwilling to understand the criticisms these games garner are the ones with a small mind.

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garywood

116. Posted:

Well I hope we all agree on the fact that the best outcome is the one in which game developers have as much freedom as possible to make what THEY want to make.
The problem we've had in this debate is that I was arguing on a principle that might never actually be a problem, it's certainly not a problem in it's current form. But I hope if in the future, we do start to see a directed effort to censor some kinds of games, you'd all join me in resisting it, no matter how much society conditions you think that something new has become unacceptable. We want as much unacceptable material out there as possible! Free speech and free expression is useless unless it covers the racists, the flat-earthers and the scientologists (sounds like the beginning of a good joke)

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theblackdragon

117. Posted:

@garywood: they can say and do what they like as long as it's done in a legal manner, but part of that freedom is others being able to speak out against such things and make personal purchasing decisions based on them. express yourself however, but don't cry foul when you're called out on racist, bigoted, ridiculous, unethical or scammy things publicly and/or people make the choice not to buy your stuff due to personally disagreeing with what you've included, said, or done. the rest of us are exercising our own rights and freedoms.

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[16:44] LztheBlehBird: James doesn't know the rules? For shame!!!
[16:44] Vintage: We have rules?
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garywood

118. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

@garywood: they can say and do what they like as long as it's done in a legal manner, but part of that freedom is others being able to speak out against such things and make personal purchasing decisions based on them. express yourself however, but don't cry foul when you're called out on racist, bigoted, ridiculous, unethical or scammy things publicly and/or people make the choice not to buy your stuff due to personally disagreeing with what you've included, said, or done. the rest of us are exercising our own rights and freedoms.

Well your faith in people's ability to reason their way to conclusions is one that I don't share- and is contradicted by almost everything we know in psychology (which is exactly what marketing and economics people tend to read a lot of). Nearly everything people decide is down to some external factor that they're not conscious of. You use words like bigoted and ridiculous as if they have some kind of absolute meaning that we can identify. Bigotry is a word like intolerance or terrorist, you just stick onto the thing you don't like in order to create an emotional response against it.
Bigotry in North Korea is insulting the dear leader. Bigotry in China is insulting the ruling party, the same with various islamic countries (all 3 examples have banned various/all parts of gaming by coincidence).
Unless you have some kind of reasoning as to why society will just naturally tend to develop in some beneficial direction (other than the fact that it has done in the last 60 years)- I suggest a lot more skepticism!

Edited on by garywood

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CanisWolfred

119. Posted:

garywood wrote:

theblackdragon wrote:

@garywood: they can say and do what they like as long as it's done in a legal manner, but part of that freedom is others being able to speak out against such things and make personal purchasing decisions based on them. express yourself however, but don't cry foul when you're called out on racist, bigoted, ridiculous, unethical or scammy things publicly and/or people make the choice not to buy your stuff due to personally disagreeing with what you've included, said, or done. the rest of us are exercising our own rights and freedoms.

Well your faith in people's ability to reason their way to conclusions is one that I don't share- and is contradicted by almost everything we know in psychology (which is exactly what marketing and economics people tend to read a lot of). Nearly everything people decide is down to some external factor that they're not conscious of. You use words like bigoted and ridiculous as if they have some kind of absolute meaning that we can identify. Bigotry is a word like intolerance or terrorist, you just stick onto the thing you don't like in order to create an emotional response against it.
Bigotry in North Korea is insulting the dear leader. Bigotry in China is insulting the ruling party, the same with various islamic countries (all 3 examples have banned various/all parts of gaming by coincidence).
Unless you have some kind of reasoning as to why society will just naturally tend to develop in some beneficial direction (other than the fact that it has done in the last 60 years)- I suggest a lot more skepticism!

...what does any of that have to do with what she said there?

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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garywood

120. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

...what does any of that have to do with what she said there?

Seemed to address the general message to me? Given the running dialogue of this discussion, that's the general impression I got. No?

Edited on by garywood

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