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Op Ed

DSOGaming - Eurogamer amends Robert Florence’s article about Geoff Keighley after threat of legal action. Thanks Joao.

Eurogamer.net - Lost Humanity 18- A Table of Doritos.
Standards are important. They are hard to live up to, sure, but that's the point of them. The trouble with games journalism is that there are no standards. We expect to see Geoff Keighley sitting beside a table of s***. We expect to see the flurry of excitement when the GMAs get announced, instead of a chuckle and a roll of the eyes. We expect to see our games journos failing to get what journalistic integrity means. The brilliant writers, like John Walker for example, don't get the credit they deserve simply because they don't play the game. Indeed, John Walker gets told to get off his pedestal because he has high standards and is pointing out a worrying problem.

Forbes - Video Game Journalist Robert Florence Leaves Eurogamer After Libel Complaints.
Where does journalism end and unwitting advertising begin? I actually ask myself this question a lot, because a lot of the time I write very positive and hopeful things about gaming – because I love video games, and deep down I obviously want as many of them to succeed as possible.

These are hard questions and they don’t have simple answers, but they’re important questions to ask.

John Walker's Electronic House - An Utter Disgrace.
And what the above proves is not only just how moronic UK libel laws are, where someone can’t directly quote a person and then point out possible misinterpretations that could arise from it, but also how deftly our broken system can be used to silence not only discussion, but also criticism.

When a journalist feels they have been misrepresented, even if this so-called misrepresentation has arisen from their having been directly quoted, the response should not be to demand it be removed. The response is to offer to write a response column, or to publish a response in any of the public outlets to which they have access. To do anything else is to be an enemy of journalism, deliberately stifling discussion, and going out of one’s way to ensure further discussion is feared.

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39 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 2.
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19. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:41 Golwar
 
Creston wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 08:18:
Golwar wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 08:12:
avianflu wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 07:51:
Ask many gamers today and they will have no idea what happened at Gamespot 5 years ago. EG is hoping the same will happen here.

EG? It seems that you didn't grasp what happens here even while it actually happens. Read it once more and then tell me why Eurogamer should hope that people will forget.

Eurogamer are a bunch of spineless fucks. I love this repost of the original article where they state: It is unedited save for the fact that we've highlighted in bold the passage that Eurogamer removed. If it's libellous, as Lauren Wainwright claims, we invite her to sue us.

Anyway, Lauren Wainwright, enjoy your job as Square Enix's pet monkey.

Creston

Lol yeah, bullshit.

Eurogamer decided to support Robert Florence in his critical view on their own business, that deserves recognition. When they decide that they don't want to fight odd UK laws as well, that is completly unrelated and their free decision.
Robert Florence himself supports them for editing it, so end of story.

But hey, I guess you and avianflu risk your business connections as well as you dare attacking national laws in public pretty much each day of your life. So no surprise when you are disappointed that others aren't as heroic as you.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:23 Creston
 
Prez wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 02:02:
The current symbiotic relationship between game makers and game reviewers is too fruitful for both parties for it to be broken up. Where I work, we aren't allowed to accept any gifts of any kind from our vendors simply for the perception it creates - it looks like a bribe. (We eat the donuts if they bring those - it would be a shame to let them go to waste ) Even so, when our main contractor onsite throws a huge Christmas bash and mails invitations to all of us in the shop, a lot of us go. It isn't so bad since none of us are the ones who are in a position to influence purchasing decisions or decide whose bid our company accepts, but the company still frowns on it for how it is perceived could possibly become an issue at bid time.

Yup, and rightfully so. I work in the energy industry and just had to retake my yearly Code of Conduct training. Now, even though I work in IT, and thus have absolutely no say whatsoever in the energy side of the business, I am quite firmly told that under no circumstances should I ever accept any kind of gift (other than say a pen) from any company working directly or indirectly in the energy industry. They want to take me to lunch? Clear it with legal first.

The games industry could really use a similar Code of Conduct.

Creston
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:18 Creston
 
Golwar wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 08:12:
avianflu wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 07:51:
Ask many gamers today and they will have no idea what happened at Gamespot 5 years ago. EG is hoping the same will happen here.

EG? It seems that you didn't grasp what happens here even while it actually happens. Read it once more and then tell me why Eurogamer should hope that people will forget.

Eurogamer are a bunch of spineless fucks. I love this repost of the original article where they state: It is unedited save for the fact that we've highlighted in bold the passage that Eurogamer removed. If it's libellous, as Lauren Wainwright claims, we invite her to sue us.

Anyway, Lauren Wainwright, enjoy your job as Square Enix's pet monkey.

Creston
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:16 Creston
 
Jivaro wrote on Oct 25, 2012, 21:48:
Is it the journalists or the publishers/websites that are the problem though? Seems to me that people still go to school and learn journalism....as they always have....but when they go out to get a job the whole system is setup around putting the gaming industry on a nice soft fluffy pedestal.

