Reviewers who end up losing objectivity can prove themselves a rather dangerous entity indeed. Their personal tastes can actually cause players to see things that they would have never noticed, nor cared about if it hadn't been placed in the spotlight.
Editor's Note: g1 -Mazer indirectly brings up an excellent point when it comes to reviews. Some people want objective reviews, others want more personality. While you can't please everyone, it is important to remember that a critic's words carry weight. They shouldn't be thrown around carelessly. Here is just one example of why...
The Seed of Doubt or Metroid Other M is Sexist
Metroid Other M is easily considered one of the most talked about games on the Nintendo Wii, but for all the wrong reasons. It has split the fan base in two – one group absolutely hating the game, the other group loving the hell out of the game. One side of the fence feels that Samus’ character had been butchered beyond repair; the other believes that it finally humanized her into a character with real emotions.
This blog is about neither of those. This blog is about something else that arose during the release of Other M. What I am talking about is how one reviewer, one Abbie Heppe from G4, claimed that the game was sexist – stating basically how it is sexist that Samus takes orders from a man.
Now, this blog is not about that claim either. This is a discussion of the poison that Abbie has poured down the throats of many a player.
Allow me to explain. Have you ever read a movie review for a film you are excited to see only to have the reviewer point out that one scene that he or she takes issue with? For me, it was a scene in the movie Hannibal Rising where the reviewer quoted a line from the movie and explained how he thought it sounded very forced.
Just by reading that one sentence, that one speck of the entire review, I knew that that one line in the movie would be ruined for me. The reviewer has injected me with his poison. I was now actively waiting to hear that line for myself, to either prove the reviewer wrong with my personal opinion, or to see if he was right.
Now here is the thing. If I had not been poisoned to begin with, I would have never once gave a second thought to that line thus it wouldn’t have been stuck in the back of my mind throughout the entire film.
The same can be said about video-games. When a reviewer removes the objectivity of the review and points out a particular moment that he/she PERSONALLY dislikes, suddenly we are zeroed in on that one moment. It’s a natural reaction.
Someone says “Dude, this chocolate tastes like chalk” – you are now curious to see if it does, indeed taste like chalk. The thought is in your head and it can even trick your personal senses into thinking that it does indeed taste like chalk, when it may not. Or, on the other claw, you may actually taste the chocolate, and REFUSE TO BELIEVE it tastes like chalk just to prove that reviewer wrong.
The fact is reviewers have this power over others to implant the Seed of Doubt into a person’s mind. Once this one nit-pick that a person has that grinds against their particular taste it pointed out, we are unconsciously going to look out for that problem, even if it doesn’t exist to begin with.
You see, in all the years I have been playing video games, I have not once heard from a reviewer that a game is Sexist. Out of all the games out there where we see women being put under the command of men, being used as strippers, dancers, prostitutes, dumb blonds, damsels in distress, and so on; not one game has ever been spoken out as Sexist – at least not from what I’ve observed.
So when Abbie mentioned that Other M is sexist, suddenly the seed of doubt has been forced down our throats. People began to LOOK for the sexism, to try to figure out where Abbie saw it. As these seeds began to blossom, people began to agree with Abbie (from my personal experience) and demonize the game as sexist. Of course, just as many people disagreed but the fact is that none of these players would have even thought in that direction if someone hadn’t planted the seed into their minds to begin with.
We all need to be very wary of how Reviews are being presented to us. A single reviewer could bring into light a personal opinion of a game that could, basically, end up having others spending time LOOKING for this negativity (or positive aspect) when, if this was never pointed out to begin with, no one would have even gave it a second thought.
So again my friends, remember to think for yourself and try your hardest not to allow the personal opinions of others make you look for things you would have never noticed to begin with (unless it’s something very cool like an Easter Egg or a Inside Joke – those are awesome). If you would have never thought a game like Other M is sexist, then don’t go looking for it.
Just enjoy the game.
Besides…We all know Mario is the most sexist game of them all, considering that the Blond female is portrayed as a helpless little crybaby whose only purpose is to make cakes for fat plumbers
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