A Criticism of the Critics: Part 2
This post is part of a series that points out pitfalls into which certain critics seem to fall. These articles are meant both as constructive criticism to the critics and what to watch out for to readers. The first part of the series can be found here.
OK, this one might get those comment buttons clicking, so get ready to have at it in discussion. Actually, the motivation behind this one for critics is more of a suspicion, since I can’t say for sure. Let’s pose it as a question: Do you ever get the idea that game critics review great games badly just so they will stick out from the pack? Every so often, I’ll be reading reviews for a widely acclaimed video game title and come across one that nitpicks the tiniest flaws and fails to fully appreciate its many merits. In a way, it makes sense for a reviewer to point out things that other people are not. But as I said in my last article on this topic, the main purpose of the critic and his review is to inform readers on the quality of the game in question. Whatever his intentions or reasoning, by focusing unfairly on the negative aspects of the title, this goal is not properly met and the reader is not properly informed.
The solution here seems pretty straightforward: be fair! Point out the good and the bad objectively and with equal focus and attention. Say what you liked and what you didn’t, what was good and what wasn’t. That way, as a reviewer, your articles will be more trustworthy and readers will take you a lot more seriously.
Have you read any game reviews you felt weren’t being fair? Do you think it’s because they wanted to seem different from the droves of positive feedback? Do you think it could be for a different reason? Let us know in the comments!