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Subject: Is there still a place for written board game reviews? rss

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Matt D
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I see people constantly talking about video reviews, and Kickstarters always seem to have embedded videos now, or graphics that include quotes from video reviewers. I'm wondering if there is still a point to producing written reviews, and if people still take the time to read them, or is it pointless to do a review if it's not a video review these days?

I've been toying with the idea of posting up some reviews, but for various reasons the logistics of doing a video review just aren't favorable for me. I don't feel an ego-driven need for people to know my face or see how vast my board game collection is, or hear the sound of my voice, or even to become famous at doing it. I'm not interested in doing it to get free review copies of games, or achieve any notoriety. Literally, I just want to help people formulate opinions on whether a particular game might be a good fit for them. Mainly because it seems like most reviews that I see now talk about how awesome a game is, and it's like the age old truism, 85% of things can't be above average.

I was a professional reviewer in the past for a different medium, love board games, and have been looking for an outlet to channel. I just don't know if it's worth the time to write anymore if all most people do is watch video reviews.

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

Poll
What kind of board game reviews do you refer to when considering games?
Video reviews (but only with high production values)
Video reviews (any production values)
Written reviews (with embedded component and game play images)
Word of mouth (opinions from friends and colleagues)
None of the Above
      575 answers
Poll created by hestiansun
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Andy Leighton
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hestiansun wrote:
I see people constantly talking about video reviews, and Kickstarters always seem to have embedded videos now, or graphics that include quotes from video reviewers. I'm wondering if there is still a point to producing written reviews, and if people still take the time to read them, or is it pointless to do a review if it's not a video review these days?


I would say that I find written reviews more useful to me than video reviews - whether or not they contain images.
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James C
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Seems to me that when these kinds of threads come up there's a pretty even split of people who like video reviews and people who like written reviews.

I prefer videos, but I like reviews with lots of pictures if there aren't any videos.
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Steve
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Judging by the number of likes and comments good written reviews get the answer is yes, of course.
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John Middleton
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Written reviews by someone who plays and analyzes then game are much more useful than videos by "reviewers" that crank out a review a week for their channel.
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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I simply cannot stand video reviews. Not even for a moment. (A video "how to play" can be handy from time to time).

Written reviews every time.

KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN
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C&H Schmidt
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I like both, and when I'm interested in a game, I will consult both.
Text reviews can be more convenient when you don't want to commit to watching a (20min+) video, so unless I am super interested in a game already, I'm more likely to read some text reviews first.
Also, if I have already played a game and just want to see what others thought about it, I'm much more likely to read a text review, since I can more easily skip the bits that eyplain the gameplay.

TLDR: I totally think there is a place for text reviews, and I would be sad if people stopped producing them.
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There is...


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Mindy Basi
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I think this topic is interesting. Frankly, the OP has nailed it -- if you want notoriety, free copies of games, and to be well known, video reviews are where it's at. If you just want to add to the general knowledge base and feel you have a unique perspective, written reviews can be very helpful and well received. I read written reviews all the time.

Written reviews need to have pictures, I think -- it helps; they also need a good summary of pros and cons, because people do want to get down to the yes or no decision on whether to buy/play it and get an idea of how you came to your opinion.

Good luck!
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I watch a few video reviews but I find myself usually getting more information out of text reviews and I enjoy them more. One of the advantages is you proceed at your own speed if something is confusing you just re-read it without having to jump a video back and forward, especially useful if something is referred to later in the review.
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J C Lawrence
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Written reviews without embedded component and play images.
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Steve B
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DegenerateElite wrote:
Written reviews by someone who plays and analyzes then game are much more useful than videos by "reviewers" that crank out a review a week for their channel.


Nah. I much prefer a 5 minute video review than some pseudo-reviewer on Boardgamegeek writing a thesis of a review trying to insert all sorts of fancy rhetoric and their "analysis" of the game which is usually a load of rubbish. A nice quick video review lets me see the game and decide if it's something I may like. In fact the "reviewer" doesn't even need to review the game. Just describing the game is enough.
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Stephen Rochelle
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hestiansun wrote:
I'm wondering if there is still a point to producing written reviews, and if people still take the time to read them....
For what it's worth, "needing to take the time" is exactly why I prefer (by a "rely on" to "completely ignore" margin) text over video.

I can consume text faster. I can find the parts that are particularly relevant faster. I can revisit the parts that are tricky or confusing faster. I can skip the parts that are tedious faster. I can search for the items of interest much faster.
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Mark Bigney
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hestiansun wrote:
I don't feel an ego-driven need for people to know my face or see how vast my board game collection is, or hear the sound of my voice, or even to become famous at doing it. I'm not interested in doing it to get free review copies of games, or achieve any notoriety. Literally, I just want to help people formulate opinions on whether a particular game might be a good fit for them.


Despite my preference for written reviews, it seems to me that the audience is in video reviews--what's why I make them. Your broad brush implication that people's motives are suspect in making video reviews isn't accurate or helpful.
Rather, people with motivations that are very similar to your own prompts them to use the medium that they feel will help them reach the most people.
Make whatever content you want, but it sounds like you have a very low opinion of people who produce video reviews.
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Seth Pinter
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I like all kinds of reviews, but I tend to watch video reviews first. I consider Dice Tower OK production values, so I checked the 2nd option, not the 1st. High quality would be something on the level of Tabletop (of course that isn't a review).

