Reviewing The Reviewers: Or How To Break A Broken System

Just what you've been waiting for: A site that lets your critique the critics, review the reviewers, shit all over the shit all overers.

Website Criticosm allows you to give reviewers a review score of their own. They then use a reviewer's average score to weight the importance of their score for a game when calculating the average score a game received.

Confused? Read this.

It's an interesting idea, with a major problem: The concept is built around review scores and statistics, both viewed free from any meaningful context.

Review scores, that number or letter you see after many game, movie, music and movie reviews, are important.

Review scores are used by some publishers to calculate bonus. Review scores are used by ad sales to market games. Review scores are used by big box retailers to determine purchase quantities. Review scores are used by some game sites to sell ads. Review scores are used by some gamers to decide whether to purchase a game.

Some of that is fine, some isn't. But no matter how review scores are used, when viewed in a vacuum, even one created by a person's tight schedule, disinterest in gaming as a whole or unwillingness to read something longer than this paragraph, they become a huge problem.

Often the bad outweighs the good that comes of review scores, which is why I think they and all of the sites that traffic in their tabulations, their statistics, should be tossed out the window.

Should reviewers, critics, be held accountable for how they critique someone else's creation? Most certainly, but not by falling onto the same sword that has broken game reviews, and giving them a score.

Why not break down a person's review and point out why you agree or disagree with something they said. Maybe point to reoccurring themes found in a person's review. Like they seem to always hate a certain art style, a type of play. That would be meaningful.

Meaningful, though, still doesn't mean you prove them right or wrong. All of this personal critique of a person should be used in the end to determine if you agree with a reviewer that's it.

The only real way a reviewer can be wrong is by failing to fully explain what it is that made them like or dislike something, making it hard for readers to determine if they should listen to or avoid what a particular writer thinks.

Criticosm


Comments

    Yahtzee Fanbbois/gurls will be watching this like a hawk :)

    C'mon Yahtzee, you know they will!

    I look forward to the day when we say goodbye to scores. How a complex opinion can be narrowed down to an "8.7" is beyond me. WTF is 0.7 of a point anyway? And look at G4; both No More Heroes and Assassin's Creed received 5 stars, yet their sequels (which G4 claimed to be improvements) only received 4 stars..... again, WTF!?

    Game reviewers are no different to movie reviewers. In the end, it is just someone's opinion and as a consumer, you need to find a reviewer that you found you agree with over several titles to know they are someone whose opinion is relevant to you. I still, however, think Metacritic is good for getting a quick feel for a game or at least a launching point to read more details if you haven't found a favourite reviewer yet.

    I don't entirely understand your hate of this type of web site. It's an interesting experiment and at the end of the day, if there is a higher correlation between sales and this sites scores than between sales and metacritic scores than it will have proven a point (that what critics deem good does not necesarily correlate with what the public deems good).

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