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Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers

Posted: October 25, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: I Hate Numbers
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/55954/sesslers-soapbox-i-hate-numbers/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/286819_LGST/soapbox-10-25-11.jpg
Video_55954
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

  • DozertheDozarian

    Okay... I read the review and watched the video. I have NOT played U3. My opinion is only about the review and subsequent video.

    Sessler wrote a great review. Not having played the game, I don't know if it's accurate as far as the game play goes, but the review itself certainly was well done and touched on issues I would be interested in. Based on the tone of the article and the complaints lodged against the game, I'd say a 4/5 was probably not unwarranted. AGAIN, I'm basing that statement of the review and not actually having played the game.

    As far as the video goes, I agree with the majority of what was said. The one thing I didn't agree with was Adam's taking exception with doing his own job but then immediately saying he's not going to stop. If he's so vehemently opposed to this type of system, perhaps he should look at another outlet to review games. I'm not suggesting he stop, but if he is unable to change G4 to something more akin to his desires, maybe he should go elsewhere or start his own company. Acceptance is the very thing he rails about in the video.

    All in all, from my POV, Adam's management should look at putting someone else in the position, if he feels so disenchanted with their business model that he's willing to post a video rant on their corporate website.

    No offense to Adam, mind you, I don't disagree with him about the current system. But then again, I can read more than a 5 second bullet point.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:56 AM
    DozertheDozarian
  • MassCollegeBoy

    I ve always been a supporter of Video Games are Art in the same way that movies, books, and music are art as well, but at the end of the day Mr. Sessler your talking about CONSUMER PRODUCT. Uncharted 3 is not the Mona Lisa, it s a Nikon camera and when I go to buy a camera I want to be able to compare it to other camera s like a Cannon (Gears of War) or a campy reproduction Minox (Deadly Premonition) and like it or not a numbers system works best. I do believe that the fan boys arguing that their game is better because it go a 5/5 and the other game gets a 4/5 like five year old saying that their pudding cup it better because they got that little stripe of vanilla between their chocolate and you has plain chocolate is a bunch of brown pudding, but your never going to stop it. I work as a social worker and don t have the time or money to play all that games I want to. I have to pick and choose and while I will read a full review if I see a game that get a 1/5 (Force Unleashed) I know to keep walking. But maybe we should just ditch all concept of rating systems altogether, because who cares if a car has a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 star crash rating.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:40 AM
    MassCollegeBoy
  • jcicero09

    This is one of the best Soapbox's I have ever heard from you. For Uncharted 3, I could care less what score it gets. I am still extremely excited for it.

    Keep up the good work Adam!!!

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:24 AM
    jcicero09
  • Asmog

    It's very amusing to see so much hate about a rating to a game that obviously no one here has played. I like the fact that the review came out so much earlier than the game itself, as this only proves the ridiculousness of these posts. To be fair to them though, they are probably just venting their frustration that this game might not be as good as they were expecting it to be. I myself enjoy most games that get a 4/5, and I'm willing to bet most people here do too.

    To anyone saying Adam should use a new system since he doesn't like the rating system of games, well he really doesn't need to; it's already there. Ignore the numbers, and you already have what he would prefer in a review. Would I personally want this? No. 1/5, 2/5 games aren't worth my time, 3/5 deserve to be looked into whether I would enjoy them or not, and for me personally, any 4/5 and 5/5 game is worth my time if I'm interested. I trust g4 reviews for the most part because they don't let me down often.

    Adam! If you ever do read this, don't be too frustrated with people defending a franchise they enjoy, because 99% of people will never look at it objectively. They aren't looking at your review for a score, they are looking at it for validation. I don't think it's really the times or place we live in, I think it's just human nature. It's human nature to believe that something you play and enjoy is better than something you haven't played. It's human nature to believe that because you were born somewhere, that place is better than other places you havn't experienced. It's human nature to know your religion is right while knowing nothing of others. It's human nature to be ridiculous.

    I enjoy listening to what you have to say because it makes me sit back and think; something I can't say about most people. I'm sure I'm not the only one that enjoys your unbiased opinions, keep doing what you do!

