• 83 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by Budwyzer (543 posts) -

From this article that Patrick linked today on twitter.

"The straight, white male gamer could in fact find no better home for his high-minded non-politics than BioShock Infinite."

I stopped reading there. All this thing was was a "Why do anything at all" cry for help, that didn't offer any real insight into what other routes could have been taken. Instead all it did was ask, "Why did they have to go left when right would have been a much better choice in my opinion?". Why look up to this Patrick?

Scoops makes things happen that gets reported the internet over. But I believe this is a prime chance to use the phrase, "Beware false prophets".

#2 Edited by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

I'm not sure how to react to anything else on this matter, so I'll only have this to say: you know how Patrick said "My response? It makes me want to be better."? Well, my response is that it makes me feel worse about my own writing, plunging me into despair and Googling articles on how the hell one develops a strong sense of self (since I'm not sure I even have one).

#3 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -

I read the article completly and some of the points being made are relevent.

I do movie critics and some game critics too. If every critic has basically the same opinion, it does create a problem. A good debate would only help games grow up. The text did offer real insight. It did not give clear-cut solution, but it did give ideas that would help get one.

Let me be clear, it is ok to like a game without thinking too much about it. It is also ok to analyse and criticise. Critic should be critic, and give insightful opinion. The fact that they mostly all give the same exact opinion show that it is mostly not the case right now.

#4 Posted by me3639 (1725 posts) -

Did the same. So i went back and read some other pieces, it didnt take long to find out he is EXACTLY like the every other reviewer. This is the second time i think PK has linked to an article that imo is nothing special, why even promote such nonsense. Really tired of negativity, you writers understand these are just games, right?

#5 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

If only Ken Levine was an old Black Lesbian. Then maybe we could have interesting discussions over a game's actual successes and failures without bringing completely pointless societal relations into criticism.

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

@me3639 said:

you writers understand these are just games, right?

Meaning what, exactly? That games are incapable of communicating a serious message? That we should let our guard down when consuming entertainment, because it is considered non-vital? I can't articulate my thoughts, but there's just something horrible about this line of thinking.

@joshwent said:

If only Ken Levine was an old Black Lesbian.

I'm also really tired of this strawman bullshit. The article isn't about social criticisms of BioShock. It's about giving video games their due critical thinking and intellectual rigor.

#8 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

I'm also really tired of this strawman bullshit. The article isn't about social criticisms of BioShock. It's about giving video games their due critical thinking and intellectual rigor.

How about, " It's [an article] about giving video games their due critical thinking and intellectual rigor" in a frame work of his own social criticism of Bioshock Infinite.

When the author starts his essay with a tirade about how "For its lack of humanity, for its fake guilt, for its flat boring gameplay, for its 100 million dollar cost, for its cleverness, for its cowardice, BioShock Infinite is not just the worst game of the year. It’s the worst game I’ve played this generation.", you just can't say that he's not talking about that game. VGK, it's clearly not a strawman when those are his own exact words.

#9 Posted by Pr1mus (3807 posts) -

I thought it was a great article that articulated better than i ever could what i hate about game reviews. It's also why i found most of the more interesting game reviews and more general reporting i read in the past years have come from outside gaming medias.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

@joshwent said:

VGK, it's clearly not a strawman when those are his own exact words.

It is when that isn't his main point. It's a sub-argument used to make the much larger argument of that intellectual rigor whatever. The dismissive "fuck this guy" attitude doesn't help, either.

#11 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -

@joshwent: But that it's his point though. Dunno if you read the article completly, but he points out later that it is ok if you disagree with him, even about Bioshock Infinite. He introduces his text that way to show what kind of criticisism he wants. Subjective criticisism that is.

#12 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

The dude comes off as a very angry man. I don't think that's a good way to go about writing serious critiques. He also seems pretty fucking egotistical.

#13 Posted by Budwyzer (543 posts) -

I read the article completly and some of the points being made are relevent.

I do movie critics and some game critics too. If every critic has basically the same opinion, it does create a problem. A good debate would only help games grow up. The text did offer real insight. It did not give clear-cut solution, but it did give ideas that would help get one.

Let me be clear, it is ok to like a game without thinking too much about it. It is also ok to analyse and criticise. Critic should be critic, and give insightful opinion. The fact that they mostly all give the same exact opinion show that it is mostly not the case right now.


I like your response here. This guy was just posting his opinion on a game, and I shouldn't put him down for doing so. But I do not agree with his views. And the shear overstatement of his points made the whole thing seem like a "Oooh, everyone else in the whole world is giving Bioshock Infinite a 9.5/10, I'll give it a 2/10 and exaggerate my claims get a hundred thousand comments!".

