Reader Review Policy Reminder

As the holiday season rolls around, it's time to fully reap the rewards of being a gamer. Releases fall from the sky in abundance, and we all get to pick and choose only the tastiest morsels for our enjoyment. Here at GameSpot we take our job seriously to not only give you our evaluations of the...

As the holiday season rolls around, it's time to fully reap the rewards of being a gamer. Releases fall from the sky in abundance, and we all get to pick and choose only the tastiest morsels for our enjoyment. Here at GameSpot we take our job seriously to not only give you our evaluations of the latest releases, but also to allow our community members to freely make their opinions known and share their thoughts on a variety of topics.

Since we've received some customer support inquiries on this particular subject, and to avoid confusion and frustration in the future, here is our policy on reader reviews as pertains to their content:

- Reader reviews on GameSpot are intended to be about the gameplay experience. What did you like, what didn't you like, and how you evaluate the game based upon the whole of its substance. If your review is not about the game itself, it's a candidate for removal.

- We have a full suite of community features here on GameSpot, including forums and user blogs. Historically and by design, this is where rants about industry practices go. Why games are so short these days, how they're easier than they ought to be, how they employ copy protection, why you think Miyamoto is a jerk and Nintendo is turning on their fanbase, and so on should be kept out of reviews and in the forums.

- Any technical issues you experience with the game should be folded into the meat of the review and explain the impact on gameplay, if any. It is reasonable for these issues to be a component of reviews, but reviews themselves are about the games first and foremost.

Thanks for reading and participating!

Discussion

69 comments
akbarss
akbarss

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ziegd
ziegd

To damthegames and dynomitemasta... Although I agree with you in principle, I think you're geting too hung up on the actual score that is assigned. What is more important to me in a good review (whether from the 'professionals', or from players), is the CONTENT of the review. The score means less to me than some details about WHY it was scored as it was. I like to see info about game mechanics, environments, visuals, story, etc. If a reviewer talks about what they liked or disliked in a game, then I can form my own opinion based on how important those aspects are to ME. I often see games get low scores because of features that are not as important to me (i.e. graphics...if someone hands out a low score because they think the graphics are 'dated', I tend to put less emphasis on that than, say, a good story). So again...the final score is less important to me than the content of the review.

ziegd
ziegd

To damthegames and dynomitemasta... Although I agree with you in principle, I think you're geting too hung up on the actual score that is assigned. What is more important to me in a good review (whether from the 'professionals', or from players), is the CONTENT of the review. The score means less to me than some details about WHY it was scored as it was. I like to see info about game mechanics, environments, visuals, story, etc. If a reviewer talks about what they liked or disliked in a game, then I can form my own opinion based on how important those aspects are to ME. I often see games get low scores because of features that are not as important to me (i.e. graphics...if someone hands out a low score because they think the graphics are 'dated', I tend to put less emphasis on that than, say, a good story). So again...the final score is less important to me than the content of the review.

dj_c4
dj_c4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dj_c4
dj_c4

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

pitchblack3
pitchblack3

Most reviewers who scale games at the rate of 1.0-3.0 usually utter more rubbish than sense. They tend to take it too personally.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

damthegames is right. . . I feel like that in this generation of games that Gamespot and every other big site and Mag have caved in and have rated the games based on popularity and site traffic, rather than the actually quality of the game. . . The closest I think a game has come to a 10 is Bioshock, and I still wouldn't give it a 10. . . It seems like every since the whole Kane and Lynch thing came about, the industry got turned on it's ear for a while. . . I truly hope that the Editors have come to their senses and stop handing out great scores based on how loud the fan-base is, or how much pressure is put on them from the gaming companies with monies spent.. Please, we look to sites like this for great UNBIASED reporting. At least base your Gamespot score on reviews by 4 or 5 of your editors and then AVERAGE OUT THE SCORE, that is the FAIREST way to get an acurate and TRUE score. It also seem like some games got undeserving BAD reviews after the very fluffy 10's that were handed out overcompensating for the extra points given to those 2 games that did NOT deserve those scores. I look now to user reviews from like minded gamers and trust them a heck of a lot more than the paid writers who's motives are suspect. Your reviewers need to be unbiased and FAIR, I want to start trusting the media again, and what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so if your gonna put rules on us, put some on yourselves first and take back those 10's that have tainted our community this past year.

