“YouTube comments agree with me.”
July 16, 2017 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Game Critics by videogamedunkey [YouTube] “...because there’s nothing game critics like talking about more than game critics and the work of game critics. I like a lot of Dunkey’s work but I disagree with most of this video, which criticises (among other things) big sites like IGN and Gamespot for expressing different opinions on games depending on which staff member at the site is talking at any given moment. Leading to situations where one IGN person says “Sonic sucks” and another person says “Sonic is great” and so on. Obviously I think writers expressing their individual opinions is a good thing (and there’s a reason why I always mention the author’s name alongside the links in Sunday Papers). There’s also a bunch of other stuff in there about game scores and whether you need to complete games before reviewing them and so on, all of which is the exact same argument people have been having for, oh, about 25 years now.” [via: Rock Paper Shotgun]

• Why Dunkey (and Many Others) Get It so Wrong About Game Review [Crave]
“Dunkey’s misguided criticisms only stand to highlight the divide between the perception of how games media should operate, and the reality of how it needs to operate in order to meet readers’ expectations. Dunkey has become an increasingly prominent figure in online games criticism, with his videos veering from funny musings on the notoriously terrible MMO Roblox, through to insightful commentary on the likes of Hollow Knight and Yooka-Laylee. His channel has been gaining a lot of momentum in the past year or so, with his videos frequently being upvoted to the front page of Reddit and him standing out on YouTube amid a sea of Let’s Players and less accomplished comedy/gaming personalities. His latest video argues that outlets such as IGN should have a greater consistency with their reviews, and that the importance of “building an understanding between the critic and the viewer” is undermined when a site has multiple writers with different opinions, some of whom are “consistently wrong.” While Dunkey is just one lone (albeit popular) voice and his video would otherwise not be of that much importance, his opinions echo those of many readers, so I thought it was worth deconstructing his arguments and explaining why he’s completely wrong.”
• Game Criticism Had Problems Long Before Dunkey Made a Video About It [Waypoint/Vice]
“Otherwise, Dunkey's video covers familiar but still unsettled ground, if you've been paying attention game criticism for the last decade. The searing text in a review doesn't match the score, often falling between the 7-9 range; accepting advertisements from video game companies when you're pretending to be impartial is, at best, a bad look; critics tend to latch onto familiar (and shared) language as an expressive crutch; coverage of new games tends to produce the most traffic, resulting in a rush to write articles without enough time to really understand the experience you're talking about; the question of whether a reviewer needs to finish a game to have an opinion on it; how we determine the term "fun" in regards to quality. I've fallen victim to all of these. The video, whatever you think of the arguments, is scathing. Dunkey seemingly intended to provoke a reaction from the people he was criticizing, and based on the chatter I saw online, fallout that's continued for days, he got exactly the reaction he was looking for: a defensive one. ”
• I Don't Follow Dunkey's Contradictory Arguments About Video Game Critics [Forbes]
“But IGN is serving a different, broader purpose than most YouTubers. IGN, as the largest video game site on the internet, is tasked with covering all the games they possibly can, from major to minor. It is simply impossible to do that without a veritable army of freelancers. IGN could not possibly keep up with its reviews with one or two people, and it’s impossible for YouTubers as well, which is why you simply don’t see any individual YouTubers cover as many games as a large site like IGN. But there is an audience for those who want timely coverage of every game on the market, so that’s why sites like IGN exist and have for years. There is also an audience for YouTubers picking their favorites to cover and doing so on their own time table, but one does not need to negate the other. Past this, though, I disagree with the notion that you can’t get to know the tastes and preferences of individual writers, freelancers or otherwise, like you can with YouTubers. If you just…find a reviewer you like and constantly follow their work, which in the age of social media is incredibly easy, you can attach yourself to different writers and learn just as much about them and their tastes as any YouTuber.”
• The Unique Shame of the Video Game Critic [The Guardian]
“Defending video games as a worthwhile subject during the medium’s emergent decades has been tough. The blockbusters are often flimsy carnivals of pyrotechnics studded with DOA dialogue. Perversely, they make great demands on the critic, who must frantically draw meaning and interest from what little is there. When an authentically interesting game comes along, the temptation for the honest critic is to overpraise and trip into advocacy of the medium (its own kind of well-meaning dishonesty). But no matter how scintillating the text, when the real world starts to tremble, when fascism begins to rise, when the bombs start to fall, when real lives and real rights are imperilled, the job of writing about virtual worlds is further undercut. Why waste our time focused on fictional quests when so much of the real world is in need of repair? Perhaps this guilt is not the provincial concern of the video game critic, but part of a broad historical tradition? Maybe, as the 4th-century BC writer sat down to fine-tune a skewering paragraph about one of Euripides’s productions (“the way the actor tucked his genitals behind his legs lacked conviction”), he was thus moved to hurl his writing reed in a moment of self-hating disgust. Who has time for this shit anyway, when the Spartans are coming?”
• Philip Kollar, professional game reviewerbreaks down some of the points raised by Dunkey:
@pkollar “ok at the risk of being yelled at by, uh, everyone, wanted to share some of my thoughts on @vgdunkey's video on game critics”
posted by Fizz (32 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Game reviews are and have always been the single least interesting part of games writing and, to paraphrase Vonnegut, complaining about them is like going into battle in full plate against a hot fudge sundae.

