“I’ve played games for more than 10 years, I know what I’m talking about.”
I winced in my seat, my facial muscles looking like I just chewed on a fresh slice of lemon. What sort of fallacious logic flows through the head of this man, that prompts him to spew such preposterous words?
How dare he?
“Speaking from my massive gaming experience…?”
What a load of bull! The nerve of you to assume supremacy over the rest of us, and even those of whom are working in the industry. I’ve fallen sick more than a hundred times in my 20 years of life, according to this logic, my medical knowledge must rival a doctors’.
As I rained upon him hellfire judgement in the monologues of my brain, the fiery missiles of castigation suddenly ricocheted.
I’m just like him.
I’ve been playing video games for more than 10 years of my life. Now, I tout myself as a game reviewer. I claim knowledge of the video game industry, and heave idle speculation all over the internet. I carry around an air of misguided authority, vetting and surveying the video games that appear on the market without any legitimate qualifications.
I’m as much of a conceited, self-loving cynic as can be.
No one asked me to do it; my words and my thoughts are uncalled for. But even so I like to pretend they mean something; that they’d create a domino effect to ripple changes throughout the industry. I’m largely unhappy with the industry as is, sometimes due to developer choices and their traditions, but more often than not – the community.
And so I speak out.
I’d like to think that I know better than most. And that some games deserve second chances, and I try to unravel the goodness in the more obscure titles. I don’t hate AAA titles, but regardless – some call me a gamer hipster after viewing my massive 200 indie game collection. Others just call me a hater, or a cynic. Some have better things to say, but sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Why am I even here?
The work of critics, reviewers or journalists are relatively easy. They risk very little, and yet they enjoy a position over those who offer up their work – a brainchild toiled from years of sweat and sleepless nights. I am an unqualified blabbermouth, and I like to objectify my subjective likes and dislikes.
I started my journey being inspired by John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit – The Cynical Brit.
Understanding video games takes effort, time and learning. TotalBiscuit was (and still is) worth listening to because they put in work and know how to articulate his words. He could put video games in context: in relation to the previous works or works from a different developer and draw out its cultural implications, genre and development influences. He highlights the technical innovations and failures of a particular game. As far as it comes to video game journalism/commentary, he is one of the most respected and impartial individual.
I think criticism has a role – they can make better products more well-known to the general public, setting off a domino effect that demands for heightened quality. They break down resistance that the more obscure, unusual and underrated products sometimes face when they are released. We give independent game studios a little more hope; that they don’t have to make cash-grab games under a bigger studio for years before their ideas get pitched.
You have a huge effect on the industry. You can save brilliant ideas from the chopping board. And falcon punch away the crap of the video game industry that spew out countless cash-grabs targeting the wallets of adolescent males, riding on the tidal waves of raging hormones.
Sometimes I feel kind of small.
I can’t help but deal with the insecurity that I might not be ‘right’. The further I look for truth and justification, the bleaker things look. The more I try to objectify my reviews and publish them to my readers, the more I realize these are merely subjective to an individual.
And so, most of my recent blogposts have come to an open ended question instead of an answer; because I don’t have one.
How do I deal with the possibility that I am objectively wrong?
Your thoughts, please.
Or not – I can’t tell you what to do.
Neither can your dad!