SYdoggXxX
SYdoggXxX

It would be a good idea to increase the minimum level needed to start posting reviews. I remember it used to be 6 or something. Perhaps it should be upped to 15 or 20, that way you'd make sure the person reviewing has been around for a considerable while and knows the basics of what makes a good review. But then again, that's not a guarantee either. @damthegames: I think your philosophy about the score of 10 is fine. The problem is that you're acting in the typical "I'm right and the whole world is wrong" fashion with your comments. Gamespot has already stated on many occassions what a "10" means to them, and that philosophy applies to a lot users, myself included. Instead of bashing us and GS for scoring games with 10s, why don't we just agree to disagree?

damthegames
damthegames

im just typing this lines to say how sick i am off the reviews from this site ,,always overrated ... and those games with 10 score ,,what is this?? to my view a game must be perfect or give the gamers something unique an revolutionary (i only agree with the Mario 64 10 score) so they can be considered 10 score game ,, they just seem to give scores to please the game companies , spore ---8.0???? lololol that game sucks ,, ive waited so long for that and it sucks ,, metal gear 10 ???? i just don't care about the score they give. im not saying that gta4 and so on are bad sure a 9.0 or a 9.5 ok but 10 ? fell free to crucify me if you think im wrong

dg72079
dg72079

how do i make comments about previews and review games can sum1 let me know

SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

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SonicTheMonkey
SonicTheMonkey

Thanks for the info Beth. I've been meaning to start articulating my thoughts on the games I play in review form, so it's helpful to read these guidelines from the site themselves.

CaptainCrazy
CaptainCrazy

Most reviews are utter trash. You can't just let any average joe write a few comments about a game (usually before it's release or the reviewer hasn't even played it yet). Reviews need to be REVIEWED by a moderator before being posted on the site. I'm sick of wasting my time reading some jibber jabber nonsense from a 12 yr old who can't spell "the".

ziegd
ziegd

To maximunimpact: This is off-topic, so it will probably get deleted, but in an attempt to be helpful and answer your question... YOU are a noob (at least as far as being a Game Spot member is concerned). It is a derivative of the word "newbie", and refers to anyone who is new to the environment, forum, topic, game, what-ever. Hence as a new member, you are a noob. PLEASE note that it is not neccessarily a derogatory term, since everyone is new at some point. It does however imply that the noob may not be familiar with all the aspects of whatever situation or scenario they are a noob IN. Your earlier post clearly indicates that you are indeed NOT familiar with the player review component here at Game Spot. You do NOT have to be high-level to write a review...you simply have to demonstrate that you are at least a somewhat active participant in the community before your review will be recognized by that community. Level three is easy to atain, just by visiting a few forums, posting a few contributions, starting a blog, posting a profile, etc. Paying subscribers get immediate access to writing privelages because, by the simple act of PAYING for a membership, they have already demonstrated that they intend to be an active community member. (The assumption being, they wouldn't shell out dollars if they only intended to show up once.) Hope you get to read this before it's deleted.

