Jimquisition: The 100% Objective Review

Thanatos2k

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ShakerSilver said:
When I hear people wanting "objective" reviews, I feel like the word they're looking for is "impartial", which is something most reviews should indeed strive for. We all have our personal/political biases, but when you're representing your outlet and giving a review to a larger audience (which will also be submitted to aggregators like Metacritic and affect people's jobs), the reviewer's biases should be proportional to what a general audience wants to hear. I feel like more sites would benefit from having contributors write op-ed pieces about certain games (or games) and delve into a more personal critique (without a numbered score being aggregated) while leaving more technical or general criticisms for reviews.
Yes, that's exactly how I feel as well. The review should be for the consumer. The personal op-ed piece can be about the reviewer and whatever they want to praise/whine about.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Jim. FUCKING. Sterling. :) Thank God for you.
MarsAtlas said:
Jim, you once said that only a banana can give an objective game review, and Yahtzee once said that he is a banana, does that mean that Yahtzee gives 100% objective reviews?
P1: Only a Banana can give an objective review.

P2: Yahtzee is a Banana.

P3: Yahtzee gives reviews.

Conclusion: Yahtzee gives objective reviews.

Well, logically if those premises are all true, then it would follow that the conclusion should also be true. Well, unless they aren't all true, or if Bananas can give non-objective reviews too.

But if it is true, does that mean Jim is, or can become a Banana?
Colour Scientist said:
I appreciate the attempt at objectivity but this video really was really lacking in ethics.

Something something collusion something narrative.
Hmmm....Well, Jim did just say he'll say what the Publishers and Developers want him to say, and preferably that he should be paid to do so.

Hmmm....Do the people want good or bad ethics in games journalism?

:/................ :0

NO! THe answer is obvious!

They want this kind of games journalism!
http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/120/9/9/game_journalism_by_nevermonkey-d4y2w8b.jpg

AKA: The best. ;D
 

C.S.Strowbridge

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Alatar The Red said:
I want reviewers to understand that there's a middle ground between listing facts and letting your moral and political world views color everything.

That middle ground is when you realize who your audience is...
And this is what was meant when a bunch of game sites wrote "Gamers are Dead". There is no "audience" for video game reviews, because video games are too mainstream to say what the average gamer is like. No matter what your opinion is, you are in the minority, because the audience is too diverse.

For instance, there are many, many, many gamers that actually care about the moral and political elements of the games they play and do want to hear about them. Some want a liberal viewpoint, others want a more conservative viewpoint, but many do care. So if a critic ignores these points, they are not appealing to these gamers and these gamers should look elsewhere for reviews.
 

Evonisia

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A completely filler episode? It seems that Jim Fucking Sterling is going to bless us mid-week with beautiful might.
 

Imp_Emissary

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Rellik San said:
What... did... did I miss something?

Is this a reaction to last weeks video or something? The one about Halloween games? Or the reaction to the Bayonetta video where we mostly discussed alternative views on character design, reviews and design philosophy with a (pleasantly surprising) lack of vitriol for the internet?

Did... did I miss a meeting?
Jim played some person's game on Youtube. He didn't like it because it was kind of bad, so he said so. It wasn't a review, it was just him playing the game for the first time.

The Dev saw it, got mad, and made a reaction review of the review where he spent most of his time calling Jim dumb, or "JIM FUCKING STERLING"!

Then Jim mad a reaction where he watched the review of his "review", and mostly just laughed.
Plus all the things Jim mentioned in this video.
 

Thanatos2k

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C.S.Strowbridge said:
Thanatos2k said:
A professional review is not supposed to tell me whether the reviewer liked the game. A professional review is supposed to tell me whether *I* will like the game.
Unless the critic is psychic and can read your mind or predict the future, this is impossible.

The closest a critic can do is tell you if they personally liked a game, movie, book, etc. and explain why. If you agree with their reasons, you will probably feel the same way as they do.

And yes, your own personal ideology matters in this regard. If someone didn't like a game, because they felt it was racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and you also dislike games that are racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then this information will help you decide if you may like or dislike this game as well.

Video game reviews must be about more than technical aspects of the game like frame rate. They must include information about the story and characters.
It's really not impossible. Most of the stuff should not be subjective. This would be what you do:

The battle system is similar to that of this other game. *Shows reasons why they're similar* *Shows ways they're different* *Suggests which one works better or not, gives detailed reasons why. (SUBJECTIVITY ALERT!)* *Does this for several other games* Note that these reasons will never consist of political ideology.

The reason this works is because very little of this is the reviewer telling me what they think is good or not, they use my own notions of what is good or not to guide me. This is valuable to me. Saying Tactics Ogre plays similarly to Final Fantasy Tactics and showing why is extremely valuable information to me, because I like Final Fantasy Tactics, so it's pretty obvious I'd like Tactics Ogre. If I didn't, I similarly would not like Tactics Ogre. You can even throw in whether you think Tactics Ogre plays better than FFT or not, and tell me why. If you're going to suggest that the game sucks because SRPGs are boring (PERSONAL AGENDA ALERT!), then you're the wrong reviewer for the job.
 

Sir Shockwave

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RaikuFA said:
Wait, Jim. Didn't you once say you were God?

And you just said God isn't real?

