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6 things about games that aren't true

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 arethe pretentious assholes who just think they’re super-cool and brag about their nightly exploits onTwitter. (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 releasedDead 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 byKim Pierro)

Oct 6, 2009

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