maximunimpact
maximunimpact

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

maximunimpact
maximunimpact

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

maximunimpact
maximunimpact

Where can a person get a good review or attempt to post one? Your site appears to be more of a filter on making public a significant debate about games First, even registered users on your website are not "allowed" to post a review unless they are a "proven" pixel-head (i.e. you must be a GameSpot Level UltraDelux User). As I type this (and the longer I have been away from attempting to log into Warhammer) the more I recall that it was futile comming to your site in the first place. You are nothing more than another advertising arm for a handful of gaming companies and nothing more (and CANNOT be anything more) with your current business model. The only way to get good reviews is to let them get posted and let them get reviewed by other PLAYERS/CUSTOMERS and then let those reviews get ranked according to the popularity amongst the PLAYERS/CUSTOmERS. Is there another logical method? If you merely let the most "frequent" commentors or the "paying" subscribors or the person with over "1,000" logins comment you are obviously going to get idiodic reviews. You are also most likely to get the "best" reviews because they will not really be critical - they will be made by "pure" gamers whom are already screened and already love games which is good for some readers of reviews but not good for many other readers of reviews. I realize you likely get a comment like this every few minutes. I am writing for my own benefit and the benefit of my cult. CTHULU R'LYEH WGAH'NAGL . . . NHGN

ih8pie
ih8pie

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ziegd
ziegd

I actually rely much more on GOOD player reviews than I do any "professional" assesments. And has already been pointed out a few times in this thread, there is way too much juvenile crap thrown up simply to gain "level points". "Dis gaem rox cuz you git to blwo peeple's heds off!", or "Dis gaem sux cuz you DON'T git to blwo peeple's heds off!" are NOT reviews. And yet, there are way too many entries of this sort, making it a bigger pain to find the truly helpful player opinions. I personally would like to see some of the hard-core moderation that is prevelant in the forums get applied to the player reviews. Drop-kick the crapola, and make it so that a review that sticks is actually something to strive for. (Oh, and I also agree that I'd like to see some kind of feed-back mechanism put in place, so I know WHY someone liked/disliked my reviews.)

dyaballikl
dyaballikl

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

yaco13579
yaco13579

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DomineInferorum
DomineInferorum

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

VHRS05
VHRS05

A good start-up guide for those who write nonsense reviews

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

This won't deter the trolls, but I admire the attempt.

Mehfuz
Mehfuz

i don't think telling about games copy protection is bad idea - if some game enforce pesky CP - user should mention that in the review. this is informative for gamers who actually buy games and deserve to know what the dev/publisher doing behind their back. so please consider this.

quietguy
quietguy

More enforcement for the passionate; Player reviews has been declining in quality as of late since the Gerstmann Incident. Every 3 out of 4 player reviews I see for any game out there usually only includes a single paragraph with a slew of grammatical errors only focusing on a single aspect that represents the game in an inaccurate way. It came to a point I don't even bother reading player reviews anymore because you've get another 7-8 pages of short paragraphs with only a few in-between that were hard to find, that actually went in-depth with the game. Grammatical errors just hurts the crap out of my eye. *looks @ Oldboy36*

FrostyMD
FrostyMD

Wow... Good info, too bad none of the guys who are part of that group you are talking about will actually read this.

FrostyMD
FrostyMD

Wow... Good info, too bad none of the guys who are part of that group you are talking about will actually read this.

samusarmada
samusarmada

I doubt this will change things much. The thumbs up/down thing is a bit annoying, particularly because I would like people to give reasons for why they rate my reviews negatively. My reviews take a very long time to write and are often some of the longer reviews on the site so I am always slightly disappointed that when someone gives me a thumbs down I can't know why they gave me one.

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

It's unbelievable how many people put unnecessary comments on their reviews, I'm glad you guys are trying to prevent that. :) In addition to the new policy, I also think something should be done about the reviews that don't elaborate enough. I'm talking about stuff like: "This game is bad, because it sucks." The Player reviews section is plagued by those kind of comments. Also, please do something about the thumbs ups and thumbs downs. I have witnessed people giving thumbs downs, simply because the reviewer liked a game that they didn't like, regardless of the contents of the review. I believe everyone should at least provide a reason as to why they don't agree with a review. And if the reason isn't good enough ("Reviewer is an idiot", "Teh epic fail", etc...), the user should get a penalty of some sort for his abuse.