Railing against them for not meeting a set of arbitrary standards that have all the meaning of a damp cardboard box is just the kind of dry heave I'd expect a YouTuber to believe is novel and important.
posted by selfnoise at 9:38 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]


just the kind of dry heave I'd expect a YouTuber to believe is novel and important.

I was with you til the end here. How does medium imply a set of beliefs?
posted by Mike Smith at 10:08 AM on July 16


If nothing else dunkey knows how to get an entire profession to write articles about him.
posted by graventy at 10:21 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Well, I suppose medium implies genre, genre implies beliefs. Inasmuch as the "Youtuber" genre implies "professional opinion-haver" it will be shaped by which opinions are profitable to have.
posted by RobotHero at 10:29 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


The elephant in the room of course, is GamerGate. One of the secondary goals of their ongoing campaign is to remove all independent criticism that focuses on anything other than gameplay. There were also GGer commentators calling for an "objective" quality scale. Oddly enough, in their criticisms of "ethics" GG completly skipped over the advertisements influence of the AAA game commonest.

So basically, I see criticism in this day and age as walking a tightrope between being completely boring and uninformative, and herring harrassed by alt-rightists.
posted by happyroach at 11:50 AM on July 16 [13 favorites]


I never would have even considered that idea that something like ign should have a consistent editorial voice. I also think that number ratings for video games are stupid and useless.
posted by empath at 12:28 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]




@selfnoise: yuup. you just beat me to the punch posting that.
posted by juv3nal at 1:40 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


He's mostly wrong, too. Jeff Gerstmann/Giant Bomb , Waypoint, and Polygon are all heavily personality-driven. If I really gave a shit about reviews I'm pretty sure I would know who some random IGN or Gamespot guy is.

His review example is terrible. I want a new Batman game to make me feel like I'm Batman. Oh they all said it makes me feel like I'm Batman? GOOD.
posted by graventy at 1:42 PM on July 16 [7 favorites]


Well, I suppose medium implies genre, genre implies beliefs.

I can't think of any medium or genre of which this is true....

Inasmuch as the "Youtuber" genre implies "professional opinion-haver" it will be shaped by which opinions are profitable to have.

...while this is definitely true, but also feels separate, and old as the hills. There's no one single market for video producers, just like there's never been one single market for any thriving mass medium. People find their niche and cater to it. The problem isn't specific media, it's media companies showing zero interest in reducing economic incentives for toxic bullshit.

A right-wing libertarian approach to technology has allowed right-wing libertarian views to propagate. And I fear we're only seeing the beginning of the feedback loop.
posted by Mike Smith at 1:51 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I don't play many video games, though I've read a decent amount of reviews of them and I only know about Dunkey from Metafilter, but there is some validity to some of his criticisms of reviewing, at least as a general issue rather than one limited to video games.

The value of a review comes from some sense of where it originates, which either requires reasonable history with the reviewer or a review which exemplifies a depth of understanding of the subject being reviewed, assuming one cares about it beyond random sampling and/or a raw number rank. What IGN feels compelled to do, rate every possible video game it seems, doesn't change that as IGNs business interests are not those of someone seeking information in any given review. Saying there's a name attached to the individual reviews, and thus a personality or history, sounds reasonable in a way, but when there are dozens of free lancers involved, unless one is dedicated enough to create spread sheets of all those names cross checked with their reviews, then the names are largely generic markers unless or until there is some sense of one or more of them standing out for exemplary notice.

