Double Buffered

A Programmer’s View of Game Design, Development, and Culture

Reviews Symposium

Posted by Ben Zeigler on December 19, 2008

I’ve posted a bit about game reviews in the past, and it’s a topic that I still find very interesting. On top of that, I tend to find things involving Shawn Elliott interesting as well. Luckilly, these two topics have now intersected! Over at Shawn‘s blog, he is posting what he calls an “Online Reviews Symposium”. It sounds pretentious (and I think any use of the word Symposium automatically makes you pretentious and faux-academic, sorry), but it’s actually just an extended online conversation about reviews, featuring a wide variety of viewpoints.

Anyone who is interested in game reviews, or analysis of games journalism in general, should absolutely go check out Part 1: Review Scores. The opinions range the gamut, from people like N’Gai Croal who generally think review scores are pointless, to more practical views such as Robert Ashley’s, who discusses their actual utility to readers. As I’ve said before, I definitely think review scores have value as shorthand, and the aggregate sites such as MetaCritic provide an important service. However, it is possible to serve many of the same goals without an explicit score, which I think the kotaku reviews generally do quite well.

I’m definitely going to be checking this whole thing out as it develops, and I’m interested to see if the format Shawn has chosen works out (I’m a bit skeptical).

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