Rant #3: Star Ratings

In the Fan Fiction forum at for example the Serebii.net forums, there are star ratings.

Standards are set too high. Way too high. Understandably, the readers at a Pokémon forum aren't particularly picky, but the way it is now, your fic isn't even halfway decent unless it has five stars. If it has four, it's something meh-ish. Three is rather bad. Two is garbage. One is mostly reserved for something that needs to be closed, and soon - except when people randomly rate popular fics one star and then disappear without a trace.

Funny. When dealing with professional critics who only give five stars to a practically flawless masterpiece, people can be delighted to receive four stars. And be somewhat happy with three, too. A very meh-ish story should be getting two stars, not four. Five stars should be reserved to true works of art only.

Then again, many of the people at the forums do view stories that don't deserve it (such as mine) as masterpieces. Others simply respond to the increased standards by increasing their rating too - and even though they can find many flaws in it, they still give five stars, simply because despite those many flaws, the story is not meh-ish enough to deserve four.

That's not how it should be.

Unfortunately, I see no good way out of that, exactly because there are people who really do view all those fics as masterpieces that deserve the five stars. And this rant does not mean people should start going around and rating like a professional critic would and try to make three stars their average rating, simply because the standards are higher than that.

Consider this: When critics give movies three stars out of five, they might even brag about it and put the three stars on the poster or DVD case - and they'll definitely brag if they get four. On the forums, nobody with less than five stars can brag.

Isn't that a bit messed up?

But yeah, there is no way to correct this. We must continue to adapt our standards to the mainstream opinion on the forum.

I'm hoping when I get a forum with star ratings to put a definite guide to star ratings somewhere that will lower the standards to an acceptable level.