Fix The Bias In The Gaming Industry

Lately, there's been a lot of tension regarding game reviews in the gaming community. People have been up in arms stating that there's bias when reviewing a game based on what system the game is for. While I don't know if this statement is true or not, there has been some speculation within the gaming community on whether a game is reviewed legitimately.

Starting off strong, there's an article from Daily Sabah which talks about video game journalists and how gamers and people should be very cautious of them. The article tells the history of video game journalism and talks about the advantages and disadvantages of it and its uses. It tells people to be cautious when reading because there might be bias and opinionated beliefs within the article. It also describes how certain companies might buy out certain corporations with free stuff in order to get a good review of their game.

When a game gets released by certain companies, companies promote their game by sending out a limited number of codes to people, mostly YouTubers and streamers, in hopes that they will spread the "good word" of their game around. Not only that, but they also buy out a bunch of companies to advertise their product and have them say positive things about their game. "On one hand, they offered early access codes, free products, press access, accreditation, events, tours, advertisement and much more," according to Ibrahim Altay, a writer for the Daily Sabah. When companies perform these practices, it's not usually frowned upon by the gaming community, but when a game review company gets involved, that's when you should be asking questions.

Continuing on, Altay goes to state that "Back in 2007, Gamespot, a major video game media organization fired one of its writers. The writer, Jeff Gerstmann had just finished his review of a game, Kane & Lynch, which was written in a negative manner. This negative review caused the game publisher to put pressure on Gamespot, resulting in the termination of Gerstmann's job as a writer there." To sum it up, the reviewer was basically let go over a bad review, and the developer of the game basically cost him his job.

A blog post on The Artifice goes in-depth talking about the suspicion that gaming journalism could be rigged to have certain reviews and have articles come out with good reviews when they shouldn't. When a reviewer reviews the game, they're supposed to mainly talk about the features and just touch base with what they like and what they don't like. However, some people take it a little too far. According to a post on the site, "This can lead to what is practically yellow journalism, with writers over exaggerating the games and features of what they prefer while undermining the competition, even if the competition is an amazing game or console itself." When this practice happens, it manipulates the reader into thinking that the game has to be the best of the best when it actually isn't and tricks the reader into purchasing the game or product. Staff writer Matt Hotaling had this to say: "This issue should be addressed in some way and possible solutions discussed so that gamers are presented with fair coverage of all video games and video game related news."

When looking at reviewing companies such as Gamespot and IGN, the writers there always have a pedestal when they write their reviews and their articles. Forbes talks about the effects the gaming community has on the reviewers which sometimes can affect their writing just so that they can please them. Paul Tassi, the senior editor at Forbes, said, "What I do know is that the games press works very hard at their jobs, for often very little money, and nearly always attracts universal criticism from a general public that often doesn't seem to understand what it is they're criticizing." Not only is this true, but this happens for almost every new game that comes out. What reviewers need to know is that they can't please everyone and should always just submit their best honest work all the time.

Polygon is very well known for its blatant bias in the gaming industry. Accelerated Ideas has pointed out the events that have taken place for Polygon to receive such criticism: "Polygon made a shameful comparison of the Xbox One vs the PS4 during their 12-hour live stream, aimed at showing off the Xbox One and giving users a comparison to Sony's already released console." Polygon blatantly only wanted to show off the Xbox One and only wanted the users to buy that console. Many more events have taken place, like how they will review a game and give it a good rating but the aspects on which they rated it don't match up with the score that they gave it.

Finally, we have GamerGate, a controversial movement in the gaming community. Its proponents say it aims to show the power of social media sites like Twitter and the effects that they have on the gaming industry: "And so, what widespread disdain of the gaming media turned to war. And so soon, everyone pretty much went completely insane. There were flame wars on sites like Twitter over the issue, people in the gaming media attacked their audience with article after article of pointless hate and comments that 'gamers are dead.'" Now obviously, not everybody thinks this way, but this is what happens when certain review websites and their articles cant be trusted and a gamer has to look somewhere else for their news and reviews.

All in all, the gaming community needs some work, and the community is asking for not only more trustworthy practices but trustworthy writers as well. People shouldn't have to worry about keeping their paycheck or have a gaming company looking over their shoulder while they write their review. It should be honest and true. That's all that the community asks for.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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