We’ve hit a new low

Look! We’ve taken every negative thing said about a game and woven it into one review! It’s the nega-review.

I know it’s supposed to be cheeky and funny — I get the joke, honest — but I truly don’t find it funny to intentionally take the words out of context. When I say the Rock Band drums are “not indestructible,” that’s a fact. No game controller is indestructible; you’re still going to have to approach it with respect, and treat it like the piece of consumer electronics it is. But the review’s original line is “They’re not indestructible, but they were built with abuse in mind.” That’s consumer advice — don’t boil it down to hate when it’s not intended as such.

This kind of remixed review also assumes that the reader cannot comprehend the original article. I don’t need you to edit down the words to bite-sized chunks; I believe the audience is smarter than that. I didn’t call for an interpreter, nor did the reader. So, you know, fuck off.

Sure enough, this edit of just the bad bits has created confusion and — exactly what our industry needs — more mocking. Please note the reader comments where people take issue with some of the OXM comments, as if that’s all we said.

I’m tired of all the negativity in this industry. The web breeds it like cancer — comedy cancer. I left GamesRadar partially because I didn’t agree with the negative editorial vision — they seemed more interested in shooting down good things than celebrating them. I knew I couldn’t do that on a daily basis. So I’m not thrilled to see my words showing up in someone else’s project about how everything sucks when you look close enough.

If you disagree with my reviews, that’s fine — we can always disagree and we can even discuss it. But I take immense pride in choosing the right words and putting them in the “right” order. I sweat over the flow of my articles; I want them to be entertaining and informative and above all clear. I don’t give you permission to destroy their very specific and carefully considered meanings for your joke.

Leave my words out of your cynical hack job next time.

12 thoughts on “We’ve hit a new low

  1. I read the link and heard, “Hi, I’m not actually a reviewer or even a writer, I just know how to cut and paste.” I think the person who put that crap together is a) a moron, b) stupid c) untalented.

    Don’t let the turkey’s get you down, eve if it ’tis the season.

  2. I read the link and heard, “Hi, I’m not actually a reviewer or even a writer, I just know how to cut and paste.” I think the person who put that crap together is a) a moron, b) stupid c) untalented.

    Don’t let the turkey’s get you down, eve if it ’tis the season.

  3. The first thing I did is look at the byline and then I wasn’t as surprised by what was to follow.

    If you continue to be outraged (as you should), send him a note that you’ll be talking to Future’s lawyers about copyright infringement. What he’s done isn’t freedom of speech or fair use: it’s not parody, but rather puts your out-of-context words in a more negative light (you and IGN gave the game one of the highest scores of the year, yet his attempt at being cute rips that all up).

    And then at the end he tries to go negative on the negative, by trying to negate some of the critical comments. No, the fact that you can use a Guitar Hero guitar with the game doesn’t “bypass” those reviewer comments, because a consumer is still paying for the one that comes with Rock Band and currently can’t buy a version that doesn’t include it. No, complaints about the single player game don’t “melt away” simply because it’s fun to play with a bunch of people, because some people (like myself) have a goofy schedule and aren’t going to call a bunch of friends at 11pm to come over to play (while the neighbors on the other side of the duplex try to figure out the percentages of actually hitting someone if they randomly fire a gun through the common wall).

  4. The first thing I did is look at the byline and then I wasn’t as surprised by what was to follow.

    If you continue to be outraged (as you should), send him a note that you’ll be talking to Future’s lawyers about copyright infringement. What he’s done isn’t freedom of speech or fair use: it’s not parody, but rather puts your out-of-context words in a more negative light (you and IGN gave the game one of the highest scores of the year, yet his attempt at being cute rips that all up).

