The objective of any review, be it of a TV show, a Film, a Book, a Game, or the last shit you just took, is to provide a valid critique of said work of art/bowel movement (the 2 not being mutually exclusive, mind). I’ve highlighted the important word here. Let’s take a better look:
1.an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work;detailed evaluation; review.
“an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work”. Now, i may be an unqualified unprofessional, but i’d find it pretty hard to criticize a company’s product when they’re using their million dollar money penis to squirt free holiday and merchandise jizz all over my pretty, naive face.
As you all know by now, this whole debacle started life as many other pointless arguments do, over a table covered in salted snacks. Some guy from some game website was pictured as the corporate shill he is flogging the latest Halo game accompanied by mountains of corporate sponsorships. When it was rightly pointed out by one Journalist that, hey, maybe big gaming review sites being in bed with advertising/merchandising/PR execs might slightly colour their opinions a teency-weency bit, gaming journalists all across the UK were quick to jump to their companions defence, decrying any accusations of people taking freebies for good reviews, and pointing out that he was probably jsut really hungry, and really thirsty, hence the Doritos and Dew. Most stalwart of these defenders was one Lauren Wainright, quoted as saying “i’d suck a dudes dick for a free PS3”. 
It’s certainly not a new phenomenon. As long as there have been games, there have been slimy cocksucking servants of Satan trying to colour reviewers opinions by sending them a free Zone of the Enders Fleshlight or something. PR is nothing new. Offering presents for good reviews has been happening since kids left apples and or handjobs for their teachers to get a good mark on their homework. It’s since been revealed that Lauren was probably the most prolific of merchandising whores in the industry, tagging herself #swagslag on Twitter, boasting of free dinners and holidays to Finland to meet Remedy, and writing detailed articles about how to get free games. But, if you’re a grown adult who actually took any reviews written by a college graduate too young to know who Rick Dangerous is, who got into the industry only cause she cant afford to buy videogames herself and seriously thinks Tomb Raider is a relevant franchise, then you should probably ask yourself some important questions about your lifestyle choice.
I’m not saying this is all her fault. It isn’t. She’s just been outed as the most prolific ‘will give 9/10’s for cash or prizes’ offender so far. The problem pretty much lies in an industry where it’s seen as standard practice for a company to lavish gifts and holidays upon the very people who’s job it is to critique their products and inform the public as to whether or not the product sucks a boatload of dicks or not. In other circles this practice is known as Bribery. In gaming, it’s known as ‘good PR’.
I, personally, have never taken bribes for any of the reviews contained within this blog. for a number of reasons:
1. Noone wants to pay for the opinions of an unknown blogger. That shit is as readily available as rape at Jimmy Saviles house.
2. I’m a grown man who can afford to buy his own Videogames and Holidays.
3. This site for some bizarre reason, actually has people who read it. Yes, most of them are here for Mario & Luigi gay fanfiction (i’m working on that guys, just give me time). But for the other 3 people, i’d honestly not be able to live with myself if id told you all to go out and buy MOH:Warfighter, just because EA sent me a free Tesco value Chicken Curry. Seriously, don’t buy that shit. You’re as bad as any #swagslag if you actually put money in EA’s pockets for making games as insulting to the intelligence as that shite.
Part of this problem, in my humble opinion, is down to the perception that gaming is a kids hobby. So it’s okay to buy a 9/10 review because it’s just some kids buying this shit and who gives a fuck if some kids get mad cause they were told Heavy Rain had a thought provoking story? (it does, but the thought is generally “this is a load of dogshit”)
That’s not to say bought reviews dont happen in grown up media too. Empire magazine famously scored The Phantom Menace 5 stars. That’s at least 5 stars too many, so if George Lucas didn’t buy that review, he should probably at least pay for punitive damages done to everyone who went to see the film based on that review.
It’s obivous something needs to change, but when the setup is mutually beneficial for both parties (free holidays and swag for reviewers, boosted sales for companies from favourable reviews) why would websites want to change? Who cares if customers got burned? They’ve already paid their money. All they can do is trade in your game and buy a new one. People like Lauren arent the real problem here. They’re only symptomatic of a larger issue of widespread bribery and paid for Reviews. So how do we change things? Fuck knows. I’m not that clever. Sometimes i cant even remember how i got this blog. All i can do is promise all 48 of the people who liked this page on Facebook, and the thousands who visit daily for the funny pictures of anamorphic hedgehogs getting their dick sucked, that all these unprofessional, untrained reviews are nothing more than the opinion i formed myself, out of a genuine passion for videogames, without outside influence and will continue to be nothing more than that until someone offers me a free PS3 to change my mind.