The Video Game Critic's
Updated 21 Nov 2010
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Video Game Critic? I'm a computer professional with a life-long passion for video games. Ever since I first played Pong at my cousin's house in the mid-1970's, I've been hooked. I purchased many consoles and games over the years, but usually sold them to help finance newer systems. In the late 90's I discovered that through the magic of the Internet I could reaquire all of the the classic games I used to own (or ever wanted to own) from Ebay and other sites. I stopped selling back my games and began collecting classic systems.
I discovered several text-only sites on-line with capsule reviews of old Atari 2600 games, and I loved reading them. Tomorrow's Heroes was a major early influence. I began posting my own reviews to a modest home page in June of 1999 entitled "Dave's Video Game Reviews". In 2000 I changed the name to The Video Game Critic, not because I liked the name (the word "critic" seems so negative) but because nobody else was using it and it seemed appropriate. My friend Steve redesigned my site with frames and graphics. The basic layout has pretty much remained the same ever since. In recent years Mark Jewell has helped spruce up the look of the site with a variety of artistic banners and icons.
My discontent with other review sites fueled my new hobby. I made a concerted effort to keep my reviews short and use a straightforward grading system. I also wanted to maintain a "working man's perspective" to counterbalance all of the "I finished this game in only 60 hours!" nonsense I was reading. I was also tired of reviewers trashing old games solely because of their antiquated graphics while being totally oblivious to their excellent, timeless gameplay.
I hope you enjoy the site. I intend to keep it ad-free because his site is not about the money - it's for the love of the games! As of the latest writing, it contains over 3600 reviews covering 38 platforms. Not too shabby!
Here are the answers to few common questions:
What makes you such an expert?
I have over 30 years of game-playing experience, having played video games on a regular basis since I was a young child. I own every major system which helps me maintain a historical perspective when writing reviews. As a professional in the computer field, I am familiar with the technology and challenges developers face. I actually wrote several video games on my own in the 1980s and the early 1990s. These included a Ghostbusters-inspired shooter, a side-scrolling ninja fighter, and a baseball game (complete with close-up pitcher/batter screen). I wish I still had those, but they were shipped off to Goodwill many years ago.
How do you make money off of the site?
Whenever someone clicks on an Ebay or Amazon link (at the end of each review) and it results in a sale, I'm awarded a commission. Please use these links! Even if the product you bid on is not the original one you clicked on, I will still get a referral bonus.
Do you write all of these reviews?
Yes, although my friend Jonathan has contributed a number of RPG reviews. Unfortunately, since I do not have an editor, it's easy for typos and grammatical errors to creep into my reviews. If you see one please send me an email and I will fix it right away.
Why don't you review PC games?
One of the big advantages of console games is their pick-up-and-play quality. When I was playing PC games, I was spending most of my time installing patches and upgrading. I got fed up with it. Besides, reviewing games for every console in existence keeps me busy enough!
Why don't you like RPGs (Role Playing Games)?
This is a common misconception. Actually, I do enjoy RPGs, but they require more of a time investment than ordinary games, and I can't usually invest enough time in one to write a fair review.
What are your grades based on?
Unlike every other review site on this planet, I judge each game against other games for the same system. In theory, there should be just as many "F" games as "A" games on any given system. An "F" doesn't necessarily mean a game is unplayable, but it does indicate the game ranks near the bottom compared to the other titles available for the system. My main criteria by far is "fun". Am I having a good time playing this game? Secondary considerations include graphics, sound, and control. Still, it boils down to the opinion of one guy, so take these reviews for what they're worth. I try to keep things light, so don't take anything on this site too seriously.
Why are your reviews only one paragraph long?
I personally prefer reading reviews that are short and to-the-point instead of the over-indulgent, multi-page diatribes I've seen on other sites. My paragraphs have grown over the years, but I'm making an effort to be more concise!
How can I support the site?
First, please spread the word about this site to your friends! Add links to the VGC from your own personal sites, and encourage other sites to do likewise. This will increase the VGC's visibility in search engines. And please use my links to access Amazon and Ebay when you're planning to buy anything from those sites.
Thank you for your support and encouragement!