Pharoah__Link
Pharoah__Link

Oh really then? I gave Halo 3 a 6.0 and had very good reasons why and I got my review deleted for "insulting other members". All of my friends read it and I didn't insult anyone.

oldboy36
oldboy36

Though I agree somewhat, how about telling some of your writers this and then get back to us. And BTW game length is about the game so that should be mentioned. If a console or desinger has a habit of making short games that would be fine to state/complain. Copy protection esp if it effects your hardware and gaming experience should be mentioned dont see a problem there. Glitches really arent glitches part of the damn game? You know what screw it.. This is stubid GS get you act together people, seriously. Worry about the OMG THIS GAME RULZ!!!!!!! infinite instead of this junk. Hell worry about your own writers and staff that you pay for. Rather then post poorly writting policies about your readers that are giving out info on your site for free. Whether it sucks or not people come here and like to read them. Alot of us are only here at GS because of the mass community and the freedom that is allowed here; for all its negatives its still nicer than being modded all the time. I Hope this doesnt change. Sorry about the rant but more I thought more it irked me. So we're just supposed to say Miyamoto's a jerk and not explain why? Okay I'll stop.

ChampionOfLight
ChampionOfLight

I agree, and appreciate that this issue is being addressed. Nothing grates me more when deciding whether a game is worth my time and hard-earned cash, than to read a bunch of reviews on it that have nothing to do with the game overall, using the space for an all-out bash fest against the developers, publisher, issues on DRM and what have you. As a more serious gamer / collector, I'd rather read from others who have played the games, what their overall experience was, along with the usual categories like sound / music, game control, graphics, etc. In a nutshell: Save your rants for the forums or your own gaming blogs, kiddies. Thanks much.

Agreb91
Agreb91

I hope people read this, because I see too many reviews that are not reviews, but rants.

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

@ raahsnavj: You never really "own" any game. That's what the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) is about.

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

Folded into the meat?? Gross! :lol::P

iammai
iammai

Well, I'm with finish the game then try to review it thing! Yes, but sometimes short review can be effictive more than a long one.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

" how they employ copy protection... should be kept out of the reviews..." the only point I disagree with. A game review should include all the red tape that comes with the game. I should be fully aware that my copy of Bioshock on the PC will only work with 5 installs before it becomes a major pain... Or how Spore declares to me to avoid it because I would rather pay to OWN a game than have it on a rental due to DRM. But still, it should be very minor in reviews and hardly the focus point. Which is what I think you meant by that...

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Thank you GS, im sick of looking at reader reviews and seeing one paragraph on why THEY hated the game for so and so reasons without any evidence to back it up. If you're going to say the game was full of glitches but say nothing about them or how it hindered the game ... its not helpful. In the same way saying OMG BEST GAME EVER and then pretty much repeating that last phrase for 30 lines is also useless. Reviews are of course going to include bias, its a persons opinion of the game, but at least use some reasoning as to why you gave the game the score you did. The worst thing is I often read these reviews and information in them is wrong or factually incomplete, as if the user picked the game up played for 4 hours and wrote a review on the whole game ... sorry guys that just doesn't cut it.

gamer082009
gamer082009

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finalcross
finalcross

I always try to write my reviews in a fair way and following those guidelines. I really do hate those one paragraph reviews that are grammatically incorrect and explain nothing. Also, actually play the game rather than posting a score only because you don't like a specific genre, series or console.

Sharvie
Sharvie

Poshkidney - You mean the Top Reviewer emblems?

Poshkidney
Poshkidney

I think they should give us something for making review to encouarge better quality of user reviews.

ishoturface
ishoturface

i have writted quite a few reviews but i never bash a game maker

zintura
zintura

Yeah i agree. Review should be directly related to the Game and should not include anything that's indirectly related to it because other wise the review will fail to fulfil its purpose

KrunkMastaX
KrunkMastaX

I dont really write reviews...maybe I should start.