PSXExtreme recently published a great op-ed on video game reviewers.
No…you DON’T always know “just as much” as the reviewer
This doesn’t only apply to game critics, but to critics in all other entertainment-related industries. I know the fan always wants to believe they know just as much (if not more) than the reviewer, especially in the world of video games. I know they pick apart reviews in a desperate effort to prove that “anyone can do his job.” I know that if a reviewer ever makes a mistake – God forbid – the readers will likely grasp it and hold on for dear life, milking the slip for all its worth. I know they believe everything is “all subjective.” Yeah, this is one of my biggest pet peeves; everything is not all subjective and every gamer can’t be critics. I like good food. I’m a fan of quality gourmet dishes. But I only know what I like; do you honestly believe I pretend to know as much as professional food critics? People who compare and contrast more dishes in a week than I’ve done in a lifetime? Give me a break.
This article brings back a lot of memories. I still remember when a certain publisher contacted me about reviewing one of their games. I could have the game for free if I offered up a solid recommendation. I did not have to give the game any awards, but I could not be overly critical. I passed, and then passed out of the gaming review business. It happens.