Grand Theft Objectivity

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Grand Theft Objectivity

"Whew! Well, at least we don't have to deal with those monsters!"

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Thanks for the article, Bob. I've enjoyed the previous GTA games, but considering all the horrible things I've heard happen in this one, I think I'll be sitting it out. I'll go play Saints Row instead.

I think this is a problem we will have to get out off ourselves. Personal investment in a critic over our personal opinion is ridiculous, and while I believe critics can be challenged, I don't think that a wordy backlash that came out of a Monkey Island game, full of technicisms and statistics is the right thing to do.

I haven't played the game yet, and I don't see how a 9.8 or a 9.0 could make a difference in my personal enjoyment of said game.

I feel that this article was a wee bit redundant.

Yes, what people are doing to critics that don't give GTA V perfect scores is bad.

I was kind of hoping that instead, we'd get to see your insight on the questionable morals and writing of V, but oh well.

MovieBob:

"Sure, there's the "I hate critics" audience and "I seldom agree with critics" audience; but there's also a sizable cinephile intelligentsia that at least appreciates criticism as a form unto itself (and critics themselves as fellow-traveler movie lovers) whose pleasantries can soften the blow of rage spewed elsewhere."

I don't think it's a matter of people objectively hating critics. As a Cinephile (I have nothing but contempt for the word intelligentsia, it is an insult by exception) I reserve the right to strongly disagree with a critic, while respecting or not respecting the motivations behind their opinion, keeping in mind it's an opinion and discussion is always good, especially one that goes against your beliefs. Furthermore, said argument can change opinions of critics and allow them to grow. (cough Man of Steel cough) I think that a good bust up and expression of opinions without personal attacks is the key. I reserve the right to say your opinion on said movie is a bit dumb, but I won't call you dumb.

Well, when activism gets the front seat in the review, I can't trust the reviewer.

A more neutral example than GTA would be "Pacific Rim", which got a glowing review by ...

>.>

<.<

... /someone/ largely, it seems to me, because it was "outside the machine".
Just being outside an existing franchise gave it far, far more points than it deserved.
It wasn't "Twilight 57: The Sparkling" but it wasn't, well, /good/.

theluckyjosh:
Well, when activism gets the front seat in the review, I can't trust the reviewer.

Why is that? It's not like the reviewer is asking you to give them money, they're not even asking you to agree with them. Do you think that because they think that some things in a game are misogynist, that they'll be lying about the rest of the game, skewing it entirely to make it look bad? Because in the example Bob pointed out, that's not what happened. The fact that someone found a game quite sexist but still gave it a 9/10 should be quite telling.

I've always hated numerical reviews, myself, because they lend themselves to this very problem, points being awarded based on merits and different standards for what deserves to be given a point or when one needs to be taken away.

When you say "I'm not going to read an article from someone who has a different opinion than me on some hot-button issue and nothing else", it means you're intentionally closing your mind off to opposing opinions. If you think the game is a 10/10, that's fine, no reviewer is going to tell you you're wrong for thinking that.

Good article.
Honestly, I don't see why a reviewer even needs to pretend to be 'objective'. They should try to highlight an object from several possible angles, yes, but in the end, every critic is a subject, and WILL judge something based on their personal opinion. There's no possible way around it, since there is no objective scale to measure against. There aren't any Internationally Approved Checkboxes of Reviewing that a critic can just check-off one by one.
There are just very vague guidelines, that at times make no sense.

Subjectivity, bias, and personal opinion are what make up the great bulk of art criticism and cannot in any way be separated from it. However, I do think it is worthy to criticize the critic when one disagrees with them. (Note: Rape threats are not criticism, I'm sure we are all aware of this.) This includes questioning the importance the reviewer puts on any given part of the work.

