Always Faithful: Crafting Honest Reviews for GiN

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I know I’m going to get in trouble with my fellow reviewers (in the industry, never here at GiN) with what I’m about to write. But I take my column very seriously, as it’s not only been a take of what I see in gaming, but also my work as a reviewer and commentator. As a result, the actions that have taken over the past week or so really need to be addressed.

As many of you know, I’ve been with GiN since its inception, over 20 years ago. I originally started as a reviewer and eventually earned my spot as a bi-weekly commentary. I enjoy writing for this site, and I’m not going anywhere, but still when all is said and done, I am also a reviewer. Sure my reviews may have not been as common as they have been since we started, but one of the reasons is because the games we are playing take up more time than they have before. No longer do we have games that I used to play on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo that could be finished in under an hour. With games taking possibly hundreds of hours to complete, it becomes more of a commitment to get the game done in time.

Plus, when you add the matters of real life setting in, as well as a full-time job, it becomes more and more difficult. It also doesn’t help that more and more games are added to my library that I am not able to get to right away unless I leave the others behind. Some of these games, I will admit, I haven’t finished until much later on. That’s why I look forward to the summer drought because it is usually then that I’m able to finish them.

When I write my reviews, I do my absolute best to get my own experience of what a game has to offer. It is an opinion of mine, and even though I know it gains some notoriety (such as my dislike of games like Dishonored 2) I know it is 100 percent me.

In fact, I noticed on Twitter my friend DreamcastGuy posted the following about the whole matter:

Why would a man steal a review? Talking about a game is simply about explaining your own feelings on it. What man would need to do this? A man who feels nothing.

He’s not wrong. A review should be what YOU get from a game and that is what YOU should be telling your audience. However, lately it seems that is not the case as we saw from a mainstream review site whose name does not deserve mention from me. Just look it up online and you’ll find who I’m talking about.) He did a review of the Nintendo Switch game Dead Cells. But when it was posted on that site, it was immediately found that the video was plagiarized from a Youtuber named Boomstick Gaming.

Eventually that site took down the video and fired the offending journalist, but afterwards it was also found that he plagiarized other reviews. He also posted an “apology” video on Youtube, but was shown to not only to be disingenuous, but the video was also monetized. It’s not bad enough to plagiarize a reviewer, but to make money off of your “apology” is downright insulting.

And now we come back to my review situation. Recently I was asked for the status of a review that I am currently working on. I wanted to get the review done sooner, but as you all know, my Xbox One X suffered a hardware failure and I was not able to finish the content that I planned to review. (I will not give the title name out but I will say it is a DLC expansion.) Thankfully my Xbox was returned yesterday, and I plan to finish it as soon as I can.

But it was here that I had to make a difficult decision. Do I make like the person I mentioned above, just do a quick copy and paste job from someone else’s hard work just to post a quick review? Or do I take my time, write about MY personal experience with the game, and give you MY full honest opinion of it?

For those of you who are waiting for me to get my work finished, and want something done quickly, all I have to say is, I’m sorry. I’m not going to go down that route. I will write a review based on my hours of playtime and let you experience it from my blood, my sweat, and my tears. I care about my reviews, and their quality, not just their quantity.

Reviews are coming, but only when they are my legit opinion, not anyone else’s!

(Special thanks to DreamcastGuy for the tweet posted above. Check out his videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/DreamcastGuy, especially about the site/”reviewer” this column is referencing.)

Currently Playing: No Man’s Sky (Xbox One X,) Madden 19 (Xbox One X)

Waiting For: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Platforms:

2 thoughts on “Always Faithful: Crafting Honest Reviews for GiN”

  1. I’d read that he put up a disingenuous apology video (I didn’t waste the time to look it up & watch it), but I had no idea it was monetized!!! That’s beyond insulting into just plain despicable behavior.

    You shouldn’t worry about getting reviews out “fast”. I’d rather have thoughtful/thorough – part of why I love GiN!! Besides, most of us are always whining about our backlogs – so what’s the rush?! Thankfully, it’s not like 20 years ago when if you didn’t purchase a game within a few months of its release, you had no hope of buying it new. Now we have pretty much all the time in the world (or at least as long as the current consoles’ lifecycle)!!

    1. It doesn’t surprise me that Filip would monetize his “apology” video at all. He eventually took it down with the monetization, but in the end the damage was already done. It’s sad that these days that we live in an industry that has to resort in either clickbait or getting reviews out quickly just to get those hits, and in turn, to increase your ad revenue or get more people to contribute to your Patreon. That’s why I am a harsh critic of such “journalistic unintegrity” that we see on the larger sites that I will not mention to give them credit (though you know who they are.)
      Anyway, thank you for the kind words. We really do appreciate them here, and we will make sure to maintain a high level of integrity that you won’t see on those mainstream sites. That’s what makes us great!

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