2021 marks the 10 year anniversary of Vamers.com. Over the last decade, the site has transformed from being a source of only video games news and information, to becoming a repository of unique and interesting content focused on all aspects of the geekosphere.
Since our inception, we have adopted a numbered scoring system. Initially our scores were obtained through an averaging system with scores assigned to different attributes. Over time the system changed to a single score, one more inline with the overall feel of the hardware or software being reviewed. In recent years, however, the Vamers Crew have felt the need for a system less focussed on somewhat inconclusive and arbitrary numbers, to one based more on an all encompassing and definitive ‘recommendation’. After all, and for example, what is the real world difference between two competing products rated at either 69% or 71%, respectively? In our humble opinion, the numbers are far less effective at describing if a product is “worth your time” versus simply describing either as “good” or perhaps only “average” – easily understandable terms that are more frequently used in day to day conversation.
Throughout 2020, we took the time to closely evaluate if changing the current scoring system would work for us. In so doing, and after many months of internal testing, we developed EGAD; an acronym for Exceptional, Good, Average and Disappointing. EGAD is an all new evaluation system aimed at offering a veritable opinion on a piece of software or hardware; one more inline with the way friends and family would use word of mouth vocabulary when talking about products. In this sense, we absolutely feel the new system is far more encompassing than the previous numeric method of scoring.
To better understand how EGAD will be used at Vamers alongside our Ethics Policy, we have put together a brief overview of what the new evaluation criteria will mean for reviews going forward.
The ‘Exceptional’ designation infers the product being reviewed is ‘must have’. The kind of product that always comes to the forefront of thoughts, conversations and recommendations; and is, for very good reason, often award winning. These products are absolutely deserving of your time, money and consideration.
The ‘Good’ designation infers the product being reviewed is ‘pretty good’. The kind of product that is fairly common place in thoughts, conversations and recommendations; and might win an award or come in as a ‘runner-up’. These products are enjoyable and, more often than not, worthy of your time, money and consideration.
The ‘Average’ designation infers the product being reviewed is ‘decent, but nothing to write home about’. The kind of product that is seldom at the forefront of thoughts, conversations and recommendations, but might make an appearance every now and again because, although it will not win any awards, it is “okay” enough to be considered and enjoyed. More often than not, these products seldom break any new ground and provide experiences on par with other products of a similar nature.
The ‘Disappointing’ designation infers the product being reviewed is ‘not worth your time, so please move along’. The kind of product that is never at the forefront of thoughts, conversations and recommendations (unless memes make it so), and those who do take the plunge are almost always disappointed. These products may, on some level, offer some semblance of enjoyment; but are ultimately not worthy of your consideration or precious time.
We feel and hope the transition from a numeric based method of scoring to a more opinion based recommendation will be one you, our audience, will appreciate going forward. We especially hope it will allow us to be even more candid with what we think of the hardware and software we review; and that our opinions will continue to be trusted, accepted and shared.
On a side note, I would like to point out the rather humorous fact of how our new recommendation system has an acronym based on the real English word: egad. In fact, it suits it perfectly as our recommendations will no doubt cause our readers to, like the word in question, express “surprise, anger, or affirmation”.
Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.