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6 things about games that aren't true

3. Game publishers often influence reviewers with shady practices


Defensive scoff! Sure, sometimes we’re pampered. Semi-extravagant trips to far-off business hotels, free booze, and meaningless plastic novelty gifts do happen, but it’s the same in any industry, and actual, proper corruption is very rarely observed. A couple of shady cases have unfairly cast a shadow over the entire game review sector.


Above: This novelty straightjacket did not influence our review of Batman: Arkham Asylum, but it did make for a stupid picture 

PR swag is so common and disposable that few think twice before shoving it in a drawer or giving it away in a contest. In general, reviewers have the integrity to give their honest opinions, regardless of how many free key chains they tossed in the trash last week. What’s more important, being a respected writer or making some PR guy happy?


Above: We prefer to let alcohol influence our opinions 

And as for the rest of the accusations, they’re mostly ridiculous. Actual bribing? As rare as it is anywhere. Advertiser pressure? They might pull ads now and then, but it’s their loss. Exclusive reviews? Scoring an exclusive doesn’t preempt giving an honest opinion. It’s just not as shady and exciting as some would like to believe.

And this doesn’t just apply to us – we certainly don’t mean to imply that we have a monopoly on integrity. Every publication works roughly the same way, and there’s a miniscule amount of actual corruption anywhere in the industry.

4. Gamers are socially impaired slobs


This is as much our fault as it is the general public’s. We tend to encourage the propagation of this misconception more than break it down, mostly because it’s funny. We like a little self-deprecation, and it’s amusing to imagine stereotypical gaggles of socially impaired dimwits draped in Naruto tees (owned by multiple members of this staff) and Cheeto dust. But that’s just a joke, we all know that gamers come in all types.


Above: Okay, so we’re part of the problem 

There are the super-cool ones, like us, who are only shut-ins when we’re nursing the aftermaths of the previous night’s booze-fueled parade. And there are the pretentious assholes who just think they’re super-cool and brag about their nightly exploits on Twitter. (See, self-deprecating.) And there’s the rest of the millions of diverse people who enjoy gaming. Sure, some of the categorically insane stereotypes do exist, and beg to be ridiculed, but for the most part, gamers are as diverse as, say, people who like books.


Above: Nothing slobbish here


5. All casual games are bad; All Wii games are for babies


Most casual games are bad, and most Wii games are for babies. But not all. The “casual” genre is just a type of game, and it shouldn’t be assumed that every game in the category is poorly made. PopCap has designed a multitude of brilliantly accessible, well-designed, and beautiful games despite the stigma of being a “casual game” developer.


Above: Who knew yard work could be so great? 

The same goes for the Wii. Many games on the Wii do involve washing horses, but the recently released Dead Space: Extraction, for example, was called a “7-hour interactive horror movie.” By us. But the point remains – the Wii can be a platform for serious games, even if it isn’t always well-utilized.


Above: Not for babies


6. All Koreans are good at StarCraft



Above: Just kidding, this one’s true (Photo by Kim Pierro) 

Oct 6, 2009




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52 comments

  • Mboy1100 - April 8, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    Yeah I hate how people hate on the Wii....heh no Red Ring what do i care? Anyway Wii needs more M rated games.I can name maybe 3. (Call of Duty Black Ops,Madworld,Escape from bug island which is more of a upper-level T rated game)
  • yesIusetheM14 - April 8, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    The first anti-gamer I come across after reading this article, I will dare to find one semi-credible scientific source that proves games influence negative or violent behavior. It's funny because they won't find one, but will spend hours making up some bullcrap story about "this guy who knew this guy who was a friend of my cousin who heard from his ninteenth aunt twenty times removed that (insert stereotypical crazy name HERE) went crazy and killed a guy after playing (insert game name HERE)". Either that or they will spend eternity looking for proof that comes from people other than hardcore anti-gamers (or, as they are more commonly known, misinformed people with no better way to waste time).
  • Twizinator - March 5, 2010 4:24 a.m.

    YES! I love articles like this one. Great job GR! Also lol @Cyberninja. I have Okami, and it is totally true (opening cinematic w/ introduction of Issun, anyone?)
  • ichigoame - March 4, 2010 7:47 p.m.

    its funny that nearly every time i watch a sitcom such as two and a half men when the kid is playing a game its still making those old atari pip sounds
  • DARK_SIDE - December 1, 2009 8:25 p.m.

    possibly a chin, HAHA!
  • BootlegAsian99 - November 5, 2009 3:26 a.m.

    No joke, There's a Korean exchange student at my school. He can say "Nike," "Hello," "Coke," and "Starcraft." I watched him play it once. Oh my God.
  • shellghost - October 11, 2009 12:46 p.m.

    Nothing makes me want to cut someones throat more then when they say video games cause violence. All jokes aside its a massive sign of ignorance on their side, they are discriminating against all games because the one game they have ever seen in their life was violent.
  • vigeoman - October 9, 2009 9:17 p.m.

    haha love the last one
  • Styrophoamicus - October 9, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    That letter about Gregory Yob was like reading a text log from Dead Space 0.o "...he might have a chance of experiencing the fulness of what it means to be human and explore the possibilities of being transhuman as well."
  • rxb - October 8, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    Good article, Its just a rumor, but I heard people were violent before games were even released...
  • theschwartzb - October 8, 2009 3:18 p.m.

    rofl, i just saw the heading "All Koreans are good at Starcraft" and the first thing i thought before i saw the caption under the picture was "but that one IS true". I lol'ed very hard after i had read the caption.
  • gmilf71 - October 8, 2009 4:02 a.m.

    lol yes koreans are all good at starcraft.
  • thatoneperson - October 8, 2009 2:51 a.m.

    7?! there's only six!
  • secretsearcher - October 7, 2009 8:44 p.m.

    lol. Koreans are good at EVERYTHING. And of course all Wii games are for babies. Just look at Okami and Mad World, TOTALLY kid's games...NOT! Haha.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - October 7, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    POPCAP IS EVIL AND WANTS TO CONTROL THE WORLD *cough* :D
  • TrIp13G - October 7, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    Koreans. :P
  • lovinmyps3 - October 7, 2009 3:57 p.m.

    Haha, the last one was pretty funny.
  • Unoriginal - October 7, 2009 3:08 p.m.

    First of all, great job Tyler. Now, about the whole Gerstman thing. Has there ever been an official "official" (and I mean official) story put to the incident? I know there have been some claims about this and that but never(according to my knowledge) the 100% true story, or what?
  • JayLin22 - October 7, 2009 12:48 p.m.

    Really enjoyed this article - nice job Tyler!
  • RebornKusabi - October 7, 2009 12:30 p.m.

    Anyone that honestly thinks Jeff Gerstmann was ****ing fired over a goddamn video game review is a moronic douchebag, period. Sometimes, little nerds, the truth is not at all like the dumbass fiction that you make up. Sensationalism goes both ways...

Showing 1-20 of 52 comments

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