Announcement (and Musing Digression): Scoring System Updated


Yes, another announcement!  This one, however, is a bit more substantial, as it covers the recent change in review scoring as detailed in the About the Console and Computer Game Reviews page.

Until now, we’ve been using a ten-point scoring system, with “one” being abysmal, “ten” being perfection, with the points in the middle being, well, points in the middle.  It was a decent enough system—or so I thought at the time.  I’ve been thinking on the matter on and off for a few weeks now, and finally decided to change it to its current three-point system of “good”, “average”, and “bad”.

The reason for the change is that I thought trying to assign a number to a thought was difficult, and what number is appropriate one day I may think slightly inappropriate another—which just highlights how difficult, if not nonsensical, attempting to use numbers in a summary actually is.

Now, that said, I still like the idea of a summary—it provides a nice short-hand to what was thought about the game, and having some kind of attribute associated with it does make it even handier, with the caveat that all reviews must be read/watched with.  That caveat—and momentary digression—is that the reviews are opinions.

This seems to be a point that is sometimes forgotten when one reacts to reviews.  The reviewer, like every other human being on the planet, is a human being, and therefore comes into a game with their own set of likes and dislikes, their own views and beliefs.  Most, if not all, reviewers also approach their games with a “job” mentality—even those of us not getting paid for our reviews consider it a job, at least those of us with some sense of professionalism.  That, alone, helps contribute to the mentality (though whether that contribution is a positive or negative one is a matter of endless debate).

Myself, I strive for professionalism, as I mentioned in a post about the lack of same shown by a certain few folks over at High Voltage Software.  As such, I—like more reviewers than I think many readers/watchers of reviews seem to remember—try to keep my own biases in mind.

To bring it back to the topic at hand, I didn’t think keeping my biases in mind was best served by a numerical scoring system.  In fairness, I’m still not completely content with the good/average/bad system, but only for the wording.  A three-point, yes/maybe/no system is, I feel, best for scoring.  Again, I think scoring is a useful tool when applied well.

To conclude—it is, then, with the hope that I am applying it well that I’ve changed the scoring system used, here.  Time and feedback will tell just how close I am.

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