This question is why I generally dislike mainstream criticism – it takes an assembly-line approach that is fundamentally opposed to the nature of video games by reviewing them all based on a small window of time spent playing them, regardless of whether it’s a substantial one compared to the whole game. Mainstream criticism is still mimicking that of older mediums, which just isn’t an effective way to engage with video games.

My preferred form of “reviews” are first impressions let’s-play videos, because it’s the form most suited to the medium. YouTubers playing it for the first time don’t need to complete the game because the experience of watching someone else play it is an effective-enough way for the audience to decide whether they wish they were playing it themselves. What isn’t effective is the mainstream alternative – but there’s enough understanding of that being an outdated way of thinking about video games for it to generally not matter to people. I think the comparable popularity of first impressions let’s-play videos compared to written mainstream reviews is recognition of that.

Published by Alexander Sigsworth

Writing about Herobrine in The Characters That Define Us at Normal Happenings. Profile photo chosen for Gamers Blog Party: Summer 2019 at Later Levels. Known as the Purple Prose Mage at the Well-Red Mage.

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