Why 7/10 is Average

It's always kind of tickled me to see people complaining that a game with an "average" score is 7/10. They seem to assume that average should be in the exact middle of the grading curve.

Here's the thing, though:

In school, when people take tests, they're expected to get about 70% of the questions right. In a letter-grade system, that's a C grade (if you grade 1-5, ABCDF(ail), that's a 3). Most people, on average, should get around half way between half and all of the test questions right.

It's about basic competency; if you only get half the questions right, then you've not learned enough to be a good student. If you get just over half the questions right, you're learning the material, but you've still got major problems. If you get ~75% of the questions right, then you're doing alright--neither good nor bad. If you get 95% right, you're doing really well.

So, in video games, think of the percentages. If 40% of the game is bad, which is a pretty significant number, would you really feel comfortable playing that game? What about 25%? That's not good, but it's not bad, either. How about 10%? 5? Yeah. Things start to get more impressive.

So... I don't really mind, to be honest, that 5/10 isn't average, because who wants to consider a game that only gets half of everything right to be average? That'd be a pretty shitty industry.