Gamespot’s response to the backlash that they, and the game’s reviewer Carolyn Petit, got for their review of GTAV
This is just perfect.
Gamespot just earned a shit ton of respect from me.
I don’t think I’ve seen a site as large as Gamespot actually say “Fuck you” to one of its users before. It was kind of appropriate here.
It’s disturbing the amount of video game critics I’ve recently seen retire or publicly distance themselves from the artform purely because of the awful elements amongst the fanbase.
Of course, this isn’t completely exclusive to the video game world. Take, for example, the movie reviewer who got death threats because he “ruined” Toy Story 3's Rotten Tomatoes score.
Once again, this all goes back to our On Demand culture. With news media programmed not to inform but rather to tell people what they want to hear and niche online communities designed to insulate people from ever hearing opinions different than their own, is it any wonder why folks no longer understand the actual definition of what a “critic” does?
Audiences ruin entertainment.
Holy shit. This is damn near masterful.
On top of the problem detailed above, about people getting used to being told what they already think (and responding to those holding different views with intense vitriol), is the one of many Media Makers coddling, ignoring or currying favor with the portion of their audience that does this. They might have a sense it’s their largest demographic, or because of their loud voice think they’re the bulk of their audience, or just feel unequipped to deal. The reasons are many, complex.
But the problem with supporting–possibly through inaction–that portion of an audience is that it makes the space you’re creating around your media unsafe for others with less severe opinions, less violent reactions, or those who are simply interested in looking at media/the world critically.
It’s great to see an arm of an entity as large as GameSpot directly confront what’s widely considered the standard attitude of “gamer culture” (which, yeah, reductive): angry, entitled, reactive. And it’s great to see them trying to clear a path so the community–and by their hopeful prediction, the industry–can grow. It’s a clear statement of critical intent, of what this part of GameSpot, at least, thinks games are for, and takes a good first step towards creating a safe space for people who want to engage with games as a medium of massive cultural impact (which is a group I’d like to think, though maybe I’m totally off on this, is larger than the group of loudmouth bloatbags).
Moral: it’s ok to not want shit heads in your audience.