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Talk Amongst Yourselves

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Meet Sony's Vice President of freaky deer and tight pants. Now get to chatting.

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Do numerical reviews really help their audience or do they simply discourage the public from forming their own opinions and therefore encourage group think?

To me numerical scales are a shorthand that exclude the audiences critical thinking skills. They are a voice of god that tells the audience, "This is the correct answer!"

On the other hand a non numerical review brings the audience into the decision making process. It's more of a partnership. The audience reflects on the details of the text and forms an opinion that is based on words and ideas rather than a number.

The other problem with numerical reviews is that they are defined in the negative.

If a game gets an 8 out of 10 the public's attention is going to be drawn to those subtracted two points. They'll being wondering "what are the reasons this game was downgraded by two" rather than thinking, "lets read about the reasons this game was awarded 8 positive points".

Even if the audience bothers to read the review in full they will be looking in the text for what prompted the reviewer to take the points away. They will in effect be looking for the negative. As this approach occurs again and again it becomes habitual.

As a result when we look at numerically graded games we're trained to think, "what's wrong with this game" much more so than "what's right about this game".