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The Negativity of Youtube Video Essays about Games

Gamingtodaynews1f - The Negativity of Youtube Video Essays about Games

Before I start, I want to state that this is not about videos that have the goal of talking about why the creator dislikes a game or videos where the purpose is to discuss the flaws of a game. It is about reviews/essays which come from the POV that the game being discussed is good.

I recently watched a video essay on Dishonored (won't link it in the post because it's not a huge channel and I don't want to target the guy's video) where the creator liked the game but spent nearly the entire video criticizing every aspect of the game. This is one of many youtube video essays where someone spends 1-2 hour(s) talking about all of the things they don't like in a game that they (apparently) like. I get the same sensation watching these videos as I do watching or reading IGN/Gamespot/etc. reviews where the critic points out a million flaws in a game only to give the game an 8 or 9/10.

It's perfectly reasonable to have things you hate in a game you love, but if you really want to make a good or balanced video/review about that game I think you need to address both the good and the bad. I'm only guessing, but I think that people perceive negative criticism as being smarter than any kind of praise for a game. This might explain why there's such a large number of videos out there that have this problem. Praise for a game is more likely to involve someone discussing the way a game made them feel rather than using buzz words to describe the way a game is.


On this subreddit, I find that there are some really good posts from people about how well a game does x. In video reviews, however, I find that the debate/discussion is focused on what someone didn't like about the game. I think a great example of what I'm talking about comes from Elder Scrolls channels. There are loads of videos on these channels where someone will say things like "Skyrim(or Oblivion) is great, but…" then go on to criticize the game. Once again, this would be fine, but I'm left wondering what is great about those games or what those people like about them when they're only ever discussing their flaws. I come away with the feeling that the creators of many of these video essays hate the game they're discussing because they never explain what it is they like about the game.

There are definitely talented critics who can eloquently tear apart a game for it's flaws, but I find the best video essays and reviews are ones that can effectively describe what makes a game great or why someone loves a game. A "positive" review without praise for what a game does right or strong arguments in favor of a game leave me feeling confused. While there are definitely examples of reviewers who excel at explaining what makes a game great, I keep coming across videos/reviews like the ones I've described above.

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