The world's a pretty nice place, really. It's got sunshine and it's got rivers and it's got clouds. Rather nice.
The world also has Ebola and Dengue Fever and Malaria. Think about that for a while.
But the world also has video games - which are nice. Unless you've got Ebola. Then video games are of no use to you. You've got Ebola, you see. For those without Ebola (raise your hands), video games can help you forget that there ARE people with Ebola. So that's good.
So the world's good - if you live in a developed nation and have money. Otherwise it's pretty bad. Someone I once knew (or maybe I didn't know them at all), had a saying - "Life is like a sack of potatoes - you just keep getting beaten with it until you die". So that's unpleasant. Being beaten. With a Sack of Potatoes. Not a popular sport I gather.
Thankfully, I've never been beaten with a sack of potatoes. If you're reading this, you probably haven't been either. Is that a good thing? For you or the potatoes?
Do I think about Potatoes a lot? No. I wouldn't say I do. Do you? You probably don't. Unless you're an Irish man. In that case, you probably think about potatoes a lot. In fact, too much. Please hold on while I make a few calls
RING RING RING *CLICK* "Hello?"
"Hello, my name is sebastian buckminster-fuller cartwright Korolev, the Senior. I have an Irishman here, who apparently thinks about potatoes. All the time. In fact, too much of the time. I fear he might pose a threat to public sanitation. Especially if he gets a hold of some potatoes. Do see what you can do"
"What the hell are you -" *CLICK*
Ah there we are. No need to worry now. No potatoes where you're going. So please, do sit down and play some video-games. It'll take your mind off Ebola.
Let me talk about why the 10 score point system will never make everyone happy, or even most happy.
• It starts off with the fact that most serious gamers are young (10 years to mid 20s-ish) and are short on cash. I know I am. I’m poor. I can afford maybe one game a month, and that’s pushing it.
• 10 on a “true ten-point-scale” means excellent and 5 means average
• If a game gets a 5, it does not mean that it is bad. But it also implies that it’s not that good either.
• Gamers will not want to buy a game that gets a 5. Gamers will not want to buy a game that’s average. Gamers will want to spend what little money they have on an 8-to-10/10 product.
• Thus, giving a game a 5 or a 6 is essentially saying – “Don’t buy it, it’s not worth your money”, which some construe to mean “It’s crap”.
• So essentially – giving a game less than 7 basically means that you are telling people not to buy it. And fan-boys can’t stand that.
The problem is that no one wants to be told that their favorite game is average. If it's average, it means its not special to other people, and a fan-boy can never accept that someone else does not see things in exactly the same way they do.
I'm not saying that a true 10 point scale is bad - only that it will never make people happy. Then again, should people try to make other people happy? Should reviewers fall to the feet of angry 15 year olds and demolish the 10 point scale? No, not really. A true 10 point scale separates the mediocre from the excellent and the "okay" from the "great" games.
Some would argue that the 10 point scale deterrs people from buying games that are decent. To which I reply - I have no time for buying games that are decent. I also do not have the money. I can only afford about a game a month, IF THAT. I will, therefore, only buy games that achieve a high score on a multitude of review sites.
Sure, sometimes it doesn't work - for example, I bought Crysis on the advice that it was exceptional, and I found it rather annoying. And sometimes a good game can get low scores. But in general, the system works - most of the games I have purchased at full price have definitely been worth my money.
And in the end, what can we replace the 10 point system with? A simple "Buy if you like" "Don't buy if you don't like" system? The problem with that is that it cannot encompass everyone's taste or gaming history. So a system which states "Buy if you liked Game X" would fail, if the person reading the blog has never played Game X. How about a simple "Good/Bad" system? Again, it does nothing to address the complaints of the 10 score system (people will still argue whether or not a game should be in one category or the other) and it provides less information.
So scores are here to stay. A flawed system, but the others are equally flawed, in that people will disagree with them. So in the end, the problem isn't with how games are reviewed. It's with people. Plain and simple. Always has been.