Being a member of such a... vibrant online community such as this
it's a given that the exposure we have to the inner working of the industry will be rather more enlightened than that of our casual, knuckle-dragging friends. We are "in the loop". In fact, we are so far "in the loop" that we have set up a small shelter, carved a set of rudimentary inner-loop tools out of loopish looking driftwood, and are making great progress in our seduction of the natives. In the loop.
We are privy to knowledge that wont hit casual ears for many weeks, and while this feeds whatever information addiction we might currently be cultivating, it does come at a cost.
Firstly, we are viewing much of this information as a third or even fourth audience. Giant Bomb is our vehicle and Jeff, Ryan, Vinny, Patrick and Brad are taking it in turns to drive us around. The route they take can dramatically alter our perception. So how heavily do we rely on them for cultural reference, and is such heavy dependence a good or bad thing?
An excellent example of this would be Bastion. We have been lucky enough to witness the evolution of that entire project through a series of videos produced by friend of the site and all-round cosmonaut Greg Kasavin, but then presented to us through the staff here at Giant Bomb. It's hard not to develop a sense of endearment to a project which we have seen take it's first bumbling steps and ultimately blossom into a full commercial videogame, all the while being proffered by the support of Giant Bomb. The fact that they declined an official review is, I feel, testament to their own understanding of this process. No official review is necessary because in their extensive coverage of it's development, Giant Bomb has already sold us the game.
So how can one be objective in an assessment of Bastion as a result?
Or more importantly, does that question even matter? The primary purpose of a game is to entertain, and if it does so then it is a success. One could argue the process of reaching that finality is secondary. If you watched Building the Bastion, and you enjoyed it, and you find yourself with a positive predisposition towards it as a result, that is no bad thing.
It's a pretty lazy view to take, but having followed Jeff and the gang for so long, it's hard not to just assume they know what they are talking about and leave it at that. I find myself less and less opting to experience a game for myself and more often just borrowing the opinions of a writer here at Giant Bomb. In retrospective truth, that should concern me a great deal. Fortunately, it doesn't. My mind remains open, my opinions receptive. I shall continue to make up my own damn mind when I feel the need.
Which is why I'm going to go and buy Catherine when it's released here in the UK, despite the mediocre review it got on this site. Because I am not a zombie. Not yet, anyway...
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