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Subject: Am I the only one who can't stand video reviews? rss

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Stefan Alexander
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I notice more and more video reviews - in fact, videos of all types. I wondered if I was the only one who thought this was a bad thing.

I like written reviews, since I can easily skim over uninteresting parts, and re-read important parts. Plus, I'll often open several reviews, skimming a bit to see if the style interests me before choosing one to read in-depth.

I can't do any of these things with video reviews. I'm stuck to the screen for the entire 5 or 10 minutes. It makes me jumpy just to think of being forced into the pace that the reviewer sets in the video. Since most of these are amateur productions, the pace tends to be quite slow. Not a criticism (video is a hard medium that way, I couldn't do any better myself), just a reality.

It's annoying enough that I'll never open a video review any more. I don't think I've looked at one in at least a year.

I find the same thing with news and articles online - I'll only read written stories. If I click an interesting link, and it's just a video, I'll just close it immediately.

If there were written reviews that used 5-second video clips instead of pictures for illustrating certain parts, I could probably stand that. But no more than 5 seconds. And maybe they played on mouse-over.

Am I just crazy and does everyone love the larger emphasis on video? Or are there others who feel that written text with pictures is a superior medium?

Edit: I meant to post this in the "General Gaming" forum, but ended up in the "General Farmageddon" forum. Apparently I don't know how to navigate forums properly (or read properly either)...
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Joshua Harris
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I like both. I am glad both exist, so that folks can get game reviews no matter which style the like. Don't we live in a golden age of gaming, that reviews of ANY kind exist for our perusal in such a variety of ways that we are even able to form opinions of which style we prefer?

I would have killed for game reviews of ANY kind all those years ago standing in front of a mountain of RPG books, or the wall of games at Toys"R"us, with nothing at all to help me pick.
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Christian Monterroso
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Interesting. I just realized that Board Game Video Reviews are the only kind of video review that I can stand. I never watch video reviews for anything else... not movies, not video games. Interesting. I do enjoy board game video reviews, though. Definitely not all of them. But a large percentage.
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Ed Federmeyer
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Yes, I understand where you are coming from.

Originally I didn't care for video reviews for those exact reasons.

Plus I like to pre-open a bunch of reviews in new tabs, and flip over to them over the course of the day as I find bits of time. That doesn't work so well with videos. soblue

Currently though, I do like a mix of video and written reviews for any given game.

I find the Tom Vassel Dice Tower video reviews to be snappy and fun to watch (as do many others!)

The Joe Steadman ASL videos are not reviews per se' but they are really great at teaching the complex game. I find those much easier to digest than even the other excellent written tutorials.

There are a few others who produce really good videos.

So, I guess I eventually found the fairly small number of very good video reviewers I like and will take the time to watch thier videos. And then I'll watch the other video reviews only if I'm really looking into a specific game seriously and trying to get all the info I can.

So for those of you writing written reviews, keep it up!
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Matthew M
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Moved to General Gaming
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CHAPEL
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I don't like Video reviews. In fact I don't like Written reviews. I find they put in too much preconceived notions and bias. So over the years, I've soured away from them. Probably because I've come to the terms that most reviewers have terrible tastes in games, and just don't feel about games like I feel about games. I'd rather just play games I'm interested in, and talk about them with the people whom I game with.

Play games, don't read about them.

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Ebon Hawk
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What the monkey guy said (if he ever changes his avatar, this comment will seem odd).
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Anna Bruna
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I like both (with a preference for written reviews because they are quicker to absorb and I don't have to put on headphones if family members are sleeping).

I do tend to avoid the video reviewers who ramble on a lot. I agree Tom Vassel's reviews are good because they move quickly and are direct and to the point (although he tends to recommend games that I wouldn't necessarily buy). I also like Scott Nicolson's In Play reviews because they are brief and have several people's opinions.

Video tutorials and 'unboxing' videos can be quite helpful in deciding where or not I'd like the game.
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Jack Reda
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I think you might be a little cracked. I find the video reviews infinitely more useful, because I can then see the components, in action. It puts everything in perspective more clearly. How does one skip over uninteresting parts? That is, how do you know it's uninteresting if you don't read it? I get that you can easily move around the written review, but I like that the videos can show actual game play, which is going to be superior to a written description of game play.
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Michael Hyland

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Strange. I think vid reviews are great.

I can't imagine buying something without seeing a vid of it first just to see how it plays. Writing just can't do that.

It's pretty easy to fast forward a vid and get to the part you are interested in.
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I like video reviews, but they do vary GREATLY in quality. I'll usually skip it if one turns out to be more than 8 or 9 minutes long. I find the illustrations of gameplay particularly useful in video reviews. For me, it is easier to follow when you see the gameplay demonstrated in "real time," rather than just described in a text that may be, but usually isn't, accompanied by a photo. For that, I can read the rule book.

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Dan Cristelli
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Some people are visual learners, some are auditory. some watch videos to learn, some read. It's as simple as that.

Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, let's call the whole thing off.
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Uncle Bouncy
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Yes
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Sue Hemberger

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No!
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Kelsey Rinella
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Virtually any video content longer than thirty seconds would be easier for me to grasp if it were reduced to something written with perhaps as much as thirty seconds of (usually gameplay) video attached. I agree with those who like seeing a game in action, but there's very rarely more than a few seconds (perhaps time-lapsed) of that which is necessary to get a sense for everything that's easier to get from video than text for my particular brain.
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Rick Koeppen
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The way I look at it, and I could simply be insane, is that if I wanted to read a long wall of text about a game, I would just read the game's rulebook to help me form an opinion if I would enjoy it or not. With videos, it is a little show with personality and allows the viewer to see how the game looks in hand in a way that even reviews with pictures don't do.
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Andrew Young
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Can't stand any video material posted here. Ignore it all.

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J C Lawrence
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Can't stand? No. With rare exception I merely find it useless.
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Andrew Young
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Can't stand watching the useless stuff. How's that?



Totally get if others love it. I don't like it.
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Samo Oleami
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Strange, I enjoy the video reviews so I can skip to the review part without watching any of the rest in the first place. (you can do that in youtube no problem). Of course IF there is something to jump to - dudes, doing explanations of rules and then mumble something along the line "I like it so you play it" does not constitute a review. With these restrictions you can throw away 90% of the videos.

For me videos are great first introduction to a game, and if I'm interested to see how it plays (about 1/10th of the time) I can do that too. If I'm still interested I do further research (written reviews geekbuddies).

Or I can listen to Calendale's rambling as a podcast a do other stuff in between. Too bad he stopped with those zany camera shots from the first clips (where you can tell the game he's showing is the one he's talking about and that's about it).

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Uncle Bouncy wrote:
Yes

smithhemb wrote:
No!


Maybe*

*Yeah, I feel better.
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MWChapel wrote:
I don't like Video reviews. In fact I don't like Written reviews. I find they put in too much preconceived notions and bias. So over the years, I've soured away from them. Probably because I've come to the terms that most reviewers have terrible tastes in games, and just don't feel about games like I feel about games. I'd rather just play games I'm interested in, and talk about them with the people whom I game with.

Play games, don't read about them.



This strategy wouldn't work for me or my gaming group. There are too many games and there is too little time. Something must be used to assist in making decisions on what games to try. If it wasn't video reviews it would be written ones and if it wasn't those than it would be a combination of reading the game description and the ratings. I have personally found video's to be very helpful in deciding what to try.
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Stefan Alexander
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Lots of interesting replies here, thanks!

MWChapel wrote:
I don't like Video reviews. In fact I don't like Written reviews.


Hmmm, maybe I don't like reviews much either, and that's why I vastly prefer written once so I can just skip through most of them. Or not that I don't like them... just that I want some specific info out of them, and most of the time I don't get it, or I have to sift through lots of stuff I don't care about.

Veniroma wrote:
I like both (with a preference for written reviews because they are quicker to absorb and I don't have to put on headphones if family members are sleeping).


That's a good point too - I probably didn't realize it, but I'd have to put on headphones as well (at work) and that just seems like a pain, maybe that's part of my subconscious aversion.

The Warp wrote:
I think you might be a little cracked.


You have no idea...

The Warp wrote:
I find the video reviews infinitely more useful, because I can then see the components, in action. It puts everything in perspective more clearly.


Logically, that makes sense. A picture is worth a thousands words, so a video is worth... 30 pictures a second? I just can't bring myself to actually click and commit that amount of time, much of which won't be interesting to me.

The Warp wrote:
How does one skip over uninteresting parts? That is, how do you know it's uninteresting if you don't read it?


Headings help - you just skip to the next major one. Or you skim and you can just tell when they get onto a new topic. I read a lot of long boring stuff (for work, journal papers and the like), so I get a lot of practice.

rinelk wrote:
Virtually any video content longer than thirty seconds would be easier for me to grasp if it were reduced to something written with perhaps as much as thirty seconds of (usually gameplay) video attached. I agree with those who like seeing a game in action, but there's very rarely more than a few seconds (perhaps time-lapsed) of that which is necessary to get a sense for everything that's easier to get from video than text for my particular brain.


I think you managed to describe exactly how I feel...

clearclaw wrote:
Can't stand? No. With rare exception I merely find it useless.


I suppose I should qualify my statement... I don't have a problem with the existence of video reviews, they don't bother me. But I can't stand watching them myself, and the thought of doing so makes me jumpy. Could you "not stand" the thought of watching a useless video?

sgosaric wrote:
...With these restrictions you can throw away 90% of the videos.


I guess that's part of my problem... how many bad videos would I have to watch to get one good one? That doesn't seem worth it. Kind of like "how many episodes of Big Bang Theory would I have to sit through to laugh once"...

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Jeff Warrender
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I certainly prefer written reviews. There's something engaging about crisply written English prose, and a review that pulls it off is enjoyable to read for its own sake. I enjoy reading Roger Ebert's film reviews even when I don't have the slightest interest in seeing the film he's reviewing.

Another virtue of written reviews is that they're easier to interact with. It's easy to quote a block of text that you strongly agree with or disagree with, and easy for everyone to go back and verify that you've taken its context correctly into account with your reply. Video reviews don't offer easy interactivity in this way.

For me, the most important things in a review are the description/summary of the mechanisms and the interesting decisions they force on the player, and I don't find I need to see someone manipulating the components to be able to get this information (nor do I generally need to see the components themselves, actually; I could take or leave pictures in reviews. For me, too many pictures just makes the review take longer to load).
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