What exactly constitutes as "Objectively" good/bad or "Subjectively" good/bad in games?

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from reading these forums it comes down to

person 1 "I like/hate this game because its objectively good/bad for reason x"

person 2 "Actually i dissagree with you, i found X to be rather bad/good"

person 1 "well thats your subjective opinion"

seriously it is subjective unless the game simply doesnt work, maybe it crashes every 5 seconds etc

nykirnsu:
'Objective quality measures the number of flaws in a product, subjective quality measures whether or not said flaws actually matter.'
That's the distinction I go by.

It's a flawed distinction because the very issue of a flaw is not objective. Even if a game is bug ridden, barely works and insults your beloved grandmother - it may not be "objectively flawed".

This is a ridiculous question because objectively good/bad doesn't make sense. Objectivity does not deal with good and bad.

Objective:

This game has unplanned features that prohibit the completion of set tasks within the game (this game has bugs).

Any talk about whether these bugs are negative or positive is then into the world of subjectivity.

Lonewolfm16:

And how does one determine that Devil May Cry has terrible writing? The quality of writing is fairly subjective, I have read books hailed as classics with fantastic writing and disliked them, and I have read books that people said had terrible writing and enjoyed it. Prove, without using personal opinoin, that Devil May Cry has poor writing, until you can do that your conclusion is purely subjective.

I am mostly in agreement with you that the quality of writing is subjective. I've seen people make the case before for "OH X is objectively poorly written and Y is objectively well written" and it just doesn't go anywhere. For some reason it always seems to come back to opinions, which kinda defeats the point.

The problem is just how subjective writing tends to be. One man's unconvincing and poorly written dialogue is a Tarantino-esque masterpiece of writing to another. What one person finds to be glacial pacing is just the right speed for the next guy. There are very broad rules, such as clarity in your writing, but even those can be successfully subverted. And the person deciding whether the story is successful or not in doing that is the individual viewer/player/reader, which again comes back to those damn things called opinions.

Vegosiux:
"Objectively good" does not exist. So yeah while there definitely is a possibility for a game to be "objectively" bad, I doubt there's a way for it to be "objectively" good.

If there's an up, then there must be a down. I think it's just humans haven't evolved to a point where we can objectively assess "good".

nykirnsu:
'Objective quality measures the number of flaws in a product, subjective quality measures whether or not said flaws actually matter.'

This is an interesting point, and one a lot don't seem to understand.

Just because you "like" something doesn't mean it's not objectively bad, and you know what. that's ok, we all like something that's bad.

Some seemingly subjective things can be objectively bad, plot holes for example. Now whether or not said plot hole affects your enjoyment doesn't change the fact that it's objectively bad.

FavouriteDream:
It's a flawed distinction because the very issue of a flaw is not objective. Even if a game is bug ridden, barely works and insults your beloved grandmother - it may not be "objectively flawed".

Incorrect, if you define what flawed is you can objectively assess if something is flawed.

"Objective" merely defines an unbiased statement.

wulf3n:

FavouriteDream:
It's a flawed distinction because the very issue of a flaw is not objective. Even if a game is bug ridden, barely works and insults your beloved grandmother - it may not be "objectively flawed".

Incorrect, if you define what flawed is you can objectively assess if something is flawed.

"Objective" merely defines an unbiased statement.

You cannot correctly define a subjective word (flawed) without using fellow subjective words to define it. For example, I just found three definitions of the word flawed and they call mention the word "fault".

Fault is a subjective word, let's define fault. Most definitions use words like "unattractive", "unsatisfactory" and "imperfect" - three more subjective words.

The definition of those words also involve subjective words.

And so on and so on.

So no, even with the definition of flawed next to me - I cannot objectively asses if a game is flawed. If I were to make up my own definition of the word flawed and used that (for example any game with the letter M in the title is flawed) I still cannot call a game flawed because my definition is subjective. Technically, all definitions are subjective to a degree - but a definition that only yourself adheres to (such as the letter m definition I made up) is considered to be even more subjective that official dictionary's definitions.

I could go on all day; in short - you're wrong.

FavouriteDream:

wulf3n:

FavouriteDream:
It's a flawed distinction because the very issue of a flaw is not objective. Even if a game is bug ridden, barely works and insults your beloved grandmother - it may not be "objectively flawed".

