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Thread: Video Game Press

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    Default Video Game Press

    What do you guys think of it as a whole? I usually go to Kotaku, they have all kinds of other news about stuff out there thats interesting.

    How would you compare it to say Sports journalism?

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    Video game "journalism," perhaps more properly called the video game enthusiast press, tends to be immature and lacking in investigative qualities. Most of what they post or write is hollow, mainly either press release re-writes or reviews of games which they have been sent by publishers (or personally purchased copies in the case of smaller sites). Many of the things posted are copied from elsewhere, often verbatim. There is little in the way of true research or in-depth articles, and often instead of directly linking to the source or point of interest, they link to prior stories of their own, making readers dig to discover their Web targets.

    I should know - I read video game news sites every day including Slashdot Games and the Nintendo section of Joystiq.

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    I feel that most of the printed magazines function to fuel the hype machine and keep readers informed about games and hardware on the horizon, but they fail in almost every other capacity.

    Reviews, while dicey for any medium, are especially bad in video games. The reviewers are often young and lack experience and context with older, important games. There are also so many subjective aspects to nearly every game ever created, so assigning one number to represent a games "quality" really ignored how complex and multifaceted a player's experience with the game really is.

    In addition, I think that the gaming press largely ignores its past. It exerts tons of energy and time attempting to inform readers about stuff they can preorder 6 months from now, but does almost nothing to inform or add insight about the thousands of games already available. I mean, I know rolling stone is a bit too fixated on Dylan, Neil young, and the stones, but at least they acknowledge that those artists exist and have put out work that maintains relevance decades after their original release.

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    These people are not "journalists." They're all in bed with the big gaming companies, and are essentially paid advertisers. Every single one. Things like "Doritogate" and the absolutely pathetic and unprofessional responses these "journalists" responded to that Eurogamer article about conflict of interest in the industry proves that not only are they the problem, they actually think they are above criticism. You Tweet that you think "games journalists" should be allowed to accept gifts from companies, then threaten to sue an investigative reporter when they quote you verbatim from a public source?

    Any of these "journalists" would be laughed out of the room if they discussed their tactics with people who actually understand the ethics involved with being a journalist.
    Last edited by Tupin; 01-13-2013 at 05:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tupin View Post
    These people are not "journalists." They're all in bed with the big gaming companies, and are essentially paid advertisers. Every single one. Things like "Doritogate" and the absolutely pathetic and unprofessional responses these "journalists" responded to that Eurogamer article about conflict of interest in the industry proves that not only are they the problem, they actually think they are above criticism. You Tweet that you think "games journalists" should be allowed to accept gifts from companies, then threaten to sue an investigative reporter when they quote you verbatim from a public source?

    Any of these "journalists" would be laughed out of the room if they discussed their tactics with people who actually understand the ethics involved with being a journalist.
    I think you would be shocked at how many members of the "legitimate" non-gaming press are guilty of very similar ethical lapses, especially now that there are very few independent news organizations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    I think you would be shocked at how many members of the "legitimate" non-gaming press are guilty of very similar ethical lapses, especially now that there are very few independent news organizations.
    Yeah, but at least they know when to shut up. Imagine if members of the press tweeted about how big their last check from a sponsor was, and mocked their peers who didn't take similar gifts. Or heck, didn't see anything wrong with taking them. You say that it would be a "lapse" if a member of the non-gaming press did it, but it's so heavily engrained in games "journalism" that there are many "journalists" who see nothing wrong with it. It's not a lapse in judgement if you do it multiple times and defend it when accused.
    Last edited by Tupin; 01-13-2013 at 07:43 PM.

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    First off, I'll admit that I'm inherently biased having dabbled in games journalism for a number of years. Overall, I'd say games journalism is plagued with a number of problems, but, that said, if you look at individuals, there are many people who are immensely talented and knowledgeable who really deserve more respect than they get. Unfortunately, the bad apples ruin it for the good guys. I think it's important to keep in mind that the people involved in games journalism are in a wide variety of situations. Not all make a living off of what they do. Not all are permanently employed by any particular publisher, but rather take freelance gigs as they pop up. Not all have much, if any, direct contact with game publishers. But even if they are working in-house with a publication, that doesn't automatically mean they lack integrity either. And really, the true "villain" here is not the individual but the system. To be blunt, most game journalists have it pretty shitty, especially if they're trying to make it their full-time career, so when they do questionable things, like, say, review a game without finishing it, I can all but guarantee that the publisher is sticking them in a terrible position that basically forces them to cut corners, rather than the situation being purely a result of reviewer laziness. Also, since I mention reviews, it's also worth pointing out that, even though reviewing falls under games journalism, it's really a whole other beast. Being a critic and being a journalist are two very different things. One is all about being subjective and basically anything flies as long as it's well justified, while the other must be purely objective and about the facts. And if you don't like a reviewer because you disagree with his/her opinions, you really can't claim that the person is a poor journalist because of that.

