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Subject: Review scores and perceptions rss

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Erik Twice
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I thought this would be a fun topic to discuss. What do you consider a "fair" score for a game? How high is a 5 and how low is a seven? This is not a thread to discuss if review scores are useful or not, but to see what perception we have of them as a scale.

Poll
What score, out of ten, should be given to the following kinds of games?
  0-1 1-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7-8 8-9 9-10 10
A good, but unspectacular game
A really great game, but not one of the best in gaming
A game that is technically competent, but completely uninteresting
A really amazing game, better than practically anything, but not perfect
An interesting game with severe issues
An unremarkable game that will be played and forgotten
An "average" game
      115 answers
Poll created by General_Norris


Let's see what happens.
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Mark L
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Well so far, with 13 voters, I'm with the majority (or at least the highest number) on every question! I had no idea I was so ordinary...

cry




(My answers, should the majority views change as more people vote, were: 6-7, 7-8, 4-5, 9-10, 5-6, 4-5, 5-6.)
 
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Barry Hood
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xipuloxx wrote:
Well so far, with 13 voters, I'm with the majority (or at least the highest number) on every question! I had no idea I was so ordinary...

cry




(My answers, should the majority views change as more people vote, were: 6-7, 7-8, 4-5, 9-10, 5-6, 4-5, 5-6.)


Ha, same (and I didn't check out your answers first ) the only exception is "A game that is technically competent, but completely uninteresting" was tied 3-4/4-5 with 4 votes each, which I guess means I went against the majority to create the tie on that one.
 
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Roy Bartoo
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To me:

"A game that is technically competent, but completely uninteresting" is equivalent to "An unremarkable game that will be played and forgotten;"

And

"A good but unspectacular game" is equivalent to "an 'average' game."

Most games are competently designed, playable, mildly enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable (and forgotten). A 10 is perfection, probably not achievable; a 0 is also probably not achievable, being perfection through a glass darkly.
 
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jeremy cobert
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this is a great topic. I just recently returned from a 5 year (newborn child) self imposed hiatus and have been looking at the new games i missed during that time. one of the things that stuck me was how many games are rated 7 or higher for their average rating. that blew my mind ! when i first started a 7 meant it was a no brianer to buy.

now it seems like 7's are just barely above average games . I also cant believe how many 10's are thrown out there. its become so bad that I cant trust the rating system here and have to play it first. I don't know if the rating system changes or just more people are rating games or if more new people just rate games high.
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Michael Carter
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I don't reserve 10 for perfection because I don't think it is possible. If a game comes along that beats a currently existing 10, then the old 10 falls back to 9. Anyway, the recommended BGG rating system doesn't say anything about the quality of the game, just how likely you are to play it again. I enjoy some games that I have no problem calling crap.
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Kuba W
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RandomLetters wrote:
To me:

"A game that is technically competent, but completely uninteresting" is equivalent to "An unremarkable game that will be played and forgotten;"


IMO, the first one is a game that you may want to play once in a few months, if it's requested or if you're in the right mood, but you're perfectly fine if you never get to play it more than two-three times.
The second one is a game that gets played several times for the first few weeks until you discover that have had enough, tried all the options and the game has nothing else to offer you.

RandomLetters wrote:

And

"A good but unspectacular game" is equivalent to "an 'average' game."



Ummm, no, definitely good is better than average. Average is right between good and bad
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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I reject your poll. I don't know why you broke it into categories like 7-8 and 8-9 but that just seems silly. Why should I have to force things into a good 8 and a bad 8? And the results are going to be weird. What does it mean when 20 people vote 7-8 and 20 vote 8-9? How many people think the answer was an 8? You can't tell from this poll.
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Clwe
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mlcarter815 wrote:
I don't reserve 10 for perfection because I don't think it is possible. If a game comes along that beats a currently existing 10, then the old 10 falls back to 9. Anyway, the recommended BGG rating system doesn't say anything about the quality of the game, just how likely you are to play it again. I enjoy some games that I have no problem calling crap.


This is exactly how I view/treat 10's as well - not as some hallowed grail almost never to be awarded, but simply reserved for my favourite handful of games. I never did quite understand why some view 10/10 as anything resembling perfect. It's a number just like any other on the scale - use it! If you're rating something out of 100 (and why are you, exactly!?) then yes, you may never use the highest numbers. When you're dealing with 1-10 though, I think it's almost a crime not to use the 10.
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J C Lawrence
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Sturgeon's law.

I start out by assuming that almost every game has a valid rating of somewhere between 0.0 and 2.5. But, given the detail that I do exercise some editorial control (ie selection and confirmation biases) I figure that realistically maps into almost all games fitting in the 0.0-4.0 range. Everything above 4.0 is for the Very Exceptional, with each point raise being an exponential improvement over the one below and thus being exponentially more rare than the level below.
 
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Erik Twice
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Thunkd wrote:
I reject your poll.

I'm sorry my for fun post about game scores isn't up to your scientific standards
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Bryan Thunkd
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General_Norris wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I reject your poll.

