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

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CanisWolfred

121. Posted:

garywood wrote:

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?

But she was just saying that it's as much within the people's rights to criticize and refuse to buy something because of its content as it is for people to create whatever they want to. Your post had nothing to do with that whatsoever...

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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PrincessSugoi

122. Posted:

garywood wrote:

Nearly everything people decide is down to some external factor that they're not conscious of.

I think most people can agree with this. Our environments shape who we are and what we eventually believe in. This is unavoidable.

garywood wrote:

You use words like bigoted and ridiculous as if they have some kind of absolute meaning that we can identify.

Can't speak for everyone else but as an English speaker and the owner of a Webster's dictionary, I can comfortably say they do and I can use those words as such.

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.

I think most people can agree with this as well. A lot of words are used that way, two popular ones lately have been "politically" and "correct".

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).

That's interesting to know.

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!

But isn't that what history is for? To learn and apply those lessons towards a beneficial future? Are there other civil rights charged periods in human development we can use? What other reasoning's are there to go by? I suggest a lot more people stop caring what others think and how they arrived to those conclusions. Thinkers will be thinkers and sheep will be sheep, but I'm pretty skeptical myself that would ever happen.

And I will back Canis up by saying I also did not see how this post pertained to what theblackdragon said.

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V8_Ninja

123. Posted:

I look at it this way;

If the reviewer believes that a political issue transcends simply going against that reviewer's views, the reviewer should be able to mention it. Noifs, ands, or buts.

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garywood

124. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

But she was just saying that it's as much within the people's rights to criticize and refuse to buy something because of its content as it is for people to create whatever they want to. Your post had nothing to do with that whatsoever...

Well I'm not sure why you say that, that was the point I was addressing. I'm obviously not saying it's not within people's rights to criticise and refuse to buy something etc, I was just addressing the kind of authority with which she said that as if it was a good thing.
I think it can be a good thing, it can also be very easily corrupted and we shouldn't be so mindlessly endorsed but treated with skepticism.

garywood

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theblackdragon

125. 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!

none of what you're saying has anything to do with what I just said.

What you've been saying is that people [gaming companies] should be free to express themselves however they please. No one has argued against that from what I've seen. What I'm saying is that they're free to do so and no one is stopping them, but conversely the reviewer and the consumer may choose to or not to recommend or to buy their product if they do include things that they do or do not personally enjoy interacting with under the label of 'entertainment', and for good or ill, they should not be forced to remain silent just because they may be the only person standing up to say something negatively influenced their perception of the product or game at hand.

You can't have one set of freedoms without the other. Either the gaming company and the reviewer are both free to express themselves, or neither are free to do so.

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Relias

126. Posted:

garywood wrote:

Relias wrote:

and that she had no right to do it... well welcome to the real world.. were women actually have a right to a opinion and reviewers have the right to knock or praise and as thus score games according to those opinions... it's been that way for years... and there is plenty of people that have knocked movies, music, books, etc. do to personal and political beliefs...

I don't think the fact that it's a women who reviewed it isn't really that relevant to the point, same issue if it's a man. And yes she has a right to an opinion but if it's based on reality, I think we need to point that out and actually have some standards for what people can judge. I think we'd all accept that you can't just lie in a review. So where exactly is the line? I thought my example of WW2 was quite potent. If a game showed nazis murdering jews, it might well upset the player and detract from their experience but do they really have a right to deduct points for the accurate representation of history? That's the history that's the issue, not the game.

And I think maybe there's so much outrage because people are noticing that it's a double standard. But every single issue online seems to just call out the hoards of morons who just insult people and ruin things. I'm the first to disown them even if I happen to agree with them.

Problem is GTA is not history.. it's a made up story.. that yes does use gangs and violence.. but still made up.. as thus the WW2 and Nazi thing is irrelevent.. because nothing in GTA actually shows parts of history... and secondly.. honest to God.. do you really believe if you did half the things in GTA in real life.. you would not be caught.. or you would be long for this world?? Maybe.. but you would have to do a lot of bribing.. (Which I guess is possible) But there is so much unrealistic in GTA.. that to sit here and compare it with realism.. is borderline insanity... thirdly.. the series has always been somewhat demeaning to women.. and just because someone pointed it out.. and knocked one point.. (One little point) she gets insulted... called names.. and basically made fun of.. and told she deserves to be fired?? really for the love of humanity where is the line there?? Like I said.. it's not like she threw it down to a 4 or something.. then yeah maybe you could be a little upset... (Or like she does.. along with the rest of the site.. and basically gives most to all new Nintendo games a 8-8.5 max even if they deserve higher) But I will stick to my original thoughts on this.. because you know it's true.. basically.. all reviewers have their opinions.. and beliefs.. (Political and otherwise) and they do use them at times to score a game accordingly.. it's been going on for years.. it's a part of our reality.. and we just accept it as is.. not scream about people losing jobs over one point...

