Kmart Wants To Tape Your Video Game Reviews To Display Cases

Non-gamers who cruise video game aisles looking for gifts are bewildered at the strange sights from the lineup of game boxes. Kmart is asking gamers to help out those customers by submitting user reviews that they’ll post near games in the store.

The MyKmart blog provided this helpful guide to penning reviews, which I’ve translated in parentheses.

Reviews should be:

* Helpful and constructive. (Don’t tell anyone that Wii Music blows. We might be able to sucker people into buying it).

* Unique and well-written. (Don’t plagiarize IGN).

* Written for an audience that may be made up of non-gamers; your review will be read by gamers and non-gamers of all ages. (Talk to our shoppers like the morons they are).

* About a title released in the last month or so, or a more “evergreen” title that will be prominently featured on store shelves for several months. (Don’t waste your time on Sonic games).

* Abide by the MyKmart terms of service. (Do not claim to have had sexual relations with the shopper’s mother).

Video game reviews: Get YOUR MyKmart review featured on store shelves! [MyKmart via Destructoid]

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  1. Temescal says:

    Sounds great! I’d love to do some volunteer work for Kmart! I’m all for helping struggling small businesses.

  2. rpm773 says:

    Kmart sells games and gaming systems?

    Does walking into one still feel like a trip back in time to 1972?

    • nbs2 says:

      I went into one to pick up some scotch tape a few months ago. Yes it does, only with the cleanliness of 21st century employees that just don’t care.

      Also, I think I offended the manager when I asked if they were having a going out of business sale.

      • rpm773 says:

        Also, I think I offended the manager when I asked if they were having a going out of business sale.

        Heheh.

        “Hey, when’s this place closing down? Because I want to come and, you know, pick through the bones….

        I’ll give you $.75 for that tie you’re wearing.”

    • Raekwon says:

      Yeah their game stick has improved dramatically and they often have some of the best deals in gaming right not. It’s common to see Kmart sales at CAG or SlickDeals.

    • Rachacha says:

      “Kmart sells games and gaming systems?”

      Yes, they sell the Amazing Atari 2600 and I saw a display the other day announcing the new Atari 7800 coming out later this year. My friend, “Clock 13″, is going to try to hide one for me so I won’t have to wait in line.

      • El_Fez says:

        Dood, only N00bs and Babies play Atari. Intellivision is THE BEST SYSTEM! Anyone who doesn’t realize this is an Atari Fanboy. So stop sucking and get a real gaming platform!

  3. KTrenholm says:

    Actually seems like a decent idea. Maybe will be able to sway the clueless away from the shovelware and toward the games that are actually worth somebody’s time.

  4. Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

    That doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. I know I’ve kept from buying a new game that’s caught my eye because I haven’t read any reviews on it yet. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on games, so I have to be selective about what I buy, and I’m not going to shell out $50 unless I know it’s worth my time.

    On the one hand, you don’t know who’s writing the reviews. Someone may just really love a game that sucks. But if they put up multiple reviews for a game, at least you can get an idea of what it’s worth.

    • danielhonigman says:

      Thanks, Toffee. We’ll be posting either the full name, or the MyKmart community handle, of the people whose reviews we post. This way, we’re also encouraging people to check out the site!

      (NOTE: I’m the social media manager for Kmart/Sears Electronics)

  5. Liam Kinkaid says:

    “Helpful and constructive. (Don’t tell anyone that Wii Music blows. We might be able to sucker people into buying it).”

    Seriously? Asking reviewers to be helpful and constructive automatically equals trying to sucker people into buying a game? What exactly is the problem with KMart posting guidelines for their reviews? They’re simply saying that they will not post reviews that do not follow the guidelines. Consumerist does the exact same thing by disemvoweling comments that do not follow the Consumerist guidelines. I don’t see anything wrong with either KMart soliciting reviews or posting guidelines for the reviews.

    • GuJiaXian says:

      Agreed. Kmart’s requirements for the reviews seem more than reasonable to me. While I enjoy snarky humor, I don’t think it’s warranted here.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I agree. I thought the comments were kind of off-base, too. I think the idea is kind of good.

    • javert says:

      As soon as I read the title of this story I knew there was going to be a post like this one. As opposed to here, at least Kmart will have some requirements.

  6. rdclark says:

    People like to write and post their opinions. Have you noticed that? I thought so, given what we’re all doing here.

    The issue is not that. The issue is not even the idea of making user reviews available to b&m shoppers who don’t have smartphones.

    The issue is that K-Mart can (and no doubt fully plans to) cherry-pick the reviews in order to post only those most useful as advertising. And to do so without compensating the writers, which is, if not downright unethical, certainly sleazy.

