Be Brutally Honest: Why Don’t You Trust Critics?

Sometimes, reviewers are simply outside the circle of trust. But why?

Sometimes, reviewers are simply outside the circle of trust. But why?


While we at VGRHQ are in the business or recognizing those who often go unrecognized, we acknowledge the following:

Although many gamers do, to some extent, appreciate the service professional critics offer, there are many consumers who remain distrustful of critics.

Now, as everyone on our staff has been reviewing games for more than a few years, we have some theories. First on the list is jealousy, which is something no gamer will ever admit. Critics get paid to write about video games and your job isn’t half so cool, right? Hence, jealousy. However, as a footnote, we’ve spoken at length about such beliefs, as most critics don’t get paid much, if at all. And it’s hardly glamorous.

Second on the list is the widespread belief that too many critics are “on the take,” as some call it. Consumers believe the critic is either in bed with the publisher or developer (or both) and therefore, we can’t trust the review. We’ve addressed this as well (check this editorial), but we admit there have been examples of reviewers issuing questionable reviews based on questionable factors.

There has to be a logical reason why you don't care to read reviews. Tell us!

There has to be a logical reason why you don’t care to read reviews. Tell us!

Third is…well, we didn’t come up with a third. That’s why we’re asking the gaming community. Point blank:

Why do you distrust critics?

Don’t be afraid, speak up! If our Honored Sources list is going to continue expand, we’d like feedback. What do you want to see from critics? What is the #1 thing they do that makes you distrust them? And if you do trust them, why?

These are all very important questions and we’ll be interested to see some of the answers. Lastly, if you think you’ve got what it takes to deliver top-tier reviews – a “this is how it should be done” statement – take advantage of our Be a Critic! program. We’d be happy to have you!

8 thoughts on “Be Brutally Honest: Why Don’t You Trust Critics?”

I think it’s just a lot of Internet conspiracy theory that nobody with a brain actually believes.

Then again, I’ve come across some so-called “pro” critics who couldn’t review their way out of a paper bag, so…

There are certain critics I trust, and certain ones I don’t.

I don’t trust the ones who obviously have a bone to pick with something. If I sense some sort of subjective vendetta or agenda, I’m ignoring the rest of the review.

I’m willing to bet that for the most part, people hate certain critics just because that critic slammed a game they like. Either that, or they think they’re “on the take,” as the article says.

I still know a lot of gamers who really do believe that.

The only time I stop trusting a critic is when I see too much personal opinion seep in. Reviews aren’t supposed to be soapboxes, damnit.

Yes, this.

Yeah, this happens way too often, especially with the smaller sources. Then again, you can’t really blame them; they don’t have any real training and they’re not getting paid, so…

They CAN be soapboxes but when you do that, just don’t assign a score. That’s the problem.

But isn’t that just an op-ed? How is that a review?

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