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:20 AM
    Asmog
  • jsktrogdor

    wooooaoaaahhhhh adam. Careful there. I think one of the veins in your next is about to pop.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:13 AM
    jsktrogdor
  • blueboykc

    a sony exclusive getting a 4/5 and ppl (sony fanboys) are upset? who woulda guessed it.. whhooopppeee

    Posted: October 26, 2011 7:09 AM
    blueboykc
  • Keerplop

    Well look, you have to have some sort of rating system, it gives people an idea of if a game is worth the $50 or $60. I don't think giving a score to a game is the problem, it's the way it's taken by people that is the problem. I just break it down into sucks/mediocre/rent/must buy; no matter if it's "stars",1-5,1-10 or 1-100 used to rate a game it fits into my method and that is what helps me determine if I spend any of my very precious time with a game or not and if I am buying it or not. I'm a Uncharted fan and I am looking forward to Uncharted 3, and after the review I still am, it got a good rating and that's all I care about, I'll still be playing it on Nov. 2nd. If it got 2 "stars" then I would rent it instead and see what I thought of it, chances are the review would have saved me $60 in that case.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:56 AM
    Keerplop
  • Jintaka

    Why don't you simply abolish the rating system at G4. Simply review the game, and list its pro's and con's.

    Not only do i think you should abolish your rating systems, but everyone. Who knows how many games I've not bought while shopping on steam because of sub-par meta critic ratings. I don't have a ton of disposable income so i find it hard to buy uncertain titles. Who knows how many truly great and interesting games I've missed out on. Due to misconceptions brought on by some useless need to give things numerical value.

    So do yourself a favor, and dismantle the rating system at g4 and who know you might start a trend. In the least you can save yourself the hardship of it all.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:53 AM
    Jintaka
  • iGuy

    I apparently cannot post responses to those who have replied to my earlier comment so I will place it here. This is in response to Emerald-Phenix:
    The purpose of the number is to supplement the written review. If you had read what I wrote you would have seen that the number does more than just tell you if you want to buy the game but also if you should buy a particular game over another similarly reviewed game. The number adds for a clarity that often times is not present in some ambiguously written reviews. Take for example, the resistance 3 review. That turned into such a move/sony bashing hatefest that had a number not been assigned, one may not have realized that they actually enjoyed the game.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:45 AM
    iGuy
  • Goddhand

    If it makes you feel any better, there's no way I'm buying a PS3 or an Uncharted game, based on other principles outside whether it is a good game or not (I'm sure its fine, but I don't like Indiana Jones or Sony business practices).

    For someone like me, those scores and summary boxes work mighty well.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:26 AM
    Goddhand
  • ZeroOverOne

    I'm quite certain the reason for this soapbox is he dislikes being trolled.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:23 AM
    ZeroOverOne
  • drewski-bias

    first of all i have 2 say that i am a huge uncharted fan and was dissappointed to see the score adam gave uncharted - that being said gamers like me come 2 this website 2 find honest oppinions about games they have played, thanks for not being a sell out adam - i know now that ur not taking bribes 2 give a certain game a high score, your honest oppinion has saved me alot of money and i thank u 4 it

    Posted: October 26, 2011 6:08 AM
    drewski-bias
  • Snestastic

    Well put Adam, I think the biggest problem is that the numbers, like the pros and cons can indeed prevent people from taking time to read a review. It's more important for me to read the full review and gauge what the reviewer has to say about a game both positive and negative and anything inbetween. Modern culture has evolved to a shockingly simplistic stage which I for one feel detached from. This modern world of Facebook and Twitter is beyond frustrating, these are not legitimate sources of information. We shouls not reduce things to such simplistic overviews. It isn't as if you said Uncharted 3 is a terrible game.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 5:59 AM
    Snestastic
  • Geriden

    Wellll Mr Ses your a man of experience and gaming reviewer vet if you will, Why dont you with your experience come up with a new system for rating game's ?

    But also on a side note as an artist & animator by profession i dont class games as art, More of a mix of art and entertainment i would say in some ways it is more of a new element in terms of art & entertainment but they dont exactly fit in both categories, because it is entertainment created by an artist for short to mid term use of a consumer and not art which is made to be appreciated by anyone and everyone who looks at it for ever, old games get put in the bin old art sells for millions.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 5:59 AM
    Geriden
  • IroniclyTrue

    I'm sure someone else posted this but I think you're missing the point a bit Adam. The problem isn't the numerical scores, it's that these scores are categorical and not ordinal. The core problem with the system is people's understanding of the system, not the system itself.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 5:56 AM
    IroniclyTrue
  • Grublet

    I like numbers. I do math with them.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 5:22 AM
    Grublet
  • moth2flames

    Adam, thank you.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 5:01 AM
    moth2flames
  • poopdog_ofdefeat

