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Thread: Game scores

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Default Game scores

    I've always felt that game scores have always been weighted too much on the 5-10 side of the scale and it's always been rare for a game to receive a score less than 5. In fact, most games of the 1990s received on average somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. Well if you are saying to yourself, "who cares?" Consider what a pool of video games looks like if you break down each score into standafd deviations. I did this for EGMs scores. What i found was that all the top scoring games had a standard dsviation of no more than 1.8 or so, and for those who are not great with statistics, a 1.8 is very good. Anything above 2 is outstanding, above 3 is almost unheard of. Meanwhile on the bottom rung of the scale of PS1 games is Flintstones Bedrock Bowling with an average score of 5/100. This is 3.38 standard deviations below the average.

    The problem if you don't see it by now is the fact that because the games averages are so high to begin with, no game will ever be as far away from the center (but in the opposite direction) as Bedrock Bowling.

    I believe that there are several reasons why games score so high and I'll break it down by most relevant to least.

    1) video games tend to be an enjoyable experience. No matter what game you are playing, you are still sitting on a couch and manipulating things on a screen in front of you. No matter what, it's going to be more enjoyable than staring at a blank wall or putting a puzzle together. So it makes sense that basically every game that gets below a 6 is complete garbage. In fact I couldn't tell you the difference between a game that receives a 5.2 and a game that gets a 2.3.

    2) advertising. Magazines had to rely on ad revenue for support and it's easy to see why a magazine may have been afraid to give a game a 3/10 when there is a full page ad for the game on the next page. A dumb 10 year old kid will see a 6/10 and still consider asking for it for Xmas even though we all know a 6/10 translates to a 3/10 or a D-.

    3) the wider the scale, the higher the scores. Understandably it can be very difficult to gauge whether a game deserves a 6 or 7 out of 10. But imagine having 100 choices as was the case with Diehard Gamefan. Countless games received scores in the mid to upper 90s. It's as if they started at 100 and docked a point for each major problem with the game. "Oh the game has some annoying glitches, well that's gonna keep me from giving it anything higher than a 97." Next-gen rated on a 5 point scale and there were plenty of 1 star scores. How many games did Gamefan give a 20% score to? Don't think there were any, if only a handful.

    4) they were comparing the scores to their test scores in school. Well since anything below 60% is failing, let's just not give any games below a 60% unless they are broken. Anything in the D or C range is below average, B or 80s is good, and A is very few mistakes. In my mind, a 2/5 Is lacking, a 1/5 is crap, 3/5 Is decent, 4/5 Is good, and 5/5 Is a classic.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on game scores?

  2. #2
    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) Custom rank graphic
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    4) they were comparing the scores to their test scores in school. Well since anything below 60% is failing, let's just not give any games below a 60% unless they are broken. Anything in the D or C range is below average, B or 80s is good, and A is very few mistakes. In my mind, a 2/5 Is lacking, a 1/5 is crap, 3/5 Is decent, 4/5 Is good, and 5/5 Is a classic.
    That's exactly it. There is no other reasoning behind it. Just about any video game scoring system that's out of 10 or 100 is based on the school grading system, which I've always believed is thoroughly idiotic. It makes no sense to only use 40% of your scale to describe everything from mediocre to amazing and 60% to describe varying degrees of bad. School grading is also designed to assess competency, not quality. If you only understand half of something, that's really not good enough. Even understanding 3/4 of something is only so-so. But if a product is 3/4 good, that means it's mostly good. If it's half good, half bad, then it's square in the middle as far a quality goes.

    I mean, I get why they do it. Video game players tend to skew pretty young, so a school grading system is going to be very familiar to all in your audience who have yet to graduate high school or college. But familiarity shouldn't trump a more logical scoring system, so I have a lot more respect for any publication that either skips scores and lets people come to their own conclusion from the content of the review or uses a 5-point scale (where it basically goes: awful, bad, so-so, good, great).
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 11-18-2018 at 08:50 AM.

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    On another note I think that no one should be able to pass high school with a 59.5% average. That literally means you f***ed something up every two out of five times. I understand that many jobs don't require a very high IQ but I think that the low scoring requirements in US schools is sending a message that 60% is acceptable. I think anything below 75% means you should have to retake a test or not pass.


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