Games exist as both an art form and a consumer product. to us, the gamers, and the people who make them, they are, for the most part, art (I personally don’t believe that ALL games are art. Like movies, some games are just mindless entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with that). to the companies that publish them, and the stores that sell them, they are product.
Video games are both of these things, more so to the gamer than anyone else, as we are the consumer. Art or no, we still have to go out and drop a ton of money on these things. A game can have the best story in the world, but if the gameplay isn’t there, then its just not worth playing for the majority of gamers.
I think we need to establish the difference between Review and Critique, because they are not the same thing (not when applied to video games, anyway), and it’s becoming more and more apparent that people don’t seem to understand this.
There’s a time and a place for personal opinions regarding real or imagined political aspects of a game, and a game REVIEW is not one of them. If they want to go ahead and publish an opinion piece separate from the review, dissecting and examining the game and talking about it’s various aspects outside it’s existence as a game, and call that a critique, then all power to them. Hell, I’ve done that a few times my self over on my other blog in regards to aspects of Pokemon and Zelda games, but that is not a review. keep that crap separate from an actual professional game review. Personal feelings should not effect the score a reviewer gives a game, because as a product, if a game functions as its supposed to, then that’s all that matters.
Gameplay, Visuals, Sound, Plot (if it’s a story based narrative). that’s all that should affect a game’s score when being reviewed as a product
I mean, imagine if a reviewer gave a game like Mario a bad score because he stomps on turtles, and the reviewer is an animal rights activist in their spare time, or just likes turtles a bunch, and the depiction of animal cruelty/Man on turtle violence offended them. that shit has no place in a professional game review. If that same reviewer wants to talk about that subject later on, separate from their review, Or if someone does JUST that, and doesn’t review games at all, then nobody should have a problem with that, so long as they’re not talking out their ass and making shit up to push their pro-turtle agenda. But don’t call it a game review, because it’s not.
Why should it be any different for any other political aspect of a game, real or imagined?
Review a game as a product, or critique it as a piece of art. Doesn’t matter, but keep the two separate.