Why do gamers get so emotional about game reviews?

This topic is locked from further discussion.

Avatar image for HipHopBeats
#1 Posted by HipHopBeats (2850 posts) -

I was watching this video review response to gamer feedback bashing the reviewer for giving Max Payne 3 an 8 out of 10 . Last time I checked, an 8 out of 10 was a pretty good score. The reviewer reads some of the virgin force comments from angry Rockstar fans left on his page. One commenter was 'crying in anger'.

This reminded me of the laughable nerd rage about gamespot's Skyward Sword review

and the insane disappointment of gamespot's Uncharted 3 which had a lot of readers complaining about the 9.0 rating.

I can somewhat understand gamer's anticipation for AAA titles but why do gamers get so emotional and sensitive about an opinion or critique about a game they will still buy and support anyway?

Even worse, if a game receieves an 8 / 9 out of 10 or 4 / 5 stars, isn't that a good thing?

I thought gamers only commented idiotic, angry feedback about why they're most anticpated game scored a measley 9 out of 10. When that reviewer in the Max vid said people were emailing him insults about his opinion on the game, it made me wonder just how pathetic and insane some gamers really are to be that angry over a game review.

Avatar image for Yusuke420
#2 Posted by Yusuke420 (2770 posts) -

People just want the game they like to be the one with 10's across the board. When that doesn't happen, it tends to cause some backlash.

Avatar image for tomo90
#3 Posted by tomo90 (2245 posts) -

If it's a series I like and it gets a bad review it doesn't really bother me. In the end it is just someones opinion.

I only really take note of reviews if I'm really unsure whether or not to buy a game straight after launch.

Avatar image for IndianaPwns39
#4 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

I blame the lack of real criticism as the root cause to people getting angry with scores. Video game journalists are far more forgiving than their peers in the movie or music business. For example, if you go over to metacritic The Avengers has an average score of 69 with the critics, and it is labeled "green" as in positive. If you go over to games, Sorcery has an average of 69 and it's labeled "yellow" for mediocre or mixed.

There are some sites that are pretty critical. Eurogamer comes to mind. Others are far less so. IGN gained the nickname 9GN for a reason. Last year they gave a ludicrious amount of games 9s. This year, they're seeming to be a bit more critical, but there hasn't really been a huge title released yet that they underscored by the community's standard, though. The community is ready to go crazy over lower scores because they're so used to everything scoring so highly.

Avatar image for lensflare15
#5 Posted by lensflare15 (6615 posts) -

Not really sure. I guess some people just want others to love a game as much as they do. I agree it's ridiculous, it's just one guy's opinion and shouln't affect the enjoyment you have with the game.

Avatar image for c_rakestraw
#6 Posted by c_rakestraw (14870 posts) -

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.

Avatar image for BLKR4330
#7 Posted by BLKR4330 (1698 posts) -

i've tried to understand this too at one time but now am pretty sure there is no worthwhile reason behind it. it's just stupidity that's best ignored. i'm willing to bet if you would find the person again, say a year from now, and ask them why they acted like they did, they wouldn't be able to tell you either.

Avatar image for kaealy
#8 Posted by kaealy (2161 posts) -
Most fans, of any kind, has the same kind of behaviour. Just look at fotboll fans or Justin Bieber fans, their behaviour is much more disburbing than gaming has yet to reach. It's too much psychology involved for me to even make a guess, the little amount of psychology I've read in my line of work pretty much says that fandom still to this day is pretty much a conundrum to science.
Avatar image for bats94
#9 Posted by bats94 (590 posts) -

If it's a series I like and it gets a bad review it doesn't really bother me. In the end it is just someones opinion.

I only really take note of reviews if I'm really unsure whether or not to buy a game straight after launch.

tomo90
My thoughts exactly. Just because someone sees a game as being a good one doesn't mean that everyone will see the game as a good one.
Avatar image for HipHopBeats
#10 Posted by HipHopBeats (2850 posts) -

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.

c_rake

Are you serious? Death threats over a game review score? WOOOW. Gives you an idea of the mind state of the people around you if that type of reaction represents the average person.

