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Subject: Scores out of ten (or how I am bad at thinking) rss

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Greg
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Yesterday evening

"How can you give a game a score out of ten? There's not really such a thing as a good or bad game. It's more a case of matching the right game to the right player. True some games are of such limited merit that only a handful of people anywhere on Earth can truly enjoy them - but they do truly enjoy them and is it fair to rubbish something that's genuinely bringing someone, somewhere, joy. The important thing is surely to dissect a game and display all of its lovely organs so that people who know what sort of organs they like can decide if it's for them or not. A score is meaningless."

This morning I find a comment on my Kickstarter pointing me at the dice tower roundup in which Bower has given my game a 9.3/10 which is the highest rating there this week (and possibly his highest ever).

"Well obviously it's good to have an 'at a glance' metric. I mean there are a lot of games out there and it's clearly unreasonably to expect the discerning gamer to have time to watch all of them. Giving a broad notion of which games are likely to have something special to show so that gamers can educate themselves on the particulars of those most likely to do them some good is clearly sensible. The delicious organs are still important but a score is good for letting people decide what to attend to."

The painful realisation of my own shallowness aside, what do you think of numeric scores? Should tommorowgreg be more similar to todaygreg or yestergreg? This sort of scoring has had some distorting effects in the video game world, are we likely to be similar or are board games immune to such things? In this context I'm interested in reviewers giving scores rather than the BGG ratings which are a whole different kettle of fish.
 
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Kyle
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Show me something that beats a natural 20 and I'll show you hateful lies.
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Yesterday greg seems painfully concerned with 'fairness' and the impression of others relative to your impression. In this case, the impression of others means nothing, as your impression cannot influence their impression of the game. So yes, bad games exist, and perspective is what matters.

The video game work scoring is painful, as everyone and their dog scores over 80 nowadays. Ratings are not a metric of quality either way, so I don't agree with any gregs
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Greg
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I'm always concerned with fairness, it's one of the things that causes me a lot of consternation whenever I'm obliged to be in the world that there is.

That's what you think, but what if you're really persuasive and tomorrowgreg matches your opinion

But assuming for a minute you do disagree with all of me, what's your perspective?

On reflection, I think at the core of it all giving people an accurate impression (or getting an accurate impression) is the most useful thing. It's just a case of how much weight you put on different means to that end and how important it is to ensure that edge of the bellcurve folks find what they're looking for.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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x_equals_speed wrote:
"How can you give a game a score out of ten? There's not really such a thing as a good or bad game. It's more a case of matching the right game to the right player. True some games are of such limited merit that only a handful of people anywhere on Earth can truly enjoy them - but they do truly enjoy them and is it fair to rubbish something that's genuinely bringing someone, somewhere, joy. The important thing is surely to dissect a game and display all of its lovely organs so that people who know what sort of organs they like can decide if it's for them or not. A score is meaningless."
The same argument could be made about anything we rate. Go to rotten tomatoes or any review site and pick some movie that has a 1 star review. There's some handful of people who loved that movie. The rating still has meaning in that it conveys some very useful information... most people won't like this movie.

There will always be people with bad taste. That doesn't invalidate ratings. Ratings are never meant to be a perfect predictor for everyone. Instead they represent a general consensus about something. They can, and will, often be wrong for any given individual. But that's unimportant. If there are two movies out in the theater and you polled 1,000 people about them and 80% liked Movie A and only 12% liked Movie B, that's useful information. Not knowing anything else you're more likely to have a better experience with Movie A.
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Tomáš Sládek
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Like Bryan says, ratings are not to be taken as a definite verdict for everyone.

To me, an x/10 rating says that x players out of 10 would say they liked the game or would not object to playing again. Given the number of available games, that is definitely useful information, to be taken into account at your deliberation either before or after you apply other filters like favorite theme and mechanics. If you have a good reason to think a game rated 4 by others might be fun for you, it likely will. But if you just pick a badly rated game at random, it will more often than not be a waste of time.

This is a little hard to judge without experience with more games. If you don't know there are better games out there, you don't know you would be having more fun with something else and consequently the ratings are skewed upwards. People usually don't go and change ratings retroactively.
 
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