At the end of most game reviews you’ll find some sort of a score, whereby the writer of the review condenses his/her opinion on a game into a single alphanumeric rating. Different persons and publications use different score methodologies, but all have the same basic idea of expressing a game’s overall quality in a way that is instantaneously understandable to the reader. Game review scores have been around for a long time and I don’t think they are ever going away, but I do think a good debate can be held on positives and negatives they bring to game reviews in general. For my part, I can see at least two opposing perspectives on game review scores. As a consumer, game scores give me a simple and immediate rating for a game, which let’s me skip straight to the bottom line on whether a game is worth my time or not. As a writer, game scores strike me as a gross oversimplification of one’s thoughts on a game and don’t tell the whole story of whether you should play a game or not. Both of these views have their merits, but over the past several months, as I’ve continued practicing the craft of writing and developing my own skill and personal style, I’ve grown increasingly sympathetic to the arguments against game scores. The thought of putting in all the time and effort needed for a thorough game review and then having that work completely ignored, and indeed rendered a waste of time, is both irritating and depressing. It’s irritating because a sizable chunk of your readership is going to disregard everything you wrote and fill the comments section with woeful displays of vitriol and ignorance, and it’s depressing because it is yet another testimony to our society’s growing aversion to serious thought and reading anything longer than 140 characters (this attitude is best exemplified by the common acronym TL;DR, which stands for “too long; didn’t read”). This is part of the reason why I consciously omit giving games a score in my commentaries. If you want to know my thoughts on games, you’re going to have to actually read my writing pieces, in their entirety. Yes, even the really long ones, like the 3,000-word monstrosity that is being posted tomorrow. Whoops, did I say that out loud?

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