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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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Bankai

121. Posted:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

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?

That's a technical review.

We're talking about critical reviews here. You know, the ones you see on games websites.

Technical reviews are deathly boring and a completely impractical way of reviewing something that has no definite measures of quality. They're for things like IT hardware where clock speeds etc are measurable. How, exactly, do you measure the quality of a game without inserting personal opinion? Go on, prove me wrong with just one example. Any example. From anywhere on the Internet.

Go on.

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V8_Ninja

122. Posted:

WhiteKnight wrote:

How, exactly, do you measure the quality of a game without inserting personal opinion? Go on, prove me wrong with just one example. Any example. From anywhere on the Internet.

Go on.

I don't want to sound like I'm spiteful, but load times? Responsive controls? Netcoding? Although the gameplay mechanics of a game cannot be measured through sheer numbers, games are still systems which have elements which can be easily measured through integers.

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Bankai

123. Posted:

V8_Ninja wrote:

WhiteKnight wrote:

How, exactly, do you measure the quality of a game without inserting personal opinion? Go on, prove me wrong with just one example. Any example. From anywhere on the Internet.

Go on.

I don't want to sound like I'm spiteful, but load times? Responsive controls? Netcoding? Although the gameplay mechanics of a game cannot be measured through sheer numbers, games are still systems which have elements which can be easily measured through integers.

Any game review that focuses on those is an absolutely terrible review and should get the writer fired instantly.

I'm not even exaggerating. A critical review for a game needs to ask one of two thinks: 1) Is it entertaining (in the case of blockbuster-style games that are all about the fun), 2) Is it enlightening? (For indie games or games that are aimed as artistic expression).

Since it is impossible to quantify entertainment or elightenment value it is impossible to quantify a game's quality in any way at all.

There are some minor quantifiable elements that go into game design that can impact on a game's quality, but they're relatively unimportant and unless they have a direct impact on the game's quality, they're not worth mentioning in a review. So for instance, if a game has a one second load time, rather than a two second load time, does it matter? No (unless those load times happen every ten seconds or so, but imagine that that's to load a full level). As an editor I would cut any mention of load times out of the review on that basis - they add absolutely nothing to the discussion about the game.

If a game's load time takes 10 minutes, then it's worth mentioning because that genuinely harms the ability to engage with the game. But it's the engagement with the game that's important, not the actual load time.

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Jeremyx7

124. Posted:

WhiteKnight wrote:

Technical reviews are deathly boring and a completely impractical way of reviewing something that has no definite measures of quality.

That's your personal biased opinion which is fine but your personal biased opinion does not define this for everyone else here nor anywhere else just for you and you alone. That's not to say that there are others out there that wouldn't agree with you.

WhiteKnight wrote:

They're for things like IT hardware where clock speeds etc are measurable. How, exactly, do you measure the quality of a game without inserting personal opinion? Go on, prove me wrong with just one example. Any example. From anywhere on the Internet. Go on.

Your answers lies in my previous comments on this thread in case you haven't been reading them with unfiltered eyes or preconceived ideas. Technicality of all sorts of information in life can be a resourceful way of testing quality. It's simple logical thinking without extra narrative fluff.

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Unca_Lz

125. Posted:

Regardless of what you want, you're gonna get subjective responses when you ask someone how a game is. If your decision rests on a purely objective basis, then there is no point to a review. If your decision rests on reviews, you are relying on opinions. Why do people wait for reviews? So they can hear others' opinions about the product they want.

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FOREST_RANGER

126. Posted:

Jeremyx7 wrote:

Your answers lies in my previous comments on this thread in case you haven't been reading them with unfiltered eyes or preconceived ideas. Technicality of all sorts of information in life can be a resourceful way of testing quality. It's simple logical thinking without extra narrative fluff.

Well, for how you describe this, this sounds like something that can be useful to in-house programmers and game testers. Other than that, I don't know what I'd use that kind of review for to be honest. Numbers and descriptive information doesn't help me determine if i want a game. I could either try the game itself or read someone's experience, aka review. I'm sorry for not seeing where your coming from D:

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Bankai

127. Posted:

That's your personal biased opinion which is fine but your personal biased opinion does not define this for everyone else here nor anywhere else just for you and you alone. That's not to say that there are others out there that wouldn't agree with you.

