Experienced Points

Experienced Points
Your Favorite Game Sucks

Shamus Young | 24 Sep 2010 21:00
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The people who agreed that you shouldn't have an opinion on a game were quick to point out that you could miss out on a game you would love. Hey, if you just decide you don't like a game you haven't tried you could miss out on something good! This is true, but it's not nearly as bad as paying good money for a bad game. You can always buy a game later if you change your mind, but you can't ever reclaim the money and time you sunk into a title that wasn't any fun.

And for those of you sticking up for the idea that you can't hate on a game without playing it first: How many of you played FarmVille before you concluded it was the videogame equivalent of stomach cancer? How many read Twilight before decrying it as an offense against both women and vampires? I'm not saying you need to play FarmVille or read Twilight. I'm saying it's perfectly reasonable to conclude you won't like something without needing first-hand experience. It's good for you. The people who argue against this are just fanboys who don't care if you're happy with a game or not, they just want to shut down criticism of their beloved.

Judging entertainment isn't some special skill that only a professionally trained reviewer can do. It's something all of us do, all the time. You do it when you pick one movie over another, one TV show over another, one edition of D&D over another. You gather as much or as little data as you need and then you spend your money. Reviews are an important part of that data-gathering process, but nobody knows as much about what you like as you do.

If you can honestly say you have no opinion on a game you've never tried, then I'd encourage you to put your brain to work and see if you can sort it out. Do you like the genre? The developer? The previous games in the franchise? No? Then it's okay to hate the game. Don't apologize to the fanboy idiots. Just go ahead and hate the daylights out of the thing without playing it. Your opinions are your own, and you don't owe the game itself anything. Not even a "fair chance." Put your money on a game you know you'll like.

Goodness knows the folks in marketing would be happy to make a few suggestions.

Shamus Young is the guy behind Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, Stolen Pixels, Shamus Plays, and Spoiler Warning. Beat that, fanboy.

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