I’m not certain how else to open up this discussion than simply asking the question that inspired it: Am I the only one getting tired of the score seven out of ten being the new “average” score? I mean, if I’m honest I’m completely disenchanted with the idea of giving numerical scores to media to begin with… and Metacritic is the biggest reason for that. But, that is a WHOLE other discussion that may or may not be brought up at a later date.
Seriously though… how a seven the new “average” score? Last I checked, in a range from one to ten, five is the median number and the ACTUAL MATHIMATICAL AVERAGE between those two numbers. I don’t even need to comb through the recent titles to be released and scored to prove my point. Look up any title online with your favorite site. Go on… I’ll wait…
…got it? Awesome. Now, look at all the sevens. Not sixes or eights. The sevens. Note how many are just seen as “alright” games. Not good. Not bad. Just– average. And that’s fine! Really. It’s not bad to be average. In fact, I just stated that. It’s alright to be average. Not everything can be above and beyond. And I can even argue that we need bad games too… again, another discussion for another time.
In fact, look at all the ones given by whichever site you selected. I bet there’s more ones than any other number under five. Hell! I beat most sites have more ones than fives for their scores. And this is the issue! There’s no gradient. Reviews have become an environment of extremes. And I think it comes from the fear of being blacklisted by publishers, along with the thought that a ten represents the idea of a “perfect game” and– I’m sorry. There isn’t one. Not matter how much you love again, it can’t be perfect. A game can be the best it can become, but never perfect.
My point is this: We need more variation in our scores. Not just from the games themselves, but from the sites that critique and judge them for consumers. It’s an important metric used by people looking to purchase games, so maybe we should handle that kind of information with the respect it deserves. A five is a respectable score to have if you’re an average or mediocre game. Critics CLEARLY know the scale they are one if you look at the ones and sevens, but I don’t think we should forget two through six is all I’m saying.
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