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Topic: Why do gamers go on about "bias" in games reviews as though it's a bad thing?

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theblackdragon

101. Posted:

@Jeremyx7: if you want information about a game from a completely unbiased source, read an instruction manual. if you want to read someone's opinion about a game they've played, read a review. If you're worried about someone's bias not matching your own, the best thing you can do is find a reviewer who consistently rates games you enjoy highly and then get their opinions on other games you're interested in (if they aren't reviewing them, hit them up on Twitter or Facebook or a comment thread, usually there's some way to contact any given reviewer).

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FOREST_RANGER

102. Posted:

@Jeremyx7 Well, we established that it's IMPOSSIBLE to have cold-hard facts in someone's review (opinion) of a game. A person will think one game is good while another thinks that that game is bad, both for good reasons. Thus, there will be bias in some way.

Example: Crysis is a beautful game for its time, with high graphical fidelity and Hollywood visuals. it had a fairly robust physics system. However, it got okay reviews. There were even variations in the reviews from the people like the same type of stuff: one would say it's a horrible game while another would say that it's the best game ever.

We decided that your bias towards how you play and concieve a game should match the reviewer's bias. If your bias isn't met, then you claim that the review is biased rather than objective, when really, your opinions and thoughts about games don't match the reviewer's. Does this make sense?

Edited on by FOREST_RANGER

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Jeremyx7

103. Posted:

I totally understand what's being debated here and would agree with many of your points actually. All I was stating was that bias 'In General' especially to a major degree is BAD. There is ALWAYS a way to be completely objective but many unfortunately are not thus the various split opinions and ideals in our chaotic world today.

As far as objectivity goes for reviewing any form of entertainment, there is such a thing as 'Bad Bias', and not just because it's a different point of view from whoever disagrees. But because True 'Bad Bias' involves one to exaggerate his personal feelings in a manner that overshadows what it is he's trying to clearly see being presented before him/her.

Either way I was making a simple valid point in 'General Terms'.

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LittleKing

104. Posted:

It depends on what you mean by bias. It's hard to determine what is and isn't "bias" in a review because reviews aren't objective by nature; they are an opinionated piece of work built from the ground up almost exclusively by "bias" going by what the average gamer labels as such. However, it all depends on what one means by bias.

I think reviews can have bias. For me, bias is something which influences the opinion of the reviewer when it is mostly, or completely, irrelevant to the game. While reviews are highly opinionated you have to be somewhat objective as a reviewer. For instance, a reviewer who simply hates Nintendo and consistently scores all Nintendo games lower for no reason but the fact they are Nintendo games. I don't mean he dislikes the way Nintendo games are designed, although I guess hatred of one game might cause someone to prematurely judge another, I mean he has some sort of personal guff with them. Maybe he thinks of Nintendo games as being childish due to peer pressure from his friends or some crap. If he thus says all Nintendo games are colorful crap from then on that's biased; there's nothing probably wrong with the games. Or, if someone gives a game a high score simply because everyone else is. That's a bias originating from other reviews that is altering his stance. Another is when a reviewer is given special treatment; a gift, their name in the credits, the chance to design levels for the game, etc. That can cause bias. Or maybe the reviewer knows one of the guys at the studio. Sometimes, bias can be more physical. For instance, a color blind player reviewing a game that revolves around color or an amputee reviewing Wii Fit would hardly result in unbiased reviews.

Yes, the opinion is the data you are looking for, but only the parts which directly evaluate the game's content. Sometimes, it can be hard to determine what is bias and what is opinion. Should we have a guy who loathes all sports review the best sports game ever made and give it a 1? Is that biased? It's still his opinion. The game might be great for what it is, but if you hate what it's trying to be then you'll hate it.

It's hard to determine what constitutes bias in reviews but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The problem is that most people who say reviews are biased do so for no legitimate reason. They just want to block out criticism of whatever they enjoy. It's not that biased game reviews don't exist it's that the general gamer doesn't use the term correctly.

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FOREST_RANGER

105. Posted:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

There is ALWAYS a way to be completely objective but many unfortunately are not thus the various split opinions and ideals in our chaotic world today.

What I should have said is that the actual ASSESSMENT part cannot be objective by any means; it isn't possible. That's like saying your favorite reviewer's review is as valid as Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which we know is true regardless of anything in existence. If those assessments were objective, that would mean that games were somehow physically better than another. If that were the case, only one single game title would be selling because it is "better" than the rest. The rest would have no sales and the game industry would die faster than you could say "Mario."

While game reviewers review the technical conventions of a game (like glitches, sharpness of visuals, quality of the game controls), we don't judge games by how polished they are. We judge them based whether we think it is "fun." Different people define fun in different ways. it could be:

  • Challenging
  • Sensory Heaven (pretty graphics and sound)
  • Captivating narrative
  • Reminds one of a special thing he or she worships (like Batman and Arkham Asylum)
  • Enabling one to be his or her own hero
  • super polished
  • combination of these attributes
  • MANY MORE

Edited on by FOREST_RANGER

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SMEXIZELDAMAN

106. Posted:

Aviator wrote:

DarkKnight wrote:

SMEXIZELDAMAN wrote:

Bias doesn't exist, only opinion. And that doesn't exist either considering we're all dead.

