Scored reviews are a dime a dozen nowadays. Pick just about anything really, be it a game, a show, heck even toilet paper, and you will be able to find a review with a score for it.
It is such an ingrained part of how we talk about stuff, a result of humanity’s love of categorizing. And that’s all well and good, scored reviews aren’t bad, heck, having scores allows one to tell quickly and simply what others thought of that “thing”. However there is a problem that arises with scored reviews, and that’s people being too committed to the numbers.
It’s a very easy pit to fall into and one I fell into myself at one time.
So today I’d like to talk about that!
You see back in highschool I really got into video games more than I ever had before, largely because I finally had a few game systems of my own. However being that I didn’t have a lot in the way of money, I was fairly selectively about what I was willing to shell out the cash to get in terms of new games.
Enter IGN and their oh so loved reviews!
It was here that I would follow news on new games and, via the previously mentioned reviews, make my decision on whether or not to get a newly released game. And because I didn’t have a lot of money to throw around I wanted the best for my buck. So as a result I would only play games that scored an 8/10 or higher, getting it into my head that anything below 7/10 was a “bad” game.
Yeah I was a sheep.
This all started to change however after I went over to a friends house one day. She had just gotten a new game, Lollipop Chainsaw I believe, which had scored about a 7. So when I saw her playing it, I wondered why she was playing a game that had scored “low”. Her response was to look at me and say “Who cares? It’s fun.” before going back to gleefully hacking apart zombies. And it was around then that I started to realize that she was right.
Who cares what some journalist thinks? Who cares if a game, or show, or whatever isn’t exactly perfect? What matters is whether or not i’m happy with it and find enjoyment in it.
My preferences and taste aren’t theirs, so something they thought was bad I could love.
While reviews are helpful in giving some idea of what to expect, letting them dictate everything I do is just…kinda soulless.
So yeah, it was after that I began to really cut back on how much sway review scores had on my decisions, instead trying things that caught my interest regardless. It’s also for this reason that I do Overviews here on EhTaku instead of traditional reviews, because what I think is great you might think is trash. So instead, I chose to present my simple thoughts and then leave you to decide for yourself if it sounds interesting.
So mates, my messages to you all is to really take the time to think over how much review scores dictate your actions. Because after all they are really tool that should aid us, not control.
And with that I turn it over to you!
Feel free to share your thought down in the comments, and I will hopefully see you again next time!