    And then at the end he tries to go negative on the negative, by trying to negate some of the critical comments. No, the fact that you can use a Guitar Hero guitar with the game doesn’t “bypass” those reviewer comments, because a consumer is still paying for the one that comes with Rock Band and currently can’t buy a version that doesn’t include it. No, complaints about the single player game don’t “melt away” simply because it’s fun to play with a bunch of people, because some people (like myself) have a goofy schedule and aren’t going to call a bunch of friends at 11pm to come over to play (while the neighbors on the other side of the duplex try to figure out the percentages of actually hitting someone if they randomly fire a gun through the common wall).

  5. While I certainly understand Dan’s frustration, I have to disagree with Andy’s advice. I think that sending a cease-and-desist letter or a nastygram consistently has nothing but negative effects on the group sending the legalese, and ultimatley serves only to draw further attention to rubbish that would otherwise die a quiet death. The minute you get the lawyers involved, the source of the trash becomes the underdog, which almost invariably means a sudden swell of support for their target, regardly of how justified the action might be.

    I certainly understand the urge to rattle a saber, and the “actionable” bar has been set pretty low these days, but in this particular instance I think it’d be like swatting at flies with a clawhammer.

  6. That particular piece may die a quiet death, but if there’s no “negative incentive,” he’ll keep doing it. And there’ll only be a swell of support if the legal side is made public, which I doubt Joystiq (owned by AOL) would want. I do see your point, Cam, but I think that protecting us writers from things like this is important. There’s too much bad ethics from fringe game journalists (sorry, Dan) and if it isn’t challenged, it will continue…and continue to get worse, as the me-tooism and one-upmanship (no pun intended) will likely inspire others to come up with their own version of nega-review. It’s like our industry’s version of shock radio, and there’ll always be someone willing to top the last one to make a name–often at another’s expense.

  7. That particular piece may die a quiet death, but if there’s no “negative incentive,” he’ll keep doing it. And there’ll only be a swell of support if the legal side is made public, which I doubt Joystiq (owned by AOL) would want. I do see your point, Cam, but I think that protecting us writers from things like this is important. There’s too much bad ethics from fringe game journalists (sorry, Dan) and if it isn’t challenged, it will continue…and continue to get worse, as the me-tooism and one-upmanship (no pun intended) will likely inspire others to come up with their own version of nega-review. It’s like our industry’s version of shock radio, and there’ll always be someone willing to top the last one to make a name–often at another’s expense.

  8. You could always fight fire with fire – pull all the positives out of the same reviews and build the Posi-Review. And to seal it as a parody of his “parody”, give every game a perfect 10 at the end.

  9. You could always fight fire with fire – pull all the positives out of the same reviews and build the Posi-Review. And to seal it as a parody of his “parody”, give every game a perfect 10 at the end.

  10. People will do anything to start a flame war. If you can cause controversy by covering the negative aspects, no matter how silly they are, why not? It gets viewers to the website.

    Still, these jerks that TRY and cause these pathetic fights irk me as well. People who don’t read the text of a review are the worst kinds of people who see something in the 8.5 range and say that the game is terrible because it ”only” received an eight-five. It’s tiring, getting old real quick

  11. People will do anything to start a flame war. If you can cause controversy by covering the negative aspects, no matter how silly they are, why not? It gets viewers to the website.

    Still, these jerks that TRY and cause these pathetic fights irk me as well. People who don’t read the text of a review are the worst kinds of people who see something in the 8.5 range and say that the game is terrible because it ”only” received an eight-five. It’s tiring, getting old real quick

  12. While I certainly understand Dan's frustration, I have to disagree with Andy's advice. I think that sending a cease-and-desist letter or a nastygram consistently has nothing but negative effects on the group sending the legalese, and ultimatley serves only to draw further attention to rubbish that would otherwise die a quiet death. The minute you get the lawyers involved, the source of the trash becomes the underdog, which almost invariably means a sudden swell of support for their target, regardly of how justified the action might be.

    I certainly understand the urge to rattle a saber, and the “actionable” bar has been set pretty low these days, but in this particular instance I think it'd be like swatting at flies with a clawhammer.

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