Ah, the internet poll: How worthless you are. Cheaters will cast multiple votes on you by refreshing the page or using proxies. You are easily skewed and meaningless as a measurement of anything. Ron Paul is a perfect example on how internet polls shouldn’t be taken so seriously. He would single-handily win them if they actually represented voter intention, but the same didn’t happen outside the internet world.
If you’re like me, who frequents many gaming sites, you’ll notice that most will have some sort of poll. I take my time to vote for my favorite, but at many occasions, my choice isn’t in the lead. It won’t change my opinion towards my choice or prove anything meaningful. Internet polls basically serve as a form of entertainment (GameFaqs’ “Greatest Game of All Time” poll is a perfect example), but to fanboys, they are truly serious business.
A few weeks ago, CNET ran a poll, asking their readers which racing sim will be best: Forza Motorsport 3 or Gran Turismo 5. There were no options for “both games are going to be great” or “both games will suck”; it was just vote for GT5 or FM3. The poll might as well read “click here if you’re a Sony fanboy or click here if you’re an Xbot” because you know the poll was going to cause a fanboy war.
The shit really hit the fan when news about the poll made its way to N4G, and the headline read, “Forza Better Than GT 5, Says Vote.” I was hoping that people would ignore this or call it pointless because it was an online poll, but the fanboys made a big deal out of this.
A couple of them treated this as the Holy Grail or the be-all, end-all of all arguments. Here are a few comments:
“Zhuk: Xbox 360 and Turn 10 are victorious against the evil Sony Empire in this poll. Gamers have chosen Forza 3 as the ultimate simulator franchise this generation.”
“Vhero: Even when offering a free gift they cant win?? how much proof do we need which games better before they have even been released?”
“mirroredderorrim: It’s good to be the King.”
Yes, a poll where 40,000 (completely unfiltered or cross checked) people voted is an accurate representation of millions of gamers, and it also determines which game is better. I loved how Vhero acknowledges that both games aren’t even out, yet he treats the poll as something significant.
There was even a celebration post at N4G where GT 5 was dubbed “King of all Driving Sims” which is pretty silly because both games aren’t out, and it didn’t win anything meaningful; it didn’t even win the poll.
But wait, there’s more to this farce. What made this poll so popular was because Turn 10, the developers of Forza, were giving away a free car to those who voted for Forza 3. Some people were calling it bribing, but it was blown completely out of proportion.
It was posted on the Forza forums where the users were most likely going to vote for Forza 3, and the free car was limited to Forza 2 owners. Also, Turn 10 weren’t asking for proof; all you had to do was say “I voted,” even if you didn’t vote for the game. If Turn 10 were giving away free prizes to GT5 fans, then you can somewhat call it bribing.
The voting would have a similar effect if Turn 10 informed the forum goers about the poll without mentioning a free prize – I have no idea why they didn’t do that unlike Sony. Sure it’s a little silly that Turn 10 would bother to do such a thing over an internet poll, but stuff like this happens all the time to them. You guys are treating like it’s a federal crime.
“SpoonyRedMage: OMFG Turn 10 are giving Forza 2 owners who go on the Forza forums a free car in Forza 2 if they vote for them in a poll!!!! OMFG. They’re practically handing out bags of money!”
Well of course. How else do you think Scrooge McDuck got so rich?
Lastly, it was an online poll. Why are you all taking them so seriously? I can’t stress enough how pointless they are. Nothing bad was going to happen if your game didn’t win it. It wasn’t going to be the end of the world. The winner wasn’t automatically going to become the better game or get better sales. It’s not like an internet poll was going to affect your purchase decision or opinion on the games.
The poll is over and guess what? Nothing happened. We’re still waiting for the games and debating which one will be better; Forza fans still prefer Forza 3 while Gran Turismo fans still prefer Gran Turismo 5. Next time, please don’t take internet polls so seriously.