CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
Stores Controlling Reviews

Posted: 6th April 2019 21:05

Posts: 726

Joined: 4/11/2004

Celebrated the CoN 20th Anniversary at the forums. Member of more than ten years. Member of more than five years. 
So I bought the Hyperkin x91 recently to see if it was a good controller or not. It's advertised as a 90s style controller, except with assymetrical thumbsticks. Unfortunately, it feels trashy, I doubt the mushy triggers will last and it's impossible to find a good grip for it, because of the lumps and protrusions on the bottom and overall it feels nothing like a 1990s controller, and especially not a controller that would have been made by 1991, the release year of the S.N.E.S. Oh well, the one I have is a "limited edition" controller with megaman on it, made for Megaman 11, so maybe it will become a collector's item. I doubt it since the print quality of both the box, and the Megaman image on the controller. I ordered it brand new from a known retailer, so I know that isn't the case, but the point is I do not anticipate it being very desirable to anyone.

I wrote an amazon review to complain, but for some reason the review wasn't published. I'm not sure what did it. Maybe it's because I discussed the value relative to other products (I didn't expressly figure in prices, but perhaps even discussing abstract relative value transgresses guidelines) or maybe I went over the top by calling it trash and garbage (I didn't cuss though), it doesn't matter much though since my principle concern regards another criteria in the Amazon community guidelines:

Particularly, it seems like if you haven't spent $50 on merchandise through them during the past year, that they won't publish reviews. Now I can understand wanting to make sure that reviews are legitimate reviews related to the product being sold, but the verified purchaser system seems like a better way to deal with it, and by restricting the pool of reviews it seems like Amazon is diminishing their utility as a method of determining what the average customer thinks.

Perhaps I would understand if Amazon only allowed people who bought through them to review the product, but allowing people to buy $50 worth of any merchandising doesn't really seem to ensure that people are reviewing products they actually have in hand, and the irrelevance of the purchases makes it seem more extortionate. If it was just that, I probably wouldn't be starting a topic, but it seems that this is somewhat of a trend.

Then I saw that Steam is also implementing [url="I"] a new policy "Off topic review bombs" won't be factored into the average rating of a game displayed. The policy seemed reasonable at first, since political activism probably shouldn't influence a game's score, but then Valve explained that reviews E.L.U.A. changes and D.R.M. will be considered 'off-topic' for the purposes of this policy. Now I know these aren't gameplay issues, but they are integral to the product they are selling, since they dictate your ability to use the game, and it seems like a way to artificially inflate review scores whenever a game publisher decides to do something extremely objectionable. Memories of Simcity's needless always online D.R.M. scheme come flooding back to me for instance, which is something that even big name reviewers criticized the game over. Also, even if most players don't care about D.R.M., what these scores are supposed to represent are sum total impressions from everybody.

It seems particularly conspicuous to me that they're not discussing what they do to control hyper inflated reviews. At least they're being open about it, and giving users the ability to opt out for the time being, but then again most people won't know to opt-out until it's too late.

Now to some extent, it seems reasonable to moderate reviews to make sure that they are relevant to the product, and weed out conflicts of interest, but to me it seems as if these provisions have gone just a little bit too far.

Am I mistaken. What factors do you people think should be factored into a review, and when do you, as customers who expect reviews to accurately assess your purchasing assessments, think should reviews be allowed, disallowed or in some way restricted?

Post #215718
Posted: 7th April 2019 20:26

Omega Weapon
Posts: 5,148

Joined: 31/10/2003

Third place in CoNCAA, 2019. Celebrated the CoN 20th Anniversary at the forums. Voted for all the fanart in the CoNvent Calendar 2015. Voted for all the fanart in the CoNvent Calendar 2014. 
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I don't know anything about the issue with Amazon that you're talking about, but as for Steam, I think that the best way to handle review bombs is to find some way to present the information in a form where the consumer can decide whether that's an issue they care about -- whether it's a political controversy, whether it's DRM, whether it's paid mods, whether it's adding microtransactions, whether it's "the sequel won't come to Steam/PC/the west/etc.", and so on.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 7th April 2019 20:27

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