Whatever we regard as good is our opinion. That is, to put it very bluntly, is invalid. Or rather, all opinions are equally as valid across the board despite what anyone would think, because opinions are of bias and preference, and we all share these in both good and bad. Opinions and preferences are one of the few things that we are able to stand as individuals in this modern society of ours, and for better or worse, discussions of opinions is very much popular one. Internet critics boom was an example on top of examples of this, where people flocked to listen to opinions on things that already had set opinions.
As such, whatever say is good is coloured by our bias, and as we all know, anything coloured by bias is under question. If so, how do we can even measure whether or not something is good?
For a long time I have tried to find any actual, good points that would support the old saying that Good doesn’t always sell. In the end, I’ve come to a sad conclusion that this is bullshit and a juvenile way of seeing things. What is good may be dependent on opinions, and what would tell more about opinions of people than numbers. Some would argue against that majority is no always correct, and I would give leeway on this with sciences, but with material goods this argument is, more or less, just as bullshit as the previous one. However, I do recognize that there are things in time that are tied to the period and history has judged these mass opinions according to victor’s history. As with any, there are no true one answers, only multiple shades of greys.
Nobody wishes to put their money on a thing they would not seem as good. Everybody has their own preference and will what they put money into. To use an example from the previous post, Call of Duty sells millions. The numbers it draws in are undeniable. The game series, despite all negative opinions it garners release after release, has to be doing the correct things to be as good as it is to warrant a purchase. Mario Kart 8 has to be seen as a good game as well as it raised Wii U sales 666% percent. That is a number to be feared, and denying the high quality of the game would only show the bias a person has.
To use comics as another example, some of the stories the X-Men brought in has been hailed as one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, like the Phoenix Saga. On top of this, the Phoenix Saga did make sales that should make modern Marvel green on envy.
Of course, there are forums and imageboards filled with people dismissing highly selling games and comics while wondering why their little favourites never saw the sales they deserve. That is, to simply put it, not good enough. Everyone can argue all they want for their favourites, but individual favourites don’t matter. These people, who circlejerk in their own small threads and boards, are but a sample of all the consumers that exist out there, and when it comes to entertainment, it would seem that Internet savvy people are more or less inclined to use certain other methods to gain access to these products. Actually, television is more watched than ever, just not on television anymore. That’s another post, thou.
What is good, or best, is never so straight or simple.Everything has their own best use for something, and atop of that, there is the preference adding slight taste too. As such, there is no one true best of anything, despite how much Top10 lists want to tell you. There are only many that are top of their game; the bests of the lot. There is largely over used TEDtalk in the design circles that I believe, despite it being infamous, does showcase extremely well that opinions do not always meet the actual wants. This TedTalk is about Malcolm Gladwell’s search for the best and most perfect spaghetti sauce, and how it basically overturned certain paradigms. Thus, we end up seeing that there has never been, nor ever will be, one thing over another in quality because human preference and opinion takes precedence.
One thing I truly despise with modern society is the forceful way people are enforcing their opinion on others. One may say thing A is good, and his opinion will without a doubt be called shit and thing B is superior. In truth, both of these are most likely equally as shit and thing C is actually better than A and B together.
There is one way we could measure quality of something without resorting on human opinion, and that is technical quality. We can see the technical quality of anything and it can be measured as long as it adheres to perfect, unbiased rules. For example, a welding has clear and necessary requirements it needs to fulfil. Otherwise the welding is no good and needs to be redone. Simple things like that, to the very mathematical and strict world of coding, where only the most optimized and clean code can be called good. Sadly, it has been evident that craftsmanship from modern game coding is almost nearly extinct. Often I look things from solely from this point, but I also recognize that even the most technically superb product could and will fail if it does not meet the requirements the customer sets in his bias, but also if it does not meet the hidden needs of the customer.
The question we are left here is, ultimately, what is a good product? All we can say that a good product is something that the customer finds it as such. When multiple customers find as satisfying and more customers decide to pour their money into it, you have what is, by all means, a fine and good product. That does not invalidate anyone’s opinion that another product is better, but on the big picture of things, one of the two has been found better than the other.
The discussion of how art impacts all this, by all means, can be neglected. Art, after all, is in the eye of the beholder as much as beauty is.