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garywood

127. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

What you've been saying is that people [gaming companies] should be free to express themselves however they please. No one has argued against that from what I've seen. What I'm saying is that they're free to do so and no one is stopping them, but conversely the reviewer and the consumer may choose to or not to recommend or to buy their product if they do include things that they do or do not personally enjoy interacting with under the label of 'entertainment', and for good or ill, they should not be forced to remain silent just because they may be the only person standing up to say something negatively influenced their perception of the product or game at hand.

You can't have one set of freedoms without the other. Either the gaming company and the reviewer are both free to express themselves, or neither are free to do so.

Ok, yeah I misunderstood the force of your message, my apologies. I struggle to interpret the tone of your messages!

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garywood

128. Posted:

Relias wrote:

Problem is GTA is not history.. it's a made up story.. that yes does use gangs and violence.. but still made up.. as thus the WW2 and Nazi thing is irrelevent.. because nothing in GTA actually shows parts of history... and secondly.. honest to God.. do you really believe if you did half the things in GTA in real life.. you would not be caught.. or you would be long for this world?? Maybe.. but you would have to do a lot of bribing.. (Which I guess is possible) But there is so much unrealistic in GTA.. that to sit here and compare it with realism.. is borderline insanity... thirdly.. the series has always been somewhat demeaning to women.. and just because someone pointed it out.. and knocked one point.. (One little point) she gets insulted... called names.. and basically made fun of.. and told she deserves to be fired?? really for the love of humanity where is the line there?? Like I said.. it's not like she threw it down to a 4 or something.. then yeah maybe you could be a little upset... (Or like she does.. along with the rest of the site.. and basically gives most to all new Nintendo games a 8-8.5 max even if they deserve higher) But I will stick to my original thoughts on this.. because you know it's true.. basically.. all reviewers have their opinions.. and beliefs.. (Political and otherwise) and they do use them at times to score a game accordingly.. it's been going on for years.. it's a part of our reality.. and we just accept it as is.. not scream about people losing jobs over one point...

Well I'm not sure if that was supposed to be directed it at me? Cos I'd clearly agreed that it's unacceptable the way people were reacting to her. Although I'm not entirely encouraged by how dismissive some people in this thread have been, even if others have been more receptive to discussing the issue. That seems to just guarantee this kind of polarized culture where there's no real civilized debate because no-one has the capacity to admit they could be wrong.
As for realism, well I don't accept that it's borderline insanity at all. I think they're trying to accurately portray the lives of certain people in society, and of course we can debate how accurate that portrayal is. Definitely not insanity though. As for "being caught", have they "caught" the mafia yet?

garywood

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garywood

129. Posted:

Relias wrote:

true.. basically.. all reviewers have their opinions.. and beliefs.. (Political and otherwise) and they do use them at times to score a game accordingly.. it's been going on for years.. it's a part of our reality.. and we just accept it as is.. not scream about people losing jobs over one point...

Once again, I'd tried to show that I don't think that does happen- and that reviewers have been implicitly working to certain standards. Hence the discrepancy between critic and user reviews on certain games.

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CanisWolfred

130. Posted:

You're right that a reviewer works to certain standards, but ultimately it's still their opinion. Those standards are really just there to ensure their opinions are stated clearly, as well as a very general scoring standard.

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garywood

131. Posted:

Well these "standards" seem to account for a 5 point difference between the critic score and the user score for Diablo 3. So I'm not sure how much it's their opinion!

