Archive for the 'General' Category

Why we need to ditch Metacritic as a source

Sunday, February 9th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

On January the 19th we released the comprehensive analysis of the Metacritic website regarding their Games data. As a way to shed some light on the findings reported in that paper, I write this annotated blog. It will save you from having to read the 30 pages.

Introduction

The Metacritic website has a number of important flaws according to the Wikipedia page:

Metacritic:
• Converts each review into a percentage the site decides for itself
• Manually assesses the tone of reviews that have no explicit score and then assigns a quantitative score
• Refuses to reveal what weights are applied to which publications

Now, assuming the above is correct, this would make the data shown at Metacritic highly biased and far from the truth. Statistics dictate that you cannot apply scores at your own leisure based on subjective perception or using unvalidated methods and then call that a sophisticated meta-analysis. Therefore, it is time someone took a closer look at the data at Metacritic, in a descriptive way, to explore the data and see what comes up.

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Metacritic: Quantify Me paper released (30 pages!)

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

Today we release the next chapter in the Quantify Me series: Metacritic. Having done an analysis of the CSDb first (CSDb: Quantify Me) in July 2010 and then Mobygames (Mobygames: Quantify Me) at the end of December 2012, the attention has turned to the games listed at Metacritic. This one turned out to big a big analysis, collecting data almost non-stop from the Metacritic website between the 25th of August 2013 and the 10th of September 2013. Then cleaning of the database and actual analyses took another lengthy period of time, as this needed to be done late in the evenings, as much as possible. Finally the first chapter of this endeavor is here. The conclusion of this 30 page paper (which you can get here as PDF) is as follows:

The data at Metacritic leaves much to be desired and seems to be heavily biased. When critic scores do not comply with user scores in the majority of cases, which has been shown in this paper, and the selection of critics is seemingly under no formal control, the validity and accuracy of the data is low. Caution is necessary when using Metacritic information to guide your own decision to buy or not buy a game. Until there is more transparency on how this process takes place at Metacritic, more transparency on the flow of funding from which sources and the observed biases are removed, the database is of limited use for the end-users.

The week at the Game Research Forum #34

Sunday, August 25th, 2013 by Mr.Mouse

Let’s take a look at Week 34 at our lovely forum.What have they been up to? Click on “more” for the full article.

2D/3D models

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MobyGames: Quantify Me

Friday, December 28th, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

Taking data from MobyGames I have analyzed their information on games released since 1977 on many platforms in an attempt to make some historical sense of it all in a descriptive way. It is entitled MobyGames: Quantify Me. A brief quantitative analysis of the gaming era according to MobyGames. Below is the Abstract plus some key figures, but you are encouraged to read the full article here: MobyGames: Quantify Me 2012. Enjoy the read!

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Tools Blog lists 45 tools and counting!

Friday, November 23rd, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

I’ve completed the transition of the tools that were posted at the Tools Blog to the new custom field template. We now list 45 member-created game-mod tools, many of them custom created in response to visitor requests. I am positive this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more tools posted throughout. We must list them all at the Tools Blog! Check also this post for a How-To.

Dutch Elections: Mod for Counterstrike 1.6

Sunday, September 9th, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

The second mod in our theme was released. Now you will find the six politician game figures in Counterstrike 1.6. Simply use the new models in the package to pose as lookalikes of the Dutch party leaders, or fight them in endless rounds of the game. Created by onelove1210 from the Game Research Forum.
Go here to download the models. Click here to see a short example video. And then some more screenshots:

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XeNTaX accepting donations to keep up the forum

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

As of a week ago, we are accepting donations through PayPal from beneficiaries that offer kind help to support our Game Research Forum that aims to aid in modding games to maximize the playability and longetivity of gamer’s favourite pass-times. Those that are already registered at the Game Research Forum are not required to donate, it’s their own choice. However, to be offered an active account as a new user, we would humbly ask to donate a small sum. As a return favour we will grant you the possibility to register and post. To do so, go to http://forum.xentax.com/ucp.php?mode=donate. First complete the donation, then click on return to go on with the forum registration.

Blizzard raided in Korea for conning gamers with Diablo 3

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

Check this out: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/05/31/korean-government-raids-blizzard-offices-over-diablo-3-launch/

It is an interesting case. But a just cause. If you’ve bought the game, but are unable to play it due to the dramatic way Blizzard organised their servers (and still!), you should be getting a refund. You don’t pay your good money just so that Blizzard can take it without delivering.

The Korean approach is long due, and this will hopefully be followed in other countries as well. Blizzard are an arrogant, incompetent and greedy organization that are only interested in profits with unstable releases of tired old games. Time to take the money back they stole from the gamers. So that they will think twice about releasing a new product completely unprepared.

Blizzard, you fanbase is diminishing by the hour. Sure, there will be enough gamers to continue to con, but the law just might be on our side. And then your conduct will be punished. Your annual conferences are aptly named BlizzCon. To con.

Blizzard fail at Diablo 3

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

We warned that Diablo 3 would not launch well (technically) in the post about the failed beta stress test. We (and many others) were right. The launch was a technical joke, with Blizzard seemingly having gained nothing from the stress test, and lost a good part of their fan base. (Though they sold 6.3 million copies, which is a great success. Times $60 = $378.000.000).  The crappy technical launch, the DRM, the lag on single player, the online need to play even the single player campaign, the extremely short and linear main campaign (undoubtfully to quickly start selling “add on quests” in the mold of WoW, dragging even more money out of gamers as the game itself is already ludicrously priced), the numerous errors preventing play, tired gameplay, lost save games, stolen and hacked accounts, etc etc have proven that Blizzard’s only intend must have been to make quick money, even if they took 12 years to create it (and still they were not prepared). Here’s a small collection of posts surrounding the “epic fail” of the once innovative Blizzard. Take heed that reviewers still rave about the game, and cannot find fault with it, though metacritic users have en masse punished Blizzard for their conduct.

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Xentax was down for a while

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by Mr.Mouse

Due to a crash of a couple of hard disks at our host, we’ve been down for a few days. This should be fixed now as you read this message.