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Swainy
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Whats the point?

RLLMUK has a forum and when somebody reviews a game, other people can share there differences.

The only problem is knowing if the person reviewing is a fan of the genre anyway but again, you can share differences and sometimes people will say if they are a fan of the genre or not.

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For the same reason that restaurants don't ask people to cook their own food?

:(

Thats not a very good analogy... are people supposed to adjourn judgement on whether they like the food until they get home and see what Michael Winner has to say?

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Fine. How's about it this way, then: part of the reason why people buy magazines is because they can find out about games without having to play them.

Just like people go to restaurants so that a) they don't have to cook and B) they have the dish cooked for them by someone who is (supposedly) better at cooking that dish than them.

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Maybe you could set up some kind of "forum" for your videogames magazine.

Cutting. :(

Actually, the "By gamers, for gamers" concept for a magazine isn't half bad. Cheap, stuffed with ads as a result, but also stuffed with reviews culled from the likes of Gamestyle and NTSC-UK, as well as a specially set-up forum. Maybe a couple for each release, from importers, newcomers, and the like...

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For the same reason that restaurants don't ask people to cook their own food?

I don't want to argue by analogy, and that's clearly not analogous (after all - and I know I'm about to argue by analogy, which is why I despair whenever anyone introduces a spurious analogy during forum discussions - no chef would cook food in the way s/he thought his/her customers did; they'd cook food according to the best of their abilities, and with respect for the ingredients that they use).

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I don't want to argue by analogy, and that's clearly not analogous (after all - and I know I'm about to argue by analogy, which is why I despair whenever anyone introduces a spurious analogy during forum discussions - no chef would cook food in the way s/he thought his/her customers did; they'd cook food according to the best of their abilities, and with respect for the ingredients that they use).

Except of course by picking up the poor analogy, you've highlighted perhaps a better analogy (which, as with most analogies, might be more applicable if taken to extremes).

Food is food.

Games are games.

Reviews are reviews.

If you walk into <insert name of ludicrously expensive restaurant here> then you walk in expecting a certain "quality" of food, cooked, prepared, and presented in a particular way. Additionally, in many instances, you walk into said restaurant not only to have a meal, but to partake in an experience - not to mention (and perhaps most importantly for some people) be seen to be dining there, and be able to tell your mates that you've been.

If you walk into McDonalds - you just want a bag of stodge, prepared quickly, with little regard to quality, that you can wolf down to satisfy your hunger.

In both instances, the "restaurant" is catering to a particular clientele who know what they want from their food, and expect it to be delivered in a certain way.

The McDonald's customer is hardly going to be impressed by the sort of food on offer in "posh" restaurants, and the "posh" restaurant customer is hardly going to be impressed by the stuff on offer at McD's.

Naturally the market for McDonald's (or, the people who get their gaming advice from reviews in, say, The Sun) is somewhat larger than the market for the "decent" restuarant (or, the people who get their gaming advice from reviews in, say, Edge).

If both "chefs" were to swap places and attempt to simply cook the food according to the best of their abilities, neither would last 5 minutes.

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Except of course by picking up the poor analogy, you've highlighted perhaps a better analogy (which, as with most analogies, might be more applicable if taken to extremes).

I don't think that's a better analogy at all, since McDonald's chefs don't play a game, then try to imagine what their notional reader might think of said game, and then write a review based on these suppositions.

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I don't think that's a better analogy at all, since McDonald's chefs don't play a game, then try to imagine what their notional reader might think of said game, and then write a review based on these suppositions.

Magazines are aimed at particular groups of people, just as games are (or indeed food is). It's called marketing. Why is this a surprise or indeed an issue?

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Magazines are aimed at particular groups of people, just as games are (or indeed food is). It's called marketing. Why is this a surprise or indeed an issue?

It's an issue because if reviewers are going to base their reviews on what they imagine someone else's tastes might possibly be, then they might as well not play the game and just make it up. Which, let's face it, happens rather more frequently than is desirable. Reviewing games hasn't got anything to do with marketing - or at least it oughtn't to. And marketing can't tell you what your audience really does think about games.