Incorrect, if you define what flawed is you can objectively assess if something is flawed.

"Objective" merely defines an unbiased statement.

You cannot correctly define a subjective word (flawed) without using fellow subjective words to define it. For example, I just found three definitions of the word flawed and they call mention the word "fault".

Fault is a subjective word, let's define fault. Most definitions use words like "unattractive", "unsatisfactory" and "imperfect" - three more subjective words.

The definition of those words also involve subjective words.

And so on and so on.

So no, even with the definition of flawed next to me - I cannot objectively asses if a game is flawed. If I were to make up my own definition of the word flawed and used that (for example any game with the letter M in the title is flawed) I still cannot call a game flawed because my definition is subjective. Technically, all definitions are subjective to a degree - but a definition that only yourself adheres to (such as the letter m definition I made up) is considered to be even more subjective that official dictionary's definitions.

I could go on all day; in short - you're wrong.

I see what you're trying to explain, but you're wrong.

I'll use a simple example.

I write a program that calculates A + B and define that it must always = C. I define "flawed" as any result != C. I run the program and get the result D. The program can now objectively be called flawed.

no such thing as objectively good or objectively bad, because good and bad is subjective.

I write a program that calculates A + B and define that it must always = C. I define "flawed" as any result != C. I run the program and get the result D. The program can now objectively be called flawed.

then you simply need to learn what "flawed" is, because you are using it incorrectly.

i find objectivity is a noble goal, though unreachable objectivity is stopping and thinking about something in a very academic sense.

subjectivity is comitting to an opinion without any thought, simply thinking with your gut.

Strazdas:
no such thing as objectively good or objectively bad, because good and bad is subjective.

I write a program that calculates A + B and define that it must always = C. I define "flawed" as any result != C. I run the program and get the result D. The program can now objectively be called flawed.

then you simply need to learn what "flawed" is, because you are using it incorrectly.

Really?

)A mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.

Synonyms
noun. fault - defect - blemish - shortcoming - imperfection
verb. crack - damage - split

As the creator of said program I define what its correct behaviour is. Any result that falls outside of that correct behaviour is considered incorrect behaviour also known as fault, defect, shortcoming or imperfection.

Therefore I can say it has a flaw, and can be considered objectively flawed.

"Good" and "bad" are inherently normative terms, so these terms can never ever be used in an objective manner. Pure objectivity is unattainable in human affairs.

This isn't a problem when it comes to reviews, though. Because as long as the reviewer uses reasoned arguments (that is, he/she explicates his/her implicit assumptions as to what makes a game good), it's up to the reader/viewer to decide the validity of the argument.

scorptatious:
Or, what exactly is the difference between "liking a game" or "thinking it's good".

I've been reading up on a discussion on this thread:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.401346-I-like-Aliens-Colonial-Marines

And some people talk about how just because some people happen to like a certain game, does not change the fact that it is bad.

Part of me is sorta torn on this kind of thinking.

On one hand, with games like Sonic 06, I found the game to be horrible due to it's bugginess, it's bad game design choices, and it's bad story. So yes, I definitely consider the game "bad". And I'm not sure how some people would like the game.

Then there's games like Mirror's Edge, a game that I also dislike, but by contrast is much more functional than Sonic 06. I hated how half the time I wasn't sure where to go, and during those times I was often being chased by the cops, resulting in many a frustrating death. It didn't help that I wasn't overall invested into the game's story. And yet despite that, the game still has a bunch of people who are able to look past these issues and enjoy the game overall and wish for a sequel.

So, even if I dislike said game, it is still considered a good game by other people. I can't find myself believing that it's a good game, because I personally didn't enjoy it. I'm not saying the people who do like it are wrong, I'm just saying I don't think it's a good game.

Then there's games like Skullgirls. A game I sorta have a love/hate relationship. I love the art style and characters in the game. But I can't get my head completely around the fighting mechanics. Maybe it's because the game was intended for those who actually had a deep history with fighting games, games that I had little experience with. So overall, I would consider it a good game, but others hate it for the reasons I mentioned.

I don't know, this whole thing seems very confusing to me. I'm not really sure what would constitute as "objective" or "subjective" when it comes to the games like Mirror's Edge or Skullgirls. Because some people may have a particular mindset that works better for those kinds of games.

