On IFDB, there’s the sentence “Was this review helpful to you?” under every review, and you can choose yes or no.
Do you sometimes use that? I never quite understood what’s the point and what it means exactly. Does it mean “I liked this review (even if I don’t necessarily agree with it)” or “(I don’t necessarily liked this review, but) I agree with it and it made me discover a good game”?
And if it means the latter, can a negative review, or a review about a game I’ve already played (and therefore I already know if I like it or not), ever be “useful to me”? It sometimes seemed to me that negative reviews were more often found “not useful” by people on the IFDB, but maybe it was just an impression…
And if I say that a review is “not useful”, could the author of that review feel insulted?
I’ve always taken it to mean “Did this review help you to decide whether or not you wanted to play this game?”
I’m not quite sure what the purpose of it is, unless it’s just the natural progression of post-modern trend to make sure that people have an opportunity to share their opinion about absolutely everything.
I think IFDB uses the reviews’ approval ratings to order them on the page, so that hopefully people will find the more “helpful” (however you define that) reviews easily.
I think the way people take those buttons - whether on the IFDB or Amazon - is kind of like:
–Click yes if the review expresses my own opinion better than I could.
–Click no if I disagree with the opinion or find it offensive.
Whether that’s the intended use of the buttons, I have no idea.
I use those options constantly to rate the quality of the review. Not whether I agree with it, but whether it’s a good review. (Check Zork I on the IFDB: I have voted that the current topmost review is helpful, even though it was written in opposition to my own review.)
IFDB uses these scores, as Emerald says, to ensure that the best reviews get on top. So if there are 30 reviews for a game, you’ll first see the ones that people thought most helpful.
Thank you for your answers, everybody!