I can guarantee that the large majority of gaming "journalists" have never gone to journalism school. They're just fans of gaming who write about games, get offered a job somewhere, and suddenly they are game "journalists." (It's kind of the same thing actual journalists keep (rightfully) accusing news bloggers of.)

The same Lauren Wainwright posted an article on her own website about how to "break into the 'industry'" and she linked to a video made by a PR monkey from one of the big publishers. It was a long video, so I didn't watch it, but apparently it boils down to "write gushing stuff about a publisher's game, and they'll hook you up with one of their bought-and-paid-for publications."

Creston
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:12 Golwar
 
avianflu wrote on Oct 26, 2012, 07:51:
Ask many gamers today and they will have no idea what happened at Gamespot 5 years ago. EG is hoping the same will happen here.

EG? It seems that you didn't grasp what happens here even while it actually happens. Read it once more and then tell me why Eurogamer should hope that people will forget.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:11 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 25, 2012, 20:50:
Most journalists - even the real professional ones - are only a slight step above vulture IMO. The games journalist has never been a real journalist, per se. Giving your opinion on a game is a long way off from Woodward and Bernstein blowing up Watergate on Nixon and pals. Seeing as we all know how advertising has driven "reviews" over the years why should any of this come as a surprise?

It doesn't, at least not to anyone who's been following gaming "journalism" for the past eight years or so. What's more troubling is that in the UK you can apparently not like something someone says, even if it's a direct quote, simply threaten a libel lawsuit, and get a (fairly major) site like Eurogamer to simply buckle and withdraw the "offending" content.

(Hey, British people, sit there and bitch about how fucked up the US is some more Rolleyes )

But I very much agree with your statement that gaming journalism is not journalism. At most it's glorified blogging. Fortunately, there are a few 'games journalists' still worth reading, and who will give you an unbiased opinion, but they are becoming a rare breed. The rest of them are just marketoids-for-hire. Most of them calls themselves freelance journalists. Well, they have the freelance part right. I'd say that the words "publisher cheerleader" would fit better than the word "journalist" though.

Anyway, Lauren Wainwright is a bitch (I'll forego using the more appropriate C word here), and is OBVIOUSLY a paid fucking shill. Her pathetic removal of Square Enix as an employer from her journalisted entry is just icing on the cake. What a moron.

And if you don't like me saying that, Lauren Wainwright, kindly go fuck yourself. Or whine to your PR buddies at Square about it.

Creston
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 08:10 Golwar
 
Funny how humans in panic mostly make the dumbest possible decision.
Panic is the absolutely only excuse that I can imagine for Lauren Wainwright. Otherwise I must regard here as utterly dumb if she, as an online "journalist", had no idea that this chosen path would crush her reputation more than anything else.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 07:51 avianflu
 
Ask many gamers today and they will have no idea what happened at Gamespot 5 years ago. EG is hoping the same will happen here.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 02:02 Prez
 
The current symbiotic relationship between game makers and game reviewers is too fruitful for both parties for it to be broken up. Where I work, we aren't allowed to accept any gifts of any kind from our vendors simply for the perception it creates - it looks like a bribe. (We eat the donuts if they bring those - it would be a shame to let them go to waste ) Even so, when our main contractor onsite throws a huge Christmas bash and mails invitations to all of us in the shop, a lot of us go. It isn't so bad since none of us are the ones who are in a position to influence purchasing decisions or decide whose bid our company accepts, but the company still frowns on it for how it is perceived could possibly become an issue at bid time.

Compare that to gaming journalists who will openly admit in previews to having been flown across the country (or even the world) to a game-maker's headquarters, put up in posh hotels on the publisher's dime, and wined and dined before ever being shown the game. If John Romero had done all that for me, I would have written a glowing review of "Daikatana" ( and would have actually become his bitch in the process). Major Kudos to John Walker, who I have liked since the days he wrote great editorials for the wargaming section of PC Gamer.

This comment was edited on Oct 26, 2012, 02:09.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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10. Re: Op Ed Oct 26, 2012, 00:42 Flatline
 
The thing that gets me is that the "journalist" in question that caused the controversy bitches about being quoted off of Twitter, people point out how it's not a stretch to see that she's shilling either for free swag or for her employer, and so she goes and "touches up" her internet presence so that the argument isn't as readily applicable.

And that to me screams "guilty". Maybe she honestly doesn't believe there's a problem or conflict in what she's doing, but in "touching things up" it shows that she acknowledges that there's a real argument to be made, and instead of writing about it and explaining (which any journalist should be eager to do- Page views and readers!) she takes the bitch route and decides to cover things up.

I kind of hope this marks the end of her "game journalism" career. Not to mention her home blog page hits on just about every single "I'm a gamer girl crush on me *giggle!*" stereotype out there. The industry will not miss her, and would be better served by a woman who doesn't pander for readership.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 23:54 Asmo
 
Umm...

