What Is Review Bombing? Why Amazon Stopped ‘Rings of Power’ Reviews

If you Google reviews for Amazon’s hotly anticipated show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, you’ll see a huge disparity between critics and everyday users, leading to speculation that the series has been bombed with reviews. It’s a term that originated in the video game community but is becoming increasingly popular in movies, TV shows, and music. So, what is a review bomb and why is Amazon shutting down? Rings of Power evaluate? We explain.

What is a review bomb?

“Review bomb” is used to describe a group of disgruntled fans who use the internet to post a piece of media with negative reviews, then present a distorted version of how it is received. Review bombing originated in the video game community in 2008, but since then it has begun to affect cinema, television, and music. Sometimes negative reviews have valid feedback – there can be a significant bug in the video game or the CGI in the movie looks cheap or unrealistic – this feedback is considered constructive. But as Bond University scholars Christian Moro and James Birt point out in an article for Conversation Published in August 2022, “review bombing” often comes from a more malicious and often bigoted motive: “[Review-bombers] may be motivated by ideological disagreement with the content of the game or dislike of a developer’s actions. “

our last part 2

The Last of Us Part 2. Naughty Dog / Sony

What was the first example of a review bombing?

When Electronic Arts released Spore in 2008 with its DRM (digital rights management) system prevented game buyers from installing it more than three times, to prevent piracy, but because it was poorly implemented, users turned to Amazon in a widely coordinated backlash. Of course, consumers are entitled to their opinion, but regarding Spore, Ars Technica reporter Ben Kuchera observed how quickly it could become manipulative at the time. “Amazon bombarding-reviews are a particularly nasty way of making things clear; casual gamers who don’t know about this campaign might not bother reading the content of the reviews and just assume the game isn’t that great,” he wrote. To really give their opinion, users have gone beyond reviews for Spore and infiltrate other EA titles, distorting the developer’s way of getting other games.

Sexism, racism and other bigotry

Although users have valid criticisms of Spore, the culture of critical bombing has become far more virulent, with racist, misogynistic, or bigotry opinions. Video game with female protagonist. Unfortunately, many senior members of the gaming industry have harbored the notion that women have no place in the world of video games. Jean-Max Morris, CapCom .’s game creative director Miss metold the popular Penny Arcade in 2013: “We’ve got some [publishers] say, ‘Well, we don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to work out. You cannot have a female character in the game. It has to be a male character, simple as that’. ” Therefore, in the complete misunderstanding of which video games should be talked about, some male gamers feel that video games are just their territory and women need to be kicked out.

For example, Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II–a military strategy game set in Ancient Rome – originally released in 2013 but updated in 2018 to allow female generals. Users covered up their sexist criticism when complaining about “historical accuracy”, but a female community content manager responded, saying the game was designed to ” historically authentic, historically incorrect”. Users responded by accusing the community manager of pushing a personal agenda.

The Last of Us Part II argumentative

Perhaps the most famous example of review bombing in recent years, the Sony/Naughty Dog video game The Last of Us Part II being dragged through the mud by so-called “fans” who are annoyed by the direction of a beloved character, the unclear ending, and the fact that the game is led by two heroine, one of whom has a same-sex plot. Several homophobic reviews accused the game of “promoting an LGBTQ agenda,” according to Metacritic, a review aggregator. It was so brutal that YouTube users disabled comments on their videos for harassment reasons, and others received actual death threats for speaking positively about the game. This despite the game received a standing ovation from critics and a slew of awards. The Our final The player base is particularly protective of the topic, so it’s possible that HBO will face similar vitriol when their adaptation comes out next year regardless of how good it is objectively.

The Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings The Rings of Power. Courtesy of Prime Video

Why is Amazon pausing reviews about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Right after Amazon launched The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power On September 5, the streaming service suspended user reviews to weed out slurs and ensure the reviews are legitimate. Critically, the show has scored well so far. The film has an 85% approval rating on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes but has a 39% audience score. Unfortunately, racism and toxicity abounds regarding the casting of Ismael Cruz-córdova, who plays Elf Arondir, and other Black actors in the series. We won’t provide that obstinate airtime here. However, Ismael was wrong, writing in a lengthy Instagram post: “I continue this quest in the hope that I will make it a little easier for others. And perhaps inspire at least one person to do the same. There, I kept my Elven dream. And here I am. Black, Latino, Puerto Rican, Proud and Elven AF. ” One Reddit user on the “LOTR_on_Prime” subreddit perfectly summed it up: “If you were really a fan, you would treat this work of others with at least respect and reverence for this work. with what it represents. What will really be [Tolkien] rolling around in his grave would be juvenile and pathological behavior exhibited by so-called lovers of his work. If you truly love and appreciate the work, you’ll want the stories and beauty to spread as widely as possible, even if that means adapting the story to become widely available in the world. 21st century”.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.


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Russell Falcon

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