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Most Dubious Press Release Ever?

March 16th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 10 Comments · Media

In service to gamers everywhere, Algoma University’s Masters of Science in Computer Games Technology students are lending their expertise and a critical eye to a new video game review website. The site is located at www.mastersgamereview.com.

I admire their hubris, but I doubt that even recent very good commercial ventures would launch with the claim that they are, by their mere presence, a service to gamers everywhere.

The site does reaffirm my conviction that I would rather hire a writer than a gamer.


10 Comments so far ↓

  • bowl of snakes

    While this example might be underwhelming, I can’t help but think some bigger universities will probably do more game related sites in the future (if they aren’t already). I mean, reviews are kind of lame, but it might be cool to see a bunch of grad students to dive into some interesting interdisciplinary topics related to gaming. Maybe Stanford or MIT or somewhere has some spare gamer nerd brain cycles.

  • Alan Au

    To Algoma’s credit, they do sponsor the Future Play conference. However, I’m amused by the claim that their new review website is somehow offering a “service to gamers everywhere,” as if game reviews are somehow difficult to find. I would much rather they had gone with something along the lines of Joystick101.org rather than trying to crowd into the enthusiast-press space.

  • Thomas Kiley

    To be fair, if they didn’t come out with an outrageous press release, would they get any attention? As Alan pointed out, game reviewers are ten a penny.

  • Tim McDonald

    It’s an interesting idea, but… yeah, it’d be more interesting seeing them do something other than reviews, and I think they’d have a better shot at being popular and/or noticed that way. It doesn’t help that I’m rather underwhelmed by the quality of the reviews on offer, either. Makes me think of GameFAQs, although that may be slightly *too* insulting.

  • Tim McDonald

    And now that I’ve taken a moment to actually look at the reviewers, and their qualifications and areas of study, I have no doubt in my mind that they could write some genuinely interesting articles, rather than just doing reviews. Sigh.

  • Scott R. Krol

    The site reeks of being a little too pretentious.

  • Nicholas Tam

    On the contrary, I don’t see any pretension at all. I just see more of the same old categorical score-it-out-of-10 should-you-buy-it-or-not consumer advice that I can already get from GameFAQs. If their credentialed specialization in video games is to confer any meaningful authority, the onus is on them to prove it.

    We don’t need more game-players writing “criticism” – we need more critics playing games. I don’t mind reviews of individual titles, but game criticism – ALL game criticism, not just these blokes – has to move beyond an affirmation that a game does or doesn’t live up to the hype on the box.

    It’s nice to know that graphics are good, controls are smooth, and the bugs are all worked out, but that’s equivalent to reviewing books for the legibility of their typesetting. It tells me nothing about design, and suggests no vision for the direction of the craft.

  • Troy

    I agree with Nicholas. There is no pretension here that I can see, and certainly much less than I would find on many mainstream review sites.

    The problem, as Nicholas says, is that there is little evidence of their so-called expertise being used. It’s just another x/10 scoring site with poorer writing. I don’t see how it required a press release at all, to be honest, since it is little different from a thousand gaming blogs.

    Not this one, of course.

  • Scott R. Krol

    It’s the whole “Masters in Gaming” that rubs me the wrong way. I know that it’s probably just a nod to the MS degree program, but it just reads like “We’re almighty, you’re a bunch of peons.”

    That, and the fact that instead of some sort of light bio for the reviewers we get what is essentially a resume. As if someone’s work experience then translates into them being a superior game reviewer.

  • jb

    Scott, if you were a student on the course, wouldn’t you want to plaster your resume in as many places as possible? Especially on a site that could receive quite a few hits?