Jimquisition: The 100% Objective Review

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Zachary Amaranth:

Colour Scientist:

Please, you're just pushing your own agenda due to your conflict of interest and professional bias. Your status as a non-professional is irrelevant.

For more on this, please read my upcoming publication The Ethical Adventures of James Gournalism

The fact that you consider yourself a professional only pushes the narrative that you are a professional victim. Stop trying to harass and bully me with your narrative of punditry!

image

If I can't hear you, it must be a straw man.

Please stop trying to derail the thread.

If you do not desist, I shall put you on my ignore list but continue to try to engage you in conversation.

See how you like them apples.

Steve2911:

veloper:
What many gamers are simply looking for is reviewers who judge games consistently by a reasonably set of criteria (usually some variant on the old set of gameplay, story, gfx and sound) even if they don't actually use a scorecard.

Do you not find this incredibly boring though? Do you not think games as a medium deserve more than that? Because this is the sort of shit you got in game magazines in the 90s. We've come a long way since then.

I find it informative. How boring a piece is depends on the style or humor of the game reviewer.

Zachary Amaranth:

MrFalconfly:

Also, I made it clear that while I don't like the mechanic, it's well thought out, and it's not a dealbreaker (unless you're like me).

I would hope that we would be mature and literate enough to understand that when someone talks about the combat feeling disconnected, they were talking opinion with or without such a label.

"That's your opinion" or "you're biased" come off as playground retorts, and really, demanding that we be told these things strikes me as the demand to infantilise us. At the same time, that's what it looks like all this outrage against bias and for objectivity and fairness in reviews is: a campaign to treat us like spoiled children. Which is fitting, because that campaign gives us all the appearance of being spoiled children.

Sorry?

What campaign?

I thought we were talking about how best to meet everybody regarding this issue of reviews (obviously some want them to be as "objective" as possible, and some want to hear the opinions of a reviewer that they find they share opinions with).

If you're talking about #Gamergate, then here's a nifty little video (well "little" is a bit of a misnomer. It's a 4 hour long discussion, but it's pretty good.).

Thanatos2k:

C.S.Strowbridge:

Thanatos2k:

A professional review is not supposed to tell me whether the reviewer liked the game. A professional review is supposed to tell me whether *I* will like the game.

Unless the critic is psychic and can read your mind or predict the future, this is impossible.

The closest a critic can do is tell you if they personally liked a game, movie, book, etc. and explain why. If you agree with their reasons, you will probably feel the same way as they do.

And yes, your own personal ideology matters in this regard. If someone didn't like a game, because they felt it was racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and you also dislike games that are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then this information will help you decide if you may like or dislike this game as well.

Video game reviews must be about more than technical aspects of the game like frame rate. They must include information about the story and characters.

It's really not impossible.

~SNIP!~

So you want to ignore anything that isn't technical. Great. You want pretty much exactly what Jim Sterling gave you with this parody review. Additionally, comparing one game to another is only remotely useful, if the person reading the review has played the previous game and if you haven't, then by your own standards, they have failed at their job. That part I agree with you. If you need to have played a previous game that isn't in the same series to understand a review, then that review was poorly written.

Personally, if the reviewer doesn't go into plot and characters, then I think they have failed at their jobs. Any discussion of plots and characters are necessarily going to involve personal politics and are absolutely going to be subjective.

Well, that was a video with moving pictures and some sound.
I guess...

Rellik San:

Did... did I miss a meeting?

No.
You can't miss something you weren't invited to in the first place.
I could say that "it isn't you, it's us", but that would be a lie.
Thing is we met and unanimously voted to exclude you from our group.
Simply put we have higher standards.
(you can't run the world with low standards, obviously)
Have a nice life!

P.S. We already changed location of meetings so don't even bother coming back.

There was actually some useful information in that review, although admittedly it would be far shorter if you remove all the redundancy.

If it doesn't sound boring without going out of your way to make it sound boring then it's hardly a valid point.

Likewise I could do a spoof of a subjective review.

"The colours make me think of the moors in the springtime and for some reason the animations make me think of wildberries fermenting in a French wine cellar"

Thanatos2k:

If you haven't played any other video games you're going to have a bad time figuring out what's worth playing then, mostly objective reviews or not, because you have no idea what makes a good or bad game. Many games are only good to experienced gamers (Read: Dark Souls) Most reviews are assumed to be for a player who has some experience playing video games as it is, so I don't see a problem here.

Spec Ops The Line is a tricky situation. You can objectively compare it to other shooters (and it'll come up short) but you can also emphasize this isn't the point of the game without too much subjectivity. Spec Ops the Line is a borderline unreviewable game as it is, because it has a very specific audience, and a large number of people who simply would not like it. It's almost a "Fan of bro shooters - 6/10, not a fan of bro shooters but liked shooters before the Halo generation - 10/10" situation. I'm perfectly fine with some leeway in those cases.

When I say (other game) I mean that in regards to your comment that a 'objective' review would reference and compare a games mechanics to another games mechanics. You can't assume that everyone has played every game. This is why some subjectivity has to be allowed, even encouraged.

Ah, but you are now being 'subjective' about Spec Ops. We both share an opinion that the game is not about the core gameplay, but the story and the message, but that is all it is, an opinion. Just because it is a widely held one does not make it 'objective'. How do game reviewers decide who gets leeway, what system is implemented? Do all reviews have to pass through some central counting house to ensure only a minimum amount of 'subjectivity'? If you are subjective, you can totally review Spec-Ops: The Line. Did you like its story? Why? Did you agree/disagree with its points? Why? What did you think of the core gameplay, and how did that affect the story, did it enhance or detract?

Every one of those questions can only be answered with a subjective answer, a point of view. Asking for anything else does the game, and the job of being a reviewer, a grave disservice.

Captcha: Spread the net. These days, I think we need to contain it. . . .

I was unaware being objective meant speaking in a monotone voice.

Jim, 3 steps ahead of the rest of us plebs, as always

No wonder you guys are so afraid of GamerGate; you simply have no clue about what actual objectivity looks like, and imagine it as some sort of soulless fact sheet.

It's not that hard. Just write what you think about the game and compare it to similar games. How does it tackle common shortcomings of the genre? Does the game make some risky design or narrative choices that either pay off or fall flat? Does it provide value for the consumer? How replayable is it?

Oh, and don't have sex with someone who worked on the game. I really shouldn't have to say it, but doing that is a big no-no!

Aw fuck, that's too hard. Just keep claiming GamerGate is nothing but misogynist trolls so you'll be spared the painful effort of having improve yourself. Mountain Dewritos and sloppy emo blowjobs for all!

I'm waiting for the obverse parody, something along the lines of "The cover of this game is blue, blue is a terrible color, 0/10."

I understand the frustration some people feel about demands for "objective" reviews, but pretending that the issue is black and white isn't helping. One definition of "subjective" is that it's a view corresponding to only one person (Merriam-Webster, "4a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : personal [subjective judgments]") And aside from the inevitable jerk who is actually saying "Your review is bad because I disagree with the conclusion", I think that's what people are really annoyed with- the reviewer who is giving an opinion that doesn't apply or isn't useful to large portions of the game's audience, who isn't taking that audience into account. And the attendant fact that said review is being tallied into an over-all score by sites like metacritic, and others' narrative about the game's underlying themes, structure, or message- which isn't directly the reviewer's fault, of course, but is an all-but-inevitable consequence.

I tend to feel that a good reviewer can utterly hate the product they're reviewing- whether it's a game, book, movie, restaurant, whatever- and still pass along information that will lead me to believe I'll enjoy it. I'm sure that there are people who have seen a game declared "too hard" and taken it as a personal challenge, for example. But there's an uncomfortable space where the reviewer takes it upon themselves to review the people who would enjoy the product- and you don't have to look far to find that; glance at Moviebob's reviews of "The Equalizer" or "Divergent", and the less he likes the underlying product, the more venom the perceived audience is likely to get for their presumed appreciation of it.

I will say right now that I really appreciate the knowledge and insight that Bob Chipman brings to much of his work. But he would be a better reviewer if that particular attitude was one he could leave at the door. And I would say the same of any critic.

Thanatos2k:

ShakerSilver:
When I hear people wanting "objective" reviews, I feel like the word they're looking for is "impartial", which is something most reviews should indeed strive for. We all have our personal/political biases, but when you're representing your outlet and giving a review to a larger audience (which will also be submitted to aggregators like Metacritic and affect people's jobs), the reviewer's biases should be proportional to what a general audience wants to hear. I feel like more sites would benefit from having contributors write op-ed pieces about certain games (or games) and delve into a more personal critique (without a numbered score being aggregated) while leaving more technical or general criticisms for reviews.

Yes, that's exactly how I feel as well. The review should be for the consumer. The personal op-ed piece can be about the reviewer and whatever they want to praise/whine about.

Which consumers? The consumers of the game in question? The consumer of the genre in question?

Shouldn't these reviews appeal to people who haven't bought the game already, including people who perhaps don't buy games regularly in that genre, people who aren't "consumers" in that genre?

For example, I initially wasn't a consumer of Modern Military FPSes or FPSes in general. When I heard Yahtzee really liked(Well, as much as one can like) Spec Ops: The line, I knew it was something I couldn't ignore. Because he like me didn't really enjoy MMSes, I knew I would likely share his opinion and even have my outsider opinions on MMSes considered and evaluated by the game, so I jumped on the opportunity After weeks of messing with Wine on my Mac in a foolish attempt to forego the inevitable, I gave up and spent $700 or so on a PC laptop just to play Spec Ops: The Line because the way it presented itself to me looked like something I couldn't live without courtesy of that review. This made me a consumer of FPSes as I went on to buy Far Cry 3 and Bioshock Infinite after that. I was so sold on it I even went out and convinced my non-gamer-identifying father to play Spec Ops all the way through.

Don't these kind of reviews leading people who aren't consumers of a genre to consume that genre demonstrate the value in making reviews that keep in mind the perspectives of people who aren't the direct audience of the genre in question?

IronMit:
I was unaware being objective meant speaking in a monotone voice.

Jim, 3 steps ahead of the rest of us plebs, as always

Well, obviously.

How else could you be objective than to remove all inflection from your voice? Intonation belies the mask of objectivity!

I THINK I get the joke on this one? A critique on the problems of game journalism having any sort of bias because of who they are, where they're from, and who they know? Maybe?

... Look, the only thing I know for certain is that I keep trying to forget FF13 was a thing and that Square Enix wasted a whole console generation on Lightning and her merry band of idiots, and that I may have instead put "Lost Odyssey" in my collection right after FF12 on my shelf instead...

C.S.Strowbridge:
So you want to ignore anything that isn't technical. Great. You want pretty much exactly what Jim Sterling gave you with this parody review. Additionally, comparing one game to another is only remotely useful, if the person reading the review has played the previous game and if you haven't, then by your own standards, they have failed at their job. That part I agree with you. If you need to have played a previous game that isn't in the same series to understand a review, then that review was poorly written.

Personally, if the reviewer doesn't go into plot and characters, then I think they have failed at their jobs. Any discussion of plots and characters are necessarily going to involve personal politics and are absolutely going to be subjective.

Well I mean, what I had there was only a fraction of the review. You'd do the same thing for the graphics, the music, the controls, yadda yadda.

Then we get to the story (and/or characters), and this is the minefield where the reviewer will be tempted to shove their agenda in, but you must hold back. You should be talking most about the *structure* of the story, and why it works or not with reasons why. Spoilers also factor in. Pacing is another good area you can analyze that's not as subjective. Talking about the writing is more objective than talking about the content/direction of the story. You give a summary of the story and its direction, because that's what the reader is interested in the most.

The real kicker here is to identify if something you're complaining about in the story or characters is likely to be shared by your audience, or if it's a PERSONAL ISSUE. If it's a personal issue, either don't mention it, or downplay the significance of this part of your critique, and then do not let it factor into your score. Mentioning it is fine, because some of your audience might agree, and it may be a deal breaker to them. But preaching at your audience will simply enrage those that don't agree. I think the characters in FF13 (aside from Sazh) are some of the worst characters ever to grace a video game, but I know that it's a personal thing. I would attack some of the writing instead, which has far more objective flaws in it than the characters. (SERAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)

Then you bring it all together, and you don't dock points for your pathetic contrivances. I've seen reviewers claim to dock points for some of the stupidest insignificant reasons imaginable they KNEW weren't going to be shared by their audiences while already firing up the "It's my opinion you can't tell me I'm wrong" defense, and it has no place in professional reviews.

Should the review be pretty long with all this content? Yep. Probably take you a while to get it right too with all the research and content to look at. Such is life for a professional.

Dakkagor:

Thanatos2k:

If you haven't played any other video games you're going to have a bad time figuring out what's worth playing then, mostly objective reviews or not, because you have no idea what makes a good or bad game. Many games are only good to experienced gamers (Read: Dark Souls) Most reviews are assumed to be for a player who has some experience playing video games as it is, so I don't see a problem here.

Spec Ops The Line is a tricky situation. You can objectively compare it to other shooters (and it'll come up short) but you can also emphasize this isn't the point of the game without too much subjectivity. Spec Ops the Line is a borderline unreviewable game as it is, because it has a very specific audience, and a large number of people who simply would not like it. It's almost a "Fan of bro shooters - 6/10, not a fan of bro shooters but liked shooters before the Halo generation - 10/10" situation. I'm perfectly fine with some leeway in those cases.

When I say (other game) I mean that in regards to your comment that a 'objective' review would reference and compare a games mechanics to another games mechanics. You can't assume that everyone has played every game. This is why some subjectivity has to be allowed, even encouraged.

Ah, but you are now being 'subjective' about Spec Ops. We both share an opinion that the game is not about the core gameplay, but the story and the message, but that is all it is, an opinion.

It really isn't though, because it's very clear that it was also the intent of the developers that the game is not about the core cover-based-shooter gameplay.

I mean, if you wanted to be sure, you could ask the developers if that was the case. I'm sure they'd be happy to confirm it. (You're a professional, right? Not above asking the source?)

Figuring out "What the developers intended" is a huge part of being a professional reviewer, and in the parts of your review that are subjective you should be focusing a lot on whether they were successful or not.

Colour Scientist:

If I can't hear you, it must be a straw man.

Please stop trying to derail the thread.

If you do not desist, I shall put you on my ignore list but continue to try to engage you in conversation.

See how you like them apples.

I think you got too authentic for me. There's only one thing left to do.

Declare my complete and undying love for you, and hope my girlfriend doesn't see it. Which she will. Because I'll probably link her to this post.

MrFalconfly:

Sorry?

What campaign?

People have been pushing for this so-called "objective" journalism for well over a year. But I think you know what and have decided not to address my point instead.

I thought we were talking about how best to meet everybody regarding this issue of reviews (obviously some want them to be as "objective" as possible, and some want to hear the opinions of a reviewer that they find they share opinions with).

And for some reason, instead of discussing it, now you're talking about talking about it. Which is not talking about it. Actually, I think Colour Scientist was more on topic.

while we're at it, if you can't make your own arguments, I'm not interested. If you have to link to four hours of someone else, I'm not interested. If you don't personally have anything to say, then I'm not going to bother engaging you further.

If you feel you have a point, I'd be interested in hearing it.

Thanatos2k:
Snip

The only way "Objective criticism" could make any sense is if it was something that was factually true and there are very few places where I can see that helping in a video game review. Sure you can say "The ocean is orange when it's supposed to be blue" that would be objective, but aside from massive glaring mistakes like that that anyone who isn't blind and deaf would be able to notice, criticisms are going to be subjective. I'm playing SMT: Strange Journey right now, and a lot of people have said that the music is bad. I think the music is very good at setting the tone. There's no "objective criticism" that can be made here because there is no "objective" answer to whether music is good or not.

A bad review is personal opinion...no...a review is personal opinion either, because quality of a game isn't like miles or kilometers. You can't measure them, there's no indisputable amount.

So every single reviewer is supposed to tell the world whether Thanatos2k would like the game? I'll pass. Wise ass comments aside, that's impossible. There are 7 billion people on this planet, and a reviewer can't see into the minds of every single one. The Halo fanbase gets split in half every single time a new game gets released, one half saying it's the best thing since sliced bread, and the other half saying that it's a disgrace to the entire series. Which side is right and which side should the reviewer agree with? Neither because you can't be "objective" about these things. And what if my own personal ideology helps me decide if I find a game more enjoyable? What if a game gives you an achievement specifically for killing black people and only black people, am I not allowed to let decrease my enjoyment? And let's get something straight. Personal politics make their way into everything. Heck, your personal politics are flooding your posts right now, as are mine. They shape every single thing we say. You don't want a review free of politics. You want a review that agrees with YOUR politics.

No, they're considered a joke because a 7.5 is apparently something people throw a fit over and demand boycotts over. (Looks at Polygon review of Bayonetta 2) Because of "bias" or something.

No, you're pretty much saying just that. You're saying the reviewer can't really talk about anything you might disagree with, that's more or less what you're saying. Also can I just appreciate the irony of you criticizing the pushing of an agenda while you're trying to push your own agenda on journalists?

Hey. Consumer here. I don't want your "objective" reviews. I'm quite content with how Jim is speaking for me.

shrekfan246:

IronMit:
I was unaware being objective meant speaking in a monotone voice.

Jim, 3 steps ahead of the rest of us plebs, as always

Well, obviously.

How else could you be objective than to remove all inflection from your voice? Intonation belies the mask of objectivity!

The fact that he's using spoken words indicates a clear verbal bias.

Review used adjectives and conditionals: not objective.
a^0/10

It's a bit weird though, since I started a review series to highlight how limited objectivity is in game reviews :P
Did I subconsciously reach out to Jim? Am I doing the will of Jim "Fucking" Sterling? :O

I must spread the gospel! >.>

On topic: you can't make an objective review. That's an oxymoron, because we're dealing with entertainment and art, which are built on conveying emotions and expressions, so it's impossible to apply an objective measure to something that is spawned by subjectivity without it being limiting to the point of uselessness.

What you can do however, is make informed reviews. Your review is still subjective, but an informed one allows for the reader to engage in a better dialogue over why they like for what reasons, and making them question their financial decisions. Providing arguments for and against is also good(albeit time consuming, as would be contextual research), as it can still inform readers who would disagree with the actual review.

Also I'd like a mandatory gif of a burning strawman in every review ever. Just to send a message.

This got boring real quick.

I agree that there are no perfectly objective reviews, of course personal bias effects everyone, albeit to a different degree. But this isn't an example of a "100% objective review". This was just an example of a stupid person doing a review. For example the text that appears on the screen when you talk about lightning about how lightning is eletricity and this character aren't is just one example of stupid in this video. You dont have to sound like a robot with brain damage just to get your point across. Even someone like me that generally likes you videos and agrees with your point couldnt even watch half.

T_ConX:
No wonder you guys are so afraid of GamerGate; you simply have no clue about what actual objectivity looks like, and imagine it as some sort of soulless fact sheet.

It's not that hard. Just write what you think about the game and compare it to similar games. How does it tackle common shortcomings of the genre?

Believing that a genre has shortcomings means you are making a judgement on it, ie forming an opinion.

Does the game make some risky design

Stating that something is risky is a subjective standpoint. What might be risky to you might be conservative to somebody else

or narrative choices that either pay off or fall flat?

Again this is making a judgement on the quality of the work. To say this is not subjective makes no sense.

Does it provide value for the consumer?

How do you quantify value? How do you make an objective call on how much value for money something is? Is there a scientifically agreed Value Quotient that I just don't know about?

How replayable is it?

Again this is completely subjective. You might find something infinitely replayable, but I might not. You see how that works.

Oh, and don't have sex with someone who worked on the game. I really shouldn't have to say it, but doing that is a big no-no!

This was debunked months ago, I can't believe people are still parroting this.

Aw fuck, that's too hard. Just keep claiming GamerGate is nothing but misogynist trolls so you'll be spared the painful effort of having improve yourself. Mountain Dewritos and sloppy emo blowjobs for all!

What does that have to do with anything?

you simply have no clue about what actual objectivity looks like

What's that phrase about stones and glass houses again?

Zachary Amaranth:

MrFalconfly:

Sorry?

What campaign?

People have been pushing for this so-called "objective" journalism for well over a year. But I think you know what and have decided not to address my point instead.

I thought we were talking about how best to meet everybody regarding this issue of reviews (obviously some want them to be as "objective" as possible, and some want to hear the opinions of a reviewer that they find they share opinions with).

And for some reason, instead of discussing it, now you're talking about talking about it. Which is not talking about it. Actually, I think Colour Scientist was more on topic.

while we're at it, if you can't make your own arguments, I'm not interested. If you have to link to four hours of someone else, I'm not interested. If you don't personally have anything to say, then I'm not going to bother engaging you further.

If you feel you have a point, I'd be interested in hearing it.

I'm not a native English speaker. English is my second language.

I'm genuinely confused now. I just saw the vid and tried to give my Two Cents for what they were worth.

Please don't hurt me x(

Zachary Amaranth:

shrekfan246:

IronMit:
I was unaware being objective meant speaking in a monotone voice.

Jim, 3 steps ahead of the rest of us plebs, as always

Well, obviously.

How else could you be objective than to remove all inflection from your voice? Intonation belies the mask of objectivity!

The fact that he's using spoken words indicates a clear verbal bias.

The only solution to that would be for him to not only provide a complete transcript and braille printout, but to also beam his words directly into the brains of his viewers. Perhaps through some sort of device that causes the viewers to speak the words themselves as they read them?

erttheking:

Thanatos2k:
Snip

The only way "Objective criticism" could make any sense is if it was something that was factually true and there are very few places where I can see that helping in a video game review. Sure you can say "The ocean is orange when it's supposed to be blue" that would be objective, but aside from massive glaring mistakes like that that anyone who isn't blind and deaf would be able to notice, criticisms are going to be subjective. I'm playing SMT: Strange Journey right now, and a lot of people have said that the music is bad. I think the music is very good at setting the tone. There's no "objective criticism" that can be made here because there is no "objective" answer to whether music is good or not.

A bad review is personal opinion...no...a review is personal opinion either, because quality of a game isn't like miles or kilometers. You can't measure them, there's no indisputable amount.

So every single reviewer is supposed to tell the world whether Thanatos2k would like the game? I'll pass. Wise ass comments aside, that's impossible. There are 7 billion people on this planet, and a reviewer can't see into the minds of every single one. The Halo fanbase gets split in half every single time a new game gets released, one half saying it's the best thing since sliced bread, and the other half saying that it's a disgrace to the entire series. Which side is right and which side should the reviewer agree with? Neither because you can't be "objective" about these things. And what if my own personal ideology helps me decide if I find a game more enjoyable? What if a game gives you an achievement specifically for killing black people and only black people, am I not allowed to let decrease my enjoyment? And let's get something straight. Personal politics make their way into everything. Heck, your personal politics are flooding your posts right now, as are mine. They shape every single thing we say. You don't want a review free of politics. You want a review that agrees with YOUR politics.

No, they're considered a joke because a 7.5 is apparently something people throw a fit over and demand boycotts over. (Looks at Polygon review of Bayonetta 2) Because of "bias" or something.

No, you're pretty much saying just that. You're saying the reviewer can't really talk about anything you might disagree with, that's more or less what you're saying. Also can I just appreciate the irony of you criticizing the pushing of an agenda while you're trying to push your own agenda on journalists?

Hey. Consumer here. I don't want your "objective" reviews. I'm quite content with how Jim is speaking for me.

I already addressed this above. I'm not sure why people are treating objectivity like a binary condition. It's a scale. And you should be attempting to be as close to the objective side of the scale as possible in a review meant to inform consumers.

Thanatos2k:

Then we get to the story (and/or characters), and this is the minefield where the reviewer will be tempted to shove their agenda in, but you must hold back.

In your subjective opinion they should.

Thanatos2k:

You should be talking most about the *structure* of the story, and why it works or not with reasons why. Spoilers also factor in. Pacing is another good area you can analyze that's not as subjective.

HA! Clearly you've never seen critics disagree about the pacing of a movie, book, etc. I've seen the same movie praised for its deliberate pace and savage for moving at a glacial pace.

Thanatos2k:

Talking about the writing is more objective than talking about the content/direction of the story. You give a summary of the story and its direction, because that's what the reader is interested in the most.

Again, in your subjective opinion that is what you are interested in.

Thanatos2k:

The real kicker here is to identify if something you're complaining about in the story or characters is likely to be shared by your audience...

Again, there is no "audience", because games are mainstream. Nothing will be shared by a majority of the audience, so you either tell you subjective opinion, or you give a review like the one Jim Sterling gave in this video

Thanatos2k:

Mentioning it is fine, because some of your audience might agree, and it may be a deal breaker to them. But preaching at your audience will simply enrage those that don't agree.

And the line between mentioning and preaching is purely subjective. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Gobber makes an off-handed remake that hints he's gay. I've seen people react saying the filmmakers were shoving homosexuality down their kids' throats.

Thanatos2k:

Then you bring it all together, and you don't dock points for your pathetic contrivances.

And yet again, this is your subjective opinion. If you find the characters or the plot sexist, racist, etc., you should absolutely dock points for that and tell the audience why you did so.

Thanatos2k:

I've seen reviewers claim to dock points for some of the stupidest insignificant reasons imaginable they KNEW weren't going to be shared by their audiences while already firing up the "It's my opinion you can't tell me I'm wrong" defense, and it has no place in professional reviews.

In your 100% purely subjective opinion, it has not place in a professional review.

This opinion is not based on facts and logic.

In fact, the more I read your posts, the more I think your definition of "Objective" is "Don't say anything political that I don't agree with."

Dear Jim,

Game Reviewing in my mind has always been opinion articles. Aside from technical issues I understand fully that reviewing a game relies almost fully on subjectivity. The game is too long, the game is too short, the story was boring, the story was interesting, the mechanics were garbage, the mechanics were great.

It's all opinion as far as the eye can see.

So while I advocate very much for ethics in journalism. The only crossover I'd see is if there's a relationship between the reviewer and someone involved with the development of the game. In which case I'd expect a disclosure of relationship and all is good.

But I very much rely on my reviewer's taste in games. For example, you share my humor in a lot of ways so games you recommend like the Stanely Parable ended up being spot on. You and I have different tastes in horror so our horror genres are frequently off. Because of that, I know to go for comedy games you recommend while taking a step back from the horror games. That's perfectly fine and exactly how things should be.

So keep on with the great work and please don't think that all of us advocating for ethics in journalism thinks that somehow a subjective review must magically start to be objective.

loa:
Objective doesn't mean you aren't allowed to be informative.

For instance you could've said that most maps in ff13 are lines with little to no junctions.
You could've said that the game expects you to read the codec textlogs to comprehend the story.
You could've said that the tutorial lasts around 16 hours and that your levels are capped as the game drip feeds them to you.
Those are all facts and you're only being subjective if you add a "and I (don't) like it".

You're missing the point on purpose and that just makes you look like a bufoon.

Those are not facts...
- Some could argue that, while the story was linear (like most JRPG), the maps had a lot of open spaces filled with debris. Admittedly, they were mostly empty, with a clear entrance and a clear exit...
- Some could argue that they didn't need to read the codec textlogs to comprehend the story, so you turned a personal experience into a "fact".
- Some could argue that they took much less to reach Chapter 13, so your estimate is skewed at best. Some could also argue that those sections were not a "tutorial", but that the game kept introducing new options and mechanics along the way (the same way Zelda and Metroid introduce new moves, items and mechanics during most of their games).

Those are also "objective facts" from their perspective.

As everything, objective information should be interpreted not only on what it says, but on how it says it (for example, one could say "this cake taste like shit", which could be subjectively bad (if you don't like the taste of shit), subjectively good (if you are into that), or objectively neutral (if it does, literally, taste like shit)). Because of that, the only way to be truly objective, factual and neutral is to reduce everything to its most literal meaning. Sure, Jim is using hyperbole to make his point, but "Final Fantasy XIII is a videogame developed by Square Enix" is as objective as it gets...

C.S.Strowbridge:

Thanatos2k:

Then we get to the story (and/or characters), and this is the minefield where the reviewer will be tempted to shove their agenda in, but you must hold back.

In your subjective opinion they should.

Well someone finally used the "it's all opinion so no one can be wrong" defense. I should have known it was coming.

shrekfan246:

Zachary Amaranth:

shrekfan246:

Well, obviously.

How else could you be objective than to remove all inflection from your voice? Intonation belies the mask of objectivity!

The fact that he's using spoken words indicates a clear verbal bias.

The only solution to that would be for him to not only provide a complete transcript and braille printout, but to also beam his words directly into the brains of his viewers. Perhaps through some sort of device that causes the viewers to speak the words themselves as they read them?

The inflection of each person's voice will clearly colour the perception of the review and introduce bias! You're just as bad as those shills at BLOWtaku, PolyWRONG, WHY-GN, and GameNOT!

Thanatos2k:
Snip

....A scale? Either something is objective or it isn't. Either it's unaffected by bias or it isn't.

See, this is why I don't take these criticisms seriously. The people who give them keep misusing the word objective. And you should be objective to inform consumers? What objectively do the consumers need to know? How do you know what the consumer wants to hear? How do you know they don't want to hear what the reviewer's personal biases are?

Thanatos2k:

It really isn't though, because it's very clear that it was also the intent of the developers that the game is not about the core cover-based-shooter gameplay.

I mean, if you wanted to be sure, you could ask the developers if that was the case. I'm sure they'd be happy to confirm it. (You're a professional, right? Not above asking the source?)

Figuring out "What the developers intended" is a huge part of being a professional reviewer, and in the parts of your review that are subjective you should be focusing a lot on whether they were successful or not.

Why would you want to ask a games developer? I thought we wanted an objective review! When you ask the developer what they intended you are going to pick up their biases. And they will obviously tell you what they want you to put in your review. People would complain that the reviewer is corrupt, and selling the developers line. For petes sake, half the internet is on fire over this (remember, its about ethics in video game journalism)

Yes, figuring out what the developer intended is part of being a reviewer. Its also completely subjective. Whether they got the message across or actually made a good game worth playing is completely based on your own opinion, your own subjectivity. I can read the statistics for the game from the back of the box. I want to know if its enjoyable. And finding a selection of reviewers with similar/differing opinions and checking my own biases against them will tell me if I will enjoy that game.

To all people, THIS VIDEO IS NOT ABOUT THE 100% OBJECTIVE REVIEW. How the hell can you not see that? This is Jim Sterling saying that he's fucking close to giving up on being a voice of reason when the consumer just keeps supporting horrible practices, even defending them. How people keep buying Ubisoft games even though Ubi has spat in the face of their customers over and over again.

Again, if you can't see that this is how he is trying to convey his despair of how the gamer consumer base is just about the most subservient sheep to be herded, and how tiring it is seeing people defend the game industry. Quite simply, he's sick of being trying to get people to see how they are abused, and instead receive shit from them. It's really like trying to talk to someone stuck in an abusive relationship. It's a hellishly thankless job, and sometimes you really just wanna go "fuck it, if they wanna get smacked around on a daily basis, let em".

Therefore, Jim sterling, if you are reading this, I hope you know there are those of us who do appreciate it, who try to take wisdom from what you say, and who have actually stopped buying games from certain publishers because of this. Don't lose hope please. And do remember that throughout history, it seems that for paradigms to change, it usually takes time (unfortunately, often the time it takes for certain buggers to die of old age).

Thanatos2k:

C.S.Strowbridge:

Thanatos2k:

Then we get to the story (and/or characters), and this is the minefield where the reviewer will be tempted to shove their agenda in, but you must hold back.

In your subjective opinion they should.

Well someone finally used the "it's all opinion" defense. I should have known it was coming.

And your reply completely ignored the rest of his argument and didn't counter the tenth of it you did comment on anyway.

erttheking:

Thanatos2k:
Snip

....A scale? Either something is objective or it isn't. Either it's unaffected by bias or it isn't.

I don't know how to say this any clearer, but this is simply not true. It's understandable that anything you write is affected by bias, but the degree at which the bias informs the opinion is NOT a static value.

And your reply completely ignored the rest of his argument and didn't counter the tenth of it you did comment on anyway.

I'm sorry, I've given up on "Quote Warrior" style debates. I find they are the most worthless method of communicating on the internet.

Thanatos2k:

erttheking:

Thanatos2k:
Snip

....A scale? Either something is objective or it isn't. Either it's unaffected by bias or it isn't.

I don't know how to say this any clearer, but this is simply not true. It's understandable that anything you write is affected by bias, but the degree at which the bias informs the opinion is NOT a static value.

Dude, opinions are by their very nature biased. What are you supposed to do? Give an opinion that's only kind of biased?

So what? You're not replying because you don't like how he formatted his reply? Really?

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