(Topic ID: 223291)

Bias in the Pinside Top 100

By MrFancy

3 years ago


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  • 29 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Scorch
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    #1 3 years ago

    Rating pinball machines is always going to be somewhat subjective- different people have different things they look for in a pin, and there's never going to be complete agreement on what machines are better than others. That aside, I think there are some sources of "bias" in the rankings- by bias I mean factors that have nothing to do with how good the game is that make some games get rated higher than others. Note, this is not meant to be a criticism of the rankings, just an interesting thing to think about. Two sources of bias that I think I've noticed are:

    1. More recent games/remakes tend to get higher ratings than older games. A new game comes out, people get excited about it, and that makes them more motivated to come on here and rave about it than they would be with older machines. So, a newer game tends to automatically rate a bit higher than the same game would if it had come out 10 years earlier. I mean, I love Iron Maiden, but is it really the 3rd best game of all time?

    2. Hard games get rated too low. Whether or not people prefer harder games is certainly a matter of opinion, and there's nothing wrong with someone who doesn't like games to be really hard ranking those ones lower. But, I think there might also be a tendency for some people to want to come on here and trash a game because they're pissed off that it just kicked their ass (of course that's not what they say in the rating comments). The five hardest games in the top 100 that I know well enough to have an opinion about are TNA (#21), Iron Man (#30), Houdini (#36), Flash Gordon (#66), and Dirty Harry (#92). All of those except Iron Man seem to low to me (especially Flash Gordon and Dirty Harry- those are both all-time greats!), even taking into account that not everyone likes those kinds of games.

    Anybody notice anything else like this?

    #2 3 years ago

    I think a lot of the bias comes from two things: 1) New people to Pinside and the hobby. They have no frame of reference, so all new Sterns, JJP, etc go to the front of the line. 2) Ownership. More people are buying NIB or recent HUO's instead of the classics. People rate what they know and they know what they buy. I think most people who've been around, have played a large variety of games from all eras, or those with collections that include multiple eras all realize that the Pinside top 100 is pretty bogus. I think it more likely represents current market trends and not actual game quality.

    #3 3 years ago

    Maiden is in my top three, we'll see if it has the staying power to stay at the top of the heap over a period of time. I think it will.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from Crile1:

    I think it more likely represents current market trends and not actual game quality.

    I rank this comment #1 on my personal list of Pinside comments on the topic of the Pinside top 100.

    Seriously. This is spot on. Game quality is obviously an extremely subjective metric. Every player values things differently, and trends vary over time. The top 100 is purely a popularity contest, which is fine, but should be seen for what it is: a ranking of how much a game is liked relative to other games by a variable community.

    On the other hand, it is probably a good indicator of how quickly a given game will sell, and for how much over or under its historical price.

    #5 3 years ago

    This is really hard to stomach.

    #6 3 years ago

    I’ve mentioned in other threads these should be broken down by decade? Or by era? I mean dmd games went from 91-2016? I just feel like they shouldn’t be classed against the 78-90 era of games..I’d like to see a top 100 from each I’ve previously mentioned not just all of them thrown in..

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    This is really hard to stomach.

    O-din is just angry IMDN isn't ranked #1 yet.

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    #8 3 years ago

    There should be no rankings and every pin is given a participation ribbon.

    10
    #9 3 years ago

    Does anyone ever even look at the top 100?

    If I like a game, I like it. I don't care where it ranks in other people's minds.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from MrFancy:

    Anybody notice anything else like this?

    Yes there are 1000 threads on it. Please go there.

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Does anyone ever even look at the top 100?

    If I like a game, I like it. I don't care where it ranks in other people's minds.

    I think for some it's just another game.

    And for others it is a way to justify the 1000s of dollars they just spent on a machine.

    #12 3 years ago

    Is this still a thing?

    I see you are new to pinside.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from Billy16:

    Maiden is in my top three, we'll see if it has the staying power to stay at the top of the heap over a period of time. I think it will.

    With a current score of 8.8 it may be around for a while. I have played it several times and while I don't think it should be in the top 5, it may finally rest in the top 20 for sure. Well in Pinside Top 100 - maybe not that high on 'Your Top 100' list.

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Does anyone ever even look at the top 100?

    Mr. Fancy does...

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Does anyone ever even look at the top 100?
    If I like a game, I like it. I don't care where it ranks in other people's minds.

    +1 for this!

    #16 3 years ago

    Ratings are useful but should be taken with a grain of salt. My big complaint is that people rate games they like a perfect 10. One perfect 10 is OK but every game a 10 or a 0 is rather dumb. That behavior skews the ratings - especially the perfect 10s. If you do that, stop it! Try to spend a little time to create a more thoughtful review.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from konjurer:

    My big complaint is that people rate games they like a perfect 10.

    It's called the old pump n dump. Pump the ratings in hope that the value of the turd you own isn't fully in the tank when you go to sell it.

    #18 3 years ago

    I have a bias against Asians on a golf course....

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    It's called the old pump n dump. Pump the ratings in hope that the value of the turd you own isn't fully in the tank when you go to sell it.

    Perhaps but I'd sell some of my old classics before dumping IMDN. It actually is one of the best pins out there. O-din is reminding me of the grumpy old men in the Muppets.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from dts:

    O-din is reminding me of the grumpy old men in the Muppets.

    No I just watch statistics and numbers and compute them in my ever active brain. And occasionally stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Yes there are 1000 threads on it. Please go there.

    There are? Shoot, I just had one of my assistants spend the last three days combing through all the old posts on here and she said she couldn't find anything. I'll put her on disciplinary probation in the morning to make sure this never happens again.

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    No I just watch statistics and numbers and compute them in my ever active brain. And occasionally stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

    Well, you’re still one of the most hilarious Pinsiders, so I love you even tho you hate IMDN!

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from dts:

    Well, you’re still one of the most hilarious Pinsiders, so I love you even tho you hate IMDN!

    Thanks!

    But I don't hate maiden as long as Paul Di Anno's on vocals. I actually at one time used to put up with the new guy too. As far as the pinball game, yeah, I've got no love for that at all. But that is my right as a pinsider.

    #24 3 years ago

    Why is Bugs Bunny not in the top 10?

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    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Thanks!
    But I don't hate maiden as long as Paul Di Anno's on vocals. I actually at one time used to put up with the new guy too. As far as the pinball game, yeah, I've got no love for that at all. But that is my right as a pinsider.

    I had no idea Pinsiders have rights. When you oppress pinheads long enough, they revolt, and march for equality!

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from dts:

    When you oppress pinheads long enough, they revolt, and march for equality!

    Nah, they just get drunk and when they wake up they find they have been once again kicked to the basement. A few cups of coffee, and they are ready to go again.

    #27 3 years ago

    That sounds right, the basement hangover revolution.

    #28 3 years ago

    I actually pretty much agree with the top 100. My only problem with the rating system is that I wouldn’t say it’s balanced. Elements like lighting, art, sound and game play are not all equal in my mind. Most of the time, I have to tweek my ratings to give games a number I am satisfied with.

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    Why is Bugs Bunny not in the top 10?
    [quoted image]

    According to one dude, it should be the number 1 pin followed by party animal

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