GTAV was reviewed by GameSpot…because that’s what they do and it’s the biggest game of the year.
It was given a 9/10, a review most developers and publishers would (and in EA’s case, probably do) sacrifice babies to some eldritch many-eyed goat god to achieve. So, what happened? The internet happened. It promptly walked over to the comments section and vomited up some of the most repugnant bile we’ve seen as of late. People have trashed the review, GameSpot, and the reviewer herself.
First, it is appalling the nature of the internet. It is appalling that personal attacks are acceptable for something so stupid. And I can’t possibly emphasize this enough, it is ridiculous that personal attacks were levied against a woman doing her job, quite well I might add, for not being enthusiastic enough!
I understand that video game reviews are an odd system. If you get anything below a 7, you’re pretty much a failure. It’s been on of those things that never really bothered me because the other 10 point scale everyone is familiar with (has no one ever been to high school or college???), it’s pretty much the same thing. You can get by with sixties, but that’s all you’ll be doing. The video game industry is not some backwater high school, it’s Harvard. Sorry your Cs and Ds don’t cut it.
Now for my point.
About six or seven years ago Jeff Gerstmann gave a negative review to Kane and Lynch 2. At the time K&L was a pretty big deal and when it got a bad review, Eidos threatened to pull their advertising. In an appalling lack of resolve and integrity, GameSpot fired Gerstmann (the editorial director) and gave the game a higher review.
This deeply affected me. GameSpot was about as active as I ever got on a forum and was the centerpiece of my gaming news. This was at a time and age when the video game industry defined me. It was where my money went, my attention, and I thought my career. I was going to go to ITT Tech to get a game design degree.
So, so, soooooooooooooo damn glad my mom talked me out of that.
Anyway, that was the last time I read GameSpot. I’ve visited the site probably a dozen times since then. I’ve never logged back into my account, I don’t link to them, and pretty much ignore them on general principle. I wrote them telling them that they had lost my readership and what I thought of the whole situation, and it was never resolved to my liking.
And I know this sounds silly, but I have never relied on a site like that again. There isn’t any news I get from a single source. It taught me a valuable lesson.
When that happened, the internet banded together. We defended the bad review of a semi-popular game. No, it wasn’t GTA, not by a long shot, but it was hyped and advertised and honestly, a six was a surprisingly low score.
But we defended him.
And here we are bashing a reviewer for giving a game another low score. Oh, wait, that’s right, she gave it a 9 out of ten!!
This is ridiculous. If you like it, review it and give it a ten. If you want a higher editorial standard, apply for a job at one of these sites or start your own blog. But don’t act like sniveling, whiney children, who bully and pick on someone you don’t agree with one hundred percent. Not good enough that you agreed ninety percent, one hundred is what it took.
You are the gaming equivalent to Bible beaters and political pundits, who hate everything that doesn’t match up exactly to their ideal world.
Over a video game, something you didn’t even have a hand in creating or bringing about.
I hated the college I went to, mainly because it was four or five different versions of the same person, with the same mentality. I had worked in Memphis, at night, doing things most of them hadn’t even thought of for three years. I hate the environment because it was an assumption that everything was pretty much going to be the same way they were. I hate that attitidue, it is a high school banality that reeks of ignorance. Most people get past that, I guess some don’t.
This is probably as political as I’ll ever get. As a general rule, I do not enjoy being preached to about the hot button topics of today. I don’t agree a hundred percent on most of the topics people throw around. I try to remain objective, and look at an issue as a collection of problems and solutions that cannot be dealt with by throwing a net around the whole topic. There are several bloggers I don’t read (famous authors, certain former presidents of big deal literary orgs, etc.) because I’m tired of being preached to. And this doesn’t just apply to the people I disagree with, it’s anyone who wants to ram Principles and Ideas down my throat on a daily basis.
But I am concerned about our culture, the gaming culture, that produces this begavior. This is not a thing to be proud of, this is not a thing to be swept under the rug or tolerated, this is not to be excused. The only thing I have to console myself is that a lot of the people who threw this out there were people in their younger years, maybe not even out of high school yet.
Doesn’t that just make us look great when Fox News decides to label video games as The Reason Behind All Things Bad And Violent.
If you responded to the review with a comment that said had the word fuck in the sentence, you probably owe someone an apology. Even more so, you owe it to yourself and those around you to think about the way you behave before you enter the real world. If you’re already there, I guarantee your behavior bleeds into your day to day interaction, and there is someone who talks about you behind your back because of it.
I haven’t had to tell my son a sentence like that, so just remember the next time you go to rip someone a new one over a trivial matter, my two-year old is more mature than you are.