    The tradition of “customer testimonials” in advertising is time-honored. But there’s usually some compensation involved. I once wrote an unsolicited letter to a turntable manufacturer praising the performance of their product. They extracted a phrase to use in an advertising brochure — but asked my permission before using it, and comped me a pair of their best loudspeakers.

    These K-Mart reviewers should hold out for free games.

    • Billy says:

      >>>The issue is that K-Mart can (and no doubt fully plans to) cherry-pick the reviews in order to post only those most useful as advertising.

      You seem surprised that a company would want to put its best foot forward in terms of advertising. Besides, most places that solicit on-line reviews have some sort of basic standards for reviews and a mechanism for getting rid of those reviews that don’t meet the standards. This is nothing new (see Amazon’s reviews) and that’s all that K-Mart has said about its reviews. K-Mart hasn’t said anything about only posting favorable reviews. In fact, you can provide low star ratings, so it’s only logical that one could submit an unfavorable review as well.

      >>>And to do so without compensating the writers, which is, if not downright unethical, certainly sleazy.

      Crowd-sourced reviews are ubiquitous. Have you seen Amazon’s reviews? Newegg? Tripadvisor? Chowhound? etc. Where’s the compensation for those reviews? Are those unethical or sleazy? Lots of people love to review (you even said so yourself). Lots of people just love to have their voice heard. Sometimes that love is enough for a reviewer. That’s the compensation.

  7. SerenityDan says:

    In theory this is a good idea but I can’t imagine them putting up anything giving a game a bad review, even if it is constructive criticism. If a shopper sees something saying this game is not that great then K-Mart wont be selling many copies of that game. I don’t believe K-Mart wants to help me, just get me to spend more. I am sure only good reviews will be posted.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I think they’ll probably chose ones in which the “constructive criticism” is something like, “This game is not for those who want a whole lot of action”

      • Temescal says:

        Or: “This game is not for people who like good games:. :)

        • erinpac says:

          I could see them posting ones w/ ‘This game is/is not for kids’, ‘is/is not easy’, ‘is/is not long’, etc. You could answer either way and still let Grandma know not to buy Nintendogz for her 17 year old grandson that plays games all day and wants to blow up the aliens with friends.

  8. Etoiles says:

    Or they could, you know, hire staff people for electronics / gaming who might know what they’re talking about and can discuss things with customers.

    HA! I kid.

    (When I worked for GameStop I was a VERY popular salesperson with most of the mothers and grandmothers, because I was a non-threatening female employee who guided them through the process without, usually, being condescending to them. And all of us there were able to give at least a cursory game summary about most titles to most customers.)

  9. yessongs says:

    Do people still shop at Kmart?

  10. teke367 says:

    Kind of angry translations, huh? Whether or not this truly helps the customers or not, I don’t see any way this would hurt them.

    And “Talk to our shoppers like the morons they are” is a little harsh, gamers may want to mention the Frames per second (FPS) or what kind of graphics engine the game uses, but that’s going to confuse a lot of people, including people who play games a lot, but aren’t “hardcore gamers.”

    I would like to see any store with a sign that warns Grandmothers not to get certain games/CDs/Movies for their grandchildren, and I’m sure in all our lives we’ve gotten gifts soley because a relative thought it was that “popular robot movie” etc.

    • Norvy says:

      Wow, shots at Wii Music, Sonic, and Kmart shoppers! No one is safe from Phil’s biting wit!

  11. MercuryPDX says:

    Pfft…. good luck with that K-mart. Any gamer worth their salt knows to check reviews from multiple UNBIASED sources before sinking $60 into a new “drink coaster”.

    I wouldn’t trust any single positive review that was conveniently placed in front of my face at the point of sale for ANYTHING, not just games.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I don’t think the customers looking at games in KMart are “gamers” or people that could easily look up reviews. Most likely parents/relatives and occasional “gamers” who are browsing.

  12. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I’m going to guess that these reviews will be similiar to the employee reviews that are posted in book stores. Sure, the back of the book may tell you a little bit about the book – but having someone suggest it and add a little more information.

    Obviously, these reviews will be more helpful to parents and people who are just browsing and might be thinking about purchasing a game. Not so much for “gamers” who buy their games elsewhere anyway.

  13. MarvinMar says:

    They should just print out the Metacritic summary for each game.

  14. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    If this prevents even just one Grandma from buying Tony Hawk ride then it’s a success.

  15. TheGreySpectre says:

    This seems like a really good idea to me as it will help out parents trying to buy games for their kids tremendously.

  16. Big Mama Pain says:

    I’m surprised Consumerist doesn’t have peer review for games/movies