12 September 2014 | MaximumMadness
Even when ignoring the very obvious controversy, "The Irate Gamer" just doesn't sit well. Sloppy and all-too-often unfunny...
There is an extreme controversy that has leaped to the forefront of internet culture over the past few years. Pertaining to web-critic Chris Bores, a man better known by the title of "The Irate Gamer."
For some background, "The Irate Gamer" is a series in which Bores appears in character, and "reviews" video-games. Often games that are considered too difficult, of a poor quality, or flawed in some way. Within the context of the series, Bores is a short-tempered man, who will eventually reach such a point of frustration, he will begin to rage (becoming, as the title implies, irate), generally culminating in a flurry of insults using all sorts of colorful language that IMDb will definitely not let me repeat.
The series also features a number of running gags, secondary characters and other assorted elements to keep the material fresh.
That's a fundamentally solid set-up for what promises to be a good, fun series. Which is where the controversy comes in- Bores wasn't the first person to do this. And in fact, much of Bores' shtick is heavily inspired by (if not outright plagiarized from) the well-known internet critic "The Angry Video Game Nerd." (created and portrayed by James Rolfe.) Bores has even gone so far as to admit that the "Nerd" was a heavy inspiration for his character. (Though he has since attempted to deny this) And many rightfully feel Bores has been shameless in stealing material from Rolfe's series. (As I said above, he's borderline plagiarized Rolfe's material on several occasion) And this has lead to a lot of bad blood and extreme backlash between Bores and the numerous individuals online who view his content. And it is an issue that will likely remain controversial for years to come.
But I'm going to attempt to remain neutral on this issue, and give my thoughts on "The Irate Gamer" without factoring in this ongoing controversy. And it's unfortunate, but even beyond the controversy, I don't believe there is much to like here.
Bores just isn't charismatic or likable enough in his delivery or look for this sort-of material. Nor is there enough of a wit to his writing.
I really hate to use these words (as I don't want to appear mean), but Bores comes across as far too awkward and forced when he's on-screen, and his look and general demeanor don't quite fit with what he's going for. You never really buy the idea that he's becoming angry. And you definitely do not buy the idea that he really means what he is saying. He has too much of a sort-of dopey "everyman" feel to him, and he just cannot emote the anger he is going for. While his heart may be in the material, you just can't feel it. I don't think this is necessarily Bores fault. Some people just cannot pull off certain types of material. But by attempting to force it, Bores makes the episodes almost hard to sit through, because it feels too much like a performance. It's unnatural.
Adding to that, Bores has also exhibited a degree of selfishness and spitefulness in the series several times. Even becoming sort-of a bully to people who do not like him. And it's not in the context of his character. It's clearly a bit of narcissism on his part coming through in his writing. I've watched quite a few of his episodes out of curiosity, and I was shocked by the pettiness he displayed at times. Dismissing everyone else. Being incredibly mean-spirited. Even throwing rather nasty "Easter Eggs" into at least one video that take subtle swipes at the "Angry Video Game Nerd." (Despite the fact that Bores has taken his material in the past.) I can be accepting of Bores being un-charismatic, because that's not necessarily his fault. But to become so spiteful at times is uncalled for and I have a much harder time forgiving that.
The writing leaves much to be called for. Bores doesn't seem to necessarily understand the art of writing jokes. Or how to string together sentences or cuss-word-loaded exclamations in an amusing fashion. Bores has tried to introduce narratives to his reviews, but I find that they are ill-structured, and often feel a bit meandering and underdeveloped. The humor is far too random, and includes many moments that will leave the audience scratching their heads.
While he will sometimes bring up valid points, and even deliver occasional good, original content, I find that his pattern of consistent sub-par writing, his lack of presence on-screen and his occasional attitude problems rob too much of any potential likability and watchability he might have otherwise had. His episodes that do work are too few and too far between.
And I cannot help but interject that the clear stealing of material from other internet critics (obviously most notably James Rolfe) is a huge problem.
I am giving "The Irate Gamer" a 2 out of 10. I don't believe he's quite as bad as he has been made out to be, but I still find his work of a generally exceedingly poor quality. And I think it's best to skip it.