I'm Tired of Having to Like the Media I Review

The strange culture of adoration surrounding media criticism

Alex Mell-Taylor
2 min readJun 4, 2024
Photo by Anastasiia Krutota on Unsplash

One of the many frustrating things about Gamergate is how nice soon-to-be-harassed feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian was about the games she critiqued. She was treated like she had ruined video games for good when she had made it quite clear her criticisms were coming from a place of love. As she remarks in Tropes vs Women in Video Games:

“…remember that it's both possible and even necessary to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.”

Anita Sarkeesian is right here. We should be able to criticize our obsessions without being deemed "not real fans."

In fact, history has proven her largely correct. We have entered an era of pop culture criticism, where an entire cottage industry of people doing exactly that has arisen. Go anywhere from Kotaku to YouTube to this very blog, and you will see people lovingly tearing apart the properties that they love.

Yet, while that's fine to do, sometimes I feel like we have gone too far in the opposite direction, with some demanding that criticisms always be done from a place of love.

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