IncGamers' Tim McDonald explains why he finds the path some public betas tread distasteful.
From the article: "I don't have a problem with the companies that genuinely need public feedback, or that genuinely use beta information. MMO betas, for instance, are pretty understandable; it's content designed for thousands of players at the same time and a lot of work needs to go into it to make sure that things are balanced, fun, and well-paced - and that they can actually support high player loads. Likewise, a few companies are doing reasonably clever things. The current Elemental beta, I'm told, pretty much strips out the graphics entirely. The idea there seems to be that users won't be distracted be graphics, be they incredibly pretty or incredibly unfinished, and that they'll focus entirely on the things that matter, like whether or not the game is actually, y'know, fun. Important, that."