Video game reviewing was pioneered by such outlets as Electronic Gaming Monthly in 1989 throughout the United States, and Famitsu, a popular Japanese magazine, that unlike EGM, has been around since 1986 and exists to this day. What do video game reviews contribute to society? What do video game reviews solve or whom do they help?
Barely, if anyone and anything at all.
Video games are enjoyed by many. Some are savvy, devout know-it-alls and some are casual. Of course, there are exceptions, but for the most part, this remains true. A susbstantial number of those savvy gamers are active message board posters, and will stop at absolutely nothing to do everything in his or her power to further evangelize his or her supposed "ultimate video game".
Although I sadly do not have a credible metric that will support the number of vocal message board members, let me have you know there are quite a few that may be unquestionably categorized as Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft fanboys; all the while, wearing their biases on their sleves during a rampant message board discussion.
Similar to those lifeless few who conduct the bulk of their political debating on YouTube, message board users will senselessly argue the merits of one video game or console over another to the point where you're convinced his religion is in the name of Sony or Microsoft. You would think people in this day and age would persue endeavors slightly more worthwhile, right? I suppose this is the way people perform business these days; in the most brash and hostile manner possible. I mean look at what our town hall meetings have degenerated into. This is a generation of dynamic "change", action, innovation, and versatility. Although most of this is achieved through long, arduous arguments that never may never seize for years on end. Only until then, will bills be passed, laws modernized, problems alleviated, roads fixed, and maybe even hardcore, skeptical, egotistical gamers annihilated.
The simple act of expressing thoughts or ideas can be both satisfying and rewarding. But with so many publishing outlets saturating the industry on the internet, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to stake out a claim to fame or credible following that reliably will visit the site each day or so. At the same time, it's easy to see why reviewing video games is such a sought-after job: playing video games and writing what you think of the experience the game provided is essentially all that's required of a video game reviewer.
With the wake of EGM in mind, shoddy imitators are inevitable. So gamers are tasked with answering the question: Which source do I trust? By most, such a question is met by a resounding "Metacritic!". Metacritic, most notably known for its aggregation of the review scores of many video game-centric outlets, is a widely trusted destination for the devout gamer.
Ultimately, games are not only used as a form of entertainment, but also a source of debate. Consider the verbal assaulting that has taken on the internet no different than a debate team. Same nerds, new generation.