Avatar image for RobertBowen
#11 Posted by RobertBowen (4094 posts) -

[QUOTE="c_rake"]

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.

HipHopBeats

Are you serious? Death threats over a game review score? WOOOW. Gives you an idea of the mind state of the people around you if that type of reaction represents the average person.

I wouldn't say that reflects the 'average person' at all - more of an extremely fanatical person with psychological issues.

I will say that one of the problems now is that some people seem to have mentally moved the goal posts when it comes to review scores, so now anything less than an 8 is considered trash in their minds. This kind of mindset has also been aggravated by some game review sites giving inordinately high scores to games that simply didn't deserve it, and this has been happening for some considerable time.

A 5/10 or 3/5 stars should mean an 'average' game, with a 7/10 for a good game, an 8 for 'great', a 9 for 'exceptional', and a 10 for 'outstanding in the genre'.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, the 7 seemed to become labelled the 'average' score, and everything else had to shift up two places, which means the whole review scoring system is pretty broken at this point. So people demand 9s and 10s for games that are just very good, instead of exceptional, and so the cycle repeats itself.

I actually applaud some sites that have done away with review scores altogether. Just write a review, highlight the good and bad points, and let gamers make up their own minds. Because at the end of the day, every individual on the planet is going to have their own opinion about what is good and bad in a game, and no one should be relying on game review sites to make their purchasing decisions for them.

Avatar image for OmenUK
#12 Posted by OmenUK (1268 posts) -

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.c_rake


I knew Spyro had a temper, pretending to be the nice, "I'll collect things for you" dragon, he never fooled me

Avatar image for OmenUK
#13 Posted by OmenUK (1268 posts) -

I was watching this video review response to gamer feedback bashing the reviewer for giving Max Payne 3 an 8 out of 10 . Last time I checked, an 8 out of 10 was a pretty good score. The reviewer reads some of the virgin force comments from angry Rockstar fans left on his page. One commenter was 'crying in anger'.

This reminded me of the laughable nerd rage about gamespot's Skyward Sword review

and the insane disappointment of gamespot's Uncharted 3 which had a lot of readers complaining about the 9.0 rating.

I can somewhat understand gamer's anticipation for AAA titles but why do gamers get so emotional and sensitive about an opinion or critique about a game they will still buy and support anyway?

Even worse, if a game receieves an 8 / 9 out of 10 or 4 / 5 stars, isn't that a good thing?

I thought gamers only commented idiotic, angry feedback about why they're most anticpated game scored a measley 9 out of 10. When that reviewer in the Max vid said people were emailing him insults about his opinion on the game, it made me wonder just how pathetic and insane some gamers really are to be that angry over a game review.HipHopBeats




I think the problem is that expectation is unrealistically high, and that some gamers seem to think their favourite upcoming game/sequel has an assumed right to be given a high score. If you look realistically at how many times Gamespot has given a game a 10/10, and then consider the hundreds, probably thousands of games listed here, it's only a small fraction of the catalogue of games listed.

Also you have to consider that this is their (the Gamespot reviews) job, so they have to examine every aspect of the game before giving it a review, and are better placed to know the ins and outs of the games industry to give a more realistic score.

Avatar image for MethodManFTW
#14 Posted by MethodManFTW (26516 posts) -
Gamers? No. Angry pathetic nerds? Yes. It's a very small percentage of people that act insanely like that... Point your browser over to system wars and look at all the morons debating over .1 metacritic score and all that nonsense.
Avatar image for gpuFX16
#15 Posted by gpuFX16 (1296 posts) -

I think a lot of the people who take all these reviews so seriously spend more time complaining than actually playing games. They want everything they like to be a 10. So silly to get worked up over one person's opinion.

Avatar image for turtlethetaffer
#16 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18695 posts) -

It's natural for people to get emotional at those who disagree with them.

Avatar image for MethodManFTW
#17 Posted by MethodManFTW (26516 posts) -

It's natural for people to get emotional at those who disagree with them.

turtlethetaffer
You really think that?
Avatar image for turtlethetaffer
#18 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18695 posts) -

[QUOTE="turtlethetaffer"]

It's natural for people to get emotional at those who disagree with them.

