For those that don’t know, debates about video game review scores – their editorial honesty as well as their ability to influence readers and, by extension, game sales – has raged for as long as games magazines have existed.
This month, popular game news and review site, Eurogamer, announced that it is dropping review scores entirely. This caused ripples of celebration and consternation. It also prompted other specialist and trade media websites to respond with discussions, comment pieces about the nature of game critique today and cases for/against keeping review scores. Meanwhile, some scoff at the very idea of written reviews, arguing that Let’s Play videos, Twitch.tv and YouTube vloggers are the future.
The trouble is different meanings are inherently attached to review scores. This means they will always be a help to some and of negligible value to others. (It becomes even more complicated when you try to aggregate scores.)