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Forums > Announcements & Site Feedback > I'm looking for a few good game journalists...

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 03, 2011 (12:03 AM)
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It's the new code. Those pages are referencing a completely different database table that is no longer used.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: November 03, 2011 (12:04 AM)
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Zipp:
Yeah, they don't show up in 'Submissions' at all. I would guess it is the new coding.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 03, 2011 (12:06 AM)
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A staff review on a game site has one duty. It must provide enough information that a typical reader who is interested in a game can ask himself "Should I buy this game?" before going into the review and have a better idea of the answer by the time he finishes reading. That is not optional. It must happen or the review has failed. Period.

Subjectivity and objectivity are just words. They dance around the issue, but the real point is that a staff review--because of how it is by necessity presented--is a judgment of a game that someone is about to buy and it's a recommendation based on the reviewer's personal opinion, his knowledge of games and his familiarity with what gamers like him are looking for in a game.

Some people make the mistake of reviewing a game and trying to show pure objectivity. They work hard to avoid including their own opinions and perspectives, as if somehow personal preference and fact can be separated by discussing an inherently subjective topic. That's absurd. Equally absurd are the people who say "Well, since a review is just my opinion, there's really no point in trying to include something that doesn't matter to me personally!" At least when a staff review is being written, there has to be a reasonable balance.

The world would be a better place if people stopped trying to choose sides on the objectivity/subjectivity front and just wrote about their experiences in a way that means something. Make clear your own impressions and give the reader enough information that he can form his own impressions. If you'll look at the best reviews on this site or any other, you'll find that they all get that part right. Some people are just too busy arguing about subjectivity and objectivity to notice.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Leroux
Posted: November 03, 2011 (06:15 AM)
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Here is a review with positive bias over poor design I wrote that people have loved: Edward Randy.

I disagree with Jason. Objectivity is generally wrong. Talking about experiences -is- what's important, but the "Should I buy this game" persuasion is only useful if it enforces on how deeply a subjective opinion is held, not as an objective guess as to who will enjoy the game.

I also think understanding software is much more important than understanding gamers, and a better lasting approach. Understanding software is a learned skill by seeing examples of it, and that understanding stays relevant as the game ages. It allows for comparison and historical context. Understanding gamers merely means understanding popular opinion, in which case you might as well recommend base on aggregate user scores.


When the hammer falls...


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 03, 2011 (05:27 PM)
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I agree with Leroux. Understanding games is more important than understanding readers.

Let's look at the readers:

THE HYPE-DRIVEN CASUAL
Some readers have money to burn and want a new game. They look at a review for Black Ops. The review’s approach is irrelevant; they’re just looking for the final YAY or NAY. It’s all about charisma. These readers let “witty” writers get away with saying nonsensical stuff like “ALL SHOOTERS SUCK BUFFALO NARDS” because they have nothing invested in the outcome. They just want to be amused -- and in the end, they'll buy whatever their friends are playing.

THE WELL-MEANING CURIOUS
This reader opens a review, already thinking Modern Warfare 2 sounds cool. They want to know whether they should buy it, or whether they should go get Halo: Reach instead. Experts are best-suited to answer that question because only experts understand what sets one shooter apart from another.

So let's say a non-expert reviewer objectively explains that Halo: Reach lacks a cover button. He then explains how cool it is to roll around and hide behind cover in Gears of War. When reading a non-expert review, the curious/novice readers are likely to misinterpret genre complaints as game-specific complaints. They don’t know any better, and they assume they’re reading the words of an expert. After all, the review uses good grammar.

THE CRITICAL PRO
Meanwhile, expert gamers expect reviews to be written by experts. Complain about the lack of a cover button in an FPS, and these readers will make fun of you and your website... not just for failing to recognize how prevalent the "flaw" is in other games, but for failing to understand why a cover button in an FPS is such a stupid idea in the first place.

Point of all the above: understanding the reader is unimportant because the expert writer is the only one who says anything worthwhile.

Has the writer clearly captured what really makes the game tick? Are all necessary points covered? If it’s a port, how does it compare to the original? Is his use of jargon appropriate? What is the most effective and efficient way to convey a complex idea?

You don't get there by being objective and detached. You get there by building such an enormous pool of experience that your powerfully subjective opinions are reinforced with the practical wisdom of a 100-year-old judo master.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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