So, for example, I found Bob's review of White House Down to put far too much emphasis on what he perceived as the movie being "about something." From the review it seemed clear that it was about something that appealed to his preferred political or social ideologies and that "something" was enough for him to give the film far more credit than it actually deserved. It's not that I feel that Bob's emphasis on that point makes his review invalid, it's simply that I don't value that part of the movie as much as he does and so I am far less willing to give the myriad of other problems it had a pass.

We cannot disassociate ourselves in order to give an "objective" review, but there are ways that a piece of art can be viewed objectively. Our summation of that piece will be partly derived from our assessment of its objective qualities and, rationally, our subjective ideas about what is good or proper or matches our tastes or philosophies. Bob isn't wrong for liking White House Down or giving it a good review. Petit isn't wrong for being put off by GTA's rampant misogyny (even if it is clearly satirical). And you, good reader of my post, are not wrong for thinking they are both over valuing those aspects of the work in question.

It doesn't make them less of a professional for doing it and it doesn't make you a moron for not agreeing with them. So, let's all have our cake, eat it too, and at all times remember that we are special snowflakes with great individual value. Let us treat one-another with the utmost respect even when we disagree vehemently and want to spew obscenities at one-another. The choices are yours and yours alone!

hentropy:

When you say "I'm not going to read an article from someone who has a different opinion than me on some hot-button issue and nothing else", it means you're intentionally closing your mind off to opposing opinions.

I gave the example I gave to try and avoid the current hot button.

A "meh" movie getting good reviews purely because the reviewer wants "those kinds of movies" to do well isn't helping me find good movies, which is what I seek out a movie critic for.

hentropy:

If you think the game is a 10/10, that's fine, no reviewer is going to tell you you're wrong for thinking that.

I've never played a GTA game, nor do I intend to.

The bone I'm picking is in regards to the section of the article that says "bias on the part of a media critic is foine"; I pointed out why I had a problem with that attitude.

Gorrath:

We cannot disassociate ourselves in order to give an "objective" review, but there are ways that a piece of art can be viewed objectively.

Exactly. A big part of how I make my living is boiling down subjective material into something, if not completely objective, at least less subjective.

I avoided simply just scrolling down at the general comments for the GameSpot review, rather selecting the "top comments" that were less personal attacks, more major disagreement. I wouldn't disregard all comments just because of the odd narrow minded user. There were clearly users who had issues with the method of the review.

Personally I find it interesting as the game was reviewed by women on both of the biggest game sites (GameSpot and IGN), one with and without an issue on the subject. Even if you greatly disagree with GameSpot, sexist remarks are no only just plain bad, but also redundant. Women can and are enjoying this game.

My biggest problem with the review, among others for other games with similar criticisms is, as one user points out, is "misogyny" is hatred. I would not be able to enjoy a game that hates women. If violence, politics, racism and social problems are about of the themes and brutality of the game's world, why is sexism alone the problem?

This might not be true of many critics but there are definitely political commentators who only seem capable of viewing entertainment media as it relates to their own opinions.

(EVERY potrayal of a black character being violent is necessarily a statement that black people are prone to violence etc. etc.)

Talking about the implications and larger social place of games, films, books is a good thing though I think a good reviewer should state it explicitly (e.g. I felt an undercurrent of sexism in this game which affected my enjoyment of it) because these things might not bother everyone.

There is no such thing as an objective review of any entertainment or art medium. They all specifically relate to how you experience it. An objectively bad game might be a fair description of a game where nothing works properly but the opposite doesn't make a game objectively good.

Nobody will ever give an objective opinion but I hope that people will be able to give self-aware opinions where they understand the things which they take issue with. The best time to criticise a critic is when you think they have interpreted part of a game in one way when another interpretation is possible (and perhaps more reasonable), not when the critic is bothered by something that you don't care about.

Thanks for the silver lining, Bob. Every time the next "Best Game Ever Of All Time" comes out, the inevitable Internet lynch mobs make me embarrassed for game culture in general. It's nice to see that the lynch mobs are now kinda sorta using arguments based in actual criticism of the reviewer's work.