At the least, for a large site with many voices, one would expect the contrasting reviews to be noted in the summary for each game, it's score or rank, where the different perspectives or rankings of each game were given the same weighting in the score and were designated by reviewer to better help getting to know each and the level of similarity of opinion with them. A small help towards making the laundry list of names mean something, though one which likely mostly helps in pruning the more uninteresting reviewers from further attention.

Of course the distinction though is in thinking about what the review is meant to achieve, and for most mass audience commercial properties its more a secondary form of advertising than it is even a cursory critical examination. Mass audience reviews, whether for games, movies, tv, or what have you, are more about telling the reader that we already know you're going to spend money or time on some product within this limited group of options, so here's the best choice among those few things.

The entertainment industry can appreciate that as a whole, even if individual efforts are slighted, since it's just shifting money from one mass market item to another largely. Even when smaller, more niche products are given rave reviews, that doesn't tend to change the overall dynamic favoring the big budget works, it just lends an air of discrimination that then gives added weight to raves for big budget products by dint of rough equalization. It flattens definition in much the same way that saying something like music is music doesn't send more people to buy symphonies, but allows them to feel better about buying whatever popular music they already enjoy. It's all the same after all.

The need for discrimination, to say this is what thing X does and why that isn't in thing Y and why that may or may not be a problem requires some greater breadth of knowledge or history with a critic than can be had in a single review. That isn't to say that discrimination does or should compel agreement, it often won't, and just as there will be those who argue whatever popular music is indeed better than whatever niche music, so too will there be disagreements over the meaning or merit of any set of works, it's only strength of the arguments made that will help create shifts in perception that may lead towards different attitudes towards a work or group of works.

If one is simply looking for a quick buyers guide based on already held beliefs and strong opinions of value, then that may be unnecessary as a decided reader isn't looking for debate, just basic information that may be, roughly, discernible by any moderately informed generic reviewer, especially when those reviews can be compared en masse. Game play wonky? Uninspired graphics? If that comes up in many reviews, that may be all the potential buyer wants, and in those cases the generic reviews are fine since they are so ubiquitous and can be consumed in bulk for whatever particulars matter to the reader. That's fine, but it is limited and serves more as a consumer reports style check list than a meaningful review. That may be all the reader requires, but it is something a little different than what Dunkey was arguing I think.

The number scores, advertising feeding reviews, reviews that all say the same thing, these too are problems if one wants something more than a quick buyers guide in much the same way as the other elements I've mentioned. Again, my thoughts on this are based on reading reviews from across the entertainment fields and are my thoughts on the subject generally, not in specific as to playing much of the games myself. I've noted many Metafilter posts, and seen enough involved criticism on games to see in-depth criticism of games and it roughly matches that of other fields. Criticism is its own discipline and has some values that need be upheld for it to be of merit on any subject. Reviewing need not be criticism and there's no problem with that as long as reviews are what the reader/viewer wants and is aware of the limitations and implicit issues with either form, something I'm not always convinced of, which is why these discussions are useful, no matter who starts them.
posted by gusottertrout at 2:44 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree with the responses that describe Dunkey's argument as somewhat meandering and based on questionable assumptions. I usually find his videos entertaining in a silly way, and occasionally they can be insightful, but this one felt off the mark.

Regarding Dunkey himself, he's had missteps (see LoL link above), but he still seems to be one of the more thoughtful personalities in the scene. I get the sense that he doesn't harbor some of the problematic / regressive viewpoints that can be associated with the gaming + YouTube culture (e.g. that whole trouble with JonTron... yikes). Maybe that's setting the bar low or giving him too much credit, but I think it's not totally moot.
posted by Expecto Cilantro at 3:31 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


So, this is my first exposure to this guy. Um.. is that insult that he got banned over supposed to be particularly bad? That's light. I'm surprised he got banned over that and surprised people are holding it up like he did a hate crime or something. It's completely meaningless from someone who doesn't know you and frankly, delivered towards someone who is intentionally sabotaging their own team, is basically the reward they were angling for the whole time. Trolls love when people say stuff like that to them.
posted by yonega at 3:33 PM on July 16


I never would have even considered that idea that something like ign should have a consistent editorial voice.

The basic argument is that when "IGN" reviews a game, it obscures how that review came to be. To pick a recent example, let's look at their review of FF12: Zodiac Age. Is the 8.8 score good? Should I play it over Persona 5? Taking Paul Tamburro's advice to check the byline, we discover it was reviewed by a Heidi Kemps. Clicking on her name seems to reveal zero additional reviews. AFAICT, she's a freelance journalist tapped to fill the endless column-inches of IGN.com. If she's done other reviews ever, it's not apparent on IGN itself.