No. It's fact. You're the one with opinions. But in this instance you're like the guy that insists that the world is flat. You can believe it all you like, but you're wrong.

Your answers lies in my previous comments on this thread in case you haven't been reading them with unfiltered eyes or preconceived ideas. Technicality of all sorts of information in life can be a resourceful way of testing quality. It's simple logical thinking without extra narrative fluff.

Games are not technical works though. Games are either art or entertainment - depending on your point of view - and quality in art or entertainment is a subjective point of view.

Gamers (most gamers) just want to know whether they would enjoy a game or not. They couldn't care less about loading times.

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Unca_Lz

128. Posted:

WhiteKnight wrote:

Games are not technical works though. Games are either art or entertainment - depending on your point of view - and quality in art or entertainment is a subjective point of view.

Gamers (most gamers) just want to know whether they would enjoy a game or not. They couldn't care less about loading times.

To an extent, there is some objectivity because it's one thing to have a few seconds of loading times, but 10 minute loading times (PS1 anyone :P) are unacceptable to most people and in turn makes them dislike the game. In this case, you can have both

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Bankai

129. Posted:

LZBirdboi wrote:

WhiteKnight wrote:

Games are not technical works though. Games are either art or entertainment - depending on your point of view - and quality in art or entertainment is a subjective point of view.

Gamers (most gamers) just want to know whether they would enjoy a game or not. They couldn't care less about loading times.

To an extent, there is some objectivity because it's one thing to have a few seconds of loading times, but 10 minute loading times (PS1 anyone :P) are unacceptable to most people and in turn makes them dislike the game. In this case, you can have both

Yes, but an objective review (a bad review) would do this:

Final Fantasy Electric Boogaloo has a 5-minute load time per song

A subjective ("BIAS OLOLOLOL") review would do this:

Final Fantasy Electric Boogaloo's loading times are so bad they take longer than the time you spend actually dancing. This ruins the game

The objective review is worthless information - it might be factually accurate but it doesn't tell us anything.

People have a cry about the subjective review because some people like Electric Boogaloo and then they think "Oh waaah this is a direct attack at meeee! HOW BIASED"

But the subjective review is the useful one.

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WarioMan

130. Posted:

MrNiceGuy wrote:

@paperluigi Because thoughtful discussions are always helpful..

this thread isn't "helpful",it's pointless :P

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Odnetnin

131. Posted:

paperluigi wrote:

MrNiceGuy wrote:

@paperluigi Because thoughtful discussions are always helpful..

this thread isn't "helpful",it's pointless :P

According to you. Cool story bro.

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Morphbug

132. Posted:

paperluigi wrote:

MrNiceGuy wrote:

@paperluigi Because thoughtful discussions are always helpful..

this thread isn't "helpful",it's pointless :P

This thread is a pretty good read.
Well, most of the comments, apparently.

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Jeremyx7

133. Posted:

@WhiteKnight You're continuously assuming I'm talking about 'critical reviews' specifically instead of actually realizing that I'm talking about what a potential review(OF ANY KIND) can have or not have in it in order still be considered a review. Never did I mention a 'category' for a review of any kind. Ever.

WhiteKnight wrote:

Games are not technical works though. Games are either art or entertainment - depending on your point of view - and quality in art or entertainment is a subjective point of view.

Wrong. Games are technical works just not extremely complicated technical works. You sure it's me that's believing in unfounded opinions? However I do agree that the art/entertainment aspects of games are always and completely subjective. But I never debated this otherwise this entire time did I.......

WhiteKnight wrote:

Yes, but an objective review (a bad review) would do this:
The objective review is worthless information - it might be factually accurate but it doesn't tell us anything.
But the subjective review is the useful one.

All of this is opinion.......

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WarioMan

134. Posted:

Morphtroid wrote:

paperluigi wrote:

MrNiceGuy wrote:

@paperluigi Because thoughtful discussions are always helpful..

this thread isn't "helpful",it's pointless :P

This thread is a pretty good read.
Well, most of the comments, apparently.

why?! >:[

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Bankai

135. Posted:

You're continuously assuming I'm talking about 'critical reviews' specifically instead of actually realizing that I'm talking about what a potential review(OF ANY KIND) can have or not have in it in order still be considered a review. Never did I mention a 'category' for a review of any kind. Ever

I'm still waiting for your to show me a single example of a good quality game review that is not a critical review. Can't be done.

