The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
As you may have noticed, I've been blogging less
recently. Schoolwork is the biggest problem. Memorizing 900 terms and eight
short stories doesn't leave much time for other activities. I also have been
focusing more on writing reviews. After almost three years of blogging, I had few
to my name. One was an embarrassingly bad glorification of Modern Warfare 2
that reads like my high school freshman literature paper.
Over the past few weeks, I've been posting in the user
reviews. Judging games is a fun challenge. It forces you to organize your
thoughts about a title and demonstrate its relative value or lack thereof. A
review is more focused than a blog post, but similarly enjoyable.
I like doing reviews. What I don't like is the lack of
feedback. Very few user reviews ever garner comments. This sucks.
I am literally this sad.
You all give excellent feedback. GIO is full of
interesting, smart, intelligent people with interesting, smart, and intelligent
opinions. You all have improved my writing greatly.
That's for blogging. Reviews are another matter.
It may be a problem inherent to the form. A good blog
post provokes discussion and feedback. With reviews, there is no conversation.
It's just one person's opinion about a game. There's no real chance for the
reader to respond. What would you say? "No, this game deserves an 8.75 instead
of an 8.5!" "I disagree, Bastion's graphics were terrible." To date, the only
comments I get on reviews are "Nice review," or something along those lines.
Again, not blaming the commenter. It's not their fault. To what are they
supposed to respond?
This isn't a demand for more comments on anyone's
reviews... more a reflection on why things exist the way they do. People don't
interact with user reviewers. That's just how it is. I'm don't interact with
them. My comments rarely venture outside blogs. I probably haven't ever given
feedback to someone else's review. What is there to say?
For the record, Bastion had great graphics.
Another problem is that user reviews aren't always good
(For the record, this criticism applies to myself as well. My reviews are
hardly paragons of professionalism). We've all seen reviews like this one.
Nothing screams "don't read me" like someone who begins their review with "although i have never played it". That makes user reviews as a whole look bad.
The biggest reason for the abandonment of the section,
though, is that user reviews pale in comparison to official GI opinion. Game
Informer editors write lively and unbiased reviews of the quality you'd expect
from a national magazine. How do you compete with people who get paid to do
this for a living?
All these roads lead to the silence that has settled over
the user review section. People don't interact over there. It makes reviewing
games less enjoyable. Writing without feedback is no fun. Improvement is nigh
impossible without another's critical eye. Working without comments feels...
So, to counter all those reviews, here's a discussion
question for you. Do you write game reviews? If so, why? Do you get much
feedback? Along those lines, do you ever read user reviews?
Personally speaking, I write reviews but rarely read
them. The official GI review is my go-to source over user reviews. It's a
matter of trust, really. I trust Game Informer more than anonymous users on the
internet. Not to say that some people don't put out excellent reviews. It's
just they don't have the regularity of GI.
How's that for irony? Writing reviews is fun, but reading
them isn't. Maybe that's narcissistic. I don't know.
What do you think about user reviews?