Saturday, 7 January 2012

Games Journalism

Videogames have reached a stage now where everything about them is critiqued, analysed and reviewed in an industry that is constantly growing and evolving. Game reviewers themselves face a tough job of not only informing us, the gamers about everything we need to know about new releases but also the bad and good qualities of each one, all the while remaining as impartial as possible so that we can make up our own mind. Obviously, different writers are less impartial than others it tends to vary, but you can tell when a game has really excited them by how passionate the reviews will come across when you read them: regardless of how influenced you are by reviews, you can’t help but be interested when a reviewer is noticeably excited as if you think about all the games that they go through in their job, if one is enough to do that, then it’s usually enough to spark my interest too (even if I don’t instantly go out and buy the game in question, I’m not that stupid).

After reading many reviews over the years, it’s important to notice how they affect the games in question. If a game gets a bunch of high ranking reviews it generates interest, even if it just starts off at one writer praising it, they will soon pass it on to others and the word will spread like wildfire in the game journalism world, successfully generating hype about it. The opposite I have noticed is also the same; If a well-known or established franchise of games doesn’t send a reviewer an early copy of the game, that alone is usually enough to create suspicion that the title isn’t very polished or up to scratch…. the developers trying to bypass the initial harshness of a review in order to get their product directly to the consumer. A lot of developers forget that games journalists are games journalists because they genuinely love videogames, so instead of sending early copies to them a lot of them act scared of them as if they’re going to highlight issues with it that they are already aware of, and too be honest if they know about them should have ironed them out during production.

So far as my own opinion on the matter is concerned, I think that games journalism is necessary but like with every opinion to be taken with a pinch of salt, as it will ultimately be your own opinions on a game that you play yourself that will be the deciding factor on whether you like it or not, and for what reasons. I will always respect the opinions of game reviews, but they will never be the sole reason for me buying a game. I know what types of games I like, so I guess I’m biased towards what I like and don’t like, an open mind and a knowledge of what makes a game seems to be the most important requirement when writing about videogames. 

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