#14 Posted by chilibean_3 (1619 posts) -

I made it about halfway through until my hand refused to stop making a dismissive wanking motion until I closed it.

#15 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4592 posts) -

@ramone said:

The dude comes off as a very angry man. I don't think that's a good way to go about writing serious critiques. He also seems pretty fucking egotistical.

That's kind of the prerequisite to becoming a critic. You have to have your head up your own ass to some degree. What makes a critic worth reading/listening to is how aware they are of their rectum-breaching proclivity.

Thompson doesn't seem to be aware, however.

EDIT to add: I suppose I should be more angry at this self-aggrandizing "nobody understands but me maaaan" attitude that Thompson illustrates, but with GTA 5 making over a billion goddamn dollars and showing no signs of stopping, it's helped put in perspective how utterly devoid of audience or influence people like this Thompson character are. By all means. Bleet away. Mewl for your precious crusade. It means jack shit under the weight of cold, hard cash.

#16 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -

@budwyzer: Later in the article he explains why it is ok for you to disagree with him. The point is to judge thing with your own views and explain why. If you liked Bioshock Infinite because you enjoy a good sci-fi story, that's ok, but he did not like it because he thinks there's an hypocritical social statement in the game and he thinks that the gameplay is poor. The guy is advocating different opinion, he is not bitching specific reviewers for liking the game, but he sees the fact that everyone of them has the exact same opinion as a problem.

Giving it a 2/10 is not an exageration if that 2/10 only apply as a general idea of your personal opinion. That 2/10 is not meant to be objective. It is surely not nuanced, but it does not need to.

#17 Posted by mbr2 (559 posts) -

Pretty much everything he said is spot on. What is up with people here saying that they don't agree with him but then only comment on what they think he as a person might be or take a line from the essay that's not relevant to the overarching point? Also please stop saying "It's just games!" and "I stopped reading right there." You come off as a fucking tosspot when you do.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

The guy is advocating different opinion

I thought he was arguing for this brand new way of reviewing games that's more about personal experiences combined with this hardcore critical rigor?

#19 Edited by CommenceFailure (9 posts) -

Of course it means something! McDonalds sells mediocre burgers by the tens of millions (including to me) but it doesn't mean it's not mediocre, or that discussion shouldn't be had about what would make it better.

#20 Posted by Nodima (1099 posts) -

Add to the list of "please stop saying": "he just wrote this for the clicks."

Everybody writes everything on the internet for the clicks. Including Giant Bomb. Writers who love(d) Bioshock Infinite hope to get just as many clicks as this man or Tom McShea. A positive review is just as much a business decision as a negative review.

#21 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -

@video_game_king: He is. You just said it better than me. English is my second language so I try to keep things as simple as possible to not mess up.

#22 Edited by OmniscientCajun (115 posts) -

Like some, I agree with his some of what he wrote regarding reviews (and reviewers) being too homogeneous and lacking deviation (or perhaps reviewers being afraid to). However, I also agree with others (@budwyzer) who've pointed out he tends to take a contrarian attitude toward popular things, in this case Bioshock Infinite.

Reading some of his other work, my biggest issue with his argumentation is his seeming demand for others' works to please him and to be the way he, as a creator, would have chosen to make them. There is a simply beautiful paragraph (from a writing standpoint) in his Saving Zelda piece about the nature of adventure. It was wonderful to read, however the entire paragraph and much of his piece was predicated upon his belief on what an adventure should be and that belief should be taken by the reader as the correct belief.

Seeing that he is a writer (in a creation-sense, not only in critique) gives him an extra element of opportunity-cost evaluation that, if not kept in check, can really derail meaningful review/criticism. It seemed as though he gets hung up a lot on what could have been and not what is - which I realize is an inherent part of criticism. But, having myself felt this way before, it reads often as an "if I were the writer/creator, I wouldn't have made this mistake" kind of complaint, which is a touch self-indulgent.

I'm glad that he wrote this. I'm glad that @patrickklepek linked to it. This writing needs to exist; writing of all viewpoints ought to. I found myself initially defensive, as I often do when someone criticizes something I thoroughly enjoy. But sitting with it for a while, I found it to be a meaningful piece that I ended up disagreeing with most of. Which I like.

#23 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

BioShock Infinite is not just the worst game of the year. It’s the worst game I’ve played this generation.

The man who apparently despises the hyperbole of modern video games press starts off his essay like this. Come on dude.

The straight, white male gamer could in fact find no better home for his high-minded non-politics than BioShock Infinite.

