Killzone 2, Edge, and “lies” (with a bit of irony)

This week’s scathing gaming editorial comes from PSXExtreme. Ben Dutka wrote a response to Edge magazine’s Killzone 2 review. Edge is notoriously harsh in its reviews, but many people did not expect a 7 out of 10.

Ben’s rebuttal is really worth reading, because it is so strongly emotional and personal, yet tries to present itself as professional critique. It fails at that completely.  It’s a biased overreaction in the context of being rational and objective, and I think that’s why it got so many people upset. Its main tenet is “but they’re wrong because we all know they’re wrong, and that’s proof enough.” The irony is staggering; he’s accusing Edge of doing all this stuff and in accusing, he does it himself. The wording, the inflexible attitude, the intentional lack of a link to the very story that outraged him…yeah, it’s not exactly what I would defend as professional. 

And yet it was defended! In the follow-up article, the site’s executive editor defends the author as not a teenaged fanboy and, in fact, a 31-year-old who really likes his Xbox 360.  The fact that the author is not the petulant teenager he sounds like in the original post is actually kind of worse. But I do sympathize with the guy’s site being called “a fanboy site” simply people read something on it that they did not like, and called it names because it is focuses on a single platform and has a name that reflects its focus. Oh boy, do I sympathize with that. But then he ruins it by not apologizing for Ben’s rage-fueled choplogic, instead saying, hey, Edge is still wrong, and then he gets back to defending the site with its previous, unbiased articles, presumably so he doesn’t lose readers. It kind of reads like a CYA move, regardless of what his intentions might have been. Guess it’s a no-win, really.

So, in summary, they didn’t like the Edge review because it is “a lie.” And when you say you disagree with their review of that review as irrational itself, they say “no, you’re wrong, because Edge is wrong. And also, read our unbiased content, thanks.” 

This may be good blogging, but it’s really not good journalism, and I hope that people do not confuse one for the other in this case. A blog can be pure opinion, and this one is, but it does not offer compelling or tangible evidence that went into forming that opinion, which Edge’s review does. Nobody trusts a review outlet that simply says “because we say so,” but you do have that luxury when commenting on reviews. A critic of the critics doesn’t have to show their work. 

I think you have to take all blogs and similar editorial columns with the knowledge that they are even more pure personal opinion than a review. And that includes this one.

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