So anyone here able to make heads or tails about this kind of thing? And, please, let's be civil about this.

I am sure that someone has given you a solid answer by now, but I will go ahead and give it again. An objectively bad game is a game that has technical issues/bugs/crashing/other tangible issues the prevent it from being played the way it was intended to be played. This game (an objectively bad one) has failed at the most basic of design functions, and that is to allow the game to function in such a way that the game is able to be played without frustrating technical errors. The reverse being true for objectively good. Meanwhile a subjectively bad game is a game that you don't like (or someone doesn't like) because of design/artistic/intangible choices.

For example Halo 4 was subjectively bad to me, I think the game's core game play works from a technical standpoint, but I do not enjoy the story or the game play.

Hellogate: London was an objectively bad game. I enjoyed the game immensely, only I was unable to play it properly because of all the bugs that prevented proper play.

Keeping in mind that good/bad are both morality based terms technically, so some people are going to nitpick. It doesn't change the fact that things can be good and bad no relating to morality because we have progressed to using the words good and bad in a none morality construct.

Objective measures of quality are things that can be answered with a yes or no and aren't open to discussion because either yes, that exists or no, it doesn't:
-- Presence or absence of bugs, especially with regards to AI
-- Grammatical/syntactical correctness of text portions
-- Logical consistency of plot, mechanics, themes, etc
-- Consistency of graphic style
-- Whether the game can be completed given any set of player input

For instance, if a game's plot just randomly skips a chapter if your character performs a certain action, then assumes that you've experienced that content at a later point in the game regardless, it is _objectively_ of low quality.

Subjective measures of quality are things that people can disagree on without a third-party test being capable of judging one or the other correct or incorrect:
-- Appropriateness of themes
-- "Visuals" and scenery
-- Whether the plot twist was actually surprising (assuming lack of surprise doesn't come from it being literally revealed, or the surprise stemming from it causing a plot hole, both of which are objective)
-- How well the game "flows"

Further, whether you enjoy a game/film/etc or not doesn't necessarily have to be rooted in either of these, but can derive from cultural or personal context rather than the game itself:
-- Borderlands 2 dispenses with the usual half-assed attempt at a storyline with a coherent moral and a "violence is bad" message that is _incredibly annoying_ in most shooters, so even though the plot is full of holes (objective), the terrain is buggy as hell (objective), half the mechanics don't actually work (objective), the enemies and storyline range from stupid to racist and back (subjective), and the color pallet is so muddled I can't tell enemies form terrain half the time (subjective) I still _enjoy_ the hell out of the game due to how it matches my own biases and experiences.

Objectively and subjectively a sub-par title at best, but damned if I don't love it more than my theoretical children.

Things that can be classified as 'objectively good/bad': Options (as in the options menu) and mechanics of a game (hitdetection, response times, collision mechanics and such). Frequency and amount of bugs. The structure of the story. Everything that has basically a ruleset or can be mesured.

Things that can be classified as 'subjectively good/bad': The actual story, how 'fun' the game is with all the technicals above (or how much it engages you), artstyle and so forth.

Examples from other genres:

I like 'The Room'. It is from an objective point bad. The acting is nonexistant, the plot is all over the place, the cinematography is bad and the setpieces are ugly as hell. And yet I like it because the sum of all this makes it enjoyable to me.

As a couple of other posters have said, I think a lot of it depends on personal experience and shared experience. It's usually pretty easy to tell when you're playing something "bad" where the badness extends beyond you just not liking the game. It's not, however, always so easy to describe that "badness" in proper terms. Once you've played enough games, you start to develop your own sort of vocabulary for what's bad and what's good. You can also more clearly define when your personal taste is perhaps obscuring some pointedly "bad" aspects of a game. It's easiest to then corroborate your own findings by comparing them to those of others. For as much flak as something like metacritic gets, it's usually still a decent enough sign that a game is bad if the vast majority of reviews come up very negative.

Oh gawd, this argument again. Short answer: yes, to an extent.

Long Answer: Let's start with an example.

Mass Effect 2 was an interesting combination of games at both their best and worst. It has an absolutely terrible main story, relatively dull shooting, an obscene amount of brown/grey/boring set design, far too much faffing about, and some terrible design choices/planet scanning. It also has examples of some of the best things in gaming, with a few wonderful missions, a handful of pretty good characters, a few aesthetically pleasing environments, and some very well-writting and touching character moments.

