MetaCritic and The Objectivity of Game Scores

When game reviews put a numerical score on their reviews the quantitative nature of them create a pretense of objectivity. When these are then aggregated the pretense becomes stronger. Of course, the pretense if false. It can never be completely accurate, however I feel that certain creatures have a duty to make reality seem more like the pretense.

If one use these review aggregators for most purposes –  if one uses it to prove that one shouldn’t use it, for example, that would obviously be an aggregate – then I think one could argue that they have a moral duty not to make metacritic less accurate for Kantian reasons of how that that tool which is used by them would not function if everyone acted as they did.

However, those that have the greatest duty to try and make their scores as objective as possible stripped of the influence of their particular subjective tastes would be those who actively pretend that metacritic is objective. Those who, for example, justify themselves by reference to those aggregated scores. If those fail to give blank scores then they’re actively contributing to a lie, and a particular dastardly one of putting one’s ideas to a puppet to pretend an agreement that doesn’t exist.

Objective quality certainly doesn’t exist. However, that’s often used as the rallying cry of people who refuse to use their judgement. It, of course, should in fact be the opposite. One can surely use their judgement to work out what things in a work are real indicators of quality, and what are individual tastes. One can surely use one’s imagination, knowledge and empathy to deduce what people of equal taste could reasonably disagree with them on. From that one can work out on what their score should be based upon.

This is probably more of an urgent affair when the scorer is with the general feel of their fellow scorers in this its-not-what-you-know world of critics. Letting your score include your unpopular views could help to counteract the influence of others. However, it is often the case that people love playing the minority and that in their popular views they’ll claim it as unpopular like hipstering.

None of that is to say that reviews should be written by an author attempting to be as objective as possible. Regardless, of their opinions and actions with regards to the aggregators, the review can be written as the author pleases. It is the score that the metacritic user should strive on objectivity for.


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