For readers who frequent the site, I’m sure you’ve all noticed that when a review is posted, we never use a rating. If you’re new to this site, welcome, and if you’re looking for ratings, you’re in the wrong place. Some of you might have wondered why, while some of you probably don’t care, but I feel that our reasons for not having a rating system should be explained.
Ratings are everywhere. Some sites use a numerical score between 1-10, some score like they’re writing a report card, and some use random things like stars and other shapes. There have been times where I’ve said towards the end of a review things like “if I had to give it a score”, but I maybe did that three times, and I honestly didn’t like it.
One of the main reasons why I don’t put scores or some other form of a rating system in with our articles is because I want the people who come to our site to actually read the damn posts. How easy is it to just search for a review of a game or a movie, go to the page, see whatever rating they gave it, and move on without even reading why that score was given in the first place? I know that I’ve done it in the past, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
All of our writers are volunteers, meaning that they don’t get paid. Sure they do get to keep whatever games they do review, but they are a member of our team because they genuinely love video games and the things they get to write about. The last thing I’m going to do is implement a rating system, and have them potentially lose out on readers. I know that every single one of them work very hard, so I would be doing them a great disservice.
Another reason is that it all comes down to opinion and perspective. If I saw a rating of 7, I might interpret that number differently than somebody else. Recently, a well known gaming site gave a game a rating of 7.5 and people thought that was harsh. In all actuality, a 7.5 isn’t that bad if you consider that they were going off of a 1-10 scale. In that 7.5, they were saying that while it was better than average, it wasn’t perfection. So, can you see how the whole ratings thing can be more trouble than it’s worth?
I know that PR people love to see ratings on reviews, and I know the publishers/developers do too, but our job isn’t to cater to them. Sure maintaining good relations with them is very important, and I can’t even begin to tell you all how great the companies have been to us, but I’m not going to sell out.
Our job is to write the truth. If a game is bad, we’re going to let you all know the reasons why. Are we going to bash the game into the ground and risk alienating people? No. What we will do is, in a constructive manner, detail the flaws of the game but also focus on what aspects of it we did like. A lot of our articles have our personal opinions thrown in there, so please also remember that while I might think the Gears of War series is absolutely horrible (that is a true statement, not one made up for the purpose of this article), I know there are millions of you out there who do like it and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.
To expect you all to agree with our reviews, or for the reasons why we we liked/disliked the game, movie, album, or whatever… it’s pretty unrealistic. What I can hope for is that you understand, and trust, where all of the writers are coming from when they do say that they couldn’t stand a game because of how annoying the sounds got, how the accuracy in an iPhone app was terrible, or how a movie didn’t live up to the hype.
So, there you have it. Do you still think we’re pretty lame or behind the times in terms of not having a review system? If so, leave your thoughts and opinions in a comment below. I’d love to hear them!