MethodManFTW

You really think that?

I've seen alot of it IRL. And there's SW to consider.

Avatar image for MethodManFTW
#19 Posted by MethodManFTW (26516 posts) -

[QUOTE="MethodManFTW"][QUOTE="turtlethetaffer"]

It's natural for people to get emotional at those who disagree with them.

turtlethetaffer

You really think that?

I've seen alot of it IRL. And there's SW to consider.

SW is a group of inbred idiots. But yeah, if you can't control yourself enough to have a discussion/debate without getting all emotional, that is not a good sign for your mental health.
Avatar image for BigCat2K20
#20 Posted by BigCat2K20 (289 posts) -

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.

c_rake

The only thing I can remember is Killzone 2 got a average score from couple of gaming websites, KZ fanboys went gorillas & lost their minds. Some gamers don't need to be listening to professional gaming reviewers anyway. Why? They still going to buy & enjoy the game, no matter what. As for CVG's review on Max Payne 3, I felt that the nickpicking in that video was just too much.

Avatar image for turtlethetaffer
#21 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18695 posts) -

[QUOTE="turtlethetaffer"]

[QUOTE="MethodManFTW"] You really think that?MethodManFTW

I've seen alot of it IRL. And there's SW to consider.

SW is a group of inbred idiots. But yeah, if you can't control yourself enough to have a discussion/debate without getting all emotional, that is not a good sign for your mental health.

I didn't mean out of control emotional, but just frustration or whatever.

Avatar image for MadVybz
#22 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

Because, ironically, a lot of gamers have no grasp on the concept of subjectivity, which is ultimately how the entire hobby is critiqued.

Avatar image for c_rakestraw
#23 Posted by c_rakestraw (14870 posts) -

Because, ironically, a lot of gamers have no grasp on the concept of subjectivity, which is ultimately how the entire hobby is critiqued.MadVybz

I think the press is partly to blame for that. There was a long time there where just about all of them claimed to be reviewing games from a totally objective point of view; that their writing was the authoritative source and contained no ounce of bias. No doubt that colored their ideal of what video game reviews are or should be.

Avatar image for MethodManFTW
#24 Posted by MethodManFTW (26516 posts) -

[QUOTE="MadVybz"]Because, ironically, a lot of gamers have no grasp on the concept of subjectivity, which is ultimately how the entire hobby is critiqued.c_rake

I think the press is partly to blame for that. There was a long time there where just about all of them claimed to be reviewing games from a totally objective point of view; that their writing was the authoritative source and contained no ounce of bias. No doubt that colored their ideal of what video game reviews are or should be.

No one claims that now. Definitely the communities fault for perpetuating that.
Avatar image for MadVybz
#25 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

[QUOTE="MadVybz"]Because, ironically, a lot of gamers have no grasp on the concept of subjectivity, which is ultimately how the entire hobby is critiqued.c_rake

I think the press is partly to blame for that. There was a long time there where just about all of them claimed to be reviewing games from a totally objective point of view; that their writing was the authoritative source and contained no ounce of bias. No doubt that colored their ideal of what video game reviews are or should be.

That I can believe as well. I remember thinking similarly back when I would read EGM magazines waaaay back when, but once the internet became more tight-knit with gaming and game journalism, the black-and-white quickly dissolved into grey.

EDIT: I feel that a large part of it is also similar to why we have SW; a consumer would be inclined to think that the product they enjoy and have invested in is the best thing on the market. So emotional attachment would become a natural, and someone that provides a contrary would burst a lot of bubbles.

Avatar image for GeoffZak
#26 Posted by GeoffZak (3715 posts) -

Why do gamers even care about critic's reviews anyway? I stopped caring after they gave Sonic Unleashed a 3.5, a LOWER score than Sonic 06. Which I thought was ridiculous.

But I wasn't butthurt over it. I didn't send angry emails to Gamespot.

People need to realize that critic scores don't mean anything as long as you like the game. You need to play the game for yourself.

