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Thank you for calling the Review Score Crisis Helpline


Thank you for calling the Review Score Crisis Helpline. For English, press 1. For Nerdrage, press 2.

[happy music] You have reached the Review Score Crisis Helpline, your devoted friend in this time of crisis. This is the main menu. Your call is very important to you, so please refrain from hanging yourself with your wireless controller until you've listened to all of the following menu options.

If you have recently read a bad review of a game that you have an irrationally strong emotional connection to, please press 1.

If you are a console fanboy upset by the high score of a game on another console, please press 2.

If you are thinking of leaving an angry comment regarding a recent review, please press 3.

If you are thinking of writing an angry blog in response to a recent review, please press 4.

If you are angry about a review score but have not read a word of the text, please press 5.

If you have sworn off a website based on a review score, please press 6.

If you are experiencing number meaning confusion, please press a number no lower than 9, or we may not be able to process your call properly.

[ding] We understand that you have recently read a bad review of a game that you have an irrationally strong emotional connection to. We are very sorry to hear about your situation, and we promise to get you through this tough time. In fact, you may consider yourself very lucky: if you have selected this option, you have yet to do something unwise about your situation. We're here to make sure that you never do.

First, close your eyes and count to ten. When you open your eyes, envision all of the things that caused you to have this emotional connection to this game. Unless you worked on the game personally, you should see nothing at all. Good! You're on your first step to getting over your irrational emotional connection.

There may be some lingering emotional feelings. This is perfectly natural, and it's nothing to be alarmed about. However, you want to get rid of those feelings as soon as possible. We recommend ending the call and visiting your local game store. There, you may procure a copy of the game for yourself, play it, and form an intelligent opinion. This may take some practice, but once you master it, you'll find that the bad review can't hurt you inside anymore.

[ding] We understand that you are a console fanboy upset by the high score of a game on another console. This is a serious problem, so please stay on the line.

You may be a young player. This is OK. Some of us grow up much earlier than others, and if you're still thinking these dark thoughts, it doesn't mean that your life can't be saved. But it won't be easy. A young person cannot grow into a mature gamer overnight, but there are many steps that you can take to get over yourself.

First, bear in mind that you are not being subtle. Your minor jabs here and there do not go unnoticed by your preferred gaming community, and your overall angry demeanor is quite visible. Denying that you have a problem will only make that problem more apparent to onlookers. Acceptance is the first step in your recovery.

Once you have acknowledged your problem, your recovery process will be accelerated tenfold. Yet there is even more for you to do. Seek out the assistance of friends and family. They may have recognized your problem long before you did, and friends tend to be affected terribly by your fanboyism. They'll be waiting with open, glowing disc slots to help you get over your condition.

If you require additional help immediately, please schedule an appointment with one of our trained Fanboyism Extraction Specialists. Please note that your recovery may involve playing games for enjoyment and learning to use strange, foreign controllers.

[ding] We understand that you are thinking of leaving an angry comment regarding a recent review. We are glad that you have sought help before making this tragic decision. Please keep your hands off the keyboard until we have had an opportunity to talk you through this difficult time.

You may be thinking that leaving an angry comment will solve all of your problems, and that it will make your dark feelings go away. But such a rash action will not solve anything. It will not make the pain go away, for the pain is not contained in the review. It is in your heart. You are broken.

But there is hope! You can rid yourself of the darkness in your heart if you try. Reading a bad review doesn't have to bring your inner demons to the surface. If you fight them--if you fight the urge to post that scathing comment--you can eventually defeat them. The darkness in your heart will disappear, and you'll be able to contentedly accept opinions that differ from your own. Stay strong! You can do this!

[ding] We understand that you are thinking of writing an angry blog in response to a recent review. You may want to consider using the nearest firearm on your computer case as a preventative measure. You're about to make the biggest mistake of your life.

What would your family think? Imagine if your father were to walk in on you as you were writing an angry response. You'd try to hide your screen in shame, but he would know. It would change you both forever. Shame would fill your eyes at the very sight of him. Word would spread to the rest of your family, and your friends, and soon, you would be known as "that guy" all across the Internet.

Don't be that guy. The best way to not be thought of as a gaming invalid is to not do something stupid. So close that browser window and begin your rehabilitation.

[ding] We understand that you are angry about a review score but have not read a word of the text. You are unlikely to listen to any of the advice recorded onto this service, so we will now play soothing music with subliminal mental encouragement in the hopes that you might learn what all of those crazy symbols on those websites mean, and how enriching they might be to your life.

Listen, and let the music change you. You are better than rash reactions to numbers.

[ding] We understand that you have sworn off a website based on a review score. We're sorry to inform you that there's little that we can do for you. An agent will be by to confiscate your cable or DSL modem shortly. Since you'll likely end up swearing off every other site, we might as well make it easy on you. If your threats were hollow, perhaps you should not have cried wolf.

[ding] We understand that you are experiencing number meaning confusion. Numbers, like words, are very hard, and this is nothing to be ashamed of. Luckily, you only have ten of these cryptic symbols to learn, so let's get started right away.