The value of a professional game review is a history. If I find out that Dice Tower loves a game SU&SD reviews negatively, I roughly know that it's gonna a heavy combat game, probably involving dice and random chance, and that it probably won't see much play in my group.

Same goes for video games, on a more personal level. Of course, celebrity reviewers are bad for IGN's bottom line, since any audience loyalty to reviewers means a loss of readership when a contract is renegotiated. But when IGN adopts a cannon fodder approach, they're no more useful than any random GameFAQs review.

I leave polygon's review as an exercise for the reader.
posted by pwnguin at 4:14 PM on July 16 [6 favorites]


AFAICT, she's a freelance journalist tapped to fill the endless column-inches of IGN.com. If she's done other reviews ever, it's not apparent on IGN itself.

And she probably got paid about $200 for that review, which involved at minimum 40 hours of work.

The secret behind most reviews is that freelancers are cheap because they hope to parlay it into breaking into the industry, and a consistent staff with a unified editorial voice is not also able to do reviews. There's simply not enough money in running a gaming site, especially now that advertisers are abandoning articles for video to follow where they think the viewers are.

(YouTubers routinely get caught getting paid to praise a game, so it's not like your own video channel naturally makes you more credible or ethical.)
posted by Merus at 7:52 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


He's mostly wrong, too. Jeff Gerstmann/Giant Bomb , Waypoint, and Polygon are all heavily personality-driven. If I really gave a shit about reviews I'm pretty sure I would know who some random IGN or Gamespot guy is.

What? The only context in which Gerstmann/GB is brought up in, was in reference to game criticism being too intimate with game production companies. I don't remember a Waypont or Polygon reference. The personality-driven examples give were basically independent Youtubers, which, admittedly, a site like Giant Bomb also drives.

That said, you're Dunkey's point. He's praising these personality-driven game critics, be they independent Youtubers or a slightly more formal group like Giant Bomb. You have very clear personalities whose tastes you know and who you know that when they're excited about something you'll be excited and when they're disappointed in something so will you.

The (putative) issue with a site like IGN, is that you have a large host of reviewers, who turn in and out of the company, and whose personalities and takes on games aren't made readily accessible by the site.

See also pwnguin's take on it. See also how most people treat film criticism.

His review example is terrible. I want a new Batman game to make me feel like I'm Batman. Oh they all said it makes me feel like I'm Batman? GOOD.

In fact, it's a good example. His point is that game critics aren't really offering up much actual analysis of their games. His (potentially inaccurate, cherry picked example) is that all these paid game critics can offer up are these easy, cliched statements that end up getting repeated by every other outlet and might as well have just come off a promotional statement about the game: "This game makes you feel like Batman!" This is instead of more substantive, critical remarks. Imagine if you read a professional film critic simply state: "Barry Lyndon makes you feel like you're actual in 18th century Europe!" Without going into detail about how this is accomplished by imitating period-accurate lighting in a way that film hasn't done before, etc. etc.
posted by Dalby at 8:48 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


The cure for not knowing if you can trust a reviewer is to read a few more. Or check out Steam reviews. Or Steam curators. Or watch someone play it on Twitch. Or ask your friends. Or try it out and get a refund if it's awful. There's so many options that making a big deal about one site seems weird.

Plus, I'd like to stand up for the unknown freelancer. If you only read big names you know, you're going to get status quo reviews and attitudes, and an overabundance of white guys. In every other area, "only read things by people you've read before" is terrible advice, and I don't think it's different in games reviewing.
posted by zompist at 9:11 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Um.. is that insult that he got banned over supposed to be particularly bad? That's light. I'm surprised he got banned over that and surprised people are holding it up like he did a hate crime or something.

FTA:
"Riot, meanwhile, is not only steadfast in its banning decision—they’re also pushing back on some of the details of Dunkey’s story. [Jeffrey Lin Tweet image] Many of us love Dunkey's content. We can discuss the contents of his Reform Card, but hate speech isn't OK in real life and isn't OK online. [/tweet]"
and then
"Lin also alleged that the player that Dunkey describes in his video didn’t exist in the game that actually got him banned—and that ultimately, even if he did, that would not be enough grounds to shit talk in the game."
and then
“[Jeffrey Lin:] We respect that Dunkey hasn’t posted his Reform Card, and I’m not going to post it either. Best wishes to him in the future.”

