This is almost too sensitive to touch, but I'll be gentle.
GameSpot's review of Grand Theft Auto V is now live, and the score is a solid 9.0. That's pretty darn good, but the score isn't the object of many a gamer's wrath right now.
Thanks to this "news" publication , which really heated up N4G, everyone is taking notice of the reaction to that review. Many gamers are annoyed that the critic in question, Carolyn Petit, called the game "misogynistic" and because of that apparent feminine bias, gave the game a lower score than it deserved. One especially irate poster even started a petition to get Petit fired for the review. Yes, fired.
Having been a critic for over 13 years, this is not an easy debate. First and foremost, though, let me begin by saying this- the idea that a critic should be fired for stating an opinion is not only laughable, it's illogical. You hired that individual to state his or her opinion, yes? Granted, that person should be an expert in the field, and understands that there are various qualitative aspects in all video games. And that person should be able to properly evaluate those aspects, as Petit clearly does (and has done) in her reviews. I'm also fairly certain she didn't break any company rule.
That being said, the issue of opinion affecting a review score is a difficult one. For instance, you will notice a comment on N4G that says, in so many words: "So, just because I don't like Japanese games, I'd give every Yakuza a 1/10?" That's a valid point. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's lacking in quality; personal preference has no bearing on quality. Unfortunately, because gaming is very complex, and there are both opinion-based and fact-based elements in any review, the issue becomes awfully hazy. How can we prove Petit docked GTAV a half-point or something like that because she was offended as a female gamer? And even if she did , would that be acceptable in that particular situation?
For my part, I have no problem with the review. And do you know why? Because all Petit's reasons for the score were explained in full in the analysis. If the review had been posted and nothing about misogyny had been mentioned, and we found out later that she had indeed lowered her score for that reason, without explaining why, I'd take issue with that. But we can read. I would read that and go, "oh, so this game maybe got to her a little, and she scored it a mite lower." My conclusion is that the game is probably worthy of a 9.5 or even higher, and I have the information I need; I have the information for which I read reviews. And I have it because she gave me every detail I required.
Whining about the score is just childish, and has absolutely nothing to do with the critic. Rather, it has everything to do with the immature nature of some gamers who unfortunately plague many a forum and community.
Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto V