Professionals vs Consumers: Who’s MORE QUALIFIED to give a quality review?
To piggy back off of the article “Metacritic vs User reviews…which is more important?“ In which I wrote about, (inspired by “Feeback”, G4′s show led by Blair Herter) the startling direction — “the review angle”, in which they tackled before directly addressing the Mass Effect 3 ending.
In that article I focused on which is more important? Now I ask, who’s more qualified to give a quality review? (I told you there were so many directions it could go in).
So Gaming world, who’s more qualified, “Professionals” or “Consumers”? The G4 team made a case that just because it’s their job, it doesn’t necessarily make them more qualified, but however pointed out if they can get their hands on 50 games a year vs 15 games a year that your average consumer can get their hands on — just blanket numbers by the way, ultimately may be better suited to tell consumers — out of these wider range of games which are the best. Some may view that as a compelling argument if you look at the wide spectrum, but what if you look at it from a case by case and individual by individual basis? A argument built on that concept may very well be weakened. But of course the ‘masses’ determine that (no pun intended).
For instance let’s take ME3 shall we? Yeah a professional may be able to tell you — if your shopping for RPG’s, ”ME3 is the best option” — of course their opinion, but if you just take it as a stand alone title, now other things can quite possibly come into the fold that even a consumer may not think of, like, what if said “professional” is not a fan or not invested in that universe? Do you want a reviewer basing their opinion on a franchise they know nothing about? And it’s understandable that some like a reviewer with “fresh eyes” but will they get the depth their looking for. Quite possibly some could feel shortchanged, because the reviewer doesn’t know entirely what to look for. That is of course, largely based on what game, genre and will almost always be a franchise scenario. If it’s a new IP I would gather the rules change because every one is at the same starting point. However a consumer could provide instant integrity because they bought the game, and 9 times out of 10 they are not only investing but also invested.
I’ll use myself as an example, Say a professional reviewer is reviewing one of my favorite franchises — and I’ll use WWE 12 because that’s what I’m playing the most right now. In that scenario if said reviewer never played a WWE game or has never watched WWE programming — especially currently, yeah he could tell me core things like if it’s “fun” (loosely used) or how it controls but he wouldn’t be able to tell me if they nailed the character models or if the entrances are spot on, or overall if it looks, feels and behaves like how a real WWE show would. There’s just little intricacies in there that just can’t be covered by any ol’ body.
I can almost see the argument between the “Professional” and the “Consumer”:
Consumer For you, it’s just a job
Professional: That means I’ll make more of a serious effort and have access to more games
Professional: I’m more qualified
Consumer: More qualified? Your me, with a bigger forum
Consumer: I’m a gamer
Professional: I’m a gamer too!
User: I’m a fan
There may indeed be pros and cons to both the professional side an consumer side a like but who do you see being the more “qualified”? CCU wants to hear from you.
Terms used in this article:
IP – Intellectual Property, refers to a creation of the mind where exclusive rights are granted. In this case Video Game Developers coming up with new ideas for game titles.
RPG – Role-Playing Game, refers to a game where players assume a role and is driven on character development and a choices system — decisions that affects outcome throughout gameplay.