The only thing that is frustrating about reviewers giving your favorite games bad scores is the fact that a lot of other people won't play those games because of that.

Avatar image for almasdeathchild
#27 Posted by almasdeathchild (8922 posts) -

i wish people would review a game themselves they take reviews so serious some of the best games to even get to see the time of day

Avatar image for Allicrombie
#28 Posted by Allicrombie (26213 posts) -
I send death threats to review sites daily, you know, just to stir things up. =P
Avatar image for famicommander
#29 Posted by famicommander (8524 posts) -
People want to feel validated in their purchasing habits as well as in their overall tastes. Many gamers (for some dumb reason) actually view these outlets as authoritative, so they get emotional and defensive when their taste is called into question. In the end it comes down to fanboys being insecure. As far as I am concerned there is nothing to be gained by reading any reviews from professional game journalism outlets. We live in an era of almost nonexistent standards, conflicts of interests galore, and downright lazy journalism. With how much information is currently available for free on games (demos, videos, playthroughs, online communities, user reviews, social networking/word of mouth, etc) I don't understand the appeal of these clearly ridiculous sources.
Avatar image for blueboxdoctor
#30 Posted by blueboxdoctor (2549 posts) -

I think it's mainly people who don't know much about games. They're used to AAA titles like COD, Halo, Gears of War, Uncharted, and other big releases getting big scores. Then when they see something a little more under the radar but big in the gaming community, such as Dark Souls (which I'll never understand the high score while ignoring the massive slowdown the game has in a lot of sections, though it's still great fun to play), get an equally high score they may believe that a game needs a 9 or higher to be good.

Even if they aren't the people complaining, those who do complain really shouldn't, as it doesn't matter if one person doesn't like a game and you do. I know I'll be getting Dragon's Dogma and it really has a mixed bag from 9/10 to 5/10.

I know people who don't like getting games if they score under an 8/10, and it's ashame since they're missing out on some good games (right now I'm enjoying AVP, sure it's by no means great, but as a fan of the AVP universe it's pretty cool, and I think it got a 5/10 on GS). Even Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a fun game that'll be skipped over by many people (well, truth be told it's really only fun when playing with friends, but when that happens it can be very fun).

I think it's almost more annoying when people complain about games getting high scores. Yes, I liked the ME3 ending, and I'd definitely give it a 9/10. I couldn't believe how many people were convinced sites and reviewers were paid off by Bioware/EA to give the game good reviews. I don't like GTA IV (San Andreas remains my favorite GTA), but I'm not about to go all over the internet and complain about how I don't think it deserved 10/10 scores.

Avatar image for thermalvision
#31 Posted by thermalvision (146 posts) -
coz they get into the as if they are inside the game.... m lyk dat
Avatar image for RageQuitter69
#32 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1366 posts) -

I don't get emotional but I do hate it when critics review a game and have no idea what they are talking about, for example, some Mafia II reviews complained the game didn't have enough gameplay, but they game Metal Gear Solid 4 a 10. Then there was also PlayStation magazine giving Tomb Raider Underworld a 5/10 complaining it was not like Uncharted, well no sh*t, the games are part of two diffirent genres.

Avatar image for Jackc8
#33 Posted by Jackc8 (8515 posts) -

When you look at all the tens of millions of people who have bought consoles this generation, even if 1% of those have no life save for video games, that's a pretty huge amount of people.

Besides, that's the same mindset that keeps System Wars going on a day-to-day basis. "Oh I spend a few hundred bucks on this and my entire manhood and self-esteem revolves around it being better than the other one that you guys bought!!!"

