This is a bit off course for me, since I shy away from doing reviews in the first place.
Jenn’s post on reviews made me think – is a number rating (or a letter rating from A+ to E-, or even an F-) to end a review really necessary?
The standard practice is that yes, you should, but personally, I don’t feel like a number can encompass an experience. You are essentially reviewing a piece of media (or a few pieces) and your experience with them, if you ever add subjectivity into the mix at all. If a picture says a thousand words, then a medium – one that is likely to be reviewed on WordPress – speaks bucketloads of words and you can only prattle on for so long until the most devoted reader tunes out. Also, if a picture speaks a thousand words, then…a number only speaks one.
There’s also the problem of “abusing” the number review – for instance, a Cells at Work! review could be arbitrarily determined by the number of times the platelets appear. (I’ve seen people stick number ratings into their Cells at Work! posts randomly, just to accomodate that joke. For people who don’t read Cells at Work! reviews, the joke is that the rating is “0/10 not enough platelets”.) For video games in particular, the “7.8/10 not enough water” joke is pretty infamous – enough that it’s a bit of a meme. On Anime News Network, I’ve seen “nope” ratings and all sorts of other joke ratings.
Furthermore, the sheer subjectivity of one person’s 10 against another requires some transparency on the part of the reviewer. I’ve seen people on AniList give lots of 10s and there’s no stopping any WordPress reviewers from doing the same thing (although, since WordPress is generally a more critical platform than AniList, WordPress is less susceptible to doing so).
I don’t think everyone uses numbers or letter grades at the end of their reviews – I know I don’t, at the very least. However, even though slapping a rating on to something allows a reader to easily gauge a reviewer’s feelings on a certain work, numbers are just too limiting to say what a person feels and thinks. They wouldn’t turn out very good posts, either, so make sure that if you want to try (or are) reviewing stuff to back up all your points and justify your rating/s. When there are people you don’t know intimately enough to understand why they’ve rated the way they have, clarity is key, after all.
So, do you think number ratings at the end of a review are a good or bad thing? Is this post really lacking anything, now that I notice
upon retrospect I haven’t talked about star ratings…?