There's nothing new about the 7-9 rating scale for video games

This amusing criticism of game rating inflation is doing the rounds. Who can deny that game ratings are inflated? And that if it gets less than 7, it's gonna suck.

But the suggestion that this inflation is a phenomenon of the 2010s; now, that is suspect. I cracked open a 1990s copy of ACE magazine—one of the more popular British general-purpose gaming mags of the 16-bit era—and it had the following scores. (They're normalized to "out of 10"; ACE rated games out of 1000)

Issue 15:

Operation Wolf 9

Joan of Arc 9

Powerdrome 9

Bombuzal 9

Rocket Ranger 8

R-Type 9

Space Harrier compilation 7

Typhoon 7

Menace 7

Hostages 7

Albedo 7

Action service 6

Mad Mix 5

The only game that gets less than 6/10 is a promotional merch for a drink mix. Basically, every credible commercial product gets at least 7/10. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!