Meh...whatever:P

Avatar image for Spinnerweb
#34 Posted by Spinnerweb (2995 posts) -
Because they're idiots, I think. If I comment on a review of a game that got a lower score than I expected, I point out why I think it should have gotten a higher score (unless the reviewer gives valid points as to why they didn't - which they usually do) but I don't get angry and such.
Avatar image for LongZhiZi
#35 Posted by LongZhiZi (2453 posts) -
I don't know why people get that emotional. For me, I hate review scores in general because it's really hard to talk about the merits sometimes when the response is "that games metacritic is 55, lolololol." Personally, I've discovered over time that reviewers are so wildly inconsistent with their standards that I've just utterly disregarded them for years now. What is a positive in one game becomes a negative in another. With demos and a plethora of video, reviews have just outlived their usefulness to me. And perhaps it's just me, but it always seems like ultra-hyped games get flaws overlooked while less hyped games with little in the way of flaws (as noted in reviews) score lower. That just seems to be my impression.
Avatar image for Norrie91
#36 Posted by Norrie91 (2444 posts) -

Because most people are that stupid that they need to be told what to think, say, do and believe in.

Avatar image for HipHopBeats
#37 Posted by HipHopBeats (2850 posts) -

[QUOTE="HipHopBeats"]

[QUOTE="c_rake"]

If you think people sending e-mails full of insults is bad, you haven't seen the worst. Reviewers have sometimes gotten death threats over less-than-satisfactory scores.

RobertBowen

Are you serious? Death threats over a game review score? WOOOW. Gives you an idea of the mind state of the people around you if that type of reaction represents the average person.

I wouldn't say that reflects the 'average person' at all - more of an extremely fanatical person with psychological issues.

I will say that one of the problems now is that some people seem to have mentally moved the goal posts when it comes to review scores, so now anything less than an 8 is considered trash in their minds. This kind of mindset has also been aggravated by some game review sites giving inordinately high scores to games that simply didn't deserve it, and this has been happening for some considerable time.

A 5/10 or 3/5 stars should mean an 'average' game, with a 7/10 for a good game, an 8 for 'great', a 9 for 'exceptional', and a 10 for 'outstanding in the genre'.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, the 7 seemed to become labelled the 'average' score, and everything else had to shift up two places, which means the whole review scoring system is pretty broken at this point. So people demand 9s and 10s for games that are just very good, instead of exceptional, and so the cycle repeats itself.

I actually applaud some sites that have done away with review scores altogether. Just write a review, highlight the good and bad points, and let gamers make up their own minds. Because at the end of the day, every individual on the planet is going to have their own opinion about what is good and bad in a game, and no one should be relying on game review sites to make their purchasing decisions for them.

I agree and disagree. I think people in general definitely feel more entitled egotistically to have a sign of approval to validate their choices instead of making their own decisions. We are at a point where any constructive criticism about anything we like or appreciate is consider a personal attack on our decision making so we lash out and respond with 'hater' and 'idiot'.

If you scroll through any review site comments section, youtube comments etc, you will see that these 'extremely fanatical' people are coming out in drodes. hence, the 'average' person. An earlier post mentioned the internet being a voice for the unheard and that is true, but the ego seems to be the main issue.

It's the reason why lines around teh corner will form at Apple to get the latest Ipad, so people can feel like reassured they have the best of the best.Why else would anyone catch feelings over a 9.0 review??

Avatar image for Animatronic64
#38 Posted by Animatronic64 (3971 posts) -

I think the only time I was legitimately upset about someone's review was that review of Skyward Sword. Way too harsh.

Avatar image for trodeback
#39 Posted by trodeback (3161 posts) -

I think it's cause ppl are upset about a game they didn't like (COD ones for instance) that get good reviews & then a game that they really enjoyed didn't get just as good or better of a rating. You get the system wars all the time in the comments where ppl complain that GS favors Xbox games compared to PS3 games. The other one that always comes up is how GS is a big corporate sellout & rates big name games (COD) because of $$$ they get from various companies.

Avatar image for jsmoke03
#40 Posted by jsmoke03 (13696 posts) -

because of system wars...

because these people are kids

because its a justification of a purchase...

because they have a passion

Avatar image for Venom_Raptor
#41 Posted by Venom_Raptor (6959 posts) -

At the end of the day I get a game based on what I think of it from previews and other research I made. I do read Gamespot's reviews, but a lower-than-expected score wouldn't change my mind.

Avatar image for markop2003
#42 Posted by markop2003 (29917 posts) -
I think some people don't know what review means... I find it weirder that so many people don't read reviews and just look at the scores.