User-submitted reviews: they've been on the Internet for years, and now bricks-and-mortar retailers are finally catching up.
Kmart has announced plans to position snippets of videogame reviews posted on the MyKmart community site on store shelves, right in front of the games. The example in the picture above is from one such review for Red Dead Redemption.
Great idea, right? WRONG. While I'm all for the democratization of information/consumer power/blah blah blah as much as the next fellow, 95% of user-submitted reviews are rubbish, biased, inaccurate, or all three. Okay, so Kmart can filter out inaccuracies, but let's put it another way: can you trust Kmart will place negative reviews on its shelves?
Like them or loathe them, professional critics are professional critics for a reason: in most cases, they know their stuff, and the majority are more qualified to expertly assess a game/film/piece of music/whatever.
Kmart's new practice cuts out the people with the knowledge and instead turns to the general public to dish out advice. As Science has proven that 92% of the general public are drooling mongloids, this does not fill me with hope.
I realise that must sound pompous, and it's not to say that critics are always correct, or that Joe Bloggs on the street doesn't have a valid opinion. But if I'm going to lay down $50 on a game, I'll generally listen to somebody whose opinion I can respect and perhaps relate to.
[Kmart, via Wired]