The video game “pundit class” (for lack of a better word) has sadly undone what could’ve been a lovely write up about my excitement for the new Metal Gear game. Since it was recently divulged that several outlets participated in a review “boot camp” for the game in order to get early access and the chance to release a “review” before competitors and the general public got their hands on it. Oh no! This is the worst thing ever, right?
Come on with that shit!
Konami has been having these “boot camp” review bullshits since at least Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and no one gave a shit then…so why now?
Let’s delve in to a little editorial on our games press
In the Metal Gear episode of Retronauts, an astonishing thing happened, a couple of the hosts let slip that they too had participated in review boot camps with previous Metal Gear games. Their conclusion? They’re horrible environments in which to review anything, let alone a game. Jeremy Parrish stated that he may have over hyped MGS4 a bit in his review, and upon reflection would’ve lowered the score a bit…if he had more time to review it outside of an event.
But this “problem” of getting a review out as soon as possible, hopefully before rival video game sites, to the chagrin of gamers…has been going on for a long, long time.
Good ol’ Jim “Soft-Target” Sterling got in to the foray with his “take” on the whole review event, and wouldn’t you know it…he also thinks it’s bad! However, something fishy happened in his video…I was struck by his comment:
“[…] I’ve always said I don’t need to see the end credits of every single game to know whether or not certain games are good or shit […]”
This is funny because Jim Sterling has long been allergic to the end credits screen of most games he reviews, so it’s a bit rich that he’ll come out against review events, but not finishing a game he’s reviewing.
I understand this notion, especially out of the games press that plays hundreds of games, which you don’t need to finish a game to get what it’s about. While I’m not a fan of it, I do try to sympathize.
Nevertheless, when you’re reviewing the game, you had better finish it or your opinion is moot. Void. Useless to the conversation about its qualities and whether or not it’s worth someone’s time or money. Better yet, if you aren’t going to finish a game, just delete your “review” and move on. Will the world suddenly cry out that it was disallowed one more opinion from a pasty fat white guy in mid-30’s?
It’s analogous to a movie review. If you walk out of a movie, you’re opinion is probably that the movie is garbage, not worth finishing or spending money on. You didn’t make it to the credits because you saw enough of it and found it lacking. The same applies to a game review, you didn’t finish so how could you possibly know it’s worth to a gamer?
Further, if you are habitually unable to finish a game, why should your opinion matter on most things? Granted, you’ve “played” a lot of games, but if you can’t bother doing your JOB, then why should people give you the time of day?
Old Jim Sterling beef aside, between his nitwitted reviewing nonsense and a bunch of former EGM/1UP staff admitting that past practices may be harmful to gamers, how can gamers be surprised at the sorry state of “games journalism”? We allowed this to happen in the almighty name of access!
This isn’t to say that gamers must shoulder all the blame; the games press is still largely culpable for the asinine nonsense and general shitty nature of the games press in general. They’re refusal to say “No.” due to their own fan boy natures, and hope of getting the exclusive scoop over their competitors got us to this place.
This is a tale as old as time, and it’s what has corrupted all media. Which why I find it hilarious that people like Jim Sterling consider themselves “free agents” because of hipster welfare. He has more access than most people do, he’s not “one of us” or looking out for gamers, no matter how often he pretends to be a “consumer advocate”. He’s still considered “the media” for all intents and purposes. When it comes down to it, Jim Sterling is always going to look out for Jim Sterling; he’s proven it time and time again.
To the video game pundit class out there on Youtubes and The Internets:
Shut The Fuck Up.
Gamers had their chance to change the games press in to something they wanted when #GamerGate was born. But maybe sweet sweet access to all that hot fresh current video game content was going to be lost, as game publishers and developers wouldn’t cotton to a new sheriff in town.
Instead, gamers attempted, in vain, to change the game press itself and failed, got labeled misogynists, sexists, and bigots…and the games press kept trucking. Publishing articles about shit no one cares about that even on a good day isn’t tangentially related to anything video game based.
So yes, you’re going to keep getting shit from the games press. You’re going to get “reviews” that were fomented in review event sweatshops by some poor sap who just wants to write about video games for a living. You’re going to get pasty fat white man-babies telling you “How It Is” and stuffing paragraphs of social justice baloney all up in their work. You’re going to get “consumer advocates” collecting Patreon bucks so they can gaslight soft targets and waste your money on Steam® games and pick fights with its developers. This is the games press you deserve.