Still embarrassing, but you take what you can get, I suppose.

theluckyjosh:
Well, when activism gets the front seat in the review, I can't trust the reviewer.

A more neutral example than GTA would be "Pacific Rim", which got a glowing review by ...

>.>

<.<

... /someone/ largely, it seems to me, because it was "outside the machine".
Just being outside an existing franchise gave it far, far more points than it deserved.
It wasn't "Twilight 57: The Sparkling" but it wasn't, well, /good/.

Well that's the entire point of reviewing right there. Bob enjoyed it, and thus reviewed it favourably. While it's not impossible that he gave it more favourable treatment for being a 'different' summer film, but it's only too praiseworthy in your eyes. Personally I thought Pacific Rim was awesome, and thus Bob's review was right on the money. Reviews are an input of opinion, not a definition of something's value.

MPerce:
Thanks for the silver lining, Bob. Every time the next "Best Game Ever Of All Time" comes out, the inevitable Internet lynch mobs make me embarrassed for game culture in general. It's nice to see that the lynch mobs are now kinda sorta using arguments based in actual criticism of the reviewer's work.

Still embarrassing, but you take what you can get, I suppose.

^Pretty much this.
It's the same thing with fanboys.

For example:
I have my reasons why I use Android, but whenever I see Android and Apple fanboys discussing (read: flinging shit at each others faces) I always start thinking: "God, do I really share interest with those kind of people?"

Too GTA I only got apathy, and to the people whining about reviewer score I got to say:
a) Because of score inflation, reviewer score doesn't matter.
b) If it was up to me, artistic merit would be half the score.
c) Don't buy GTA 5, play a different sandbox game with at least has a clear appeal.

hentropy:

theluckyjosh:
Well, when activism gets the front seat in the review, I can't trust the reviewer.

Why is that? It's not like the reviewer is asking you to give them money, they're not even asking you to agree with them. Do you think that because they think that some things in a game are misogynist, that they'll be lying about the rest of the game, skewing it entirely to make it look bad? Because in the example Bob pointed out, that's not what happened. The fact that someone found a game quite sexist but still gave it a 9/10 should be quite telling.

Because even minorly, there's something off-putting about the idea that something is somehow "worse" because it doesn't hold a particular social, political, or ethical value. That someone is showing favoritism to things they deem "appropriate" and sending the signal that you can expect a mark taken off for making something outside a reviewer's value system. That there's not a lot respect for the idea that someone has the right to make something that would offend you. Worst of all however is that it give legitimacy to the same mindset being used for less progressive arguments, like when Fox news chastised The Muppets, or the Lorax or even a bit on Sesame Street as "liberal propaganda".

I mean, I'm against numeric reviews for the same reason, but as long as they're here, a reviewer sometimes has to take a step back and say that personal distaste, while it can be voiced, is not something to dock points for if the creator's intent was to produce that offensive thing. And let's face it, between the hookers, the strippers, and the talk radio, being sexist was a forgone conclusion.

Stabby Joe:
My biggest problem with the review, among others for other games with similar criticisms is, as one user points out, is "misogyny" is hatred. I would not be able to enjoy a game that hates women. If violence, politics, racism and social problems are about of the themes and brutality of the game's world, why is sexism alone the problem?

The devil is probably in the details. I should imagine it is that when women (and some men) like to play a fun, violent game, they don't want to be reminded of how often women are objectified/abused etc in real life within that game. Having not played GTA V, I couldn't say.

Realitycrash:
Good article.
Honestly, I don't see why a reviewer even needs to pretend to be 'objective'. They should try to highlight an object from several possible angles, yes, but in the end, every critic is a subject, and WILL judge something based on their personal opinion. There's no possible way around it, since there is no objective scale to measure against. There aren't any Internationally Approved Checkboxes of Reviewing that a critic can just check-off one by one.
There are just very vague guidelines, that at times make no sense.