Wrong. Games are technical works just not extremely complicated technical works. You sure it's me that's believing in unfounded opinions? However I do agree that the art/entertainment aspects of games are always and completely subjective. But I never debated this otherwise this entire time did I.......

Aspects? Aspects? haha, a game is not a jigsaw puzzle. It is one complete picture. And it's there to either entertain, or challenge a player to think as an art work.

The only thing about a game that is worth writing about is whether it is entertaining or artistic. The technical elements are merely the frame that supports the picture. The frame is worthless without a picture in it.

All of this is opinion.......

A substantiated opinion.

Edited on by Bankai

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kkslider5552000

136. Posted:

ok as a rule for any argument ever, if someone asks you to give an example, you should probably give them an example

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Jeremyx7

137. Posted:

WhiteKnight wrote:

I'm still waiting for your to show me a single example of a good quality game review that is not a critical review. Can't be done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Skyward_Sword

Discusses just about everything there is to know about how the game operates, gameplay mechanics, storyline, Level Design, Art, average length of the game, ect... all without writers putting their own ideals as to the 'quality' of the game. This in many ways is a REVIEW and IMO the best way how to figure out if a specific type of game is for you or not with the closest possible clarity. This and gameplay footage are great indicators for me to know fairly quickly whether or not it's for me.

Definition of Review -
1. To look over, study, or examine again. CHECK
2. To consider retrospectively; look back on. CHECK
3. To examine with an eye to criticism or correction CHECK

My methods of what I consider a better review has all 3 of these definitions of what a REVIEW can actually mean. There is your proof spelled out for you.

WhiteKnight wrote:

Aspects? Aspects? haha, a game is not a jigsaw puzzle. It is one complete picture. And it's there to either entertain, or challenge a player to think as an art work.

Oh, are you still talking about this? I Never debated this otherwise.....

WhiteKnight wrote:

The only thing about a game that is worth writing about is whether it is entertaining or artistic. The technical elements are merely the frame that supports the picture. The frame is worthless without a picture in it.

And a beautiful picture is not secure without a sturdy frame ;)

WhiteKnight wrote:

A substantiated opinion.

Opinions none the less, not facts.

Edited on by Jeremyx7

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Bankai

138. Posted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Skyward_Sword

Discusses just about everything there is to know about how the game operates, gameplay mechanics, storyline, Level Design, Art, average length of the game, ect... all without writers putting their own ideals as to the 'quality' of the game. This in many ways is a REVIEW and IMO the best way how to figure out if a specific type of game is for you or not with the closest possible clarity. This and gameplay footage are great indicators for me to know fairly quickly whether or not it's for me.

Definition of Review -
1. To look over, study, or examine again. CHECK
2. To consider retrospectively; look back on. CHECK
3. To examine with an eye to criticism or correction CHECK

My methods of what I consider a better review has all 3 of these definitions of what a REVIEW can actually mean. There is your proof spelled out for you.

Not a review. Not in any sense of the word that we are actually talking about here.

Thanks for derailing the thread completely.

And let's be clear here for everyone else: Encyclopedia articles are what we call "Encyclopedia articles." This is a different form of literature than a review.

I should just copy and paste Lord of the Rings and call that a review.

Opinions none the less, not facts.

And all you've thrown in is an unsubstantiated opinion of someone who mistakes encyclopedia articles for reviews. :-/

Edited on by Bankai

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Morphbug

139. Posted:

Oh wow... A wikipedia entry is the example... I... Well... That's just too bizarre. Would't that be considered an overview or something else instead?

Talk about unexpected.

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kkslider5552000

140. Posted:

Morphtroid wrote:

Oh wow... A wikipedia entry is the example... I... Well... That's just too bizarre. Would't that be considered an overview instead?

Talk about unexpected.

so basically Jeremy Times 7 did not listen to the advice of every high school teacher, do not use Wikipedia as a source.

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