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Relias

132. Posted:

garywood wrote:

Relias wrote:

Problem is GTA is not history.. it's a made up story.. that yes does use gangs and violence.. but still made up.. as thus the WW2 and Nazi thing is irrelevent.. because nothing in GTA actually shows parts of history... and secondly.. honest to God.. do you really believe if you did half the things in GTA in real life.. you would not be caught.. or you would be long for this world?? Maybe.. but you would have to do a lot of bribing.. (Which I guess is possible) But there is so much unrealistic in GTA.. that to sit here and compare it with realism.. is borderline insanity... thirdly.. the series has always been somewhat demeaning to women.. and just because someone pointed it out.. and knocked one point.. (One little point) she gets insulted... called names.. and basically made fun of.. and told she deserves to be fired?? really for the love of humanity where is the line there?? Like I said.. it's not like she threw it down to a 4 or something.. then yeah maybe you could be a little upset... (Or like she does.. along with the rest of the site.. and basically gives most to all new Nintendo games a 8-8.5 max even if they deserve higher) But I will stick to my original thoughts on this.. because you know it's true.. basically.. all reviewers have their opinions.. and beliefs.. (Political and otherwise) and they do use them at times to score a game accordingly.. it's been going on for years.. it's a part of our reality.. and we just accept it as is.. not scream about people losing jobs over one point...

Well I'm not sure if that was supposed to be directed it at me? Cos I'd clearly agreed that it's unacceptable the way people were reacting to her. Although I'm not entirely encouraged by how dismissive some people in this thread have been, even if others have been more receptive to discussing the issue. That seems to just guarantee this kind of polarized culture where there's no real civilized debate because no-one has the capacity to admit they could be wrong.
As for realism, well I don't accept that it's borderline insanity at all. I think they're trying to accurately portray the lives of certain people in society, and of course we can debate how accurate that portrayal is. Definitely not insanity though. As for "being caught", have they "caught" the mafia yet?

Depends on what part of the mafia your talking about really... (A lot of big time bosses have been caught and ratted out a lot of others so pending on who you are talking about in the mafia.. the answer honestly varies.. and as I said.. and you are ignoring I guess... the mafia is powerful enough to bribe the right people so they can get away with what they are doing.. ) But honestly.. if you went around blowing up gas stations.. driving in cars and shooting people at random from the middle of the street.. as you can do ... I seriously doubt you would get away.. or any mafia.. or gang member.. the fact is.. you can in this game.. (Most likely.. as I have seen in the series) So yes.. it is unrealistic in that aspect.. because I promise you.. the police.. and maybe even some of the people are coming for you.. and yes if you did some of the things these people do.. (Like I said without some bribes..) You would also most likely be caught.. unlike this game where you can get away with it.. (Well there is that one state I guess that is a exception.. there was a huge gun fight with the police and a bank robber.. 200 shots fired.. none of which hit the police cars.. or the Bronco the robber was driving.. and he basically jumped in and drove off... and the police didn't even bother to chase him.. :O.. then yeah.. you can get away pretty easily.. of course.. you would probably be the only one in the state that could shoot straight as well.. soo.. )

Edited on by Relias

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garywood

133. Posted:

Yeah you're definitely right in the literal sense. Although I'm quite glad games aren't too realistic in the way you describe.
I think I win in terms of punctuation though!

garywood

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CanisWolfred

134. Posted:

garywood wrote:

Well these "standards" seem to account for a 5 point difference between the critic score and the user score for Diablo 3. So I'm not sure how much it's their opinion!

Because a user reviewer doesn't know how to properly express his or her opinion. Have you ever read any of them? More than half can basically be summed up as "this game wasn't exactly the way I wanted it! 1/10!!!" I'm barely exaggerating. No professional would be taken seriously if they wrote like that. That's what I'm talking about when I say standards.

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garywood

135. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

Because a user reviewer doesn't know how to properly express his or her opinion. Have you ever read any of them? More than half can basically be summed up as "this game wasn't exactly the way I wanted it! 1/10!!!" I'm barely exaggerating. No professional would be taken seriously if they wrote like that. That's what I'm talking about when I say standards.

But you've been arguing this whole time that no matter what, they should just express their opinion without self-censorship. You can't then just say that because they've expressed it badly it's somehow less meaningful. That goes against everything you guys have been arguing for.

Edited on by garywood

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skywake

136. Posted:

garywood wrote:

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

It's interesting I think when people resort to playing the victim when someone disagrees with them. I know you're talking about me when you say personal attacks because you kinda made a bit point about it. I don't see how anything I said was a personal attack and if it was taken that way it certainly wasn't meant to.

