The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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J T
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Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite?

by J T Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:05 pm

The opinions of the non-gamer:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/41f8bcc0 ... z29xw9ZM9u

A counterpoint that draws a parallel between being able to successfully play difficult games with being able to appreciate the finer points of the opera:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/10 ... ore-128821
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by Ivo Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:36 pm

There is some value in the novice "reviews", if only so that we that are not novices are reminded just how hard to get into some games and other stuff like that.

It is rather obvious from the particular review JT linked though, that an uninformed opinion is just that - uninformed. It has its place and may actually bring something new that an informed opinion would miss (that is one of the big strengths brought forth by diversity). But I won't expect to be particularly enlightened.

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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by Gamerforlife Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:16 pm

A few thoughts on the first article (I haven't read the second one yet)

Never have a novice gamer play something in 3D. Journey is an exception, because thatgamecompany is good at making accessible games that aren't trying very hard to challenge you, just entertain you in a spiritual or emotional sort of way

Fez is a meaningless game with seems to have a message, but is so vague and elusive in presenting it that you stop caring. It's like trying to make sense out of some of the nonsense in Lost (and I say that as a Lost fan). Plus, half of the game's puzzles have solutions that no amount of logic or reason can reveal. I would never introduce that game to a non gamer.

Mass Effect is boring, sci fi tosh? Someone needs their head examined. It is at this point that the writer sounds like the stereotypical female gamer who just doesn't like anything involving sexy looking woman and violence. Her first comments on Catherine seemed to reinforce that. However, I actually found myself agreeing with everything she said about Catherine. The game is unreasonably difficult, partially due to slippery controls and its themes are presented somewhat crudely. It has a great story outside of its themes about love and commitment though. The plot was interesting, but the game doesn't really have anything interesting to say about love and relationships

Here comment about parental approval making a kid not want to play games seems to contradict her earlier comments about him trying to get her to play stuff like Super Mario 3d Land. This article proves one thing. Journey is an awesome game that can appeal to anyone

I actually enjoy getting the thoughts of non gamers on things. What I hate is when ignorant gamers try to present themselves as knowledgeable. I could name sooooo many people from various gaming websites and podcasts (cough IGN cough)
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by Zodd Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:26 pm

We need more novice reviews on games.......I love them because they piss off the elitist, hipster video game player who try to make video games everything EXCEPT being video games.

When the story of video games are shallow, fanfiction like, inspired by star wars/star trek/any 80s movie, etc......Novice players will call it out to the dismay of video game lovers around the globe.

When the design of games have not evolved because "that's how it was done in the 90s"....Novice players will call it out

When characters are portrayed and designed like they were from a teenager's sketchbook...novice players will call it out

I love novice players and novice reviews
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by Gamerforlife Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:48 pm

Hmmm, seems like the second article can basically be summed up in one sentence. There is a different in appreciating a game as fiction/art and as a gameplay experience.

It's difficult for non gamers to appreciate the latter, but they are entirely capable of judging the former in my opinion. The former is typically where most games fail
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by shmuk Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:25 pm

I disagree. Games should be about the gameplay first, story second. If it was the other way around you should just make a movie instead. And if you're making an RPG, where the story is the focus, then it should be used as a motivator for the player to progress in the game.

/rant

A novice reviewer will focus more on the context of the game, and not the content, which is why they would focus too much on the superficial elements as opposed to the deeper content of the game.

however, there still is a market for that kind of gamer, but it's not me.
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isiolia
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by isiolia Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:35 pm

I think the larger difference is the mentality of the reviewer towards video gaming as a whole.

The author of the first article linked is not an experienced gamer, but she does seem to have a preexisting opinions about gaming. To me it read a lot like she doesn't consider games to be a particularly great use of time. This leads me to suspect that she was unwilling to invest enough time or effort into many of the titles to really even learn to play them.

I'd generally agree with the second article that plenty of modern games at least benefit from a background in the genre to fully appreciate. However, I also think many of them can serve to be that introduction to the genre if the player is interested. Set things to Easy, run through the tutorial, and keep at it.

A novice reviewer can be helpful, even insightful - as Zodd mentioned, they might call things as they see them more. They might not know which games they're supposed to like, what elements might be tired by this point, and so on.
Without much to compare to, they might not be able to state much beyond their own feelings, but they can still offer useful opinions.

But...all of that requires a little willingness to stick with the game, and that'd probably mean holding a favorable opinion of gaming in general.
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by Menegrothx Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:02 pm

No. Here's why:
This may be part of the reason there is so little cultural discussion of video games: there simply isn’t much to talk about

The makers of this Japanese game have done something almost unheard of: they’ve set it not in a battlefield but in a bedroom.

Catherine is an unique game, but if all she has ever played is Super Mario Land, Fez and Mass Effect how can she know for sure? Her experience is very limited.

Zodd wrote:When the design of games have not evolved because "that's how it was done in the 90s"....Novice players will call it out

How would a novice know something like that?
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by isiolia Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:39 pm

Menegrothx wrote:
Zodd wrote:When the design of games have not evolved because "that's how it was done in the 90s"....Novice players will call it out

How would a novice know something like that?


He's saying they wouldn't. The part in quotes is what an experienced gamer might say.
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Re: Is there value in novice gamer reviews? Or are we elite

by nightrnr Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:00 am

I'll just say:
There's nothing wrong with a fresh perspective.
I actually really like hearing the observations of my sisters and young nephews on various games.

...and another thing
The elite usually knows what kind of review they are looking for.

I am not elite, I just really enjoy the gaming medium.
...just another lost soul...
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