Review scores and the convoluted system that entangles them is nothing new. It’s a system of overwhelming bias for the mainstream and an overall stain on gaming. Well, at least from my perspective. Scores should be removed because they have no backing. What truly defines an eight or a B+? Even more so, what is the unique difference between a few points on the scale? Well the answer is none, there is no difference. It’s just a number for each and every person to draw their own conclusion. “Reviewing” others opinions on a game’s score reveals this truth. Gamers will praise a nine, but will also complain about a nine as if that score alone causes the game to vanish from existence. It’s not necessarily the systems fault though; it’s the perception of the system that destroys credibility.
Mainstream gaming has created a false sense of professionalism and truthfulness. On one hand, when reviewers adhere to the public opinion they are viewed as professional and trustworthy. Yet, step out of line and downgrade a game that is supposed to be great and everything goes out the window. An easy way to regain loyalty is to agree with the general consensus and then you’re back on track. Gamers enjoy talking about how journalism is reflected in the industry and how it has, more or less, gone down the drain. Well I say to you, my fellow gamer, that it hasn’t gone down the drain. Actually, it’s being forced, shoved and molded into what it is today. We have created the seven to ten scale, the high score hype, the censorship and the bias. Journalism is merely a mirror image of what gamers want. For the most part it’s a collective opinion for you to agree with. Disagreeing is highly discouraged and censored.
Personally, I’m not afraid to speak my mind on scores. Want to know what I truly think about Uncharted 3? The game is a four at best. Skyrim? No more than a six and that’s being generous. Although, why does it matter what I think in reflection to a score? Well, it doesn’t matter. My information is about as useless as anyone else claiming the score should be applied much higher or lower, reviewers and journalists included. It baffles me that important information regarding key components is disregarded in favor of arguing. There is a definitive line between debating the topic and arguing the point and I think we know which one is the more dominant force. Granted, if I ever wrote a review with such scores, my points and opinions would go unnoticed. The review itself would quickly be drowned in a sea of random numbers, references to sites with better scores and general personal attacks. Yet, this seems to be the point of reference that we currently enjoy and embrace.
Yes, that’s my truthful and honest opinion transferred into a numerical form. I could easily describe my reasoning in a clear, detailed and concise manner, but it would do little justice. I would be pointed in the direction of sites with “better” scores, have someone quote Metacritic and be told how one person’s opinion matters over mine. Something I see quite frequently and far to often. Valid reasoning and logic does not seem to mix well with various gaming communities. Now, I don’t mean that in a harsh way, I can only imply that by what I see. Being irate, illogical and outlandish is acceptable with the backing of the gaming community. It’s just one of those norms that goes without question, not only in regards to reviews, but in almost every aspect.
Review scores, and sites alike, are almost identical to the Call of Duty franchise. Even though we complain about how unbalanced, broken and unfair it can be, we keep coming back. Nobody wants honest journalism because, at some point or another, that would create a conflict of interests. That idea alone will keep an unchanged and outdated system relevant.
We desperately need a new method to the madness. Assigning a random value to a game just doesn’t cut it. Truthfully, I have no better alternative in mind. That’s why I would opt for a mandatory scoreless review, allowing readers to actually discern points within the review itself. That would do away with half of the flame bait articles alone. Low scoring reviews, written with no score, would probably go unnoticed and unmentioned. Of course, nonsensical articles for hits will always be present, but who can blame them? Poorly written, pointless articles for the sake of arguing will always have the upper hand on well written, informative information. Say what you will, but gaming sites are only catering to their intended audiences, you.
As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment.
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