Here’s something a little odd: RPG players have apparently been using Barnes & Noble’s online book review as a form of communication. According to Carolyn Jewel, an increasing number of books are being given nonsense reviews that make sense to no-one but those who are part of the game.
It’s hard to see how widespread the problem is, and in many cases the ‘reviews’ award four or five stars to the books. It’s also not clear why particular books are being chosen. But this ‘gamification’ of the reviews system obviously raises questions about the integrity of the reviewing system at Barnes & Noble, and about why and how these reviews have managed to show up.
Why has Barnes & Noble been targeted? It might be a combination of the fact that no credit card is required in order to leave a review, and the fact that school filters that block social networks might be forcing users to find alternative ways of communicating. The next question is what, if anything, Barnes & Noble will do to resolve the problem? Could this be a catalyst for them make some very necessary changes to their reviews system?