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Subject: POLL - How many people actually care what a Reviewer thinks about a game? rss

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I'm just curious as to how many people actually care whether or not a review or reviewer likes a game or whether they just read the reviews to see what the game is about and formulate their own opinions, regardless of the reviewer's slant?

Poll
Do you read a Review to make a purchasing decision OR do you read Reviews simply to formulate your own opinion of a game based on the data presented within the review?
Yes, the Review's opinion is what determines my purchasing decision.
No, I make my own decision regardless of what the reviewer thinks.
      193 answers
Poll created by wytefang




For me, it's mostly the latter - even with well-known reviewers here or online, I trust my own judgment FAR more. So I mainly read reviews to get the gist of the rules, gameplay, and component qualities - then I can figure out if I'm going to like the game or not. Yes, I realize this means I probably don't have the "respect" I should have for some of the more popular reviewers out there but opinions vary so much that I find it difficult to trust anyone else's opinion TOO much. (Though I do trust other's subjective thoughts to a certain extent. It's just that in general, I find the masses' opinions to be usually misguiding more than informative and helpful.)

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Michael B. Hansen
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If one were to use only the reviewers opinion of a game, as a basis to decide whether to buy a game or not, one would not be using BGG to its full potential.. far far from it.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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I chose the latter but it's mostly the wording of the poll that made it so. I really care what a reviewer thinks if the reviewers overall reason for believing things seems to be the same as mine. But I don't just like read a review and go "oh, negative review, shucks" either.
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Darren Bezzant
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I guess I misunderstood the question - the review will influence my decision, but I don't just blindly go buy a game just on their say-so.

Although Tom Vasel has probably embedded subliminal messages into the Dice Tower that seems to greatly affect my game buying habits.
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Jim Cote
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I don't care if they like it or not, unless they mischaracterize the game. I want useful information. The worst kind of review is one where the reviewer clearly doesn't understand the game, yet critcizes it based on his/her lack of understanding. Then when you call them on it, they play the "you are jumping on me for a negative review" card.
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Bryan McClendon
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This is like those political polls that are worded in such a way as to ensure the outcome.

I find this poll... polarizing.
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Andre Metelo
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ekted wrote:
I don't care if they like it or not, unless they mischaracterize the game. I want useful information.


Amen.. This is what one needs to make their decision on buying a specific game
 
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Jeff Mays
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For what it's worth, I find your question to be somewhat leading. While I do consider what a reviewer thinks of a game, especially if their reasons for liking (or not liking) a game are explained well and supported with good examples, I don't buy (or choose not to buy) games because the reviewer thinks I should (or shouldn't)... no more than I would just buy only the top rated games because they are top rated and, therefore, must be the best.

In general, I think reviews can help me make a decision, but it is only one factor in my decision. Your question boils down to either, "Duh, I let somebody else pick my games" or "I don't need someone else to make a decision for me because I am smart"

Okay, so that might be a little exaggerated, but, like I said, your question seems a little leading and the results might end up a little skewed due to this, IMHO.

On the other hand, if you want people to agree with you,
your question is well phrased. thumbsuparrrh
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Lacombe
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I am a bit of both. There are some users on here with apparently pretty similar tastes in games, so if I see them highly praise a game, I'll probably take their word on it whether or not it sounds from their description like a game I'd enjoy.
 
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Rami Finkelshtein
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The trick is like reviews for just about everything. Find someone who has the same tastes as you in games and follow their reviews. It is that simple. Also thats is an incredibly leading question for a poll and horribly designed on that part so I will not even bother answering it.

However reviews serve many functions. They explain how the game works and what you get and the component ideas (also if u follow these are also subjective...remember there are people that love chits, there are people that love wood, and there are people that love plastic) sometimes reading a negative review is a good thing as well since you see the other side of the story. Personally I do read reviews and the opinion of the reviewer does matter to be but it will NEVER be the be all end all reason that I buy a game.
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AxonDomini
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I think it depends on the presentation. I never rely wholly on reviewers' opinions, but if those opinions are well thought out and backed up by examples and a solid knowledge of the game then it does get factored in. Excessive exuberance counts against a review, and excessive vitriol counts against it even more.

An overview of the rules/gameplay can be helpful helpful, but rules don't convey the experience of a game nor do they help in understanding how well the mechanics of the game mesh with the theme or how well they work as a whole. This is where a well written review helps, and a collection of well thought out reviews helps even more. The many glowing reviews of Chaos in the Old World pushed me over the edge into buying it, and I'm glad they did. However, if I had read the rules and thought "this doesn't sound like my kind of game" I would have passed on it.

Obviously reviews matter to most of us. If they didn't, all we would need is a single rules summary of each game. Why would we bother reading multiple reviews before making a purchase if they weren't helpful?

Your poll needs a third option - "Reviews play a role in my decision, but are not the only factor I consider." Neither of your choices really conveys my process.
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Jeff Mays
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jeffk wrote:
Excessive exuberance counts against a review, and excessive vitriol counts against it even more.