I'm sorry my for fun post about game scores isn't up to your scientific standards

Data analysis issues are a pet peeve of mine. And when someone changes a fairly typical standard, like using a single number for ratings, and ends up with something confusing, it just irks me. So I apologize for criticizing your "for fun" post. But next time do it better.
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Mark L
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mlcarter815 wrote:
the recommended BGG rating system doesn't say anything about the quality of the game, just how likely you are to play it again.


Um, actually they say both:

Quote:

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play, expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent. Always want to play.
8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
7 - Good. Usually willing to play.
6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.
5 - Average. No significant appeal, take it or leave it.
4 - Below average. Slightly boring, could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Poor. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
2 - Very poor. Annoying, I plan to never play this again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.


(Bolding mine)
 
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Michael Carter
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xipuloxx wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
the recommended BGG rating system doesn't say anything about the quality of the game, just how likely you are to play it again.


Um, actually they say both:

Quote:

10 - Outstanding. Always want to play, expect this will never change.
9 - Excellent. Always want to play.
8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
7 - Good. Usually willing to play.
6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.
5 - Average. No significant appeal, take it or leave it.
4 - Below average. Slightly boring, could be talked into it on occasion.
3 - Poor. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
2 - Very poor. Annoying, I plan to never play this again.
1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.


(Bolding mine)


The rest explains what the bolded terms mean.
 
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jeremycobert wrote:
now it seems like 7's are just barely above average games . I also cant believe how many 10's are thrown out there. its become so bad that I cant trust the rating system here and have to play it first. I don't know if the rating system changes or just more people are rating games or if more new people just rate games high.


The games that get low ratings don't get talked about much, so your perception of an average game has probably been skewed upwards by the fact that people mostly talk about the good games - and there are so many more of them. The only way to really know is to play a few and see if the 7s are just average in your opinion in comparison to what you considered to be a 5 before your break. This itself may be skewed by your expectations of games being higher now than it was back then if you have played lots of really good games and have much more experience.
 
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Eric Brosius
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I can't answer this poll because the categories don't align with my rating process. I rate based on my desire to play a game, not how good it is. If a game is a great game that I don't want to play, I rate it low. If it's a mediocre game that I want to play, I rate it high.
 
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Erik Twice
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Now that my unscientific thread is practically over, I thought it would be fun to talk about the results.

Most seem to be very kind of blandness and uninteresting games, much more than I am, which is the cause for the "Four point scale". If the middle of the scale is as tasty as gravel, the entire lower half must be dedicated to several levels of awful, which pushes anything reasonably decent to the sevens.

In fact, I would say that the entire inflation of scores in gaming is simply caused by how high terribly uninteresting games are rated, as if having a working game were some kind of marvel and Michael Bay deserved respect for making the camera point to the characters in Transformers.

Note how utter blandness and interesting but flawed games compare. There's a lot to think about that. I suspect "kind" reviewers will rate them similarly while "harsh" reviewers will put the interest flawed game in front.


On the other hand, most seem to oppose the idea that a game that isn't "perfect" should get the highest score, which to me is simply quite a silly endeavour.


If you wonder, I rated them the following way:

Good but unspectacular: 6-7
Really great but not the best: 9-10
Technically competent but uninteresting: 2-3
Amazing game, practically better than anything: 10
Flawed game: 4-5
Unremarkable game: 2-3
"Average" game: 2-3




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Erik Twice
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I also expected a divergence between Boardgamers and Videogamers but this looks similar to what I expect a video game poll to look like.
 
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Magic Octopus
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General_Norris wrote:

If you wonder, I rated them the following way:

Good but unspectacular: 6-7
Really great but not the best: 9-10
Technically competent but uninteresting: 2-3
Amazing game, practically better than anything: 10
Flawed game: 4-5
Unremarkable game: 2-3
"Average" game: 2-3


I like the way you think. I particularly like that you think an average game should get 2 or 3. Although I'd give mayb 4, the though remains that if a game is bad, it is a 1 and that's it. There is no value in estimating HOW bad something is. And because 90% of everything is rubbish "average" is on the lower end of the scale.

Mind you, my actual ratings on BGG don't necessarily follow this line of thinking. I rate the games based on desire to play the game, as the site instructs.
 
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Carl Weinstein
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I just go off of what BGG set for their guidelines as to what the numbers mean. If everyone goes off their own set of meaning for the numbers it just skews the data, while everyone using the same metric enables the data to be somewhat meaningful!


Also:
Good but unspectacular: 6-7
Really great but not the best: 7-8
Technically competent but uninteresting: 6-7
Amazing game, practically better than anything: 9-10
Flawed game: 5-6
Unremarkable game: 4-5
"Average" game: 5-6
 
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Leo Chell
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I am a harsh marker. I've always figured I probably was.
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J C Lawrence
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YoungEngineer wrote:
I just go off of what BGG set for their guidelines as to what the numbers mean.


This is what I get when I do that:



Although I'm generally convinced that I'm too generous with my ratings by an average of about 1.25 for each game -- which would put the peak of the graph just under 3.0, which is much more reasonable.

(Update: Ratings partially corrected)
 
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