Thursday, 6 December 2007

Review: Reviewer and Revieweree

I've got a certain friend who writes game reviews for a certain website and he recently gave a certain game a certain bad review. And he certainly got a lot of shit for it.

A lot.

I didn't bother to read all six pages of posts. There was no need as the reviews would most certainly fall into one of three categories:
a) fuck you man you don't know shit;
b) the author makes some valid points though I still disagree overall; or
c) eat it, fanboys

I was astounded by the overwhelmingly and vehemently negative response generated by my friend's controversial review. Basically, he gave a
much-anticipated and widely popular game a "low" score of 7/10. This sparked outrage among gamers who felt compelled to post their own opinions about both the game and my friend's character. Then came a second wave of posts decrying the unwarranted and unjust accusations made in the first wave. There are even a few third wave meta-posts, which respond to responses to posts.

I will freely admit to wanting to post responses to movie reviews or lists of things I felt were erroneous in some way. I've even gone so far as almost creating an account with the offending website. But I've always held back. Because I know that what I write will generally say less about what I think and more about what I am.

A slutbag whore.

Or so people would think if I actually went ahead and posted:
i have so much shit to say about you right now,but to sum everything up, i wanna say you suck ! everyone hates you. stop your bogus and give the score the game it deserves and i mean it deserves not the score your bogus mind wanna give.or else some [game] fanatics will burn your house down and kill your family

To be fair, this anonymous fanboy added "just kidding" after the death threat. Kidding or not, this poster still felt the need to express his disagreement by suggesting arson and murder as a viable course of action against the reviewer. In contrast, scorch117's post offers an alternative to homicide and goes some way in proving that not all gamer fanboys are poorly educated, antisocial sociopaths:

After reading the whole thing, it's obvious that you're a terrible liar, a douche bag, and that you need to commit suicide before you even read this.

I have read my friend's review and while he may be a terrible liar (which he actually is) and a douchebag (which he actually is not), these qualities do not come across in the review. What does come across is that my friend didn't think the game lived up to his expectations. Whether his expectations were reasonable is another matter. He fails to fully address the issues of the game's marketing and advertising campaign, and its buyers' pre-purchasing experience, and simply concludes the game was "overhyped" without delving deeper into the sociological and psychological mechanics of target audiences and anticipation. Perhaps this is the point another anonymous poster meant to raise when he wrote:

7/10? Are you kidding me? Have you ever played a quality game before in your life? If [this game] had absolutely no hype going in and you never heard of it before, you'd say it was amazing, which it is. But you let hype and politics get to you, so you get off to saying it's "overhyped," which couldn't be farther from the truth.

[The game] didn't smash all entertainment records in history ($170 million first 24 hours) because everyone felt like buying an "overhyped" game.

No, I suppose its record breaking sales means it was hyped just enough.

As for my friend, he has yet to take any steps towards fire-proofing his house, nor has he spiraled into a suicidal depression. He stubbornly continues to play and review new games. In fact, another one of his negative reviews sparked a dialogue with the game's writer (who agreed with the assessment) and earned my friend a shout-out in a later game produced by the same company.

Eat it, fanboys.

No comments: