The purpose of a review is not to make the reader happy
There is a absolute level of insanity when it comes to the way gamers treat reviews and the people who are reviewing these games, an abandonment of reality in many senses rather than focusing on what a reviewer is actually saying by looking at the issues the found they only focus on the score they have given.
The irony of people focusing on the score is they do not even know what a good review score is, it is a very warped view to consider a 8 out of 10 to be a bad score and in their minds the critic must obviously be biased or a ‘fanboy’ of another system or a competing games franchise.
When the fact is in reality 8 out of 10 means the game is very good, I certainly wish I was considered a 8 out of 10 in any aspect of my life whether it be cooking, gaming, writing that to me would be flattening to say the least.
It is almost as if the concept of valid criticism is beyond modern gamers, in fact the logic of berating reviewers for pointing out flaws in a game is absurd.
If the purpose of a review is to give a honest opinion of what is good and bad about a game, then judging said game based upon those pros and cons why would anyone be upset when you see them discussing those negatives that the game has, very few things are perfect in this world and not everything is a 10/10 masterpiece.
How Review Scoring Systems Work
The general consensus on review scores is quite simple anything below a 5 is bad, between 6-7 is poor, anything between 7-8 is considered good and in this range if you like that genre of game you’ll probably enjoy it, between 8-9 are the very good games any games in this range are worth your time, they have their minor flaws but often most flaws can be overlooked, then we get to 9-10 games those in this range are the upper echelon, they are near too or are masterpieces that the reviewer found few faults with if none at all, games in the 9-10 range tend to only have very small nit-picking issues where the reviewer wanted more of something.
This is the part that every reviewer hates because it happens so often especially on big releases, they give a honest review based on their experiences with the game whether it be the story, glitches, bugs, maybe the mechanics are clunky or certain tasks feels pointless and finally the dreaded microtransactions are too much, you get the point.
Because they give a score that is not as high as another reviewer, say one scores the game a 88/100 and another only a 79/100 the second reviewer gets accused of being biased, not understanding the game or being a shill for a competitor, are there bad reviewers? Yes, there is dishonest, incompetent or downright deliberate bad reviews that are plainly obvious too see even those people do not deserve threats or abuse.
We are not discussing that though, we are discussing genuine reviewers who have published good faith reviews what is worse than having your integrity questioned as a reviewer is being verbally abused as if you are not a real person behind the screen, journalists receiving rape threats or death threats.
This is the reality journalists face not just in gaming either but in all of journalism, you write something someone does not like or talk bad about their favourite celebrity or game you best believe you end up facing abuse and harassment, now many will argue that journalists should ignore it or get thicker skin, but how do you ignore hundreds of people sending abuse and threats to your social media, to your work emails that you have to use or people trying to dox you.
It is easy to dismiss the experiences of others when you have not faced them yourself or to claim it is easy to avoid because one person said a bad thing to you and you blocked them on twitter, when it is dozens or hundreds of people it is not as simple as press block or turn off your phone it can feel never ending, you still have to do your job the next day.
Maybe this will encourage you to condemn people who say these vile things and act this way or this article might make others think twice about the person they are harassing or abusing, frankly I feel I am being optimistic to expect my words to change anyone’s mind but what does remain is the ever present reality of a frankly toxic gaming culture that cares more about what they perceive as a slight against their beloved franchise or console than they do about people who are just doing their jobs.
Gaming journalists often get criticism for not being passionate enough, caring enough or being fake gamers, I do not know about you but I find it really hard to be any of those things when I try my best to be honest, genuine and give gamers the honest truth so they have the best experiences possible with open eyes, when doing so is followed by so much negativity… think about that for awhile.
Disclaimer – I only included two examples of abuse which is pretty bad on its’ own, not because I did not find more because I did but I felt linking so many images, tweets and screenshots etc would completely overburden the article, however I have linked a few below. If you were affected by this article or a victim of any of todays themes topic you can find help and support here