Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On the work of reviewing

This is my fairly random thoughts about writing reviews, in particular reviews of RPG products. A common falacy seems to exist that reviews of products purchased by the reviewer will be fairer than ones done where the publisher has provided a complementary copy of the product. I find this to be a fallacy for a number of reasons.

Firstly the purchaser of a product can be prone to self justify their purchase, which would lead to giving a higher rating than a more balanced reviewer. Conversely if a purchaser is disappointed in a product they will be prone to ignore useful or good content because of their anger at wasting money.

For assessing value for money it's hard to see why a purchasing reviewer will have a clearer view than a reviewer recieving complementary product as the price of anything which is not completely unique can be compared to similar products.

The big advantage for a paid reviewer or a reviewer recieving complementary product is that they are less limited by personal finances in the production of reviews. Although a paid reviewer like those working for newspapers, etc may need to rush reviews to match deadlines and to get enough produced to give them an adequate income.

In truth a good reviewer will produce a fair and balanced review usually regardless of whether they have recieved the product free or been paid for producing the review (unless paid directly by the publisher).

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