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    This is coming from someone who worked in it for 5 years, it's the most immature non-actual media media out there. It's just basically corporate fan sites more or less across the board with varying shades of gray of partiality or impartiality, usually not all that impartial teetering on just one sided fanboy bullshit against some company or hardware maker. You mention Kotaku, now that right there is one of the worst if you do enjoy Nintendo as they seem to find reasons or make them to be jerky with stuff aligned to that company in the news. Others well they're basically slimebags that are bought and paid for by the advertising of third party companies like Gamespot which fired that blowhard Gerstmann over being honest how bad Kane and Lynch 2 was a few years back.

    I find if you want gaming 'media' with a hint of honesty, look for an aggregate on reviews. If you read 3-5 places and they all similarly praise or crap on the same stuff, they're onto something. If someone uniquely pulls something out there pro or con, read it and closely, see if they can rationally back it up or does it sound like anti/pro fanboy drivel looking to scare/sway people from a product. The news is about all you really can't fake unless it's a unique piece to a site, then it may as well be The Globe, The Star, National Enquirer, or the Weekly World News -- probably made up, perhaps some shades or nuggets of truth wrapped in a bacony greasy layer of lies and politics...definitely if they call it 'rumor' as that's just translation for the G-rated group for 'Shit Stirring: ...' almost every time.

    I'd give you a link to where I wrote, but the original site got 2 name changes, then was sold after I left it to another entity that erased the old archives and staff stuff entirely from public view and started over just using the name (kombo.com, formerly advanedmedianetwork.com, former gcaadvanced.com.) I started on editorials and specials, then for most the time did previews and reviews, and I had nice feedback on reviews because while they were long, I kept opinion out and clearly stuck to the facts, if I threw in 'feeling' I let people know ahead of time not to trick the reader as most reviews people do sicken me.

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    I've yet to see much in the way of video game journalism. There are a handful of books detailing history of certain things, but in terms of day to day it's pretty dismal. It's not journalism, it's fan media. There are reasonable trade journals like "Game Developer" and industry-focused sites like gamesindustry.biz and gamasutra.com, but even those are basically just blogs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BydoEmpire View Post
    I've yet to see much in the way of video game journalism. There are a handful of books detailing history of certain things, but in terms of day to day it's pretty dismal. It's not journalism, it's fan media. There are reasonable trade journals like "Game Developer" and industry-focused sites like gamesindustry.biz and gamasutra.com, but even those are basically just blogs.
    I think magazines like Edge and Retrogamer make a reasonable effort at providing in-depth interviews and balanced articles. I still stand by my contention that video game media is no better or worse than other areas of journalism, especially journalism that's focused on entertainment media. If you're talking about video game oriented news websites or retailer/publisher owned magazines, I would agree with you that the standards are pretty low, but does anyone really apply high standards to similar sites focused on entertainment and media? Not really.

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    I could give a crap less about whether or not people in the industry of playing and reviewing games and game hardware are "journalists" in the traditional sense. (Hold specialized degrees in journalism, belong to unions, etc.)

    I enjoy reading articles on gaming news sites and I very much enjoy listening to several gaming podcasts.

    I don't personally have any problem with the potential for any opinion-related enthusiasm/hate/bias that may occur because I'm mindful of the fact that most reviewers are similarly fans/enthusiasts who editorialize.

    If I want nothing but clinical data on a game or hardware I can typcially find a wiki or official product info on my own.

    At the end of the day I know my own tastes well enough to not be manipulated by anything outside of the objective data presented about any given software or hardware being reviewed.

    Like any other entertainment "reviewer" who has made a name/career out of being a fan and reviewing stuff that they're a fan of, I come for the news and stay to be entertained by the personality/taste/knowledge of the reviewer.
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    I dont know how it can change.

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    I tend to be very wary of reviews published in magazines and blogs where the main source of income comes from game publisher's advertisements. I rarely read reviews anymore, and the only true review that I trust is the demo I play or the actual game that I borrow from a friend.

    It's difficult to trust any reviewer that has heavy influence from game publishers. News about upcoming events and games can always take a positive outlook since it's just information about something that doesn't exist yet, but when it comes to reviews, the only person you can truly trust is yourself.

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