The reason I prefer video first is because I can more easily see how the game is played. If I'm interested I'll probably go through a couple text reviews for opinions and higher quality photos.
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HenningK
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lomn wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
I'm wondering if there is still a point to producing written reviews, and if people still take the time to read them....
For what it's worth, "needing to take the time" is exactly why I prefer (by a "rely on" to "completely ignore" margin) text over video.

I can consume text faster. I can find the parts that are particularly relevant faster. I can revisit the parts that are tricky or confusing faster. I can skip the parts that are tedious faster. I can search for the items of interest much faster.


Quoted for truth. I ignore video reviews because I can't see how it is structured, and I definitely won't hop around a 30-minute video trying to find the parts that interest me.
Also, reading a paragraph is so much quicker than listening to someone.

I definitely prefer text reviews, and I don't even care if it has pictures or not.

EDIT: I think a "how to play" video or an example game is very useful, amd that is where the video format is superior to text. But I tend to only be interested in those once a (preferrably written) review already sparked my interest in a game.
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I like written reviews better myself. Because I can listen to music while reading them, or do whatever the heck I want to do between two lines I read, and then go back to itn leaving the tab open.
I like written reviews because you are not bombared by the host huge shelve of games, his or her ad tee-shirt, his or her need to say that you should buy this or that product from CSI, or whatever.
I like written review because it feels to me that the reviewer takes more time to write their review, and can write them better than if they did a video review, which needs to entertain the public a bit more, by having tempo or whatever (I may be wrong, but I feel that way anyway.)

I don't like videos because I have to sit my arse in front of them and do nothing but watch them. What I like about them, though, is that I don't have the opportunity to listen to a lot of people talking in English and this is one.

I have a blog myself where I review board games and I would never do that any other way than written reviews. Because that's how I like to gain information about board games, and how I like to do my reviews.

Then again, I'm considered bizarre sometimes, and old-school
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Steve
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hestiansun wrote:
I don't feel an ego-driven need for people to know my face or see how vast my board game collection is, or hear the sound of my voice, or even to become famous at doing it. I'm not interested in doing it to get free review copies of games, or achieve any notoriety.

This is really what you think motivates people who do video reviews?
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There are plenty of useful video reviews, but I often find extensive written reviews more valuable than video reviews because I can much more easily skip to the parts that I am most interested in. What I find least useful in many written reviews is that their discussions of the rules can sometimes be much more extensive than is really necessary, but even then I can pretty easily skip to "the good parts".
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Liam (Away/AFK)
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KS is about selling the product not reviewing the game.

So videos make things easier to sell but tend to leave the gamer less informed, than if the same period of time was spent reading a detailed written review.

Comments with ratings are also a major part of how I approach getting an understanding of whether a game might be for me. For me, written reviews are central to an informed decision.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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I read game reviews. Not as many these days as formerly, but that's due to the proliferation of 'branded' reviewers who generate formulaic reviews by the bucket load and seem primarily interested in re-directing you to their websites. I want to read about the game, not the reviewer.

I rarely watch videos, which take too much time for the information delivered, and more often than not are filled with mistakes.
(And while 'rarely' isn't much, it's infinitely greater than my participation in BGG polls.)

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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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I only use video reviews if I am very curious about the game and there are no written reviews. In any other case, written reviews.
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hestiansun wrote:
I see people constantly talking about video reviews, and Kickstarters always seem to have embedded videos now, or graphics that include quotes from video reviewers. I'm wondering if there is still a point to producing written reviews, and if people still take the time to read them, or is it pointless to do a review if it's not a video review these days?

I've been toying with the idea of posting up some reviews, but for various reasons the logistics of doing a video review just aren't favorable for me. I don't feel an ego-driven need for people to know my face or see how vast my board game collection is, or hear the sound of my voice, or even to become famous at doing it. I'm not interested in doing it to get free review copies of games, or achieve any notoriety. Literally, I just want to help people formulate opinions on whether a particular game might be a good fit for them. Mainly because it seems like most reviews that I see now talk about how awesome a game is, and it's like the age old truism, 85% of things can't be above average.

I was a professional reviewer in the past for a different medium, love board games, and have been looking for an outlet to channel. I just don't know if it's worth the time to write anymore if all most people do is watch video reviews.

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

Poll
What kind of board game reviews do you refer to when considering games?
Video reviews (but only with high production values)
Video reviews (any production values)
Written reviews (with embedded component and game play images)
Word of mouth (opinions from friends and colleagues)
None of the Above
      575 answers
Poll created by hestiansun


Nothing better than a well written review. Then again, you do what you are good at. If its done well, you will get an audience.
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bradelli wrote:
DegenerateElite wrote:
Written reviews by someone who plays and analyzes then game are much more useful than videos by "reviewers" that crank out a review a week for their channel.


Nah. I much prefer a 5 minute video review than some pseudo-reviewer on Boardgamegeek writing a thesis of a review trying to insert all sorts of fancy rhetoric and their "analysis" of the game which is usually a load of rubbish. A nice quick video review lets me see the game and decide if it's something I may like. In fact the "reviewer" doesn't even need to review the game. Just describing the game is enough.


Well, that's not a review then.. that's a game walk-through. Different animal.
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Matt Kruse
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I like both. But I read a lot more written reviews than I watch videos because I often look at them while on the bus to work or at lunch or when I'm waiting on something. I don't have access to good internet for streaming when I'm out and about, don't want to play volume in public, or don't have time to sit through them. So reading is a lot easier.

Watching videos I usually do this for games I am particularly serious about or if I want to learn how to play or if I really like the presenter like shut up and sit down.
 
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