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The folly that is "Best Game of the Year" posts

There's been a lot of hubbub (I really love that word) recently about the user content on this site.  Many lament those users who post "meaningless" blog or forum posts, ostensibly just to get points for leveling up on the GI site.  (Really, once you're level 5 and your stuff shows up on the front page, is there any real purpose to point whoring?  Who cares if you're level 5 or level 6 or level 7?)

One of the types of posts the critics slam are the meaningless "Top 10" posts that pop up a lot on the site.  The problem with so many of these is that the poster either hasn't played all of the games he (and occasionally she, I guess) is writing about, or that he doesn't have the experience to really comment on the issue.  My example of the latter is the 15-year-old kid who posts a "Top 10 Games of All Time" list.  Really?  You're 15 years old and you feel qualified to post on the best games *ever*?  Have you played many of the games that came out before you were born?  If you have, then more power to you!

Anyway, this got me thinking ("Yay! He's getting to the point!" - The Peanut Gallery).

How many of us regular users are qualified to do a "Best Game of the Year" post, whether it's the current trend of "Best Game of 2010 - So Far" posts or the annual end-of-year post?  Game web sites like Gi, Games Radar, the regular video games magazines and the like, they are qualified because they've played *tons* of games during the year.  It's very likely they've played (at least enough to know what the game is like) the majority of the games that come out in a given year.  The regular user?  Probably not so much.

Most of us work, or we have money issues (and often both!), and we aren't able to devote the time and the resources to play even a fraction of the games that come out.  I haven't played Bioshock 2 or Bayonetta or Final Fantasy XIII, or God of War 3, and I'm in the middle of Mass Effect 2 right now.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this.  I could buy more games (I'm getting Singularity and Crackdown 2 today) but there's still the time issue, especially if you like playing huge RPGs like Fallout 3 or Oblivion.

So why would I post a Best Game of the Year post at all?  Wouldn't that be kind of a waste?  I could certainly post a "My Favourite Game of the Year" (with that strange Canadian spelling), or the Game I Had the Most Fun Playing.  But "best?"  I don't think I'm qualified to judge.

I know what the point of it is: it's kind of a verbal shorthand for "Favourite Game," but I love words, and it bothers me when words are used to mean things different from what they actually do mean.  If you've got game recommendations, I'm all ears.  But don't tell me what the best games of the year are.  Most likely, you aren't qualified to say that either.

And if you *have* played that many games during the year, then more power to you!

I wish I had your life.

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