That's one of the reasons I really like Yahtzee as a reviewer: he's very upfront about what his personal tastes are. So if you're a fan of, say, JRPGs, you know he's not the person to rely on for whether you should get a certain JRPG becasue with only a couple of exceptions he's made clear that he generally hates them.

Speaking of Yahtzee, I'm eagerly looking forward to what he has to say on GTAV.

My complaints come when reviewers try to act like their subjectivity is equal to objectivity. One of the worst cases of this was earlier this year with Ninja Theory's sloppy attempt at a Devil May Cry reboot getting free passes on the critical side despite TONS of sloppy design decisions and bad writing that become outright misogynistic almost immediately. I have no grudge with reviewers just admitting favoritism or preference, but trying to pretend they're an objective barometer is where I draw the line. Human beings will never, EVER be objective, it's just not possible. And because of that, I would also like to remind gamers that THEIR opinions are in no way better than most reviewers. Sure, you can make arguments but ultimately time will tell whose argument is considered better.

maninahat:

Stabby Joe:
My biggest problem with the review, among others for other games with similar criticisms is, as one user points out, is "misogyny" is hatred. I would not be able to enjoy a game that hates women. If violence, politics, racism and social problems are about of the themes and brutality of the game's world, why is sexism alone the problem?

The devil is probably in the details. I should imagine it is that when women (and some men) like to play a fun, violent game, they don't want to be reminded of how often women are objectified/abused etc in real life within that game. Having not played GTA V, I couldn't say.

On an (ironically) more objective note, one of the details of Petit's criticism of the game's misogyny was that the female characters were poorly written, one-dimensional jokes. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with her politics or opinions, that is a flaw in the game's design & a valid criticism

Critics, to me, are people who voice their opinions. If a critic recommended a movie to me, there's absolutely no reason to think I'd like it. But if I agreed with a critic, I would follow their advice, and I would probably enjoy their selections. If you have a problem with a critic's review, then that's a problem with the critic, not their ability to critique. If someone gives a game a lower review because they, as a woman, felt discriminated against, you should empathize with them, and if you do not like mysogyny, you probably will feel the same discomfort they did when playing the game. Thus, the critique was useful to you, and done well. If, however, you hate women and like playing games that also hate women, then why not find a critic who also hates women?

Basically, art is subjective. It CANNOT BE objective, it CANNOT exist in a vacuum. You CANNOT make something that everyone will like, or something that everyone will dislike. Therefore, if you disagree with a critic, that's just as normal as agreeing with them.

To understand why this was a new development one has to look at it directly. One of the most visible (and unpleasant) flashpoints this time was the video review by GameSpot's Carolyn Petit, which managed to draw furious ire even though the piece was frequently glowing and ultimately awarded it a 9/10 score. The rationale of the attackers? That missing 10th had apparently been lost because the critic found the game's frequent misogyny and consistently unflattering depictions of women to be off-putting and detracted from her enjoyment of it... a method of critique that they found to be an improper intrusion by personal subjective taste - or worse, politics (or worse than that: feminist politics!) into what should be a review solely about game mechanics and aesthetic presentation.
Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/moviebob/10612-Grand-Theft-Objectivity#vj8XZgRk2PkRFcAk.99

I read reviews for this kind of information just as much as I read them for functionality and gameplay information. I've never tried any GTA game because I find the characters and story off putting. Witcher 3 looks like an incredible game. But I may well skip it because of the lose/lose story telling of witcher 2, something that ruined that game for me. And I doubt they'll change considering the grim world the game is placed in.

Ugh...MovieBob. Even when you try to make an article on something important you still seem to try and use it as an excuse to win sympathy from your viewers. The entire first page can be roughly translated as, "I, for one, sympathize with Greg's plight. It's not easy to criticize a popular game (or movie) without tons of blow-back from the uncultured sheep that defend every point that gets subtracted from the final score. Just take comfort in knowing that one day gamers will grow up, like the movie audience has will, and they'll come to accept you for the high intellectual you are. Likewise, my constant ranting on the Dark Knight Rises will one day be understood and accepted by MY critics. If they don't, then they can all suck a bag of dicks, because I'm the guy with his own web-series and they don't which makes me automatically right."