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It's an issue because if reviewers are going to base their reviews on what they imagine someone else's tastes might possibly be, then they might as well not play the game and just make it up. Which, let's face it, happens rather more frequently than is desirable. Reviewing games hasn't got anything to do with marketing - or at least it oughtn't to. And marketing can't tell you what your audience really does think about games.

But removal of the guesswork bit is what targeting a magazine is all about. You know what a "typical" Sun reader is, right? Everybody does. There might not be a single person in the country who actually fits the bill, but we all know who they are supposed to be.

By writing for that audience, you provide a rock solid anchor off which to place your otherwise subjective views. The reader can contextualise your reviews because they know who the review is pitched at. Whether they are actually like that person is a different matter, the point is, they know what to expect and how to interpret the views expressed throughout the magazine.

It makes both reading and writing the reviews more accurate. Not made up, not imagined, tangible, real and useful.

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The reader can contextualise your reviews because they know who the review is pitched at.

Why is it more difficult to interpret or contextualise someone's views when it isn't 'aimed at them'?

Surely it is that very justification and contextualisation that the writer uses which informs the reader as to how relevant or non-relevant the views expressed are to them.

Just like if the Edge review of Ico appeared in The Sun, readers probably wouldn't be 'won-over' by the mention of (and this is made up, btw) the symbiotic survival instincts and emotional involvement of the characters, coupled with the singularly cohesive structure of the environments... they'd be looking, themselves, for what applies to them (guns, explosions, multiplayer, licences, or whatever else you want to generalise a Sun reader as looking for), thus the review is just as useful to them as it is appearing in Edge... the reader themself decides on how applicable it is to them (in this case - not very, probably).

Unless all readers want to be told what to like and just look at the score. In which case I suppose you'd be right.

Down with scores.

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But removal of the guesswork bit is what targeting a magazine is all about. You know what a "typical" Sun reader is, right? Everybody does. There might not be a single person in the country who actually fits the bill, but we all know who they are supposed to be.

By writing for that audience, you provide a rock solid anchor off which to place your otherwise subjective views. The reader can contextualise your reviews because they know who the review is pitched at. Whether they are actually like that person is a different matter, the point is, they know what to expect and how to interpret the views expressed throughout the magazine.

It makes both reading and writing the reviews more accurate. Not made up, not imagined, tangible, real and useful.

I disagree that targeting publications is ever as accurate as you seem to think. I don't think everybody knows what a typical Sun reader is, and if you were to conduct a straw poll there'd actually be a pretty wide variation (and if you actually canvassed actual Sun readers I think it would be even wider). Who, for example, is the typical Edge reader? Is it someone who owns every console going and imports all their games? or is it someone who simply wants to read about their hobby in a magazine that treats it seriously? Because I've met readers who fall into both camps, and I think their tastes are totally different when it comes to games.

And in any case, if you know what your reader likes, as you seem to be saying, then why do you bother playing games before reviewing them? Like, for example, if I assumed that OPS2 readers like Tomb Raider, I wouldn't even have had to play the game to award it 8/10. Because it's a Tomb Raider game, and they like that, right? So if you're not going to let your audience write your reviews, why do you bother playing the games before reviewing them?

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I didn't answer this because I thought it was a redundant question.

It was a broad ranging question, obviously :blink:

So when we buy GAMES TM we are getting the thoughts of just one guy/gal? I was under the impression that the team would at least take a little time out to LOOK at the game.

Interesting...especially as the game was "Not allowed" to be a 9. But if no one else played it, and you wanted it to be a 9, why isn't it a 9? Why was the score chopped by people who didn't even play the game? ;)

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And in any case, if you know what your reader likes, as you seem to be saying, then why do you bother playing games before reviewing them? Like, for example, if I assumed that OPS2 readers like Tomb Raider, I wouldn't even have had to play the game to award it 8/10. Because it's a Tomb Raider game, and they like that, right? So if you're not going to let your audience write your reviews, why do you bother playing the games before reviewing them?

