What does a Game Critic do?

Marisa O'Connor

A game critic is a person who reviews video games professionally or as a hobby. These critics may write for a magazine or website. Either way, they are sure to play a lot of video games, take notes, and publish reviews. The reviews provide feedback for game designers and developers who help shape the future of video games. Game critics also provide information about the gaming experience and help consumers decide which games to buy.

It is a good idea to read a game critic's take on a new game before purchasing it.
It is a good idea to read a game critic's take on a new game before purchasing it.

A game critic writes for gaming magazines or websites. What determines the success of a critic is the content of the review. It can be easier to write reviews for an already established magazine or website, but many modern game critics are starting up their own game review blogs. This can be a better option for critics who wish to keep more of their own voice in the review, as opposed to following someone else's guidelines.

Game critics may write about the latest releases for a magazine.
Game critics may write about the latest releases for a magazine.

A game critic plays a lot of video games. Some critics specialize in a niche genre, such as first-person shooter games, but most review a wide variety of games. This means that a video game critic does end up having to play many games that do not interest him or her.

The game critic doesn't usually play video games like the average gamer. He or she typically uses some kind of note-taking device while playing to prevent leaving any important aspects of the game experience out of the review. The particular methodology adapted varies with each individual critic. He or she may take notes with a pen and paper, on a computer, or record the gaming experience with video or audio and take notes later.

Game critics play a part in helping to shape the gaming industry by providing feedback to game developers and designers. They can serve as a mouthpiece for gamers at large. It isn't a perfect system, as all reviews are subjective, but the more game critics are giving feedback, the wider sample of opinions there are available for future game developers.

Game critics review games before they are available to the public. They can help consumers decide whether to buy a game. The game critic plays an important role in video game advertising. A great review by a popular game critic can shine a light on lesser known games, providing visibility to consumers who may have never heard of the game.

Video games have developed into an entire subculture. Part of the game critic's job description is to bring more awareness and credibility to the gaming culture. Despite the fact that some art critics may cringe at the thought, video games have entered the arena as valid art forms. Game critics often analyze video games as seriously as art critics see a sculpture or movie critics watch at a film.

Game critics often have a passion for video game experiences.
Game critics often have a passion for video game experiences.

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Discussion Comments


A game reviewer simply gives info about the game and usually hypes it. A game critic is supposed to look at the finished product objectively and point out where it succeeds, where it fails, and how good it is, based on these two criteria.


I love video games, and I'd like to be a game critic one day. While some people may see them as mindless entertainment, I see them as an art form. They have some pretty deep meaning behind them. This is especially true for the RPGs, such as Final Fantasy. The plots are very complex, and the characters have back-stories you don't often see in the world of gaming. Between the graphics, music, sound, story, and plot, a video game can immerse you into the world. Even to the point where you actually care about the characters.


Generally speaking, I don't follow the reviews of games critics. While they do tend to have some good advice, I find that they tend to over hype the game. Every time a new video game comes out, I always see raving reviews from them. However, when I buy the game and actually play it, it's a completely different story. Maybe my problem is that I set my expectations so high, that they can never be met.

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