Here's some criticism for you MovieBob. The next time your making an article, try to mention your personal experiences. I know it's to make the reader know that you can sympathize and have actual knowledge on the subject, but it just comes across as an excuse for your justify vendetta. It's almost like we could replace the word "critic" with your name. The fact that you put Christopher Nolan's batman on the cover of the article doesn't help either.

theluckyjosh:

hentropy:

When you say "I'm not going to read an article from someone who has a different opinion than me on some hot-button issue and nothing else", it means you're intentionally closing your mind off to opposing opinions.

I gave the example I gave to try and avoid the current hot button.

A "meh" movie getting good reviews purely because the reviewer wants "those kinds of movies" to do well isn't helping me find good movies, which is what I seek out a movie critic for.

hentropy:

If you think the game is a 10/10, that's fine, no reviewer is going to tell you you're wrong for thinking that.

I've never played a GTA game, nor do I intend to.

The bone I'm picking is in regards to the section of the article that says "bias on the part of a media critic is foine"; I pointed out why I had a problem with that attitude.

That's just the thing though, disconnecting someone's feelings from a piece of work ultimately makes every review a boring, grey, sterile discussion about mechanics and graphics and level design that can actually be quantified and measured objectively. What about story? Characters and character interactions? All of those things are subjective measures, and often debated on with games, but usually don't generate the same flamestorms that come when someone even dares to mention more divisive issues.

In the end, my subjective opinion is that subjectivity should be and is a part of all critical reviews, just so long as there's a certain amount of honesty and clarity involved. For example, the person knocking GTAV for being sexist isn't being sneaky about it. She's simply stating that, in her opinion, the treatment of gender in the game too away from the overall experience for her, and it might for others if they have a problem with such things. If you don't then it might not be an issue. From what I can see there's no grand soapboxing there- I think all of that is perfectly fair, and very informative and important for a reviewer to include, as it adds a more well-rounded picture of the overall game rather than just the basic mechanics and other "objective" measures, tearing down the piece or art down to its bare coding.

Redd the Sock:
Because even minorly, there's something off-putting about the idea that something is somehow "worse" because it doesn't hold a particular social, political, or ethical value.

Why? You say this, but why do you really think it? You can take examples Bob gave- having seen Birth of a Nation myself I can say I was appalled by it, and probably wouldn't recommend it... outside of film courses, because it was very ahead of its time in a variety of ways. The content- story, themes, characters, all that squishy subjective stuff, really can detract from someone enjoyment of a piece of art. It doesn't mean they're media gestapo out to censor all the things, only that they didn't particularly enjoy it because it crosses a personal line. It's ultimately not much different from a Vietnam vet avoiding movies or other media relating to Vietnam regardless of how good a movie the rest of us feel it is, and no one faults them for that. But somehow if something offends you on a deep level, all of a sudden you're irrational and judging something in a "wrong" way, because a bunch of Internet people don't agree with you.

In other words, it's an arbitrary and irrational standard that is not applied to other media, the idea that critics should strive not to give an a good overall picture of what they're reviewing, and instead strive only to take a ruler to the things that can be measured and come to the same conclusion as you.

Look it's unrealistic to expect people not to bring personal bias or taste into a review. yeah you can expect critics to say "I didn't care for that but it's a feature most people might like." and just rubber stamp something because that's "what people expect." GTAV is clearly a harshly written game it's bound to rub people the wrong way. I haven't played it so I can't say that with 100% accuracy but their appears to be a theme in these reviews that the game is gritty and harsh. If you do something well no matter what that thing is some people will like it, some will not it's just the nature of taste. personally i'm surprised the game isn't more polarizing. from the sounds of it the characters are difficult to like and there's a lot of things in it that would not appeal to everyone. personally I haven't liked gta since I got my hands on saints row 2. my review score would be considerably lower. the fact is an opinion is entirely subjective and can change for almost any reason. and spamming a person with hate isn't going to have a positive effect period.

