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A little while ago, I posted about Reviews vs. Criticism. This is an ongoing topic amongst authors and fans of videogame writing. Shawn Elliot, formerly of, has recently spearheaded a symposium composed of a varied who’s who of video game writers, ranging from N’Gai Croal of news week, to Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb.

The first entry into the symposium can be found here.

An important take away from this part of the symposium is the sheer reason for the existence of review scores. Why do we need them? What is possible without them? Who really values them?

I can only speak for myself, and as a writer, I would rather do without a score. I feel that I write more freely, and speak on much different aspects of a title when I know I’m not limited to writing within the confines of my ending score. Of course I do feel a score carries its benefits for those without the time or resources to dedicate to reading a lot of text simply to make a purchasing decision.

However, my opinion is simply one amongst many, and Shawn Elliot has rounded up a lot of significantly more experienced people. This is a must read for anyone who considers them a hardcore fan of video games and it’s especially true for any of the writers on this site.

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