Being a critic isn’t a “new thing”. It’s been around for centuries, as I learnt in our lecture, it began way back in the days when the French Royal Academy first opened in 1737. To this day, critics still play a heavy role in the world, especially in creative media. Sure, you can say that we’re all capable of being our own “critic”, but what most people don’t understand is that there’s a fine line between being a critic, and just your average reviewer.
Having your work appraised allows you to understand what you did well, and how you can improve yourself and your projects for a later date. In a sense, it’s like an involuntary education. If critics reviews are well written and concise, you’ll find that they will convey the pros and cons of what you have done in a professional and ethical manner, which will further assist in your overall productivity. This sort of feedback is crucial in knowing if your work is going to be a successful, or an absolute flop. It’s a critics job to dissect every detail of the media they’re presented with. On the flip side, you’ll find that the consensus’ voice cries louder than a critics whimper.
Reviewers are made up of the general public who express their own opinions on the product they choose on any form of media. These days, you’re more likely to find reviews on the internet. A “review” is based on how the production affected that particular individual. Since not everyone is going to enjoy the same things, you tend to find that each person will react differently. Some even become so impassioned that they go to the extremes of threatening those who worked these projects. One particular incident I wish to highlight is the GameSpot’s review on Grand Theft Auto V. Written by Carolyn Petit, she highly praised the game for its innovation, wondrous open world, the characters and much more. The one issue she found? That it was misogynistic. Sure, these days we’ve come to expect that from a GTA game. It’s rough, gory, and they creators aren’t afraid to push the boundaries. Having said that, the public’s reaction to her comments in regards to the treatment of women in the game, in my opinion, was excessive.
Grand Theft Auto V Wallpaper
Carolyn Petit’s comments at the time sparked thousands of people into a wild scorn. Not only did people petition for her instant dismissal from GameSpot, some even went as far as to threaten her and her family. The worst part is? Once one person had made the threats, others followed suit. Que vicious cycle of rage and torment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I truly value the thoughts and opinions of the general public. In fact, I’m willing to go as far as to say I hold both at about par to one another. Everyone has different tastes and experiences that would base the outcome of the critique differently for everyone. So what appeals to them will be different. It doesn’t matter if you get paid for it, or if you just want to express yourself. What I like to remember is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
Reviews and critiques are an important part of what we do. It helps us to develop higher quality work and to allow you to improve for later projects. The problem I face? Separating my personal emotions for my work with my professional ethic. I will learn to separate the two to save myself the extra stress and heartache if things don’t go as swimmingly as I originally predicted.
Dena, C. (2015). Week 4: Critics, Reviewers, and Journalists. Medium. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-4-critics-reviewers-and-journalists-8bd8666d2f3
Edwards, J. (2014). Video Gamers Are Having A Bizarre Debate Over Whether Sending Death Threats to Women is A Serious Issue or Not. Business Insider. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/gamergate-death-threats-2014-10
Marcus, R. (2007). Critic And Reviewer: A Difference in Intent. Blog Critics. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://blogcritics.org/critic-and-reviewer-a-difference-in/
Parfitt, B. (2013). Gamers Petition for Sacking of GameSpot Writer Who Criticized GTAV for Misogyny. The Market for Computer & Video Games. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/gamers-petition-for-sacking-of-gamespot-writer-who-criticised-gtav-for-misogyny/0121238
Petit, C. (2013). City of Angels and Demons. GameSpot. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/grand-theft-auto-v-review/1900-6414475/