Now, where does this leave us? For me, I give it a "Bad" score, clocking in at 2/5, as I feel that while the high points keep it from being an absolute waste of time, it doesn't justify or redeem the game as a whole. However, some people are willing to swear by this game until they asphyxiate themselves. And despite all of the (justified) criticisms I levy against the game, I still don't regret my purchase. I got it on Steam for $20 USD (I haven't bought any DLC), and have clocked 76.6 hours on it over three playthroughs. On the other end of the spectrum is VVVVVV, which is short, sweet, and an example of a fantastic game boiled down to its "purest" form. Yet I paid $4.50 (I think) for it, and I don't feel like it would be worth a price over $10.

This is a solution I propose: keep review scores for measuring the general quality and design of a game (a 1-5 scale work best in my experience), but don't discount pricing as a "subjective" measurement for what it will take for a purchase to feel justified.

Addendum: Saying "everything is subjective all day erry day" is for people who are either too afraid to defend/justify their perspective, or can't be arsed to.

Everything is going to have faults, be they technical, ethical or asthetic. They may be large or small but they're always going to be there and alot of them are likely going to be based on personal predilection.

For some people any of these faults could be inexcusable so the only way you can subjectively judge something to be good or bad is based soley on whether or not you notice the issues or simply if you care or not that they are there.

scorptatious:
snip

First off it depends on what your definition of "good" and "bad" are.
Secondly it depends on what your definition of "objective" and "subjective" are.

Now you might be thinking that "objective" and "subjective" have inarguable definitions set in stone. but do you differentiate between the words "best" and "favorite"

If someone asked what your favorite game is would you have a different answer if they asked what the best game you've played is?

"best" is an objective superlative of "good" while "favorite" is a subjective superlative of "good"

You basically need to start with what exactly you're judging. "Quality" is way to broad to judge all in one go. The more specific you can be with your reasoning the more objective you're being with your judgements.

My understanding is that objective can be proven as fact; good and bad doesn't come into it, (A car without wheels is not a good car), whereas subjective relies more on personal preferences and user experience (A lemon-yellow car with black leather interior looks great).

As I pointed out, I think in the thread you link to OP, though: what is objective in art and entertainment is usually born of popular opinion; i.e. the majority's subjective preference, and that is what creates problems.

In video games, there are so many variables to take into account that even if some are objectively bad (glitches, lag, controls that don't always work) there may still be elements the player enjoys enough to look past the flaws, which means that when it comes to reviewing games the only way a journalist could be completely objective is to say 'the game works in so much as it didn't crash or break my PS3'.

Anything which can measured independant of the viewer.

Technical issues, graphical fidelity, physics quality etc, all are capable of being measured objectively. If a game doesn't work, or crashes at a certain frequency, these are objective issues which can be measured. Shame you can't measure anything that really matters about a game's experience that way. Objective issues are really the bare minimum required for the game to be playable: The graphics must convey the visual art, the game must run, the physics must convey the mechanics etc. But how they do these things gets into the subjective again: Are physics glitches or unrealistic physics problems? In the end, most of these things you can just get as raw numbers. CryEngine 3 can render this. Frostbite 2 can render this. Unreal 4 can do this. Which doesn't tell you at all whether you'd like the things done with those engines. Most of what you'd measure objectively is out of the way and under the hood.

You can't measure objectively how fun a game is, whether people will like it or not, you can just judge who might like it, or who will find it engaging.

When people say something is "Objectively good/bad", it's because they have no argument or case. They want to say it's a fact, and you're wrong for not having the same opinion as them.

Addendum:

deathbydeath:

Addendum: Saying "everything is subjective all day erry day" is for people who are either too afraid to defend/justify their perspective, or can't be arsed to.

Or it's by people with a little more understanding of epistomology and the use of language who know what objective vs. subjective means. Whether you like a game is entirely subjective. Deal with it. Your opinion is just that: an opinion. That it is not universal does not make it any less valid. Calling out those pointing out quite rightly the definition is for people who can't be arsed to accept that their personal preference is that: personal.

The level of effort that the developer exerted shows, 100% of the time.