Then that means... YOU AREN'T REAL?!?!?!
God isn't real, but Jim Muthafucking Sterling is. Unless he's not.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Can't there be a middle ground? Somewhere between Jim's 'exaggerated dry, emotionless apparently 100% objective review', and the 'I'm having a relationship with a writer of this game, my boss has a financial stake in its success and three of my colleagues do voices for characters!' Kotaku/Polygon type reviews?
Or is that just too hard? Is game journalism simply, for lack of a better term, too inbred? Everyone has fucked everyone else, everyone is besties and/or roommates with everyone else. Everything is a favor to someone.
I get what Jim is saying, I really do. Everyone has bias, that's why they're internet personalities rather than internet voices, but come on Jim! Do an episode on the reverse! Do an episode where you gleefully praise an upcoming game and never disclose you're getting a kickback from its sales. Do a crossover review with, I dunno, MovieBob or Lisa Foiles and never mention that person wrote the game!
Why are AAA companies seen as poison for not wanting to change the status quo, but when it comes to journalism we can't have anything but the status quo?!
 

slacker2

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No one wants a 100% objective review, other than the couple of imbeciles who spam AAA game review comment sections foaming at the mouth, the ones that the media is trying to portray as the "every gamer". The folly of these people is that they have too much sugar in their system and they don't know what words mean, like "objective". "100" and "percent".

Jim, these are not the people you have to worry about. They will eventually choke on their own spit or accidentally hang themselves while trying to tie heir own shoe laces. The very large demographic that you and other journalists need to satisfy are us, the pissed off gamers. And don't worry, we don't want complete objectivity from you or anyone else. We want at least an acknowledgement that you think of your position at the escapist and any other publication you might work for in the future as a ***JOB***, and not a sandbox that you can play with your like-minded friends all day and night while getting paid. Yes you are getting paid, With actual money. For disseminating information to people who come to trust you. I understand that the mere thought of this is a threat to your wonderland occupation, but you have a responsibility and an obligation to review games, in part, with the thought that the game you're reviewing may not *gasp* be intended for you, but for an entirely different target demographic, and that you have to take the preferences of those people into account. ***YES** you HAVE to do this because you're not just some blogger or youtuber waxing off about the firt thing that comes through their mind. You are a handsomely paid professional who has to set aside his own enjoyment, at least a little bit, and think about your readers.

Like it or not you have a responsibility to step out of your fun-times sandbox and do your job properly. You don't always have to be objective, you just have to TRY. That alone would be enough.
 

Mr Cwtchy

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Well it's a good thing fucking NOBODY was asking for 100% objectivity then isn't it? Come to think of it, isn't there a word for countering an argument that isn't actually being made?

My god Jim, you're not stupid. You know full well this isn't what people are asking for. Videos like this do not achieve anything except make you look petty.
 

K12

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Actually even this is arguably not objective since when listing facts about the game would require a decision of which facts about the game are important and worth mentioning. The concept of what is and is not importance is very subjective.

I think this was an anvil that needed dropping. The idea of "objectivity" when talking about entertainment is really silly. We consume entertainment because of the way it makes us feel and that's the important thing.

A review that is informative and tries to explain why it is that something is good/bad is all that you need. A review that is critical enough to be self-aware.
 

Ukomba

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I'm a little surprised how proud Jim is with his demonstration of how he can combine beating a dead horse and beating on a straw man. He should run with it and coin a new phrase, Beating a Dead Straw Horse.

Oh, it's 2014, let me modernize it #BeatingADeadStrawHorse
 

Nion

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It is really quite telling that the entirety of games "journalism" seems to be completely unaware that objectivity in a journalistic context is not the same thing as objectivity in a philosophical context.
 

Steve2911

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Mr Cwtchy said:
Well it's a good thing fucking NOBODY was asking for 100% objectivity then isn't it? Come to think of it, isn't there a word for countering an argument that isn't actually being made?

My god Jim, you're not stupid. You know full well this isn't what people are asking for. Videos like this do not achieve anything except make you look petty.
Take a look at the comments of any review that offers a dissenting opinion, or actually has something of note to say.

Seriously, wade into any comments section. If you don't instantly vomit then you're probably the cause of the vomit.
 

veloper

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Too easy.
Nobody is really asking for purely objective reviews.

What many gamers are simply looking for is reviewers who judge games consistently by a reasonably set of criteria (usually some variant on the old set of gameplay, story, gfx and sound) even if they don't actually use a scorecard.

Also valuable are experienced reviewers who can compare new games to similar games of the past and who can recommend some good alternatives if they find a game lacking.
 

Mangue Surfer

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But some reviews feel objective. Last of Us come to mind. 99,9% of the reviews are the same, same opinions, same scores. Or is something objective like THE TRUTH about the game or is something VERY wrong about the reviews.

Honestly the "objective review" is a problem game journalists create themselves. After years of "OMG let's all celebrate!" or "Shit! Let's kick it together!" what did you expect?
 

AkaDad

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Most of the comments in here are too opinionated for my taste. The only good comment is an objective comment. Since I'm clearly the arbiter of commenting, everyone needs to conform to my standard of objectivity or you've made a bad comment.

Did that sound stupid to you?

Those of you who think that reviewers should change the way they review games to meet your standards are just as stupid. No one is paying for reviews, so if you don't like opinionated reviews, then don't voluntarily read those reviews that have opinions you don't like, or better yet, write your own to meet your obviously superior standards.