Beamer wrote on Aug 25, 2016, 07:19:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Aug 24, 2016, 23:20:
I don't support Gamergate in the form it took but crap like this is why it's absolutely undeniable that corruption and cronyism are rampant in the games press. I didn't always agree with Austin Walker but I really thought he was above this kind of garbage.
I usually agree with your posts, but I tend to find people that complain about "corruption and cronyism" in the gaming press either don't understand how enthusiast media works or have unrealistic expectations.
Gaming press is enthusiast media. It's no different than Teen Beat or Fangoria. Every single bit of information it gets comes from PR and developer relationships, and there's no avoiding that because those are the only people with information to give.
The other day I saw people claiming corruption and cronyism because a game on Steam Greenlight, made by a small Russian team, wasn't getting coverage. It had no one doing PR, it had no word of mouth, and its devs don't go to conferences. That's how journalists find games to cover, though. These are small operations that don't pay well.
Again, they're basically Fangoria.
You're free to take that line if you want but as someone who has lived and breathed this medium and consumed countless amounts of coverage of it over the years, I very much disagree. Sure, there was corruption, cronyism and outright payola going on back in the day. So what? Because it happened in the past means it's OK now?
Something being an "enthusiast medium" doesn't give a free pass for those covering it to write positive coverage about their friends (and their hyper-niche products that would get ignored if they weren't friends), without basic disclosure. It doesn't give them the high ground to constantly insult their audience, calling them some of the worst things you can call a person, not because they acted horribly, but simply because they disagreed or asked questions. It doesn't give them the high ground to demand that creators censor themselves or be sanctioned for making a game they didn't politically disagree with. Don't like This Is the Police? Don't like the marketing for the new Deus Ex? That's absolutely your right and absolutely within your purvue to call out. What is not within your purvue is calling Eidos Montreal or WeAppy Studio racists and bigots because games should cover important social issues but only in the exact, hyper-narrow way you think they should and otherwise, the creators are evil. And it certainly doesn't give them the high ground to write fluff pieces about frauds like Zoe Quinn, painting her as this incredibly brave woman who stood up to "The Internet" and never mentioning the fact that she's been making thousands of dollars from her fans for years and done absolutely nothing with it
. You don't get to call yourselves journalists when you do stuff like that and you sure as shit don't get to go insulting your audience for pointing it out and not expect pushback.
The incredible arrogance and narcissism in what can be called "games journalism" now astounds me. There are horrible people on the Internet but it's trivially easy to separate the passionate audience from the trolls. They didn't, they lumped us all together, declared an entire identity dead in one voice after arranging it in private forums (odd, I thought these people were supposed to be competing) because it was easy and generated outrage clicks. And they expected to be rewarded with more business for this and wonder why YouTube and Twitch (which I create in and which has so many, many problems of its own) are ruining them. That's not just unethical, it's just plain despicable.
There are dozens of incredible indie games coming out every day that none of these sites talk about. You know how I know? Because I get review codes and press kits for them on a daily basis. I'm a nobody on YouTube (I don't even have 1,000 subs) but these developers practically beg me to cover their games (many of which are really great) because the big sites ignore them, instead devoting time and energy to calling Eidos Montreal racists or fluffing up pretentious drivel like Sunset or profiling someone who made one non-game and hasn't made anything since in years. These aren't games that have no marketing and no one behind them. It's PR agencies giving me these codes, rarely is it the devs themselves. I try to cover all this stuff because I want devs to think they can trust me with review codes but they shouldn't have to come to YouTube nobodies to get exposure. They should be getting it from the big sites but talking about actual, real, good games isn't as lucrative as constantly insulting your audience, writing about your friends and declaring an industry evil without a shred of proof.
If anything "enthusiast press" should be better than the mainstream because they should know how to serve their niche audience the best. The games press is 100% backwards on that right now. And they wonder why they're dying. Good riddance.
As I said, I do not support GamerGate in its current form. I could go on and on and on about the problems it's always had or how what it's turned into is pretty disgusting in many ways. However, especially at the beginning, it was also grossly misrepresented and a lot of that is why it continues and has morphed into what it is now.