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Old 01-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Listen Up! Public opinions ...

Top 50 of Best Games! Read our Top 10! The Readers Top 1000 of the Greatest Games of All Time! So great, each word has to be capitalized! You see them everywhere - in every magazine and on every site. So many pages have been devoted to them, so many trees have been cut down to print them but, in the end, are they more than a display of public ignorance?

A game such as Fallout 3 gets much higher rankings and votes than its older turn based brothers Fallout 1 & 2. Yet almost every RPG player worth his or her salt, will proclaim the older two games to be far superior in many ways. Myself, I can appreciate both approaches but as far as turn based RPGs are concerned, you can't do much better than Fallout 1&2 and they truly are great games so why do they fail to show up in most top 100 lists? The answer is simple: because this is a popularity contest, and this means popular genres will always bully the less popular ones in submission.

Flight simulators, turn based games, tycoon games, adventure games, etc. these are all genres which contain some incredibly gems that rarely make the big news. The developers of the next Call of Duty game can't fart without it being covered by every site, but news of a quality strategy game is quickly overlooked. Just like democracy is heavily flawed because it's all about popularity above qualities, so is any ranking of games based on votes made by the public. Even on Abandonia, the public score is completely pointless. The biggest gems receive 3.5/5 and the mediocre crap receives ... 3.5/5.

(work in progress)
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:19 AM   #2
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You gonna use the word "crap"?

Seriously, this is the article that zine like AT should definitely have sooner or later. However, this may turn into something bigger. I wouldn't even try to create something like TA's history of horror games article. However, this could be that start of standard magazine section where we review couple of old gems - games that may not be popular or are not popular anymore, but their quality of gameplay deserves to be mentioned. If I understood correctly, those "qualities" vary depending on the game's genre, or even sub-genre. I like that kind of approach.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:00 PM   #3
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Post My Comments on Article So Far (2-2-2011)

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]"

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.

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.

In the case of genuine garbage (relatively based, in this case, on my agreement with an Abandonia reviewer's game rating of 2.0 or 1.0), for example, Barbarian has a rating of 3.2 based on the average of 1,415 votes; however, Pole Position has the same rating based on the average of 10 votes.

I hope this long diatribe wasn't excessively filled with complicated words, red_avatar, and I hope that my opinion was helpful in some way.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Oh, well - this happens everywhere... movies, music... or "the hottest 100 women of all time"

Media are paid to create fads. They do not have memory longer than 3-4 years. Don't expect fine taste from the masses.

Don't worry, I'm also suffering from the "why people around are so much into crap" syndrome. You get that when you have independent taste. I'm afraid no shrink can help us, it's a personality trait.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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So, should we be polite and simply point out some games we consider gems despite public acceptance, as well as their aged looks and capabilities, or should we start Don Quixote mission of flaming new cliche games and dig out some mostly old and unusual ones?? First approach is surely smarter, second approach is surely more fun
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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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Old 04-02-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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I won't get into the fight over console games ruining PC games again since me and Red have similar ideas but different people to blame, however I do want to point out that mainstream games will always get more votes/likes/downloads/love whatever you want to call it. But they also get more hate as well.

There are always going to be people who play something that they were never going to like and then want to tell everyone they know how bad it was. It often makes them feel better. But saying that only people who like certain types of games have valid opinions is a bit odd.

I don't really like FPS games but am quite able to understand why others do and find things in them that I like and dislike. I also think I can be a rather unbiased judge of any game I play and I think that is more the point, bias. Some people just can't seperate their emotinal bias from thinking about how to judge a game. E.T on the Atari is a prime example, everyone who has heard of it will tell you it is a horrible game, the worst ever to come out, however looking at it critically it isn't a good game but it isn't a horrible one either. It even sold well.

Until every person who votes or judges a game (or anything else) can remove all of their own personal bias the scores will always be the same. I think your idea is valid Red but it smells of elitism something I can't stand that amongst gamers, everyone likes different things and are allowed to voice that opinion if they are given the chance.

Anyone who decides what they are going to play just because of a artifical score is bound to be let down and anyone who thinks that something is wrong just because their favourite game is scored just like their most hated is missing the point. Someone else out there thinks that it is all the other way around.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:39 PM   #8
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This raises again the question of user ratings. :P Have you noticed that many websites now tend to use a binary like/dislike rating instead of 1-5 stars (YouTube actually changed from the later to the former)? Myself I think something like 0-10 score is appropriate for the editor's rating (event though it's completetly subjective and other editor would give a completely different rating), but I think simply like or dislike, thumbs up or down, works better for "collective intelligence".
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Japo View Post
This raises again the question of user ratings. :P Have you noticed that many websites now tend to use a binary like/dislike rating instead of 1-5 stars (YouTube actually changed from the later to the former)? Myself I think something like 0-10 score is appropriate for the editor's rating (event though it's completetly subjective and other editor would give a completely different rating), but I think simply like or dislike, thumbs up or down, works better for "collective intelligence".
I already mentioned this in chatbox: I wanted to replace the ratings with a thumbs up or down as well. This means people can't affect the ratings as much, either. If they hate a game or merely dislike it, it will have the same rating.

And Darth: this is not about elitism, though. It's about genre bullying or: more popular genres totally overshadowing the great talent in the smaller genres which leads to even average games in the popular genres getting way more attention than even the best games in the smaller genres. AND about public voting being useless as an extension to that.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:18 AM   #10
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I am not saying it is elitist Red just that it has the smell of it.

Even with a thumb system games are going to get voted down more then up. Think about it a game you would vote 3 on is one you might not like, so it gets a down thumb. Even a game that would get a 4 rating could get voted down because even though you respect other stuff about the game you don't like playing the game due to one thing.

Just saying any voting system will be unfair to some games to some people. As far as I am think the votes on a game matter little, I will happily play a 1 game and find out for myself if it is good. If people are too focused on what games have been voted they are going to miss some classics and some horrible games.
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