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Lan

107. Posted:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

Lots of censorship here...
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SMEXIZELDAMAN

108. Posted:

Lan wrote:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

You have to compare it to other games in the same genre to see how it stands up to the greats. That's like not comparing high fantasy literature to Tolkien. Who in their right mind wouldn't?

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Lan

109. Posted:

SMEXIZELDAMAN wrote:

Lan wrote:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

You have to compare it to other games in the same genre to see how it stands up to the greats. That's like not comparing high fantasy literature to Tolkien. Who in their right mind wouldn't?

Who in their right mind would read high fantasy literature?

Lots of censorship here...
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SMEXIZELDAMAN

110. Posted:

Lan wrote:

SMEXIZELDAMAN wrote:

Lan wrote:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

You have to compare it to other games in the same genre to see how it stands up to the greats. That's like not comparing high fantasy literature to Tolkien. Who in their right mind wouldn't?

Who in their right mind would read high fantasy literature?

Anyone who's anyone. I take it you read 50 Shades of Grey then?

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Bankai

111. Posted:

Lan wrote:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

That's... not objectivity and subjectivity. Those terms have nothing to do with comparing games to one another?

Subjectivity is writing from the author's point of view. It's an opinion piece.

Objectivity is writing from a dispassionate point of view without opinion.

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Lan

112. Posted:

SMEXIZELDAMAN wrote:

Lan wrote:

SMEXIZELDAMAN wrote:

Lan wrote:

Reviews should be objective, not subjective. Judge the game for what it is, not for what it is compared to everything else.

You have to compare it to other games in the same genre to see how it stands up to the greats. That's like not comparing high fantasy literature to Tolkien. Who in their right mind wouldn't?

Who in their right mind would read high fantasy literature?

Anyone who's anyone. I take it you read 50 Shades of Grey then?

Yes.

Lots of censorship here...
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PKNoUsernameHere

113. Posted:

real question:why is this even a thread? it's pointless :P

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rayword45

114. Posted:

Metable_King said it best. If someone took a well-beloved game like GTA 4 and gave it a 2/10 it for the clunky controls or Mario Sunshine the same score for the often problematic camera, so be it. That's a fair (if not exaggerated from my POV) review right there.

If a reviewer gave it a poor review because he hated the GameCube, or he hated Rockstar, there's a difference. If he hates platformers/sandbox games, then he really shouldn't review it. I write amateur reviews only, but even then I would never touch Madden because I'm really not a fan of sports games.

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WildMan

115. Posted:

@paperluigi Because thoughtful discussions are always helpful..

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Jeremyx7

116. Posted:

FOREST_RANGER wrote:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

There is ALWAYS a way to be completely objective but many unfortunately are not thus the various split opinions and ideals in our chaotic world today.

What I should have said is that the actual ASSESSMENT part cannot be objective by any means; it isn't possible.

So you're saying nobody can simply give a written review of information without opinions? Ever?? Hhmmm.

That's all I was making a point about and how it would be better if everyone did this. I never got into specifics as to which forums/articles/journalist are objective or not.

It's not hard especially not impossible for anyone to reiterate information solely without personal views that would otherwise influence the readers' thought process.

Edited on by Jeremyx7

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the_shpydar

117. Posted:

@Jeremyx7
But that's not a review. That would just be conveying information. A review, by necessity, is going to have some degree of subjectivity to it.

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WaLzgi

118. Posted:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

FOREST_RANGER wrote:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

There is ALWAYS a way to be completely objective but many unfortunately are not thus the various split opinions and ideals in our chaotic world today.

What I should have said is that the actual ASSESSMENT part cannot be objective by any means; it isn't possible.

So you're saying nobody can simply give a written review of information without opinions? Ever?? Hhmmm.

That's all I was making a point about and how it would be better if everyone did this. I never got into specifics as to which forums/articles/journalist are objective or not.

It's not hard especially not impossible for anyone to reiterate information solely without personal views that would otherwise influence the readers' thought process.

Tell me, how do you "review" something by only stating facts? Look around every gaming-related site. See those stars or numbers? They are all summarized on Metacritic. And they are all based on opinions ;)

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kkslider5552000

119. Posted:

hey guys Metroid Other M's story quality is factually...

yeah exactly

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Jeremyx7

120. Posted:

I agree with most of you that there is usually bias 'positive' or 'negative' in most reviews of anything in life. What I disagree with is what makes a written review doesn't have to have opinions involved. Just stating observations, actual facts about how the game operates, technical glitches, those sorts of things without personal feelings CAN STILL BE CONSIDERED A WRITTEN REVIEW.

I think allot of you are misunderstanding what I'm trying to say here. That or just completely taking things way out of context just to try further your own arguments. Maybe I'm not being clear enough?

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