There's a thread going on right now where a bunch of people are basically listing games they thought were depressing.
Depressing games can be a pretty interesting topic. At their genesis, games were made solely to entertain, for people to have fun. Games that invoke feelings of loss and sadness - as opposed to achievement and joy - tend to be experimental and innovative experiences, a morphing of the medium they belong to. So I was sort of curious to take a look at that list, and see what games the Giant Bomb community classified as "depressing".
What I got from the thread was what I expected: an unorganized list of titles, with most people offering no explanation or any sort of contextualization for their submission, some joke entries (e.g. "MW3"), and many repetitions. Now, as of this writing, that thread has 163 posts. In order to find commentary that warrants discussion and feedback - or ongoing discussions, for that matter - I had to do some digging deep into the thread, and even still there were people posting the titles (and just the titles) of games that had been mentioned twice on page 1.
I'm not complaining about that. That doesn't irritate me terribly. In fact, it hardly irritates me at all. I got what I wanted from the thread: I checked out some games, got reminded of the existence of others, and had some giggles. Cool.
But I realized that most of the information one gets from a thread like this is purely statistical (like I just pointed out, in this case most posts are just titles of games) and it could be put to a better use (you know, other than disrupting the sequence of ongoing conversations). So what do you people think of the following idea: a facebook-like poll feature, where people can add their own poll results. If this is added to the Giant Bomb forums, threads of this nature where most people just post the title of a game they like and bump up their post count (and you know as well as I do that there are many of those) would become a lot cleaner! Moreover, you'd have a better notion of the general opinion of the Giant Bomb community on the subject matter at hand because responses wouldn't be scattered out throughout the thread - instead they would be organized into bar charts at the top.
In other words if you want to know which games are considered to be most "depressing" around Giant Bomb you have to look through all the 100+ posts of that thread, and count the number of times people say "The Walking Dead". If you want to find good discussion in that thread, you have to go through all the 9 pages - and counting - to try to keep up with conversations disrupted by single-worded posts. If we had these "dynamic polls" where a user can add an entry, and then another can just vote on it if he/she agrees, these threads would become much cleaner and more fun/informative in all sorts of ways.
So what do you think? Is this a really dumb idea, is it really cool, or is it nice but not really necessary?