If you want to read a video game review, where do you turn? Kotaku, IGN, Giant Bomb, or any of the septillion established Youtubers that do game reviews? Those are fine options but might I point you to Maxim magazine?
I was looking at old video game review scores on Wikipedia, the other day, and noticed something interesting. All of the scores were attributed to the same publications that you would assume: IGN, EGM, OXM, Game Informer, etc. Every once in a while, though, there was a score from one of two anomalous company’s. I kept seeing reviews from Playboy and Maxim.
[Disclaimer: I am not saying you should read these publications. I’m not even saying these two magazines are remotely close to one another in their content. Most importantly, I am not bashing the reviews or people who wrote them.]
This discovery fascinated me. I started looking into this phenomenon. It seems that Playboy didn’t review all that many games (that I could find) but Maxim sure did.
Playboy: “Gungrave”, for the PS2 - 65%
Playboy: “Circus Maximus”, for XBOX - 70%
Maxim: “Star Wars: Racer Revenge” - 6.5/10
Maxim: “Jet Set Radio Future” - 8/10
Maxim: “Ecco the dolphin: Defender of the future” - 6/10
These review scores are oddly close to the scores of the “regular” video game reviewers.
To this day it seems Maxim talks about video games in a more “Entertainment-as-a-whole” way. Not really any reviews to speak of. Playboy, as far as I can tell from my admittedly limited research, no longer talks about them at all. Honestly, I’m kind of bummed about that. Maybe they offered a different perspective about the games than your average person on Youtube... or maybe the reviews were trash? I don’t know. Let’s all just perform a thought experiment where we live in a world without Kotaku, Polygon, or YOUR FAVORITE SITE HERE, and we get all of the newest E3 info between pages of “Hottest Hotties” and “Get your best pump in 12 minutes”.
Video games have been reviewed by people of every demographic. People of all walks of life, experiences, and backgrounds have put down their opinion about video games in an editorial way. If a person wants to write about video games, as a career, they are going to find a place to do it. Remember that the next time you are flipping through a Playboy.