Wednesday Freebies: the getting back to normal (for now) edition

I’m currently working on a post about Bayonetta 2 that’s hit a snag. (I wanted to include a redraw, but holy shit, folks. This is the hardest redraw I’ve ever tried. Harder even than re-drawing HTK, which was a nightmare.) So I thought I’d share a few things worth reading, since it seems like the internet awful is finally (finally!) creeping back into its usual corners and it might be safe to start reading things about gaming again.

For now, that is. Because let’s not kid ourselves. The internet awful has not gone away. The volume dial has just been turned back down. But the next time another one of these faux scandals occurs – and it will occur, have no doubt – #GamerGate has really raised the bar for just how bad things can get for whichever woman finds herself being targeted by a hatemob next.

So anyway, here are some things worth checking out. And I plan on getting up that Bayonetta post tomorrow.

#GGish things that I promise are funny and not awful

This comic about how to complain about video game review scores is perfect, and I can’t think of anything I would add to it.

There are very few things I love more than sarcastic charts, and this sarcastic pie chart by a former BioWare game dev about “the true impact of SJWs on Game Development” is a masterpiece.

Not #GGish things that are rad

Speaking of BioWare, a group of game devs at the BioWare Montreal studio recently helped a woman propose to her girlfriend by making a custom Mass Effect level, and really just go read the story right now it will definitely make you smile. I know I go after BioWare a lot on this blog, but it’s fantastic to see something like this.

And lastly, over Google+, the ever-perfect Avery McDaldno is killing it as usual in this post about creating queer-friendly games and spaces. It’s definitely a must-read for game designers concerned about making inclusive, queer-friendly games.

3 thoughts on “Wednesday Freebies: the getting back to normal (for now) edition

  1. The funny thing is that for how much everyone complains about game review scores, consumers HAVE figured out what they means and are able to adjust their expectations accordingly whether the consciously understand bell-curves or not.

    Personally, I’ve found that in terms of actually figuring out if you’re going to enjoy a game or not or object to its content or not, Let’s Plays are way more valuable than traditional reviews. I can also see how that represents a threat to platforms whose bread & butter consists largely of traditional reviews.

  2. I really have a problem with these type of marriage proposals. The story does read extremely charming and heart-warming. But such a proposals can make it hard for someone to say no, or even extremely hard to say “not yet” or “I need more time to think about it”.

    Any proposal with a large crowd puts undue pressure to accept. With a crowd that knows about the proposal, so making it personal, and that even helped with a lot of work to craft a very special proposal? That’s a lot of pressure. It shouldn’t be done if you’re not 100% sure it’s going to be a “Yes”, and you should never assume to be sure of that until asking.

    @Cirsova – Yes, Let’s Play videos tend to be a lot better than written reviews in giving an impression of the game and whether players will like it or not. And detailed well-written reviews are also a lot better than a score, even one split over multiple sub-categories.

    But the huge problem with them is time. Reading a list of numbers can take a lot less than a minute. Reading a single review can take several minutes. Watching a single video enough to get a good impression of the game (mechanics, style, story, graphics,…) will rarely take less than 15 minutes, (even “first impression” style videos are often 20-30 minutes).

    If you want to play 1 game this month, watching a few videos is probably the best thing to do. But there are dozens of new games coming out (or becoming available) every month, or even every week. And you obviously want to play games for more time than you spent picking one up. And that without even considering the time you may want to spend on other things (TV? Movies? Food? Friends? Comics? Books? Sports? Physical Games?…)

    Real life gives a list of numbers a huge convenience factor. Something like a metascore (or, to make it a bit less horrible, checking scores from known/”trusted” reviewers/sources) is a far worse predictor than a Let’s Play, but far more usable when being confronted with a large list of unknown games and trying to decide which to buy. Which is exactly why they’re still used, and a lot more. Even if for initial filtering, but that’s already enough to maybe lose sight of something really good that didn’t hit it with reviewers.

    The solution can’t be to stop using numbers, because it’s not practical for a lot of people. It’s really good to have the better alternatives to numbers, but number scores are going to remain the most commonly used way to decide on games, or at least to pre-filter.
    What’s needed is a way to get better, or individually-better-tailored numbers. Because as good as videos will get they won’t cover even a fraction of the “market”.

    • I think you may be overestimating the problem of time; given the general time and money commitment most video games entail, most consumers are more likely to be willing to devote that time vs. reading a review. However, for those who don’t want to spend the time for a full-blown ‘let’s play’, there are the short video reviews along the lines of the compilations of ‘recommended games’ that Extra Credits does.

      And no, I’m not entirely writing off the usefulness of a numbered scoring system, just acknowledging that most video game buyers understand the numeric scores for what they are, a four star system masquerading as a ‘out of 10’ system (with a few outliers of course for truly terrible games), and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Comments are closed.