The Video Game Critic's
Updated Dec, 19 2022
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Video Game Critic? Just a software engineer with a life-long passion for video games. I've been hooked since I first played Pong at my cousin's house in the late-1970's. In my youth I purchased as many consoles and games as I could, but typically sold them to help finance newer systems. Then in the late 90's I discovered the magic of the internet which allowed me to reaquire all of the the old systems and games I used to own (or wanted to own). I stopped selling back my games and began collecting classic systems.
I really enjoyed reading text-only sites with capsule reviews of old Atari games. 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 title ("critic" sounds so negative) but because nobody else was using it. My buddy Steve designed my site with frames and graphics - a layout that would remain in place until 2012. At that time Terry Herman provided me with a much-needed modern layout (including mobile version), with Mark Jewell contributing a variety of artistic banners and icons.
Over the years I've made a concerted effort to keep my reviews concise and with a straightforward grading system. I wanted to maintain a "working man's perspective" to counterbalance some of the other "serious" sites with their overindulgent, multi-page diatribes that read like thesis papers. I was also tired of modern reviewers not giving the old school the proper respect.
How do you make money off the site?
I don't. I've experimented with a few advertising campaigns but for the most part I prefer to keep the site ad-free. I run the site for my personal satisfaction, and naturally for the love of the games! I do make a small commission from my Ebay and Amazon links.
What makes you such an expert?
I have over 45 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 computer professional I am familiar with the technology and challenges developers face. I actually wrote several video games on my early days, including 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 (with my old computers) many years ago.
Why don't you like RPGs (Role Playing Games)?
Actually, I do enjoy RPGs, but I tend to be reviewing several games at a given time and I often feel like I can't afford the time investment required to write a fair review. I post about one RPG review per year.
Do you write all of these reviews?
I write 99% of my reviews. However, several members of my "RPG review crew" have chipped in with role playing game reviews to fill the gaping chasms of my review collection. I rarely had the time to dedicate to RPGs so I accept reviews from these seasoned experts, editing their draft to match the review format of the site. I also have a buddy who provides me with occasional Commodore 64 reviews.
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!
What are your grades based on?
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. I also tend to revise reviews after a period of time has passed.
Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy the site!