T/S: Most pathetic writing: Record Reviews or Game Reviews?

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Sparked by this thread(and the game allusions occasionally made), I'm wondering what you all think about the worst examples of pathetic review writing.

Which is worse: the most vapid, hipster reactionary/contrarian bullshit in a record review, or the pointless fanboy drooling incoherency in certain game reviews? Which writers tend to have the worst examples of forced cleverness, or should the lot be hanged?

kingfish pibb Xtra (kingfish 2.0), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Of course, it could be that game reviews aren't as prevalent yet(e.g. millions of review sits/zines, write-ups in every alt-weekly across the land) to find examples as egregious

kingfish pibb Xtra (kingfish 2.0), Friday, 6 January 2006 22:45 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't think hipster reactionary is anything like fanboy drooling at all. I think the real comparison is just pathetically piss poor writing, and that's all over every kind of review of every kind of thing ever made.

I'll be happy to mine allmusic for pathetic music reviews. There are plenty...

martin m. (mushrush), Friday, 6 January 2006 23:18 (seventeen years ago) link

how about T/S: AMG vs Gamefaqs for reviews?

kingfish pibb Xtra (kingfish 2.0), Saturday, 7 January 2006 00:19 (seventeen years ago) link

Game reviews are becoming far more prevalent, and they're all terrible. Every newspaper, especially the alt-weeklies, has started a "Game On" or "Game Rom" or "Rec Room," and they're all written by guys who sound like they're 13. Usually it's a blatant "let's get young readers" thing, and it's really depressing.

Record reviews aren't nearly as bad. It still has the lowest bar to entry of any kind of freelance writing, but some papers still cover local acts, or give writers a chance to experiment, or hire people who don't suck.

save the robot (save the robot), Saturday, 7 January 2006 00:30 (seventeen years ago) link

games reviews will never be good again. good games reviewing died with Your Sinclair, kids.

snowkitten (g-kit), Saturday, 7 January 2006 09:21 (seventeen years ago) link

sixteen years pass...


Here’s the rub: As far as video games go, players of all stripes have been there and back again, to the edge of our own galaxy and beyond. In my time playing Elite Dangerous, for instance, I’ve traveled more than 150,000 light years and visited nearly 3,000 star systems, personally discovering hundreds of new worlds. All it took me was three weeks of in-game time. The same can be said for fans of No Man’s Sky, a game also teeming with complex virtual life. But both of those games are, to a large extent, randomly generated. It’s all just disconnected bits of background fluff. The next step for gaming-kind, therefore, isn’t about the pixels or the frame rates. It’s about whipping that fluff into something more substantial, and telling a story that can genuinely inspire wonder.

There are a few tidbits of Sunday’s trailer that have gone overlooked, I think — things that tell me that Bethesda is heading in the right direction.

While my eyes rolled out of my head at the lockpicking minigame and my stomach flipped when an up-armored astronaut started chucking grenades on an exoplanet, I gasped when I noticed that players will be free to choose their own in-game religion.

Raised Enlightened, an optional trait, is available to those who “grew up as a member of the Enlightened.” Raised Universal, on the other hand, notes that your character “grew up as a member of the Sanctum Universum.” Meanwhile, pan-galactic paganists seem to prefer the Serpent’s Embrace as they all “grew up worshipping the Great Serpent.” How these sub-factions and beliefs riff on existing religious and political views will be excellent fodder for critics and players alike, but they may also offer a foundation on which our individual human souls can get their footing in-game. With luck, that RPG footing could lead to some players even changing their perspective.

Howard said you can “be who you want and go where you want.” Maybe that means traveling in a spiritual sense as well. “The biggest question of all,” said one of the characters in the trailer, is “what’s out there.” But what you think is out there has a lot to do with what you see inside yourself. “Whatever lies at the end of this road will change humanity forever,” that same character said. Maybe it’ll change some hearts and minds about the space program as well.

Or it will fail miserably. The story will be garbage, its esoteric conclusions vented into an uncaring atmosphere filled with jaded, miserable Earthlings. That’s the real risk as I see it — not the quality of the base building, and not the depth of the weapon crafting. Will the game stir my soul? That’s not something I’ve been able to wonder about my GameStop pre-order in a long, long time.


Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 14 June 2022 22:19 (one year ago) link

Will the game stir my soul? That’s not something I’ve been able to wonder about my GameStop pre-order in a long, long time.


Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 14 June 2022 22:21 (one year ago) link

based off of these paragraphs alone, i think i can say without hesitation that Starfield is going to stir his soul

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 14 June 2022 22:22 (one year ago) link

Movie and TV writing are probably worse than either

Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 14 June 2022 22:36 (one year ago) link


ciderpress, Tuesday, 14 June 2022 22:55 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

it's not a huge knock on the writer or the outlet (kotaku). but man, clicks must be VERY hard to come by when you keep posting articles about the chess cheating thing with "anal beads" in the title

The Chess Grandmaster Anal Bead Conspiracy That's Happening Right Now, Explained

The modern-day world of championship chess isn’t just long games and arcane openings. There’s Twitch drama, robots that break kids’ fingers, and now: anal beads.

...Okay, but what about the anal beads?
While there’s no evidence Niemann cheated, that didn’t stop tons of people from speculating about how he might have. Tournaments are rigourous in their security, and it’s not like you can start consulting a chess program (what Niemann had done in the past) while everyone is watching and your opponent is just a few feet away.

During a Chessbrah Twitch stream after Niemann’s match, the chat offered anal beads as one solution. Canadian grandmasters Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton started riffing on it, and a German outlet wrote the whole thing up. But one Reddit user took things much further and theorized that maybe anal beads were at play. How exactly? “The real answer is actually elementary,” the post began. Actually, it’s quite complicated. The shitpost actually accuses Carlsen of using anal beads to cheat during his entire chess career (except for those few times he was too drunk to feel them properly).

The design for the anal bead supercomputer was eventually stolen, and used against Carlsen by Niemann. In fact, Niemann didn’t even know how to use them properly, but the signals of his anal beads interfered with the signals of Carlsen’s anal beads which is why the latter played so poorly. In the end, however, Carlsen couldn’t reveal how Niemann cheated without implicating himself. Not quite the perfect chess crime, but all the makings of a top comment on r/Chess. The user was showered with Reddit gold. Mods removed the post. But it was too late.

To reiterate, there is still no evidence Niemann cheated, though an announcement on September 8 that he would be removed from Chess.com did nothing to dispel suspicions. And there is certainly no evidence any anal beads were used in Carlsen’s stunning defeat. But what if the theory behind the anal beads could actually work? The truth is out there for those brave enough to uncover it. One thing that is true: all eyes will be on Niemann’s next match if he does decide to play it naked. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a new Twitch meta brewing. God forgive us.

Chess Champion Breaks Silence On 'Anal Bead' Cheating Controversy

After nearly a month of anal bead memes and chess drama, world champion Magnus Carlsen has finally opened up about his stunning defeat to 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Niemann and his shocking stunts that followed in the aftermath. Long story short: He thinks Niemann is a cheater, over the board and online, and he refuses to ever compete against him again.

...The chess world spent the following week abuzz in heated debate and speculation about whether Niemann was in fact a cheater and if so, how he may have accomplished it. On Twitch and Reddit, chess shitposters joked that maybe Niemann used supercomputers inside anal beads to communicate the best moves to him via vibration. There was no evidence that he did, but the outlandish meme captured everyone’s imagination in part because it reflected the fact that there was no evidence for Carlsen’s insinuation in the first place.


Karl Malone, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 15:15 (one year ago) link

in both cases, i thought "does this potential chess cheating thing REALLY involve anal beads?"

after the first time, i thought, no, it does not. but then the second time, i thought "would Kotaku really run a second article speculating about anal beads based on a joke post on reddit?"

well yeah

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 15:17 (one year ago) link

Actually, it's about ethics in gaming journalism.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 27 September 2022 15:18 (one year ago) link

writing a shitpost on reddit and then having it turn into a multi-article investigation by one of the one video game websites is kind of the best you can do in the modern world

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 15:23 (one year ago) link

The Kotaku headlines which make me laugh are the ones like "35 Things I Wish I Knew Before Playing Disney Dreamlight Valley."

You really can't afford to be learning the nuances of Disney Dreamlight Valley as you go. You must know these 35 things before you even think about picking it up.

jmm, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 15:45 (one year ago) link

Chess Players Are Convinced That The Anal Bead Controversy Is Causing More Online Cheating

Remember the anal bead cheating controversy? As much as I’d like to forget, it turns out that a lot of people are still thinking about it.

Since the competitors played live, it’s difficult to pin down a potential cheating method (One outlandish theory involves anal beads).

just ctrl+f'ing for "anal bead", just what the updates are

Karl Malone, Thursday, 29 September 2022 18:38 (one year ago) link

is this just what happens when you're running a site and you come to the realization that anything with "anal beads" in the headline will be more popular than the rest of the articles? what a moment

Karl Malone, Thursday, 29 September 2022 18:40 (one year ago) link


Karl Malone, Thursday, 29 September 2022 18:42 (one year ago) link

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