He takes Infinite to task for it's apparently racist portrayal of African Americans after having said this.

The straight white male gamers so untroubled by BioShock Infinite, whose ideology and privilege are in fact perfectly reflected in it, are just not up to the task of reviewing on their own.

In other words "If you disagree with my opinion you're a bad reviewer". Which is COMPLETELY CONTRARY to everything he's been saying throughout the essay.

I hope no-one is taking this guy seriously.

#24 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -
@ramone said:

In other words "If you disagree with my opinion you're a bad reviewer". Which is COMPLETELY CONTRARY to everything he's been saying throughout the essay.

I hope no-one is taking this guy seriously.

Sorry, but I fail to see how he says that people disagreeing with him are bad reviewer. He does say that he did not like the fact that there is nearly no negative reviews for Bioshock Infinite and that shows that reviewers did not go through with their opinion.

He actually welcome people disagreeing with him.

#25 Edited by Ramone (2959 posts) -

@fear_the_booboo said:
@ramone said:

In other words "If you disagree with my opinion you're a bad reviewer". Which is COMPLETELY CONTRARY to everything he's been saying throughout the essay.

I hope no-one is taking this guy seriously.

Sorry, but I fail to see how he says that people disagreeing with him are bad reviewer. He does say that he did not like the fact that there is nearly no negative reviews for Bioshock Infinite and that shows that reviewers did not go through with their opinion.

He actually welcome people disagreeing with him.

He says that if people had a positive view of Bioshock they are not up to the task of reviewing the game. His intent seems pretty clear to me.

EDIT: Read that passage again and I fucked up. He's saying we need more diversification. Sorry duder!

#26 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -
#27 Posted by Elwoodan (755 posts) -

review numbers are bad. we shouldn't have review numbers. But Bioshock was a 2.

He, like so many others, seems to put so much weight on review scores while simultaneously dismissing them. If you read Carolyn's GTA5 review, you'd see that, regardless of what she sees as flaws the game is, overall, excellent. Just because you find a piece of work excellent doesn't mean you can't also understand flaws in the work. If you thought Bioshock's treatment of social issues was lacking (I certainly did) it doesn't automatically make the game a steaming pile of crap. It was an well executed and interesting sci-fi story set in an awesome city with neat magic+gun combat.

If you disagree, then disagree, but don't tell me my enjoyment of the game is wrong, or that half of reviewers are required to disagree with the other half to create meaningful criticism.

#28 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

Maybe the fact that you've had to spell this out for three different users here means that his "welcoming people disagreeing" doesn't really come across.

He spends two thirds of this rant wildly explaining why the game is a racist, soulless, horror show with bad gameplay to boot. He then explains how he yearns for more "subjective" reviews, while the whole time, Picking sentences out of reviews that he disagrees with saying how horrible they are. All the while blaming white men for all of these problems, and blatantly stating that they must have horrible, backward views of women if they thought Elizabeth was a good character. That, to me, feels like the exact opposite of "welcoming disagreement".

This guy is no differrent than the jerks who said those horrible things about Caroyln Petit. He's just doing it with thousands of angry, baseless, hyperbolic words, instead of a few terrible sentences.

#29 Edited by Milkman (16519 posts) -

Even if I don't agree with every point the author presents or the tone (which was kinda insufferable), I think the overall point of the article is a good one. Games criticism does need more diversity. Just look at that thread a few days ago about Tom McShea's critique of Infinite. Look at with how much anger a diverging opinion is still met with. Or (as the author brings up) Carolyn Petit's review of GTA V and how a 9/10 is deemed unacceptable by so many people. We need people who are going to say "hey, your favorite game is a piece of shit." Even if I loved Infinite and it's still one of my favorite games of the year, I'm glad that there are people out there criticizing it. It's healthy discussion.

#30 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (389 posts) -

@joshwent: I feel you are mostly right there. His text come across as too agressive for it's own good and that is problematic. I don't think it is a reason to dismiss his point entirely, but it sure does not help him.

I don't feel he is agressive as people attacking Petit were and I think that comparing him to them is reductive. He does criticise other review, but does not attack the person exactly. If he does attack the integrity of the critic itself though and has arguments while doing so (that you can agree with or not).

Personnaly, as a critic, I welcome people attacking my texts. I don't welcome people attacking me. I did not feel, while reading his text, that he was attacking directly the person, but it might come across this way.

#31 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

There's some extremely valid points in the article, but some of the language is... unfortunate, particularly as that's clearly going to be what most people will focus on.

