What readers are looking to get from video game reviews

Mammon-Machine – The Case for Never Talking About AAA Games:

What the readers are looking for is also very different. They are not reading because they are curious about this game they have never heard of. They have been already told by a multi-million advertising budget exactly what their emotional response to the game should be and are mostly looking for validation of that feeling. That’s not to say readers of AAA game reviews are completely uncritical, just that they’re generally not going to think outside of the promises the ad campaign made. If the ad campaign says something and doesn’t deliver that’s a problem, but it’s not very common for an audience to actually be interested in questions like “well I don’t even know if this concept is interesting in the first place…” because they’re already interested because they watched all the trailers and previews. More to the point, they already know how the game is supposed to play and what’s it about: the only thing they don’t know is how it actually works in practice.

One of the major problems of video game journalism is that writers want to talk about the intellectual and moral issues that games touch upon, while readers just want to know if AAA games live up to the hype or not. Based on this premise, the Mammon Machine makes a pretty good case for video game writers to simply skip talking about AAA titles altogether.

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