In other words what Dunkey provided as an example of what got him banned isn't actually what got him banned, and what did get him banned involved some form of hate speech. I'm not even going to get into the whole 'trolling' etc. thing which I'm glad Jeffrey Lin hinted at in his response as well
posted by suddenly, and without warning, at 10:01 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


That video was pretty scattered and aimed more at entertainment rather than making a coherent point, but it has reasonable points. One of the reasons I prefer smaller gaming sites for reviews is that you get used to a critic's voice. This is similar to movie reviewers. H'es also not wrong that scores are essentially useless as they're not used consistently or well.

The video then went completely scatter shot, and started talking about how a reviewer hadn't played all the way through Crash Bandicoot and that was ridiculous, but he completely agreed with him, I guess? I don't even know.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:26 AM on July 17


Yeah, scattershot would be the right way to describe the video. The point on Crash Bandicoot was, I think, based on a few different notions. One that the main reviewers at the big sites and many you tubers feel the need to get out reviews right first, often without full play through and that those reviews tend to place a undo premium on recentness as a key measure, causing a loss of focus on other elements, which is where the Jay Z snippet came in about not being able to process things quickly in depth.

It was also, of course, an example of the difference in Dunkey's method versus that he was complaining about, showing the difficulty in some detail rather than in drab language that gets offset by scores which don't match the claims, which he suggests renders the reviews largely incoherent overall.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:14 AM on July 17


In other words what Dunkey provided as an example of what got him banned isn't actually what got him banned, and what did get him banned involved some form of hate speech.

Not only that, but he's entirely unrepentant about it. If he'd just been "whoops sorry I let my rage get out of control there" maybe he gets reinstated after a time out. Instead he doubles down with inanity like "What is this, fucking pussy ass baby preschool time?" and:

Talking shit is probably one of the only fun parts of this boring ass game...As of today, I have more than eight thousand matches played on this game, so I have some legitimate grounds to review the game on

Which means he's played 8000 matches purely to be a shitlord to other people because the game is otherwise boring. How is it a surprise that this attitude merits a ban?
posted by juv3nal at 1:54 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Yeah, based on everything around the incident, that he was unbanned again is the part that makes Riot/LoL look bad. Permaban a fucker for toxic hate speech.
posted by Dysk at 3:15 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


In other words what Dunkey provided as an example of what got him banned isn't actually what got him banned, and what did get him banned involved some form of hate speech.

Ah, I see. The example Dunkey gave definitely isn't hate speech. It wasn't even, as an insult, on the level of the vitriol I hear on Veep. So, he probably said something that referenced historical oppression, but is keeping mum on that so he doesn't look terrible.
posted by yonega at 7:00 AM on July 17


My point is that he's just attacking 'games journalism' as a whole when there's a pretty huge contingent of it that isn't doing what he's complaining about.

Imagine if you read a professional film critic simply state: "Barry Lyndon makes you feel like you're actual in 18th century Europe!" Without going into detail about how this is accomplished by imitating period-accurate lighting in a way that film hasn't done before, etc. etc.

I'm not about to go read 20 reviews of whatever Batman game that was but I'm willing to bet that almost all of them go into some detail about why the game makes you feel like Batman.
posted by graventy at 11:06 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Jesus, angry gamers are worse than useless. They're bad at navigating the work of art / consumer electronics product tension inherent to gaming, and it's everyone else's fault. "Until my preferences and biases are enshrined as the objective, universal truth about a complex expressive medium, me and my subscribers are gonna stay mad."

It's getting to where I want to stop talking to someone completely when they start throwing around that word "gameplay." It's all about the "gameplay." Creative choices I don't grasp instantly don't count as "gameplay." You don't hear this juvenile shit in other mediums. "For me, films are all about that moviewatch. I don't think films should be made for anything but moviewatch, and music should only ever be about songlisten."
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:45 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


You do get people saying music should be about melodies, though, or that film should be about visual spectacle. They're just as wrong, of course.
posted by Dysk at 5:52 PM on July 17


Gameplay does have valid uses, I think. But I do get bothered by the anger.