"A journalist collects, writes and distributes news and other information."

So game reviewers are journalists.

The sticking point is the integrity of that information ie. how much trust we can put in it. The usual requirements are objectivity and veracity, ie. report truthfully to us, but don't try to form our opinion or mislead us. Of if the journo wants to express an opinion, make sure that it is clearly offered as opinion, not fact.

The problem is that even if the journo is squeaky clean, the impression of impropriety tarnishes their reputation. Even if the woman in the article could indeed be perfectly objective in a review of the new TR game, she is now hopelessly compromised by the mounting circumstantial evidence that she might have some sort of bias towards the product and/or the people that make it. If she were to write a glowing article about the game, it would be suspect. If she panned it, is it really bad or is she trying to fix her reputation?
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 22:40 finga
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 25, 2012, 20:50:
Most journalists - even the real professional ones - are only a slight step above vulture IMO. The games journalist has never been a real journalist, per se. Giving your opinion on a game is a long way off from Woodward and Bernstein blowing up Watergate on Nixon and pals.
Investigative journalists aren't the only journalists. They're the hardest-working ones putting the most on the line, but that doesn't mean everyone else - critics, reporters, and the like - gets excluded from the profession.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 22:08 PHJF
 
Games journalism is no different than any other: it's been utterly destroyed by the internet.

Computer Gaming World had a "tschotske of the month" segment wherein they highlighted the little goodies publishers would send them in a shallow effort to curry favor. Thanks to the internet, there are a million and one voices on a million and one sites clambering like mad jackalopes at the foot of Mount Publisher for the merest scraps of content. The cost of maintaining quality and integrity in an organization is too great when its efforts are simply lost in the Sea of Mediocrity known as internet. Games journalism hasn't existed for years, it's been completely replaced by publishers' marketing divisions.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 22:05 Dev
 
Jivaro wrote on Oct 25, 2012, 21:48:
Is it the journalists or the publishers/websites that are the problem though? Seems to me that people still go to school and learn journalism....as they always have....but when they go out to get a job the whole system is setup around putting the gaming industry on a nice soft fluffy pedestal.
Gaming industry has its own problems with journalism. But its by NO means the only journalism problems. Nowadays its not at all unusual to see newspapers publishing regurgitated press releases as news. Hardly any of the mainstream media bothers to factcheck much anymore, even as simple as a google search.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 21:48 Jivaro
 
Is it the journalists or the publishers/websites that are the problem though? Seems to me that people still go to school and learn journalism....as they always have....but when they go out to get a job the whole system is setup around putting the gaming industry on a nice soft fluffy pedestal.  
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4. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 21:42 Tumbler
 
Meh, games journalism has become kind of a joke. It seems more like an extension of marketing for game companies. Literally. I think the whole industry is just falling under the marketing budgets of the larger publishers.

I don't think it's any wonder why people simply go to metacritic and look at a score instead of reading anything. You might as well go ask a Toyota Salesman to tell you how the new Tacoma is. Oh you like it, it's the best car ever? Innovative new features like shiny tires and titanium netting? Wow that sounds awesome, I'm glad I asked you for your opinion because now I feel confident that I should buy this.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 21:26 ASeven
 
Gaming "journalists" are becoming more and more like PR extensions of the publishers than anything else. Gaming "journalism" is a fucking sham and only shows how rotten this industry has become. Thank goodness the crash is fast approaching because this industry has to burn down to the ground to be rebuilt completely in order to attain any sort of sustainability, both financially and in customer acceptance and perception.

This sort of "journalism" is everything that real journalism stands against, ethically and professionally, and it's a fucking outrage a guy had to walk away and quit his job for reporting what actually happens within the gaming journo circles.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 21:19 TheLeech
 
You've never heard of most journalists, so you shouldn't paint with such a broad stroke. As a former "real" journalist and a current "fake" journalist, I can tell you that your average reporter at a newspaper is just trying to cover their beat to the best of their ability. Where you will find influence peddling is higher up the chain, with "name" journalists or columnists, and even then, you're looking mostly at the national media.

If it helps, think of games journalists as B2B journalists. It's a much more symbiotic relationship than actual newspaper journalism.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Oct 25, 2012, 20:50 Cutter
 
Most journalists - even the real professional ones - are only a slight step above vulture IMO. The games journalist has never been a real journalist, per se. Giving your opinion on a game is a long way off from Woodward and Bernstein blowing up Watergate on Nixon and pals. Seeing as we all know how advertising has driven "reviews" over the years why should any of this come as a surprise? My best source of gaming reviews has always been my fellow gamers. I would take what anyone around here says over any gaming journalist in a heartbeat. In fact, the only thing they've ever been good for - IMHO - are the previews they do, simply because we don't have access to that stuff.

 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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