#32 Posted by Sergio (2047 posts) -

I read the article, and while it might not have been his intent, it pretty much came off as current reviewers give scores I don't agree with, so there's something wrong here. You can try to lay the blame on people's opinions on games being similar, but that's a little disingenuous if that is exactly how people felt about the game. There isn't a secret cabal of game reviewers who meet up and decide what they all will score a game, except for one person, so that people don't catch on to their scheme.

#33 Posted by Immunity (62 posts) -

I don't like this blog post. I probably wouldn't like the guy who wrote it either. He comes off as a real asshole. And there's plenty of those on the internet to go around. He probably has some good points in here but you have to dig through a whole lot of angry bullshit to get to them.

Also I liked Bioshock Infinite. I wouldn't call it my game of the year but, calling it the worst game of the generation seems like a desperate cry for attention.

#34 Edited by Milkman (16519 posts) -

@markwahlberg said:

There's some extremely valid points in the article, but some of the language is... unfortunate, particularly as that's clearly going to be what most people will focus on.

This is really my problem with this piece and a lot of articles similar to it. I constantly see people who I agree with but every time they try to talk about a topic like this, they feel the need to talk down to people. Stuff like "these boys" does nothing but make people who don't share your views want to stop wanting to read what you write. No one wants to hear how much smarter you think you are than them and refusal to ever even attempt to see things from the other perspective really just hurts these kind of discussions on both sides.

#35 Posted by Zalrus9 (107 posts) -

Isn't complaining about Infinite really played out now? I've stopped caring since March, really...

And yes, it does seem like a cry for attention. Oh, that internet!

#36 Edited by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

@zalrus9 said:

And yes, it does seem like a cry for attention. Oh, that internet!

LET JEFF DUNHAM BE YOUR PUNISHMENT.

#37 Posted by TheHT (10875 posts) -

LET JEFF DUNHAM BE YOUR PUNISHMENT.

NOW YOU'RE OUT OF LINE SIR

Online
#38 Posted by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

@theht said:

@video_game_king said:

LET JEFF DUNHAM BE YOUR PUNISHMENT.

NOW YOU'RE OUT OF LINE SIR

HOW IS JEFF DUNHAM A PUNISHMENT? I LIKE THAT GUY!

#39 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -

@tireyo said:

HOW IS JEFF DUNHAM A PUNISHMENT? I LIKE THAT GUY!

HIS JOKES ARE ANNOYING AND RACIST AND I WILL SHOUT THIS UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND!

#40 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4592 posts) -

@tireyo said:

HOW IS JEFF DUNHAM A PUNISHMENT? I LIKE THAT GUY!

HIS JOKES ARE ANNOYING AND RACIST AND I WILL SHOUT THIS UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND!

.. but that's why they're funny.

#41 Edited by mlarrabee (2885 posts) -

It's cool, I'll continue to find joy in things even when they aren't perfect.

And, Tevis, I'm not ashamed of being straight, white, male, or enjoying video games. To suggest that I should be is sexist, racist, and generally prejudiced. Yes, BioShock Infinite squandered a lot of its potential. Yes, you're guilty of worse in your article.

#42 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5220 posts) -

I liked Bioshock Infinite when it came out and still do. A lot of reviewers liked it when it came out as well. Now there's a lot of people directly responding to that initial overly positive praise with in turn negative backlash far after it came out. One extremity is kept in check by the other, thus the world goes around.

I think I land somewhere in the middle, where I actively recognize the negatives of the game, but also appreciate the good aspects of it. Bioshock Infinite had an interesting narrative and passable gameplay. This was more than enough for me to enjoy it.

#43 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I enjoyed Bioshock Infinite. I also enjoyed that article.

I really liked the point the author made that games shouldn't get an automatic 8/10 just because they cost $10 million to make. I also think it's interesting to point out that just because a character is novel and "well written" for a video game character does not necessarily mean that character a good character as a character.

@video_game_king said:

LET JEFF DUNHAM BE YOUR PUNISHMENT.

You're doing God's* work, King.

--

*Assign all known and unknown gods an arbitrary number and construct a true random number generator to find out which god you're working for.

#44 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -
#45 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#46 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -
#47 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#48 Posted by mrfluke (5089 posts) -
#49 Posted by Fobwashed (1899 posts) -

I tend to not care about anyone who takes their opinion to an exaggerated extreme to make their case seem stronger.

I don't think Infinite was anywhere near perfect but I had a good time playing through it. Any game can be better but to call it the worst game of the generation, yea. I'm out.

@video_game_king Goddamn you. Just because. =D

#50 Posted by Video_Game_King (35985 posts) -