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10/29/2003

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Mike Drucker

Go NYU school of journalism. There's still hope for me, then.

rob

How can he not like Red Dawn?

But seriously. You wrote earlier about girly-girls getting into gaming and treading on your/our turf. This column sets off the same kind of alarm bells for me, except instead of Teen People readers the target here is... well, Village Voice readers, who are just as alien imho. It's not the idea that bothers me, it's the pseudo-intellectual writing style here. "The Japanese aesthetes behind this quasi-role-playing action title have created a hermetic universe fired by neuroses and governed by the twitchy laws of OCD." Seriously, who is he talking to here? The intersection of gamers and people who talk like that is pretty damn small.

Dev

Hipster-gamers, then.

Exick

The intersection of gamers and people who talk like that is pretty damn small.

I'd go one step further and say it doesn't exist. No one talks like that, but many people write like that. I wonder not only who he's talking to, but what the hell he's talking about.

My review of The Village Voice:
The American elitists behind this quasi-intellectual journalistic endeavour have created a sardonic universe fired by hubris and governed by the ostentatious laws of megalomania.

ClockworkGrue

"The Japanese aesthetes behind this quasi-role-playing action title have created a hermetic universe fired by neuroses and governed by the twitchy laws of OCD."

No one talks like that, but many people write like that. I wonder not only who he's talking to, but what the hell he's talking about.

Welcome to the wide world of media criticism. Truly a game unto itself.

Still, this is no different than the language I read in album or book reviews. Being subject to "legitimate" criticism, especially as there arises more academic interest in games, just comes with the progression of niche hobby to pop culture.

...and in any case, over the years I've aquired a taste for pseudointellectual journalism. It's fun. Maestro, I say, right on.

nowak

I'll agree about the ratings. Not only are the unnecessary, they have a bit of IGN-itis: 7 is the lowest he has given? Pretty much everything else reviewed is an 8 or 9. Now, I know that there's a bunch of good games around... but no way are 80% of my games A titles.

Bowler

I for one still like the idea of game ratings. For one, they allow me at a glance to know if a title is worth a purchase or not (assuming the author still gives out poor ratings, as nowak points out).

Also, if you see someone, anyone, give a score of "10," you know in a heartbeat that you need to run to the store to buy it. Sure, I can gather the same amount of info by reading the review, but nothing says "perfect" quite like a "10" does.

And again, from a corporate viewpoint, it helps in tracking metrics. I'm not going to go giving away insider information, but there's a certain average score you need to have (along with many other things) in order to be a profitable title. Without ratings, it's harder for corporations to predict if a title is going to sell well or not, and when you're going into pre-production on your sequel even before the first game hits the shelves, getting a bit of a heads-up is always helpful.

And you just wouldn't get that kind of info without scores.

nowak

I don't buy that. Critical ratings do not translate to sales. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is pretty much universally panned
http://metacritic.com/film/titles/texaschainsawmassacre2003/
, yet it was the number one movie last week and STILL continues to make decent amounts of money.

Though, in that regard, if GAME ratings show how well a game were to sell -- then that might be showing, more than anything, that most game ratings are completely useless scores for hype rather than content. I think this is primarily why I hate them. I don't mind the movie four/five star deals, and the thumbs up or down; but that's only because the actual reviews have some decent critical content. Most game reviews follow the: this is how the graphics are; this is the basic story; this is how it sounds; this is how it plays formula, with a final hype-score tacked on.

My hope is that some no-score reviewers catch-on so that the whole "games media" can re-evaluate their scoring schemes and reassess what, exactly, they are reviewing.

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