It also is very easy to tell when people actually cared about the game they are producing.

In short: Good games have telltale signs of TLC.

Objectivity may be more of a lofty goal than an achievable perfection. But it's still something reviewers should aspire to achieve. If you appeared in a YouTube video wearing Spider-Man pajamas with a book shelf full of Spider-Man action figures, Spider-Man drinking glasses, Spider-Man DVDs, and Spider-Man comic collections, holding your mylar-protected Spider-Man #1 in your hands as you record, and tell me that the new Spider-Man video game is the best thing ever, I'm probably going to take your opinion with a large grain of salt, so to speak.

Now, it may be that I have a fondness for cartoon-cute characters, or despise RPGs with lengthy in-game text narratives. I may not be able to overcome those particular preferences, but I can be aware of them, and in reporting my feelings about a game I can try to work around them or at least make the audience for my opinion aware of those preferences.

There are things that it is possible to be subjective about; if a game clearly uses low-fidelity textures while all its contemporaries in the same genre have long since moved on, that's something one could presumably point out as a negative. Likewise unwieldy or inelegant controls- some pointed out that "clunky" controls may be a part of certain survival-horror experiences, but arguably one can feel a certain difference between "I'm controlling someone who isn't a natural badass" and "the developers simply didn't care that I have to push three buttons in a particular order to turn around and start running away."

It's also worth pointing out that a "subjective" opinion isn't necessarily a worthless. If I like comic book superheroes and you like comic book superheroes and your opinions of good comics have led me to good finds in the past, your opinion will probably have some value to me despite its subjectivity- because your particular "lens" for viewing media has similarities to my own.

scorptatious:
Or, what exactly is the difference between "liking a game" or "thinking it's good".

Atleast the question in your OP is better worded than the question in the title. We can work with that.
There is little or no "objective" in good or bad games, but still there's a big difference between a (subjectively) good game and liking a game.

1 Let's start with the most obvious example: genres and how some people don't like certain genres.
Bob may not LIKE racing games, but he if he's got any sense he won't go around slamming popular racing titles, because Bob's no judge here. So Gran Tourismo may be GOOD, but Bob still doesn't LIKE it.

2 One more example: a kid who's played a couple crappy games is more likely to be impressed with a mediocre game than a jaded old gamer, who's played many more titles to compare the game to. Experience may be a big factor.

3 Liking something barely even counts as an opinion, while "game is good" is a bolder statement that approaches a recommendation. "Like" is never wrong; nobody can contest it, so it doesn't hold any value. Only in an aggregate form may "likes" have some weight begind them. Going against the general opinion and claiming something is the opposite, is more interesting: it's an invitation for a discussion.
There comes your chance to qualify your opinion, to compare the title to other games and to display your knowledge and experience. A good discussion can be more insightful than a review. Make a good argument and your opinion is nolonger any asshole, but a qualified opinion that holds some weight.

Jayemsal:
The level of effort that the developer exerted shows, 100% of the time.

It also is very easy to tell when people actually cared about the game they are producing.

In short: Good games have telltale signs of TLC.

What's TLC?

veloper:
Liking something barely even counts as an opinion, while "game is good" is a bolder statement that approaches a recommendation. "Like" is never wrong; nobody can contest it, so it doesn't hold any value. Only in an aggregate form may "likes" have some weight begind them. Going against the general opinion and claiming something is the opposite, is more interesting: it's an invitation for a discussion.
There comes your chance to qualify your opinion, to compare the title to other games and to display your knowledge and experience. A good discussion can be more insightful than a review. Make a good argument and your opinion is nolonger any asshole, but a qualified opinion that holds some weight.

Hmm. That makes sense. It sorta explains why a lot of people would post threads that are often against popular opinion of something. Like the Aliens thread I linked.

Anywho, thanks for the input guys. Very insightful and informative.

scorptatious:

Jayemsal:
The level of effort that the developer exerted shows, 100% of the time.

It also is very easy to tell when people actually cared about the game they are producing.

In short: Good games have telltale signs of TLC.