Instead I criticized your claim that the tone of art was irrelevant as long as the game was in some way representative of the real world. That was I assume taken as me saying you were unintelligent which it really wasn't. Like your Nazi example, having Nazis in a game or movie is fine and they can even kill Jews in that game as long as the tone is right. The same applies to misogyny or violence in a game like GTA. If a reviewer feels like it crossed that line and is uncomfortable they shouldn't simply dismiss that because pointing it out makes certain readers uncomfortable.

Yes, I did get fairly animated in that long ranty post I made but it again wasn't an attack on your character. I was annoyed that you spent the last couple of pages trying to claim that it wasn't about the criticism but instead about the fact that she took politics into a game review. Then you slipped up and used all of the words that "side of politics" use to trivialise these things. You wanted to talk about the review? Ok, I quoted the article directly and laid it on thick. There was nothing trivial about the criticism made and I think it's rather interesting that it was only after this response that you started accusing me of being off topic and attacking you personally.

You wanted a debate with maturity? I don't think so. You want a debate where everyone agrees with you.

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CanisWolfred

137. Posted:

garywood wrote:

CanisWolfred wrote:

Because a user reviewer doesn't know how to properly express his or her opinion. Have you ever read any of them? More than half can basically be summed up as "this game wasn't exactly the way I wanted it! 1/10!!!" I'm barely exaggerating. No professional would be taken seriously if they wrote like that. That's what I'm talking about when I say standards.

But you've been arguing this whole time that no matter what, they should just express their opinion without self-censorship. You can't then just say that because they've expressed it badly it's somehow less meaningful. That goes against everything you guys have been arguing for.

No...that's not censorship. I knew you 'd you'd try to skew it that way. It's just common writing standards to meet with the expectations of the viewership. There's technically nothing stopping people from, say, going on a rant and mindlessly bash a game. Look up IGN's review of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World, and you'll see what I mean. However, that doesn't mean people would like that or want to read that all the time. People would start looking elsewhere for reviews, so reviewers tend to not do that kinda thing. That's all a standard is: what most people agree on how a certain thing should be at the time. And standards change all the time, constantly adapting to an ever-changing environment.

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skywake

138. Posted:

garywood wrote:

But you've been arguing this whole time that no matter what, they should just express their opinion without self-censorship. You can't then just say that because they've expressed it badly it's somehow less meaningful. That goes against everything you guys have been arguing for.

If the broader culture around user reviews for games was different then that would be a good point. Instead what generally happens is that the people who make user reviews of games tend to be of the age where they are trying to impress everyone. A professional reviewer isn't trying to impress anyone but is instead simply trying to do their job well.

On top of that a reviewer doesn't really get much of a choice in which games they review and which games they don't. So they'll end up reviewing things they don't particularly like or stuff they're kinda on the fence about. A user review is done by someone who is already invested in the product one way or the other. They either really, really hate it and probably haven't played it or really, really, really love it and probably haven't played it either.

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theblackdragon

139. Posted:

@skywake: not to steal your thunder or anything, but they've accused both myself and someone else (i believe it was Jaz007, i can't remember exactly) of resorting to personal attacks as well over the course of this discussion, though that portion was part of the now-deleted original thread, so that's why you may have thought it was just you. :3 I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to the latter pages of this new thread so i haven't seen where you may or may not have 'personally attacked' the OP, but i remember the only thing i could see with either of the posts from the other thread that had been accused of 'personal attacks' was the use of the word 'you' to directly describe something the OP had said or done in their posts, and they apparently didn't like what we were pointing out.

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garywood

140. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

No...that's not censorship. I knew you 'd you'd try to skew it that way. It's just common writing standards to meet with the expectations of the viewership. There's technically nothing stopping people from, say, going on a rant and mindlessly bash a game. Look up IGN's review of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World, and you'll see what I mean. However, that doesn't mean people would like that or want to read that all the time. People would start looking elsewhere for reviews, so reviewers tend to not do that kinda thing. That's all a standard is: what most people agree on how a certain thing should be at the time. And standards change all the time, constantly adapting to an ever-changing environment.

Well the only reason you might think I'm trying to "skew" it is that I think you've effectively just contradicted everything you've been arguing for. I don't have the patience to root back through the whole argument to see what was said by you personally and what was said by others making a similar argument. But I don't really accept this kind of rationalising. I mean, as has been repeatedly said in response to my arguments: People should just give a score based on their experience. I think if that's your attitude, you don't really have any right to change it suits your point of view. I think those user scores have to be treated exactly the same as the pro scores. The fact that some of them might be better written doesn't change what their opinion would be.

garywood