    This was probably one of your best fire side chats, Adam. But, I would like to purpose a challenge to you and all the critics or so called "experts" of artistic expression.
    Find a new way of conveying your thoughts on a item of expression. I just seems this idea of looking at something and evaluating it to provide some insight for the mass public and for it to consume easily is so antiquated. Its never given any form of art justice, mostly because art can only be experienced personally, no matter how many words one writes down. For example, I despise Roger Ebert, he has no schooling or general knowledge in film and yet he is paid to critique it. I have, for the past 3 years, purposefully gone to every film that he's given a "bad" score. Whether its out of spite or that the film actually has some redeeming traits, I've found that he always misses a deeper meaning or some intrinsic value of the film that creates a very enjoyable experience. (ie. Deadfall, probably one of the funniest/ best acting that Nicolas Cage has done in a film)
    Now in no way am I comparing you to Roger Ebert, but it just illustrates the problems with critiquing. This challenge is probably impossible to find an answer to, one would probably have to create a form of communication more effective than the written word or talking, but I wanted to put this out there for others to realize that art is a singular experience and it invites us to find out more about ourselves emotionally and intellectually for better or for worse. (experiencing the Atheist aesthetic from a 1940s Dali painting versus a Nihilist perspective of GTA 4.)
    I would label this nothing more than a thought experiment but it should serve as a pathway to further inquiries into the difficulties and hypocrisies that critiquing presents.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 4:18 AM
  • poopdog_ofdefeat

    This was probably one of your best fire side chats, Adam. But, I would like to purpose a challenge to you and all the critics or so called "experts" of artistic expression.
    Find a new way of conveying your thoughts on a item of expression. I just seems this idea of looking at something and evaluating it to provide some insight for the mass public and for it to consume easily is so antiquated. Its never given any form of art justice, mostly because art can only be experienced personally, no matter how many words one writes down. For example, I despise Roger Ebert, he has no schooling or general knowledge in film and yet he is paid to critique it. I have, for the past 3 years, purposefully gone to every film that he's given a "bad" score. Whether its out of spite or that the film actually has some redeeming traits, I've found that he always misses a deeper meaning or some intrinsic value of the film that creates a very enjoyable experience. (ie. Deadfall, probably one of the funniest/ best acting that Nicolas Cage has done in a film)
    Now in no way am I comparing you to Roger Ebert, but it just illustrates the problems with critiquing. This challenge is probably impossible to find an answer to, one would probably have to create a form of communication more effective than the written word or talking, but I wanted to put this out there for others to realize that art is a singular experience and it invites us to find out more about ourselves emotionally and intellectually for better or for worse. (experiencing the Atheist aesthetic from a 1940s Dali painting versus a Nihilist perspective of GTA 4.)
    I would label this nothing more than a thought experiment but it should serve as a pathway to further inquiries into the difficulties and hypocrisies that critiquing presents.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 4:13 AM
  • poopdog_ofdefeat

    This was probably one of your best fire side chats, Adam. But, I would like to purpose a challenge to you and all the critics or so called "experts" of artistic expression.
    Find a new way of conveying your thoughts on a item of expression. I just seems this idea of looking at something and evaluating it to provide some insight for the mass public and for it to consume easily is so antiquated. Its never given any form of art justice, mostly because art can only be experienced personally, no matter how many words one writes down. For example, I despise Roger Ebert, he has no schooling or general knowledge in film and yet he is paid to critique it. I have, for the past 3 years, purposefully gone to every film that he's given a "bad" score. Whether its out of spite or that the film actually has some redeeming traits, I've found that he always misses a deeper meaning or some intrinsic value of the film that creates a very enjoyable experience. (ie. Deadfall, probably one of the funniest/ best acting that Nicolas Cage has done in a film)
    Now in no way am I comparing you to Roger Ebert, but it just illustrates the problems with critiquing. This challenge is probably impossible to find an answer to, one would probably have to create a form of communication more effective than the written word or talking, but I wanted to put this out there for others to realize that art is a singular experience and it invites us to find out more about ourselves emotionally and intellectually for better or for worse. (experiencing the Atheist aesthetic from a 1940s Dali painting versus a Nihilist perspective of GTA 4.)
    I would label this nothing more than a thought experiment but it should serve as a pathway to further inquiries into the difficulties and hypocrisies that critiquing presents.

    Posted: October 26, 2011 4:11 AM
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