Monday, July 25, 2011

Understanding Gamerish- Scores out of ten

Round 2 of understanding gamerish (round one here). Today we take on understanding scores out of ten. Many gamers lack a coherent framework for prolonged discussion of merits and downsides of commercial products. Combined with attention spans shortened by obligate internet use means that reviewers often use a simple one to ten scale, often at the bottom of a review to help the pressed for time gamers decide which game they should chip, rip or steal next. Unfortunately though rather than use the X/X system as a rough indicator of quality many gamers endlessly squabble over scores of their favourite games neglecting to notice that scores are merely one person's take on a game and that the reviewer's employer is probably a more important factor on what score that game gets than actual quality. Furthermore, many assume the one to ten scale to be a normal scale but it's actual more complicated than that.

Here's how the gaming scale works.

0- Not often used at all even for games that are just broken or don't work. If you went to see a film and the film couldn't be projected at the time you bought a ticket you would probably rate it 0 out of ten. In gaming such broken products normally get a 5.
1- A comedy score! Makes a lot of appearances around the beginning of April.
2-6 Here be broken, half finished, glitchy, 'it'll be fixed by the next patch' games.
7- Most games are here. When in doubt give it a seven. Playable but not amazing? Whack a seven on it. Only had three hours to review a ten hour game? Whack a seven on it. Shallow but fun with other people? Give it a seven. A decent game but you weren't sent a free copy? That's a seven out of ten. 'Games' which are actually just interactive story books but pleasant nonetheless? 70%. In gaming, seven could mean 4-8 on a normal scale.
8- An otherwise good game ruined by one repetitive section- often a driving section or a tricky boss fight preceded by a lenghty unskippable cutscene.
9 (PC Games)- Something by Valve.
9 (Wii)- Any Zelda or Mario game unless you are the Official nintendo Magazine in which case any Nintendo game.
9 (Xbox 360)- A brown grey first person shooter with a piss poor storyline and offesnive online play.
9 (PlayStation 3)- Any exclusive, part exclusive or time exclusive game. Please, please buy PS3 games please.
10- Never used.

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