Truer words, not said. (at least, for me).



Edited so as not to be speaking for others and stuff.
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You can't handle the truth?
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I need some middle ground. I care what the review says, and also need the description. I could not vote in this poll.

>Curt
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David C
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How many people get mad when a reviewer bags on a game that they like?

Poll
I care that reviewers like the games I do?
Yes, I care.
No, I don't care.
Space Hulk goes awesome as a third option.
      60 answers
Poll created by bippi
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Eric Phillips
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You know, the title of this thread asks a very different question than the one in the poll. I care what reviewers say, but that doesn't mean I automatically run out and buy the game.
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Ryan Dicorato
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Roughly 6 months ago is when this hobby really began to take off for me and I bought a lot of games. Things that heavily influenced my decision for some of my purchases were reviews. If a lot of people seem to like a game, that would mean I like it, right? So far I've not made a bad purchase and after going to a local gaming convention, I was able to play a lot of games I was looking at buying which just helped me buy them faster. :)

So yes, if a game I think looks interesting gets good reviews I'll probably end up buying it. However if a game gets bad reviews and I've had my eye on it, I'll probably try to play it first.

Also the rankings of board games also helps, too. Granted there are going to be some high ranked games that I don't like (Le Havre), I think for the most part I'll enjoy them.
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Sean McCarthy
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Apparently reviewers' opinions are so horrendously strong that they must either be avoided altogether, or else they will completely determine your choice. I had not realized this problem had gotten so out of hand.

I guess when I thought I was using reviewer opinions as a single factor in my decision-making I must have been projecting my own opinion onto the reviewer.
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Ed Browne
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It's usually based on the reason I'm reading the review.

If it is a game that I have interest in, and don't know a lot about, then I pay more attention to how the reviewer feels about it. But I also try to read commments looking for possible negative opinions as well.

But I also find myself reading reviews of games I've already played just to see how the reviewer, and commenters, feel about a game I've already made an opinion of. Sometimes I will even be given that will make me reconsider how I feel about a game based on others' experiences.

Plus, overall, a good, solid review that isn't just overexhuberant love or hate is always helpful too. Someone too much at one extreme or other is difficult to not tune out after a while and makes one wonder if the person is either naive or has an axe to grind. No game is "the best ever made" not is it "total trash," most of the time, if it has made it this far in the publishing process.
 
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William Collins
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I try to look at a cross-section of all available information, which is considerably more than what a Reviewer thinks. Usually just as useful are the comments and discourse that a Reviewer's angle catalyzes. Even then, the reviews are but a part of the larger whole of available information.
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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A reviewer's opinion ALWAYS affects my purchasing decisions.

ALWAYS.

I look at their review history, their likes and dislikes, and how they evaluate games in general.

There's one reviewer in particular (actually, just that person's comments) I follow with interest. When that person states whether and how they liked a game, I know whether I will like or dislike it.

There are even cases where I know I will love a game when that person says they hate it.

That's still a strong influence, even though it's inverted.
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I apologize to those who felt that my poll doesn't represent the entire process. I mainly wanted to keep this somewhat between two extremes to see which way people voted - obviously there are many of us who use a combination of Reviewer's opinion and personal taste and intelligence.

I don't agree that Reviews on the extreme edges (really love it or really hate it) aren't worthwhile - I find those the most worthwhile in the end. If something has generate such a tremendously one-sided response, I can learn a heck of a lot from that review as to why they feel that way, versus a rather vanilla middle-of-the-road review (which isn't to say that you can't learn some decent stuff from milder reviews either - plus there's the simple fact that not every game is AWESOME or HORRIBLE.)

Thanks for the replies.
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Dan Conley
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In part, it depends on the reviewer. I have come to really trust certain folks and their opinions. I DO love to read reviews, but I generally don't run right out and buy a game solely on the strength of one.
 
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p55carroll
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I don't think the question is worded fairly. Naturally I'm going to insist that I make up my own mind. And I suspect most people would say that.

But when I read BGG reviews, I do often scroll down to the closing paragraph and look for the "verdict." There, the reviewer usually sums up what he thinks of the game and why. And that's likely to sway me a little in one direction or another.

This phenomenon is similar to what I often get from movie fans. They'll insist that the critics are always wrong, and the moviegoer himself knows a good film when he sees one. But I find that what the critics say (if they agree) usually matches up pretty well with my own experience. So, I can save myself some time and money by paying attention to the critics.
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Mac Mcleod
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The reviewers opinion matters to me. Their love or dislike of the game makes a difference.

I still make up my own mind and yes I do read the reviews for an overview of play.
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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How much I care about what a reviewer thinks or feels about a game is directly related to how well they demonstrate why they feel or think about it that way. A good reviewer will give you reasons why he likes it or hates it. Those reasons tell you where the reviewer is coming from in his assessment and is useful information whether I agree with him or not.
 
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