What's TLC?

veloper:
Liking something barely even counts as an opinion, while "game is good" is a bolder statement that approaches a recommendation. "Like" is never wrong; nobody can contest it, so it doesn't hold any value. Only in an aggregate form may "likes" have some weight begind them. Going against the general opinion and claiming something is the opposite, is more interesting: it's an invitation for a discussion.
There comes your chance to qualify your opinion, to compare the title to other games and to display your knowledge and experience. A good discussion can be more insightful than a review. Make a good argument and your opinion is nolonger any asshole, but a qualified opinion that holds some weight.

Hmm. That makes sense. It sorta explains why a lot of people would post threads that are often against popular opinion of something. Like the Aliens thread I linked.

Anywho, thanks for the input guys. Very insightful and informative.

TLC is an American trio whose repertoire spanned R&B, hip hop, soul, funk, and new jack swing. Originally consisting of singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, the group found success in the 1990s while also enduring a series of spats with the law, each other, and the group's record label.

image
Oh wait, not THAT TLC.

TLC means Tender, Loving Care.

BrotherRool:

*Bugs
*Bland environments
*Repetitive uncreative actions
*Mechanics that are narratively dissonant/narrative that is mechanically dissonant. If you have an RPG about a man succumbing to old age, but the mechanics are levelling up and become stronger as time progresses, then although the game can still be enjoyable, it is almost always a bad pairing of story and gameplay
*Cutscenes that strongly conflict with gameplay and take away power from players in a cheating way.
*Bosses who you have to defeat and then once you've beaten them, will win against you in a cutscene
*Emotional blandness
*Poorly responsive controls
*Games that don't understand their core engagements and don't consistently provide for any of them

With the exception of bugs (things that were objectively not supposed to be in the final product and were not intended), all the points you've mentioned are subjective and open for interpretation. You might not like them, but they are not objectively bad things, its still just your opinion.

Hyper-space:

BrotherRool:

*Bugs
*Bland environments
*Repetitive uncreative actions
*Mechanics that are narratively dissonant/narrative that is mechanically dissonant. If you have an RPG about a man succumbing to old age, but the mechanics are levelling up and become stronger as time progresses, then although the game can still be enjoyable, it is almost always a bad pairing of story and gameplay
*Cutscenes that strongly conflict with gameplay and take away power from players in a cheating way.
*Bosses who you have to defeat and then once you've beaten them, will win against you in a cutscene
*Emotional blandness
*Poorly responsive controls
*Games that don't understand their core engagements and don't consistently provide for any of them

With the exception of bugs (things that were objectively not supposed to be in the final product and were not intended), all the points you've mentioned are subjective and open for interpretation. You might not like them, but they are not objectively bad things, its still just your opinion.

If they aren't completely objective, I'm still pretty sure it would be reasonably hard to find someone who would ask for a game to be emotionally bland, or to have gameplay mechanics that are dissonant with the story. If someone was trying to make a game, it's a fair rule of thumb that those are things to avoid and I doubt many people would criticise a review for calling a game bad on those counts.

If anything, I thought bugs were the more subjective one, because you can get a lot of enjoyment out of a buggy game, and Yahtzee explicitly listed it as one of the things that made Skyrim fun. There are less people who've described a game as great because it had a boss fight where you beat the boss and then he beat you in a cutscene (although I feel like a lot of my points could probably be tidily summed up under gameplay/narrative dissonance).

I figure they have about the same level of objectivity as using a dutch angle to create an unsettling emotion in a film. A film that matches dutch angles to unsettling is going to be doing the right thing 9 times out of 10, if a director didn't know what one was meant to do and used it in the wrong place, it probably would confuse the audience and detract from the emotion of the film and be a sign that he wasn't yet an experienced director with that showing in the project. But there are exceptions to the rule and it isn't going to go over the same with absolutely everyone

BrotherRool:

If they aren't completely objective, I'm still pretty sure it would be reasonably hard to find someone who would ask for a game to be emotionally bland, or to have gameplay mechanics that are dissonant with the story. If someone was trying to make a game, it's a fair rule of thumb that those are things to avoid and I doubt many people would criticise a review for calling a game bad on those counts.

I think it's more a case of "bland" not being thoroughly defined. Ask 3 people what constitutes bland, and you'll get 4 answers.

Because of this vagueness it's hard to distinguish between a subjective opinion and an objective assessment.

Twilight_guy:

Excuse me but I dont give a flying fuck about games as an artistic medium.

Then why the hell are you here? The only reason I can see, besides people who like is if you really really like the off topic section and don't realize that other forums have that, is if maybe you have no idea what constitutes "art" is actually the reverence and care that people put into certain objects, i.e. the kind of reverence and care and people put into games, that drives them to even visit these sorts of forums to discuss games. 'Course art is a mangled and misunderstood term so that kind of logic is common.[/quote]

Its simple really I enjoy playing games. This artistic medium crap that has been all the rage the last couple years is meaningless.

wulf3n:

BrotherRool:

If they aren't completely objective, I'm still pretty sure it would be reasonably hard to find someone who would ask for a game to be emotionally bland, or to have gameplay mechanics that are dissonant with the story. If someone was trying to make a game, it's a fair rule of thumb that those are things to avoid and I doubt many people would criticise a review for calling a game bad on those counts.

I think it's more a case of "bland" not being thoroughly defined. Ask 3 people what constitutes bland, and you'll get 4 answers.

Because of this vagueness it's hard to distinguish between a subjective opinion and an objective assessment.

Oh yeah, thats a good point. Maybe if you went more specific, like the need for a feedback mechanism when someone is hit by a bullet, using crosshairs that don't overly obscure the target etc.

BrotherRool:

If they aren't completely objective, I'm still pretty sure it would be reasonably hard to find someone who would ask for a game to be emotionally bland, or to have gameplay mechanics that are dissonant with the story. If someone was trying to make a game, it's a fair rule of thumb that those are things to avoid and I doubt many people would criticise a review for calling a game bad on those counts.

If anything, I thought bugs were the more subjective one, because you can get a lot of enjoyment out of a buggy game, and Yahtzee explicitly listed it as one of the things that made Skyrim fun. There are less people who've described a game as great because it had a boss fight where you beat the boss and then he beat you in a cutscene (although I feel like a lot of my points could probably be tidily summed up under gameplay/narrative dissonance).

I figure they have about the same level of objectivity as using a dutch angle to create an unsettling emotion in a film. A film that matches dutch angles to unsettling is going to be doing the right thing 9 times out of 10, if a director didn't know what one was meant to do and used it in the wrong place, it probably would confuse the audience and detract from the emotion of the film and be a sign that he wasn't yet an experienced director with that showing in the project. But there are exceptions to the rule and it isn't going to go over the same with absolutely everyone

Popular opinion does not constitute an objective view of something and emotional blandness is a subjective assessment of something. And how do you define emotional blandness in the first place? Is it lack of diversity or just thereof? Who exactly determines how moving a piece of art-work is? Games such as Amnesia: Dark Descent only really let you feel one emotion, that of fear, but does so well. Would it be considered emotionally bland due to its lack of range on the emotional spectrum?

I'm starting to think that people are confusing "objectively" with commonly agreed upon subjective (emphasis) qualities. 99% of people may agree that a rich story and complex gameplay make for a good game, but what exactly entails "rich" and "complex" may differ wildly and depend entirely upon personal preferences. Hence; Subjective.

it depends on who you are talking to, and the ever swaying 'trend' of what is acceptable to like and not like.

for example,sonic 06 is a poor game in most peoples eyes, and you can openly call it poor becuase even the small amount of people who call themselves die-hard sonic fans wont defend that particular game.

however when it comes to a game like Halo 3, which has a shit load of problems, you have to tread lightly, because the fanbase is more likely to jump out at you for anything you say.

objective may be a term, but ultimatley WE the fans are the onss who determine its meaning

Hyper-space:

Popular opinion does not constitute an objective view of something and emotional blandness is a subjective assessment of something. And how do you define emotional blandness in the first place? Is it lack of diversity or just thereof? Who exactly determines how moving a piece of art-work is? Games such as Amnesia: Dark Descent only really let you feel one emotion, that of fear, but does so well. Would it be considered emotionally bland due to its lack of range on the emotional spectrum?

I'm starting to think that people are confusing "objectively" with commonly agreed upon subjective (emphasis) qualities. 99% of people may agree that a rich story and complex gameplay make for a good game, but what exactly entails "rich" and "complex" may differ wildly and depend entirely upon personal preferences. Hence; Subjective.

The best measure of objectivity we have is something which people will reliably come to the same answer on independently, so some measure of popular opinion doesn't seem like much of a stretch

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