I generally follow critics with similar tastes which is why I tend to ignore when bob reviews any action movie with a cast larger than 2. he pretty universally pannes action comedies with ensemble casts. the losers, being a prime example, he ripped that movie a new one but that in no way changes the fact that I enjoyed the hell out of it and still really like it. just because a critic doesn't like something (which in this case isn't true 9/10 is pretty damn good) doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. it doesn't take away anything from your personal experience, grow up.

Akichi Daikashima:
I feel that this article was a wee bit redundant.

Yes, what people are doing to critics that don't give GTA V perfect scores is bad.

I was kind of hoping that instead, we'd get to see your insight on the questionable morals and writing of V, but oh well.

Well, I think the issue with that is that Bob may not have played or even bought the game yet.

Now this may have changed, but last time Bob mentioned it, he said he didn't ever buy a PS3, doesn't play PC games(at least not much), and mostly plays Nintendo games. I don't remember if he had a 360 or not. Maybe he does.

Plus, he has 3 or 4 video shows, and at least two written works that he has to do. So, he says he doesn't get to game as much as he use to.

So while I don't know for sure, it's possible he hasn't played the game himself, and thus can't comment from personal experience.

If your personal and political beliefs are dictating your judgments of the quality of the art, you're essentially just Fox News. You have every right to do so, but don't expect me to ever take anything you say seriously.
Obviously it has an influence on everyone to some extent, but when you work for a major site/company that ISN'T supposed to be taking one political stance or the other, you're expected to judge the work itself.

The wider issue from this is that if one side of a political spectrum controls a majority of the media, it pressures companies to only make games that pander to them and more or less censors any opposing view point from ever getting out in the mainstream and reaching a wider audience. That may sound all well and good from where you're sitting now, but imagine if the shoe was on the other foot.

"Yes, Metroid Prime was a great series of games, but I'm troubled by the strong feminist tone of the games. I'm forced to lower their score from 9 to 8 because of this unfortunately. Maybe in future Nintendo can amend this."

There would be cries for bloody murder and demands that the site fire whoever wrote the review from the same people defending this GTA review right now.

Remember, it's not like these games are genuinely encouraging something like rape or wife beating (featuring possibly). It just takes the piss out of the extreme end of the feminist movement, just like it mocks the misogynistic COD gamer and pretty much EVERYTHING in American culture.

I think the reason people are mad about the review in question is because they're suspecting the use of "misogyny" is hyperbole. The internet definition of misogyny, which pretty much entails anything that could have possibly upset something that might have had or has a vagina attached to it. It's the same thing as when Fox would call something "degenerate". The word lost all meaning and became a joke because of how abused it was.

Saying all that though;

The reviewer did only knock off a point, from 10 to 9 and no game deserves a 10 anyway. The whole damn thing was just manufactured controversy because any mention of "sexism", "misogyny" or "feminism" drives up hits and everyone damn well knows it. While I'm sure everyone talking about this issue cares deeply about it, I'm under no illusion that the extra clicks aren't hurting revenue either.

The whole gaming media is giant mess right now and working wrong on just about every level. It's tabloid levels of shite now.

Canadish:
The wider issue from this is that if one side of a political spectrum controls a majority of the media, it pressures companies to only make games that pander to them and more or less censors any opposing view point from ever getting out in the mainstream and reaching a wider audience. That may sound all well and good from where you're sitting now, but imagine if the shoe was on the other foot.

"Yes, Metroid Prime was a great series of games, but I'm troubled by the strong feminist tone of the games. I'm forced to lower their score from 9 to 8 because of this unfortunately. Maybe in future Nintendo can amend this."

