Most established critics are sent copies of games by publishers. This is not a very well-known fact, despite being the standard in all areas of criticism. These “review copies”, as they are called, are used to create the majority of reviews, features and strategy guides you see on gaming websites. But how do they work? And what are the ethical quandaries regarding their use?
Features and articles by game critic Erik Twice. Discover the secrets of games, the people who make them and the community around them.
“Is it unethical to pay the media?” This is a fairly easy question to answer yet some game publishers seem to struggle with it. In his latest article, Jamey Stegmaier, designer and owner of the company behind Wingspan and Scythe wonders why paid reviews are so “widely looked down upon”. Never has collusion been promoted so boldly and I had to answer.
After the sudden demise of Android: Netrunner and the closure of Legend of the Five Rings, I was left with no customizable card game to play. For years, the genre has given me some of my best gaming experiences and, now, I have to look for a new one. From VTES to Flesh and Blood and Magic, I’m not out of options and yet the choice seems impossible.
Over the last few weeks there has been some discussion regarding the importance of factoring price in reviews. Several people, including critics from Shut Up & Sit Down and No Pun Included, feel that price is a vital aspect that should be discussed on all reviews. But I don’t. Price is rarely a factor in my reviews and I would like to explain why.
Last year I wrote 35 articles, more than I’ve ever done. Facing unemployment during the pandemic, I decided to make the best of my time and work on my blog. Every day, I’ve woken up, turned on the computer and wrote as if it were my full-time job. And it paid off! As the year comes to a close, three times as many people have read my blog as they did the year before.