Though you may be surprised to hear this, there are, in fact, more numbers than simply 7, 8, 9, and 10. Yes, truly! This opens up a whole new world, as no longer do you have to regard a seven as the lowest possible score in the rating spectrum.

Indeed, numbers start at 1, or zero, depending on the particular site. Those numbers are very bad numbers. Even two, three, and four could be considered quite bad by most people. You should learn to keep these numbers in your mind at all times. If you do not see these numbers before you, the horror that they suggest shouldn't enter your mind. Soon, those sevens and eights won't seem so terrible to you anymore!

Better yet, you can learn to acknowledge those crazy words that accompany the numbers. This may not be easy at first, as it is so much easier for your brain to understand those simple numeric characters. But imagine the possibilities of a life with words! Don't let numbers become your prison. Break free, and frolic in a meadow of philological bliss.

We are glad that you called the Review Score Crisis Helpline in your time of crisis. Have a nice day.
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About Andrew Kauzone of us since 5:10 PM on 04.30.2009

In loving memory: PAX 2009 (thanks ZombiePlatypus! And WalkYourPath, of course)

I'm Kauza, which is pronounced like cause-uh. My real name's Andrew Kauz, if you'd rather go for that.

I like talking to Dtoid people, so please add me on your favorite social networking site:
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kauza
Gchat: santakauz[at]gmail.com.

Basics: I'm 25, and I write things.

Eternal thanks go out to Y0j1mb0 for the amazing header image you see above. So, thanks, sir!

Look at some of the things I've written.

Things on the Front Page:

Mass Effect, Metal Gear, Moon Unit, and more: An interview with Jennifer Hale
The Future: Demanding more from the voices of videogames
Love/Hate: A plea to play as a female Shepard
A warning: Regrets from a former life and experiences yet unlived
Top ten games for people who hate Thanksgiving
The wrong thing: Being evil should be more like sex
Staying dry in a sea of spoilers is a matter of building a boat
Lessons on taking games just seriously enough
Come, take your pilgrimage to gaming's one true mecca
Here's to you, random-JRPG-dialogue-writer-man
The forgotten: Crushing disappointment at the hands of Crash 'n the Boys
The people who have the power to change the world
Improving game communities: Enough with the negativity
The draw of exploration: Antarctica to Oblivion, Shackleton to Shadow Complex
I suck at games: BlazBlue and a slapdash attempt at fisticuffs
I, the Author: My Everest
Untapped Potential: The Gamer's Education
Other Worlds than These: Our World, Only Different

A series sort of thing about status effects
Toxic Megacolon and other fresh status effects
Curse you, status effects, stop confusing my heart
Status effects are poisons that turn my silent heart to stone
Also check out the related forum thread.

The Fall of the Titans (wherein I talk about dead or dying gaming companies)

The fall of the titans part 3: What once was shall be again
The fall of the titans: Sega died so that we might dream of the future
The fall of the titans: Why do the giants of gaming die?

Stories from the Past (a series about my experiences playing certain games):

Stories from the Past: Tobal 2, Tomba! 2, and console double-vision
Stories from the Past: Diablo and the Dark Ride
Stories from the Past: What the f*ck, mom?
Stories from the Past: Xexyz and the battle aboard Turtlestar Lobsterica
Stories from the Past: The One-Balled Man-Bear
Stories from the Past: The Battle of Olympus
Stories from the Past: Suikoden 2

Storytelling (a series about, well, storytelling):

Storytelling: The Problem of Genres
Storytelling: Mass Effect, Vonnegut, and the Fourth Rule
Storytelling: Doing Nothing in "The Darkness"
Storytelling: The Power of a Single Line (Yeah, it was my first post.)

Other stuff that is good:

Lessons on taking games just seriously enough
A consuming power: The demon and the borderlands
Can games transcend good and evil?
Nothing is sacred: We won't let you go alone, but we have made a tragic decision
How Destructoid single-handedly changed my motherís opinion of gaming
Why Tecmo Super Bowl is the greatest sports game of all time
Seven reasons that I will end you in creative ways if you don't play Folklore
Mother Nature and the Impending Death of the Gaming Spirit
Times Games Forgot: The Dark Ages
The Sins and Successes of In-game Collectibles
The Lock is Broken
When Music Surpasses the Game
Truckasaurus Rex and the Humor of Games
I Want to Cry (storytelling related, but not part of the series)

I have others as well that you can check out on my blog. You'll enjoy them or your money back.

Since it seems like the cool thing to do, here a list of my favorite games that is coming straight out of my ass and onto your computer screen, and in no particular order.

Fallout 3
Uncharted 2
Suikoden 2
Mass Effect / ME2
Metal Gear Solid followed by any number you can think of
Tales of Somethingendinginia (OK, and the Abyss)
Battlefield: Bad Company
Xbox LIVE:kauza
PSN ID:santakauz
Mii code:kauza


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