Is it ok to be a dick to reviewers that are bad at a game? No. Actually let me re-phrase that one:
Is it ok to be a dick? Still no. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier for a reviewer to change their reviews than it is to make thousands of viewers just stop being dicks.
Why are people angry that a reviewer is bad at a game? I really don’t think that jealousy and insecurity paints a good picture here. I think it stems from the frustration of seeing someone fail at something you would find easy, doubled down because this person is supposed to be a professional. Like, if you would just give me the controller I could do it in 5 seconds, but you’re a video, and you can’t… but- how did you not notice that, it was written right on the- just jump to the- Jesus fuck, are you actually blind?!
Should reviewers be good at games? Sometimes? It depends? Up to a point? This is complicated! I think we’re going to have to break it down into some sub-questions.
What constitutes bad? Struggling to figure out what to do next isn’t bad. Maybe they missed something. Maybe they had a brain fart. Bad is about a person’s inability to perform the mechanics of the game.
How bad does a reviewer have to be before they shouldn’t review a game? Pretty terrible, I think. Like, if you can’t figure out twin-stick controls, you probably shouldn’t review first person shooters. A reviewer should have basic “literacy”, so to speak, in the genre, just like how you shouldn’t review literature if you’re still struggling to read The Cat in the Hat.
Does any reviewer deserve to lose their job over their lack of sick gamer skillz? Only if they are truly, unrealistically, never-touched-a-game-before bad. In that case, their ability to review games is probably hampered by a lot more than not being good at games! Maybe some reviewers shouldn’t review games of a certain genre, but even then, prefacing their review by saying, “Hey, I’m terrible at platformers, this is a review that will capture ‘how good is this game for people who suck at platformers’” will help a lot.
How do reviewers prevent viewer rage? Be upfront about skill level. If the reviewer is a pro at this genre, they should say it. If they are new to the genre or just not great at it, just say so. Establish the perspective the review is being taken from. If you say nothing, everyone will assume that you are around their skill level. Also, avoid showing raw footage. No one wants to see a reviewer wander around for 5 minutes because they didn’t see a sign or read a text box and as much as it shouldn’t, it will hurt the reviewer’s credibility in a lot of people’s eyes. Just find a good time to cut to them realizing their mistake.
Really that’s what it’s about. It’s about establishing and maintaining the credibility of the reviewer’s point of view, even if it’s not the same point of view as many viewers’.