On video game reviews

Game critic Tevis Thompson, writing a very long rant on how broken the state of video game criticism is:

The very outlandishness of my numbers points to how ingrained our pitiful review scale remains.  It speaks to how easily we submit to the tyranny of the perceived majority.  It’s the same kind of thinking that leads to the many ridiculous sacrosanct positions held by the gaming community.  To say you consider Ocarina of Time not a great Zelda or find Half-Life 2 overrated or prefer Metroid to Super Metroid, as I do, demands an explanation.  It invites skepticism of not only your opinions but of your very motives.  What’s your deal?  You’re just trolling for clicks.  And why should I listen to you anyway?  You didn’t design the game.  You don’t represent the average gamer.  You’re just some vocal minority.

Overall I can’t say I agree with Tevis. If anything, when I read criticism from Giant Bomb to Polygon and Tom Bissell on Grantland, we’re getting better criticism recently, not worse. You just have to know where to read. It doesn’t help either that Tevis uses inflammatory language frequently (e.g. “thin-skinned boys”, “straight middle class white gamer”).

But there are some good points made, especially with regard to the general uniformity in game scores for select AAA games (including Bioshock Infinite). If you dig gaming, read reviews, and especially if games journalism matters to you, it’s worth your time.