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Bill Murphy: Honesty

Columns By William Murphy on January 13, 2011


I write columns for this site. Most of my work revolves around me writing my opinion on a multitude of different games. Columns are defined as follows: articles giving opinions or perspectives. I feel that I tend to do this fairly well, as I’ve always been able to communicate my meaning and personal beliefs through the written word. In the words of Outkast, “I’m just being honest… hey ya.” Yet it seems that there’s a lot of folks who either A.) Don’t understand the point of opinion pieces here at MMORPG or B.) Think I’m trying to accomplish something more than offer my candid thoughts. In some cases, it may be a little bit of both. And here’s where I have to ask a question of you all…

Should I not be honest?


The simplest thing for me to say would be, “If you don’t like what I have to say, then don’t read it.” But that’s really a defeatist attitude and stance to take on any topic of dissention. What I intend to do instead is convey to you that I always try to offer my unabashed opinion on whatever topic I’m writing. I may not always be bipartisan in my views, but who ever said that editorial columns needed to be? When I write my reviews, if you read the ones I have written, you’ll see that I do my damnedest to look at the game from all angles and attribute it a score that I believe it deserves. But even so, it’s ultimately just one man’s opinion.

In the reviews, I will definitely try my best to serve the community by giving a detailed take on what the game offers… but I still am tasked with giving my ultimate opinion on the game and whether it’s worth it. Now a certain game launched this week and it’s no secret that I’m a fan of the title. I’m also a fan of Rift and have said as much on several occasions. I love LotRO and have written many articles on it. I love Global Agenda and write articles on it. I think the problem is that perhaps I’m tasked with writing articles about games I really enjoy. So I promise you this… the next time I’m given a game to preview/review that I do not enjoy, I will gladly write as much.

In the meantime, take my thoughts on DCUO as they’re intended: as my own personal opinions. For this is what I’m paid to do. In a few weeks I’ll be releasing my review of the game. I guarantee there will be many who disagree, and hopefully a few that concur. But it really doesn’t matter whether you agree with me, for that’s not the point of what I do here. What I do is try to give my honest-to-Jon-Hamm opinions on the games I’m asked to play and the topics I’m asked to cover. Every so often I’ll be given an investigative fact-driven assignment, but most of what I write is opinion work. Please try to remember that, and I promise that when needed to I’ll keep my opinions to myself. But when the boss asks me to write a column, you damn well better believe it’s going to come with a whole lot of What-Bill-Thinks.

That said, perhaps I have been overzealous in my commentary on DCUO, but I’ve also tried my best to speak of what the game needs work on. In many instances, I’ve taken comments from the forums from various users and forwarded them directly to Tony Jones or Chris Cao, and they’ve responded in kind that they really appreciate the heads-up. I do the same thing with many other games from these forums when I get to know the developers, because I believe that it’s beneficial both to us as the players and the developers as the guys who want to make sure we’re pleased. So rest assured that I’ll be reining in my adoration for DCUO come review time, as it’s then that I know I need to give a real balanced look at the game in one all-encompassing article. Just don’t be surprised if you still don’t agree with the score I place on its shoulders.

I realize that as I write this column, there will likely be scores of folks who read it and say, “WTF? This has nothing to do with Game A, what’s up with that MMORPG?” And if that’s the case, I’m sorry for wasting the time of my readers. I just really felt the need to clarify what my goals as a columnist are here at this site. When it comes to news and reviews, I’ll always err on the side of the more objective stance. But when it comes to columns, including my weekly DCUO feature, I’ll always place precedence on opinions, because that’s what they’re intended for.

Now, all that said I do want to invite you to please keep sharing your opposing or agreeing or somewhere in between-ing viewpoints in the comments. Just don’t begrudge me my job which is to offer up my straightforward and honest thoughts. I highly doubt that would be a better place should I start lying through my teeth in the interest of seeming more “credible.” As for DCUO, we’ll be aiming to do a round-table discussion article on the game since many of us here at the site are playing it, and then you’ll get plenty more views other than my own. Until then… let me love my villain. He’s fun.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of, and lover of all things gaming. He''s been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.