Friday, 24 June 2011

Extra Credits: Game Reviews

James Portnow and the other two whose names I can never remember are talking this week about what's wrong with Game Reviews, how they're hurting the medium from a credibility AND a practicality standpoint, and how they can be improved. As someone who once dreamed of being a game critic, and who then woke up to the disgusting realization that not only is it a profession mainly for slobs and corporate prostitutes, but that any real talent is actually shunned there, this episode appealed to me. I've been looking forward to this one.

It's my opinion that the Extra Credits crew are naive to a fault. They are too soft on issues that merit outrage, just because they don't want to look like those other shitheads on The Escapist. They acknowledge all of the problems sucking the life out of this industry, and how it's rooted not just in corporate greed and incompetence, but also in our own failings as a consumer base...

And then they just believe all of those problems will somehow magically go away, as long as we e-mail them and follow their twitter and stuff. Even though the only people who can affect serious change here are those ruining this hobby for their own personal profit, and they don't even know or care that EC even exists. I mean, why should anyone who makes millions every year on making video games suck even worse for us stop doing any of this? Why? Because it's the "right thing to do"? Because it would be "nice"? Because everyone wants them to stop being assholes?

I'm sorry guys, I'm glad you three aren't going the whole "I'M EDGY AND I TALK ABOUTS GAMEZ CUZ FUCK YOU" route, but... the opposite approach isn't the right way to see some real positive change here. There IS a middle-ground, you know. It's one thing for a show to have heart, but a show without fangs can't survive among bigger predators. All of the positive thinking in the world isn't going to convince a rich man to part from his fortunes, or make it any easier for people with scruples to get a foothold in a shitty economy. And it's those tycoons who decide the experiences we get to bring home. Telling people that they can make a difference when they clearly cannot is giving them false hope, which to me seems especially cruel.

...And yet, here I am, week after week watching their new videos. Even when they have nothing new to tell me. Even when the only solutions they have depend on the chivalry of scumbags to stop being scumbags. I guess they're doing something right if I can say everything I just did and still come back for more. Maybe it's just nice to hear from a few people who haven't given up on this shambling corpse of a medium.

And the drawings are cute, at least.



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