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Old 04-02-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Roeselare, Belgium
Posts: 1,441

Originally Posted by Expack2 View Post
I would agree with mako river - this work-in-progress has the looks of a great article! However, with the article as-is, I would disagree with your argument "Abandonia's own public rating system is worthless because the biggest gems receive the same score as the mediocre scum. [I substituted c^%$ with scum to make it less potentially-offensive]"
It's far from done - I mainly wanted to get the start written before I forgot the idea of the article. It needs a lot of fine tuning but the idea is there.

Originally Posted by Expack2 View Post
The main gripe I have with this argument at this point is its excessive relativism - without an idea of what you consider hidden gems and mediocre scum, you're gonna get a lot of angry e-mails saying how X game is a gem and Y game is scum, and neither of them got the same rating as you suggested in your article than if you had given your audience a clearer picture.
The examples would obviously be included in the final article but instead of just naming the first game that pops into my mind, I wanted to find a few that were very typical. Ben There Dan That maybe?

Originally Posted by Expack2 View Post
Also, even if did follow my advice above, a thoughtful reader could see your argument as begging the following question: How many people actually voted on those games? If the numbers are high enough (assuming you're using the mathmatical formula of (A+B+C+...)/X, with A, B, C representing votes, ... representing potentially many more votes, and X representing the total number of votes), the votes will, given a sufficient mix of high and low votes, even out around 3.0 since 3 is the median for the number range 1-5.

In the case of potentially-hidden gaming gems, for example, Railroad Tycoon has a rating of 3.9/5.0 based on the average 5,763 votes; however, Transport Tycoon Deluxe - arguably the best version of Transport Tycoon - has the same rating, but its average is based on 15,934 votes.
All this just proves my point though. Let enough people vote, and the result will nearly always be pointless. The current system is rubbish because the scores don't reflect the quality of the game. On GOG you notice the same problem, with even the crap games receiving 4/5 and the truly atrocious games still get 3/5. For starters, a lot of people will award 1/5 or 5/5 in these, to affect the score more. If a universally considered crap game and a great game have scores that are so close together, you can't come to any other conclusion except that the idea behind it is broken.

The amount of votes will always have an influence, obviously - that's basic statistics - but your point is missing the mark because you don't seem to get what I was aiming at. I was basically saying that the scores are pointless - if you have tons of votes, it will even out at 3-3.5/5 for the huge majority of games regardless of their generally believed quality.

Now, the big problem with this, is that people who are in no position to judge certain games, still get to judge them. I wouldn't read some romance novel written for middle aged women and if I was forced to, I'd probably rip it to pieces. So why do people see a strategy game and go "meh, strategy games are dull" and give it a 1/5? In my book, only adventure gamers should judge adventure games and so on.

The myth that a game should be open to everyone regardless of genre is a ridiculous claim made by console players who want every genre to get dulled down around the edges so that even their 5 year old can play it without needing to read a letter of text. The PC used to be very genre exclusive in the early 90s, with deep and complex strategy games (including HEX combat) and flight simulators.

The result is that, when you lump all platforms together, these complex games (which have a very faithful audience) will get "bullied" out of any ranking by the mainstream games and its (far larger amount of) players. Does this make these games, inside their own sub-genre, less quality? Of course not. Games need to be compared to others within its genre - you can't make the average gamer judge every game and expect the result to be reliable. Someone who doesn't like tactical RPGs, should know better than to play Fallout 2 and complain how hard it is yet they'll still give it a 1/5 while it clearly does not deserve such a score.

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