Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reviews Dwittled To One Word. Brilliant!

The academic medacritic inside of me loves the concept of One Word Reviews. How twitteriffic. It embraces the concept of “limited attention span”. So much so that it says it right there on the front page. You’ve just spent 60+ hours (probably more like 15 with games today) playing through this game and you want to share your thoughts to the world. Most forum hoppers will give it a one to two sentence note and move on. One Word Reviews capitalizes on this concept, allowing all gamers to give an opinion without writing out an ass-long review that turns into gibberish. I know I’ve done it a few times.

You can use whatever word you wish to describe a game. The top 4-5 based on uses are shown, and from there it dog piles as to how high you can get those percentages. Easy to assume that if you’re one of the first to pick a word for a game that your word will stick around. New words tend to not be seen and will get buried under the mess.

As such, it can be easy to persuade the word selected for games. If you have enough friends (irl, Facebook, Twitter, or other) you can campaign to get a game off of the “Casual” list and onto “Groundbreaking”. Or vice versa, as is the case with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I like Kotaku’s view of the website:
Browsing a site like One Word Reviews is like looking at the collective psyche of hardcore gamers. Passions run hot and there's a fever to either canonize or demonize the games that people love.

There’s also no backlash for individuals. No publisher can jump in and scream at gamers. One Word bathes in the anonymity of the internet. As such, people are much more vocal about their love or hate of a game. It’s clear that the lackluster ending for Mass Effect 3 has ticked off a number of gamers according to One Word’s top word. Sh*t.

For a game reviewer, I would take this website with a grain of salt. It’s there for entertainment purposes. It may sway a person’s purchasing power, but if they wanted the game that badly they were going to get it anyway. But as the academic, I find the website delightfully fascinating. It’s a spin on twitter with graphs. What’s not to like about that?


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