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Gamers aren't the only ones that rage over reviews
Posted on November 06, 2011 by OG

I read an article on IFC that was posted on Roger Ebert’s twitter.  The title of the article is: “Drake’s Reception: 'Uncharted 3' and video game criticism”, and it talked about the backlash that the A. V. Club has been receiving since it gave Uncharted 3 a C.  Now I’m not going to dispute the score from the A.V. Club since I have yet to play Uncharted 3 (soon my love, soon) but it’s this article that I have so many problems with.  

The article focuses on how gamers are so quick to shoot down criticism of games, and that it’s a telltale sign that gamers can’t take honest dissenting opinions on a game.  My response?  Yes, but so can't everyone else!

When Toy Story 3 was released, critics worldwide were praising the movie as an emotional experience that was not only the best of the series, but possibly the best movie of the year.  With 99% rating on Rottentomatoes, it makes you wonder who could give the movie a rotten rating?  It wasn't just one critic, it was 3, that gave the movie a rotten rating, and the most notable of the 3 was the New York Press’ Armond White who has been known for giving bad reviews to critically acclaimed movies.  To put it in gaming terms, some people would call him the Jim Sterling of movie critics.  

You can read the review for yourself, and it is quite a trashing done by Mr. White.  He writes:

“The Toy Story franchise isn’t for children and adults, it’s for non-thinking children and adults. When a movie is this formulaic, it’s no longer a toy because it does all the work for you. It’s a sap’s story.”

How did that go over the film buffs over at Rottentomatoes?  Did they accept the critique from a well-known critic and respected his contrary opinions on such a beloved movie?   Hell no.  They gave him a thrashing with over 800 comments regarding the review.  The other 2 critics that also gave the movie a rotten rating have received a few hundred comments as well.   Here's a taste of the comments regarding Armond White's review at Rottentomatoes:


So is that to say that movie fans are an immature bunch that are keeping movies from being considered as art?  Of course not.  This simply shows that an unpopular opinion will get people riled up on the internet.  If there was a website that reviewed street art and it said that the latest Banksy piece was considered a substandard piece only fit for a refrigerator door, I’m sure art fans everywhere would come together to form an internet mob on said website to burn it to the ground. 

Video games are art and it is a medium that many people are passionate about.  In our article about reviewing games, one point we stressed is that video games are not just “games.”  They’re meaningful to us that have been around them for years.  Those that study and cherish games simply don’t toss them to the side for the sake of not being one of those people that takes games seriously. 

Criticizing reviewers is nothing new as I’m sure the originator of the tweet that sent me to the IFC article, Roger Ebert, is sure to have had plenty of email, comments, and letters regarding his reviews.  It’s not an activity that’s limited to just us gamers, though, everyone does it.  

OG - Editor-in-Chief / Original Gamer | all author's articles

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