How to take criticism (from a pro)

I saw problems that deserved to be addressed. And I was deliberately vicious in the words I chose when describing those problems. I knew, when I wrote the piece, that it was going to upset both players and developers.

Yep, we’re back to that PC Gamer article, from the June 2008 issue. Tim Edwards has made a post about the article and the follow-up discussions with Mythic as well as how the review was received in the community. Obviously, he notes from the off that he knew the review was a little inflammatory – all good publicity for the magazine, and honestly.. for the game too.

What’s interesting to me is that I don’t tend to think too much about the individuals behind the reviews too much. I tend to take games reviews as something interesting, but not make or break. When you get to be a reviewer for a title such as PC Gamer, your views have more influence, both on the developers and on the community.

Tim mentions again that he met with Paul Barnett to discuss his negative comments, and how Mythic had taken them on board and were working hard to fix them. Whether they succeed, we will (hopefully) soon be able to judge for ourselves. But, there’s nothing here I haven’t mentioned before… except when Tim goes on to discuss how the Warhammer Online community received his review.

The amazing thing, though, is just how smart gamers are. It’s easy, in these communities, to reject dissent. Warhammer’s players didn’t seem to. They read the preview, talked it over, and took it all on board. There is vitriol, yes. There always is. This is the internet. But it gives me hope, and makes me happy, that so many of Warhammer’s community didn’t try and kill me.

Let’s hope that going forward, we can remember these words and take them as an indication of how criticism should be given and received. When we criticise, we have the ability to feed back useful insights and information and to give some views on how things could change to improve the game/community/realm/review/whatever. And always read through the material for yourself before coming to a conclusion.

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3 Responses

  1. If the game developers take everything on board we are sure to have a good game.

  2. The game has to be released at some point however, and no developer has the luxury of taking criticisms on board indefinitely. At some point the game will have to be exposed to the harsh light of day, warts and all!

  3. […] “How to take criticism (from a pro)” reexamines the whole PC Gamer UK article in a new light, responding to this blog post by the author. […]

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