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The hidden truth behind game reviews

4:00 PM on 03.19.2010 // Andrew Kauz

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You know what's awesome? How everyone on the Internet is always right about everything, especially when it comes to uncovering the hidden motivations, personalities, ethics, and food preferences of videogame reviewers.

It's way more awesome, though, to have your opinions validated with factual evidence -- Evidence which I have compiled. Using my Scott-Shelby-style investigative skills, I've picked apart videogame reviews and the people who write them.

Yes, I know game reviews are always going to be controversial, as will the people who write them. No amount of truthery or "walking a mile in his shoes" is going to change that fact, and I am not here to change it. As Eric Clapton said, "If I could change the world, I would be the sunlight in your universe." Problem is that no amount of sunlight can make the cold depths of space anything other than black. And Eric Clapton is old, and old people can't change anything. So there's that too.

No, I simply wish to give a new perspective -- a super fantastically 100% true perspective -- on game reviews and the people who write them. 

Game reviewers don't care about their audience.

Come on, do you think James Cameron wrote Titanic for an audience? Do you think The Beatles gave a damn about their fans?

So many consumers of gaming sites feel that writers actually want people to read their work, which is patently ridiculous. Writing something so people will read it? How very quaint.

Every game review is written for one simple purpose: pleasure. Like mental masturbation, game reviews give the writer a high that cannot be achieved elsewhere, essentially keeping the writer alive by acting as a bizarre form of sustenance. Of course it isn't about truth, opinion, fact, readership, or any other illusion created by the mind of the reader. It's a pure, uninhibited wank fest involving three of the reviewer's closest friends: the id, the ego, and the superego.

The audience is simply a distraction, like a cold bucket of water poured suddenly by Sarah Jessica Parker down the pants of the reviewer.

What other reason is there for writing?

Game reviewers value nothing above controversy.

You know what too few people do? Build shrines to themselves in their bedroom closets. It seems like it's becoming a lost art, at least outside of the tight circle of game reviewers. But within that circle, the tradition is alive and well, and the decorations continue to become more lavish: Rococo, even, if I knew what that meant.

Those decorations are made of the beautiful, hate-filled comments that the game reviewer prays for at the side of his bed each night. They come flowing from the comments like unicorns riding a rainbow before finally finding their resting place surrounding the nude photo of the reviewer that said reviewer bathes himself in for each nightly love-making session.

We all know that differing opinions is just as unnatural as homosexuality, and any reasonable person would avoid them. Controversy isn't just a natural bi-product of differing opinions: of course not! Controversy is the fuel that keeps pleasure in constant supply for the reviewer, which we've established is the only thing that keeps the writer from finding himself hanged from a ceiling fan.

Game reviewers don't actually like videogames.

Is it really such a surprise? A couple of sub-seven reviews is all it should have taken for you to all realize that we who write about games hate every pathetic minute spent banging away at the keys. Game reviewers don't want to play these awful excuses for entertainment. Half the time, they don't anyway (and readers are always right when they suspect this), instead relying on a super-secret cheat sheet that all reviewers pass around to each other. Scores only vary to hide this shocking secret.

So, why do we write about games? Just as the septic tank technician is to the industry of home plumbing, so is the game writer to the world of written entertainment. He writes about games not because he enjoys them, but because he has failed at all other forms of writing. There is no creativity, heart, or intelligence in the body of a videogame writer, and now you can see why. It has been hollowed out and filled only with contempt and vacuity.

No friends are made here, as you can see in the above photo. No enjoyment is had. As so many writers will tell you, it is the very worst job in the world. I think that was the word they used...

Game reviewers desperately want every good developer to fail, and every bad developer to succeed.

This fact is, of course, tied directly to the one above. With such contempt for their jobs, game reviewers look for a way out day after day. Whether they know it or not, all game reviewers want the same thing: the total and catastrophic collapse of the industry. That makes total sense, right?

Think about it: every time you disagree with a review, what does that really mean? It's not a simple matter of people having differing opinions; that would be far too simplistic, and I don't see that asshole Occam anywhere in the videogame industry. Instead, it's a systematic attempt by the reviewer to steer gamers away from high-quality titles and toward those of low quality, leading to poor sales for those games that required the hard work of good people. Soon, such developers are shuttered. Giving good reviews to bad games sows the seeds of mistrust among gamers, and before long, they are so confused by games coverage that they cease to purchase games at all, not wanting to be burned again by the same fire.

Deception becomes the modus operandi and, thus, the industry collapses. The reviewer shrugs and sets off for a new Utopian land. In theory, at least. It was thought up by game reviewers, so it must be destined for failure.

All videogame reviewers are expert fishermen.

Now here's one that I never would have guessed if it weren't for the investigative genius of internet users. I owe it all to you, oh random just-registered angry comment leaver person.

I was introduced by internet comments to the wonderful sport of trolling, of which reviewers are well-practiced. It is the very best way to catch fish that live above the sea floor, such as delicious salmon, tuna, and marlin. And, as Wikipedia says, "There is plenty of science and drama involved." Science and drama, indeed.

What a strange world that allows videogames and fishing to combine in such a magical and unexpected manner!

But fishing expertise is beside the point. You can preach all you want about the professionalism of games reviewers, filling your favorite website with empty thoughts such as "I find your opinion interesting and well-developed," and "I actually found the game far more enjoyable than you did," but what you have to realize is that game reviewers don't want your contrived support. They want your money, but lacking the intelligence to devise a way to take it, they settle for sustaining themselves in any way that they can. So they follow this code, and they pray for it all to end.

But these are all things you've known all along, deep down in your soul, right? And internet users are always right.

Andrew Kauz,
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