@PsySal I think that's kinda a mixed bag. I think they provide value in helping people spend limited time efficiently, BUT: not in the way that "Oh, it saves them time because they don't have to play bad games".
More like... it gives information about scope and tone that helps players pick games that match their at-the-time needs.
There's probably a better way to communicate that information that doesn't lend itself to wrong ideas like:
@jennamagius I think @ increpare once kind of hit the nail on the head with, "fun is a word designed to exclude and ostracise" (erm, he put it better than that) And I agree like: if a game crashes a lot that doesn't mean it's one star, or that I won't like it, etc. etc. but! it's useful information.
@jennamagius FWIW I think game developers get a teeeeensy bit defensive about this, for instance if someone wants to know how long your game is... that's fine and very reasonable question. Somehow this all breaks down when you add a rating system to this, because ultimately it's so reductionist. Very few things can be reduced to a number (but maybe Duration, Complexity, Non-bugginess are some of them :)
@jennamagius Agree, it's definitely good to have an idea about something; I like textual reviews for that. There are so many subtleties to a game, and actually when someone writes enthusiastically and specifically about why they love something it's a joy to me, even if I don't understand or it wouldn't appeal in the same way. Or, conversely, if they say specifically things that turned them off (which can be quite varied and valid in so many ways.)