Like, this guy will use the word "gameplay" and might say it's what he thinks is most important, but that just determines what sort of things he's going to geek out about. I never see him getting angry that other people are doing it wrong.
posted by RobotHero at 5:56 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, or Errant Signal who doesn't even sound like he can get angry. A good example is his dissection of Doom 2016 and how they were able to capture some of the feel of the original but how other design decisions fell short.
posted by lkc at 7:32 PM on July 17


Well Errant Signal is pretty inclined to get into thematic and narrative elements. I went with KirbyKid as an example because he does tend to focus on gameplay more than anything else, so it's a clearer demonstration that you can focus on that without getting angry or snarky about it.
posted by RobotHero at 9:40 PM on July 17


His argument that a lot of reviews are anodyne and vague is a decent one, but he seems to not understand the context those reviews exist within nor is he able to clearly communicate his critique (irony alert!), which appear to mostly be disagreeing with other peoples' rating systems. For context - game companies can and have refused access to their games as a response to bad reviews. Reviewers are usually freelance and not well paid, making up in bulk what they could in quality. Abuse and hostility is either ignored or pandered to via comment sections, a cycle he himself contributes to due to his insulting and derogatory tone ("everyone knows 3D Land is the better game you fucking shitbrains"). The timing cycle is getting smaller and smaller, meaning early access is becoming more critical. People have different standards for the numerical reviews, leading them to not communicate consistently between people even though they might be consistent for an individual.

One of his examples of failure-to-review was Gamespot with Crash Bandicoot. First he argued the website was bad a platformers in general, using as an example a video review of an unrelated game by a different person without contextualizing it at all (e.g. showing brief examples of the person saying "this game was hard" without giving a single example of why the reviewer was wrong). Then he said the reviewer couldn't have a full view of Crash Bandicoot because he only played half the game (see points on the time crunch above). In a stunning 180, he then says that the specific critiques given by the reviewer were correct and gives examples of other people agreeing with the reviewer. Then he says an unrelated company said the specific thing Crash Bandicoot might be/was doing was bad (I have no idea if Crash was actually trying to do this - he just adds in the "pin point precision is bad" after showing people struggling with the level he fixates on). He then goes into his own review: steeper than usual learning curve, Crash more impressive visually than via gameplay, and a montage of Crash dying. Then he gets to his final point - focus - which... I mean, is the irony deliberate?

Alongside these other points, he also points out the game got a 6/10 (fair), which for game review metrics in general seems really low but which I'm presuming he thinks is too high. Before this example, he laid out his numerical standards and after he spends a lot of time restating that the numbers don't accurately reflect the reviews without supporting that claim. His standard of 3/5 meaning "you should play this" seems a lot more idiosyncratic in the current ratings climate, where anything below an 8-9 seems to be interpreted as "don't play this" (I'm not arguing this interpretation is correct, simply that it is common). Given his initial statement as "Gamestop is not capable when it comes to platformers" despite agreeing with the Gamestop reviewer and showing the reviewer's opinion was widely shared, I'm left assuming this was his main point without him clearly stating it or supporting it outside of "I think most things are crap and 3/5 is a high review".

Actual critique is challenging and time consuming, requiring both general experience and the ability to place that experience within a larger context while communicating it clearly with a minimum of jargon. This video is an example of how difficult it is - it's littered with non sequitors and ad hominems which don't support his hypothesis, fails to clearly state it's thesis, fails to support it's thesis, and adds insult to injury by also being hypocritical when it says stating and supporting one's thesis is the most important thing and why video game reviewers are bad.

He also has the "I don't normally like this so when I like this example it is important" and "I usually like this but I don't like this example and that's important" mental tick, paired with the "numbers are immutable" assumption. As near as I can tell, this comes out of a misunderstanding of objectivity. Originally objectivity was a communal effort so that blind spots could (hopefully) cancel each other out, but now it's viewed as something an individual can possess if said individual claims to not care about the thing being assessed, is better at being perceived as unemotional (murderous rage and death threats don't count!), or has assigned something a number. The elevation of white men who are aggressive and threatening while they present themselves as rational and superior is an incredibly unhealthy dynamic, and he's reinforcing that.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:53 AM on July 19 [4 favorites]


he seems to not understand the context those reviews exist within

It kinda sounds like he does. But the context -- 'We can't give an honest review because we'd lose the advertiser' -- is hardly contrary to his hypothesis.
posted by pwnguin at 12:25 PM on July 19


Deoridhe - That was a great review of this guy's bad review of some meh reviews. Flagged as fantastic.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:19 PM on July 19


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