Yeah, but the reason that people don't do that is that we have at least advanced to a stage in our society that most deeply sexist people don't want to come out and admit it. I feel like "women should be equal" as a spectrum against "women should not be equal" isn't really a spectrum of two equally-valid positions.

(And while it hasn't happened much in games, incidentally, movies absolutely get knocked for being too women-focused, typically by conservative groups who attack them from having "family-unfriendly values", such as single mothers or women who are independent.)

Tons of left-wing or right-wing people routinely knock points off of things that they watch for having messages that are particularly tilted in the opposite direction. It's incredibly common, and all that happens is that die-hard people on the other side groan for a bit.

maninahat:

Stabby Joe:
My biggest problem with the review, among others for other games with similar criticisms is, as one user points out, is "misogyny" is hatred. I would not be able to enjoy a game that hates women. If violence, politics, racism and social problems are about of the themes and brutality of the game's world, why is sexism alone the problem?

The devil is probably in the details. I should imagine it is that when women (and some men) like to play a fun, violent game, they don't want to be reminded of how often women are objectified/abused etc in real life within that game. Having not played GTA V, I couldn't say.

I have no problem with the notion that content could be unsettling to some. Recently I watched a violent film with someone who afterwards did acknowledge it as a great film but didn't care for the violence and probably won't watch it again. Fair enough but the wording a lot of the time when the topic comes up is rather strong, that some how the makers and fans are consciously being hateful and sexist. Even if the person criticizing it themselves doesn't think that it reflects very poorly to on lookers outside of gaming who hear about this.

Poor job writing female characters? Sure. Malicious though?

Imp Emissary:
Well, I think the issue with that is that Bob may not have played or even bought the game yet.

I was surprised when he weighed in on the Mass Effect 3 ending without playing it. These type of articles of his on the other hand are usually the better examples.

Personally, I've never seen why you can't do both at the same time - do what you can to present the objective realities that most people would care about, then add as an addendum your personal opinion - ideally keeping in mind that most people will take at least some of it with a pinch of salt.

It comes down to this. You go to a review site for the reviewers opinion. If you come to a review and hope to see the gospel truth of a game other than game mechanics then you sir are doing it wrong.

That is why I only go by the reviews of people I share the opinion of because I know that if they like something chances are I will like it as well. And that if someone who shares my style of game enjoyment dislikes a game then it doesn't matter if 100 other review sites gave it a perfect score.

Redd the Sock:
Worst of all however is that it give legitimacy to the same mindset being used for less progressive arguments, like when Fox news chastised The Muppets, or the Lorax or even a bit on Sesame Street as "liberal propaganda".

I don't see how this is even relevant here, as Fox News, or any other such media, is not in the business of film/game/art criticism or reviewing.

We all know that political partisans of all stripes will take anything they can and bend it to fit their agenda. However, the discussion here is about art criticism, which is an entirely different area. And I think that very few reviewers or critics bring hardline political agendas into their reviews. They may be influenced by their politics, but not in the same way.

The mention of feminist themes or other social issues does not necessarily equate to "activism" in a review. From what I've seen, it's generally been done in very reasonable ways. But to some idiots, even the mention of gender or social values is like a red flag to a bull - they just get unhinged and start screaming about feminist agendas and whatnot.

It's really rather sad, and as Bob mentions in the article, it's probably because most of these people are of the "default" gender, and lack the maturity or perspective to even see that others are of a different gender/race/social orientation. That it's not some feminist political conspiracy - it's just that some people actually are female and experience things from a female perspective. Just as they experience things from a male perspective.

Canadish:
Remember, it's not like these games are genuinely encouraging something like rape or wife beating (featuring possibly).

But so what if they were? You make it sound like that would be a taboo, that should affect the review of a game. Don't you realize that being anti-rape and wife beating is a political position? So why should a game encouraging those things be treated any differently than a game that doesn't?

That's culturally insensitive of you! There have been (and still are) plenty of cultures that encourage those things. It's even in the Bible! How dare you bring your cultural and political biases into this by being against rape and domestic violence!

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