Why one-minute?

By Alex Kierkegaard / November 10, 2007

... and whatever a man knows, whatever is not mere rumbling and roaring that he has heard, can be said in three words.


Tired of suffering through endless pages of poorly-written reviews, looking for hints of insight, and finding none? Had enough yet of the incompetent and blatantly dishonest professional reviewers of the big sites, or the drooling fanboy shmucks of the small ones? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, perhaps this new section of insomnia is what you are looking for. If not, then hey, fuck you too, bitch. We've got enough readers already.

Seriously, though, I've been meaning to get this going for a long time now, and I am just glad I finally got around to it. The idea is simple, and, like many other ideas you see me employing on this website, I had to go look for it somewhere outside the extremely emetic and mildly retarded world of videogame journalism. So we are taking a hint from movie critics (and specifically from the indefatigable Roger Ebert), and will shortly begin to feature extremely short, concise reviews, written by people with decades of experience in gaming who know what they are talking about. So no rambling opening paragraphs or random anecdotes that have nothing to do with the game in question and which no one gives a fuck about anyway. No manual regurgitation and tedious explanations about which button does what or how many squillions of polygons each crock of shit in the game is made up of. No padding the page with filler text just to create more advertising space. It's all going to be 100% honest, unmerciful, hard-hitting criticism, and to hell with the whole videogame military-industrial complex that's been dragging this medium through the gutter for the last fifteen years.

A friend of mine, who also happens to run one of the best videogame-related sites around, was rather negative about this whole idea when I explained it to him. According to his view, a brief paragraph cannot possibly provide enough space for one to evaluate and pass judgement on a game. I told him that, the way I see things, most games do not even deserve a whole paragraph, and gave as an example the Oneechan series. What -- does anyone expect me to sit down and write full-length reviews of every single one of those horrible button-mashers? And how idiotic would it be to write in-depth reviews of games which have... no depth? He agreed with me there but still insisted that games which do have depth should never _ever_ be treated in this manner. I don't know, man -- I just don't know... So, if, like, someone comes up to me in the street and asks me my opinion on some random videogame, I should just tell him to wait for my in-depth review? Am I not allowed to say what I think about a game in a couple of sentences? And it's not like I'll suddenly stop writing in-depth reviews. Games that deserve them will still get them -- though, unfortunately, the state of videogame reviewing being what it is these days, I am afraid that some undeserving games must also be reviewed in-depth on occasion, if only in an effort to open people's eyes about them. But that is another subject for another day...

Getting back on-topic, I want to say a few things about the people who will be joining me from time to time as guest reviewers (some of whom will also be writing full-length reviews, when they feel like it). They are basically gamers I've known for a long time, and to whom I turn to when I need to ask for advice on certain game-related subjects. Arrogant bastard that I am, this is the highest praise I can bestow on them. So the point is that if you come here because you value and trust my opinion, you will value and trust theirs. (If you don't, then just re-read the last two sentences of the first paragraph, because you must have missed them the first time round.)

As for the kinds of games that will be reviewed, the selection will of course be indiscriminate. From Spacewar and Pong (I am deadly serious -- wait and see) to the latest hulking monstrosity that can only be experienced in a Japanese arcade, and to all kinds of blockbusters and independent efforts from around the world, nothing and no one will be safe from the wrath of our combined reviewing might... or some shit. This is a website about the magic of electronic gaming, and it's targeted to adults -- if you are twelve you can go back to reading or

A last note regarding the "discuss in forum" link on the sidebar of each of these forthcoming review pages. The idea is that, if you want to ask a question or offer your opinion on any of the games reviewed, you can log onto the forum and speak your mind. However, please remember that every game can only ever have one thread in the forum, so make sure you've used the search function before starting one (if you do end up starting a duplicate thread it won't be the end of the world -- the administrator (currenly me, but not for long) will simply lock it and direct you to the appropriate thread. But it's best if everyone does their homework and we save me/him some effort). Finally, please note that we cannot guarantee to answer every request immediately -- if at all. I will do my best to read and answer every comment in the forum directed at me, but sometimes even I need a break, and certainly I cannot presume to speak for all the others.

So that's it for now. Loads of reviews coming up, so don't say we didn't warn you. Until next time: take care of yourselves, and each other.