Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers

Posted: October 25, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers
Adam uses the response to his Uncharted 3 review to talk about his distaste for applying numerical values to the quality of creative works.

Comments are Closed

  • Folken24

    I really like what Adam s saying. There have been plenty of times when I ve heard conversations transition from a discussion about the virtues and weaknesses of a work of art, into a simple I love X , well I think X is stupid , and then the conversation turns ugly.
    Sometimes a game gets a lower score because it s repetitive, but that s the kind of game you re in the mood for at that particular moment.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Mr. Sessler.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 5:03 PM
  • Armada88

    I agree people put so much value on how a game is scored, it just creates more problems then its worth. I wish people would just take the 5-10 minutes to just read the review before making these snap judgements, jumping on bandwagons, & insulting others just to make them feel better about themselves. For what it's worth Adam, I'm sorry that you have to put up with BS like this, I hope this way of reviewing games will change.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 5:03 PM
  • drivera45

    Well said Adam, is all about having fun enjoying your hard earn money and playing the games u liked. U guys r doing your job and it sucks that you have to give a number score instead of giving a opinion like " buy it or don t buy it" recommendation what kind of gamer should buy this type of game. Anyway i am happy that Uncharted 3 is finnaly coming out next week i am a huge ND fan since Jak and Daxter (and Insomniac lol) thank you for your entertaiment.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 5:01 PM
  • redstrat23

    It's good to see that this is a concern that is felt by someone in Adam's position. I have to admit, I was a little jarred to see him losing it like that. That being said I think it''s great that he cares this much about the medium and about how his work is received. It seems, with many reviews, that the reviewers do it because of a basic affinity for video games and for a paycheck. It's refreshing to see that Adam's actually a human being who cares about his work and the state of his field.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:57 PM
  • RPG-fan

    Damage control!!! Nah, kidding. Adam, if you have a problem with numerical scores, then please remove them from reviews. You got the website removed from Metacritic, you can do this as well and being Editor-in-Chief of G4 also helps. I know there's going to be annoying people that will not bother reading the reviews and just ask "where's the score?!?" or "I can't tell if it's good or bad review without a score! Score, please!" But if you feel that's the right thing to do, then screw those guys.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:57 PM
  • business_casual_gamer

    It is not a misguided system. The numbers are just symbolic of adjectives describing the overall feeling the reviewer had towards the work of art. i.e. 5=great 4=great but not my favorite 3=good and so forth. It is not even a problem when you compare a 4 out of 5 by Adam S. to a 10 out of 10 by Greg M. Adam is in the simplest way saying "great but not amazing" and Greg is saying "amazing". Even on Metacritic it is not a problem to see a 9. That simply means "On average, reviewers thought this game was awesome". The number just gives a general idea, and no intelligent person would think the criteria for determining that number are universal. The review itself is more for the nuances of the game for a potential purchaser who might be "on the fence".

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:55 PM
  • StarWars_Enigma

    THEN CHANGE YOUR BLOODY RATING SYSTEM! Adam, near the end, just shredded apart the G4 rating system, and its been under attack for a long time now, so just change it! Adopt a percentage system, or a 10 star system, or just have the written review, I dont care! Just do something Trust me, you guys will have alot less headaches in the future if you do something.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:55 PM
  • Luck702

    Screw the haters adam. You gave your honest opinion without being bullied by fanboys. In a position like yours, people are going to get mad at you for any rating, but in the end their opinion doesn't matter.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:52 PM
  • The Emperor's Champion

    If only we had a legion of Adam Sesslers to replace our government....
    The amount of clarity and sanity that you can leverage in a 6 minute video is constantly astounding to me.
    We need that....everywhere.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:51 PM
  • Stormbleeder

    Thanks for sticking with us Adam. Some of us still appreciate your honesty and having intelligent discussions. I'm sure after this you have said your piece to the G4 leadership, lets hope they consider some change.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:50 PM
  • redsofgreen

    However, I can also see a side of arguing for score systems. No one is going to read every review out there. For example, I thought LBP looked stupid when it came out. I probably would not have even read the review if I didn't see that it got great scores. But the fact that I did see the big scores led me to read the review and then I bought the game and loved it.

    I understand what Sessler is saying but I can see both sides of this coin. Sadly, Adam hit the nail on the head when he said that this is being ingrained in us through school years. This should be a psychological case on our dependency on scores and cross referencing different genres.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:50 PM
  • bustyshrimp

    Hello Adam. I expected the review to bring about chaos and oh has it done that and maybe more lol. Anyways, I love your videos and I have to agree with how asinine the idea of assigning numerical values to video games is. This is definitely exacerbated when you have a site like Metacritic pooling cumulative review scores to average it out. As always, I love your reviews and shows. Keep doing them. I hope I made some insightful comments that aren't your typical stuff in the discussion in your review for Uncharted 3. Peace.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:47 PM
  • ToddOfWar

    If Sessler Hates Numbered Reviews Then CHANGE THE RATING system OR Disband The Stupid Rating System!!!!!!!!

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:47 PM
  • redsofgreen

    I don't care what the score is. When I was a kid I was obsessed with Digimon and I loved playing the Digimon Playstation games. Some of them got horrible reviews, but at that time I didn't know about videogame "scores." I just played those games because it was an extension of the world I saw on TV.

    Look at all the movie based and tv show based games that kids buy these days, they don't care about the score. We as older gamers (I am 22) need to have a child's mind when we look at games to buy. What if there was no internet and no way to find the scores of games before we bought them? Would the games you buy change?

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:46 PM
  • whatit2u

    G4 should not include a number score or a pros and cons list in the reviews if you feel so strongly about them over simplifying reviews

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:43 PM
  • topgamer101

    I'm sorry you have to put up with all that Adam. It is a messed up system and to be honest, you were the one that actually showed me that fact a while ago. The arbitrary number allows people to be lazy and not read the actual thoughts and opinions of the reviewer, because let's be honest, very small amounts of video game reviews are actually objective. It's mostly a subjective thing based on the person that is reviewing, because you are asking for their opinion on the game.

    The number is lazy and then snowballs into further problems. It does seem like we have a need to categorize or rank things all the time, video games being only one of them. For the last few years I've stopped simply looking at the number and if I'm unsure on a game I'll read the reviews to see what they're subjective nitpicks were and ask myself if this bugs me. Otherwise if I know I'll love, I buy it and I don't care what subjective opinion anyone else has on the game.

    Sadly I don't see the system changing anytime soon. I appreciate your honesty in your reviews though Adam. I'd take an honest review over a pandering review any day.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:40 PM
  • crocodilius

    i kind of hope he gives Skyrim a 4/5 at this point to troll you all.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:40 PM
  • timmy10a

    1st time ever 1st comment for me

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:40 PM
  • 2ply

    If you guys hate numbers, and want everyone to focus on the words to gauge your reviews.. then stop using numbers.

    Or atleast use the regular 10/10 scale. (though plenty of bitching still goes on with the 10 scale, but it's a more accurate depiction of the written review)

    The 5/5 is just too narrow of a range to be a representation of a review, which is why that numeric score system should either go or change.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:40 PM
  • frankurban

    I agree completely.

    Somebody needs to talk to whoever makes decisions over there at G4. Convince them that we don't need numerical scores.

    Either way, keep up the good work, Sessler.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:38 PM