The "Typical" Edge reader? Someone who wants incisive and deep commentry on games and an intelligent review with an eye to the position of the game within the context of games as a whole. Knowledgeable both of games and the games industry.

Something like that.

As to "Typical" Sun readers, well no one in this thread so far seems to have had a problem identifying them. Explosions, tits, footy, war, sensationalism, soap operas. That's that. You know this too.

The process of review is two part - firstly is the game well made, does it function correctly is it well designed, the objective part and the second part is stuff like is it fun, will you like it, the subjective stuff. Reviewing a game for OPS2 readers, knowing they like the Tomb Raider universe will effect your score, but only as a function of the second part of reviewing the game.

I fail to see what any of this has to do with not playing games or asking your readers to review them.

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The "Typical" Edge reader? Someone who wants incisive and deep commentry on games and an intelligent review with an eye to the position of the game within the context of games as a whole. Knowledgeable both of games and the games industry.

Something like that.

As to "Typical" Sun readers, well no one in this thread so far seems to have had a problem identifying them. Explosions, tits, footy, war, sensationalism, soap operas. That's that. You know this too.

The process of review is two part - firstly is the game well made, does it function correctly is it well designed, the objective part and the second part is stuff like is it fun, will you like it, the subjective stuff. Reviewing a game for OPS2 readers, knowing they like the Tomb Raider universe will effect your score, but only as a function of the second part of reviewing the game.

I fail to see what any of this has to do with not playing games or asking your readers to review them.

Well your descriptions of what you imagine to be 'typical readers' are in my opinion oversimplifications; that, allied to the fact that in this thread you seem to be implying that you review games on the basis of what you think your audience might like makes me think that it would be simpler for you to either get your readers to review games for you, or for you not to play games and simply extend your guesswork. That's what it's got to do with not playing games or asking your readers to review them.

But I feel we've gone round in a bit of a circle.

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Well your descriptions of what you imagine to be 'typical readers' are in my opinion oversimplifications; that, allied to the fact that in this thread you seem to be implying that you review games on the basis of what you think your audience might like makes me think that it would be simpler for you to either get your readers to review games for you, or for you not to play games and simply extend your guesswork. That's what it's got to do with not playing games or asking your readers to review them.

But I feel we've gone round in a bit of a circle.

Perhaps so.

The degree of oversimplification you're talking about pretty much dictates the extents of a writer's ability to aim his review. You are making broad sweeping judgements but it's precisely that lack of precision that makes the process work. If you did have an accurate and detailed picture then it would be more like second guessing. A rough guide (tits, beer, footy or brains, knowledge, depth) lets you make safe assumptions which the reader can understand and contextualise.

Still, if you want to agree to disagree that's fine with me, I can't see either of us changing our position any time soon.

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I think breaksmith was just trying to say that if he knows his audience love a certain kind of game (or series) then he'll say if he thinks they'll like a game like that. It's helpful to have reviews that say 'I think you'll like this' rather than just 'I don't like this'.

edit: referring to breaksmith in the 3rd person after he's already replied to Taurus himself. oops.

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The process of review is two part - firstly is the game well made, does it function correctly is it well designed, the objective part..

That's not objective.

Also, you didn't answer my question:

Why is it more difficult to interpret or contextualise someone's views when it isn't 'aimed at them'?

Surely it is that very justification and contextualisation that the writer uses which informs the reader as to how relevant or non-relevant the views expressed are to them.

Just like if the Edge review of Ico appeared in The Sun, readers probably wouldn't be 'won-over' by the mention of (and this is made up, btw) the symbiotic survival instincts and emotional involvement of the characters, coupled with the singularly cohesive structure of the environments... they'd be looking, themselves, for what applies to them (guns, explosions, multiplayer, licences, or whatever else you want to generalise a Sun reader as looking for), thus the review is just as useful to them as it is appearing in Edge... the reader themself decides on how applicable it is to them (in this case - not very, probably).

Unless all readers want to be told what to like and just look at the score. In which case I suppose you'd be right.

Down with scores.

Ta! :rolleyes:

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