Where Did the Scores Go?

Sep 10, 2012

Honestly, folks – I just couldn’t take it anymore. Have you ever told your spouse or best friend a lie, and then had to live that lie for days or weeks? The lie grows, it takes shape. You add some other lies to it, dress it up a bit, and the next thing you know, it feels real. Adding a point score to a video game is a lie I can longer live with. Oh man, did we ever dress it up too. We tried to justify a final score with sub-scores based on fundamental elements that all games share. And ultimately, even having written the reviews and assigned the scores myself, I couldn’t recall the individual scores or why I assigned them. I finally had enough.

What did I remember about those games? The experiences I had while playing them. The way they made me think about solving the challenge; how I felt when a character was killed off; or the anxiety of not wanting it to end because it is so good. Going through each and every review and deleting the scores felt like the end of senior year when I got together with my buddies and burned all of our papers and tests – and even a few ex-girlfriend’s pictures. I don’t recall the grade I got on those tests or the classes themselves. But I do remember professors and classmates and the education I received. I carry some of that with me today, as I do the experiences of some of the games I’ve really enjoyed. It was a great decision to kill the scores and to not look back.

What hasn’t left the bottom of every game review is our Value grade. Think of it this way: I went to Disneyland in 2007 and paid $90 to get in after some coupon my wife (girlfriend at the time) had found online. We had an amazing day and it was worth more than the $180 in total we paid to enter the park. If I had a bad time, I would have regretted spending the money. Applying that logic to the experience of playing any video game, and you can see the similarities and why GWW can’t walk away from that device. Uncharted is a $60 experience. The marketplace allows you to have that experience for $30 – go do it! But don’t be crazy and pay $60 for Call of Juarez – that will leave you feeling cheated.

Folks, games are a form of artistic expression. Your experience is 100% subjective and cannot be graded or micro-analyzed by any of the dishonorable ways that some would have you believe are justifiable. Our reviews are going to give you OUR experiences, yes, but also our recommendation on what you should pay for the game. We’ll never tell you a game is 0.2 out of 10 better than another game (Modern Warfare vs. Battlefield, for example) or that it’s one of the only 10/10 we’ve every scored so it falls into this category of the best games on God’s green Earth. I’ve played some of those “10’s” that other “media” sites have cooked up, and they’re not for me. And the meat of the reviews will lead you to believe “if you don’t like it, you’re not a gamer.” That’s garbage. My 85 year old grandmother is a gamer. She can kick anyone’s ass at Basra but she probably would think Grand Theft Auto is satan’s work.

Geeks, go play some games. Don’t let any person’s opinion get in your way. The Internet is a soundboard for anyone with an opinion. Don’t be told what you’ll like. Go play the games that make you tickle, and then fire right back at the Internet with your opinions!