Op Ed

Total Biscuit - Why you shouldn't be excited - A look at games media's role in hype. Thanks Ant via HARDOCP.
TotalBiscuit brings you a discussion video on the games media's involvement in hype campaigns for unreleased or in-development titles and the negative impact it has on the industry.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Videogames Are For Everybody. Thanks nin.
There has been criticism, too, which has resulted in gamers claiming that we hate them. We don’t hate gamers. We are gamers. Numerous (often offensive and widely incoherent) attempts to provoke controversy and scandal about the relationship between game developers and the games press have resulted in some people saying that RPS should be destroyed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we disagree with that proposition, and we’ll explain why we disagree in this article.

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jdreyer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 16:13:
Beamer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 15:54:
jdreyer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 15:47:
Quboid wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 15:04:
None of those are RPS. It was phrased badly but "gamers are over" wasn't attacking gaming culture, it was attacking bullying and bigotry in gaming. Nothing has proven their point more than the response.

True as that may be, semantics matter. And when you cast with such a wide net, even unintentionally, don't be surprised when a bunch of sharks bite you in the ass.

I just wish people would focus on the substance rather than bristle over the terminology.
Yes, I get the potential hypocrisy when Redmask got all huffy at me for asking he not use "SJW," but that wasn't because I was going to ignore his message, but because I think that's another one of those words that, as soon as you use it, any nuance to your point becomes entirely lost into the giant ball of contention that is that word.

I don't disagree, but when the games journalists got together and decided to write that bunch of articles, they should have come up with a way to title them that did focus on the issue instead of tarring everyone. TL;DR is a thing, so a lot of (most?) people might not make it past your title. In which case, that poorly worded title becomes the opinion of the sites in question.

I don't think games reporters/journalists/bloggers/whatevers are being unfairly hit for using that terminology. I wish gamers were smarter about what they take offense to, but whatever, people can't necessarily control what they take offense to (important lesson, no?)

I do get why they found themselves getting defensive after they were basically all called evil because Zoe Quinn hooked up with a reporter that mentioned her name a handful of times. Suddenly they were all being grouped together and thrown to the wolves for things that, in this industry, are normal and necessary. It's not a huge industry. You go to a conference, be it PAX, E3 or GDC, and it's full of journalists and developers. People that have traded emails. They bump into each other and say hello. They geek out over realizing they both loved Rygar as kids. They end up in line next to each other at the nearby restaurants or the hotel bar. They gossip about Half Life 3. The reporters go to a preview play test and the developers are there, playing with them, breathlessly showing them the cool new feature they just added and are super happy about.

The thing about this industry is, in the end, we're all kind of fanboys. The normal people watching it like us. The journalists like RPS. The developers themselves. Everyone geeks out together. Calling for disclosure every time an article is written by someone that personally knows one of the devs isn't really feasible because, by and large, every writer has spent some time with people from every company and has some people there they consider friends. With movies, if there's a screening it may have a couple of producers there with dozens of critics, and the producers don't really care much about the critics. With games, the devs outnumber the journalists, and the devs probably have one of the game sites as their home page so they read the works of the writers almost as much as the writers play their game.
But does it matter? No one goes out writing a fluff piece preview, they write what they saw. What they saw was in a carefully controlled environment where they were given free drinks and food (hard to pass up when you're sometimes doing this for 4-6 hours at a time), and with some dev being their buddy walking them through it. I don't think anyone is consciously fluffing their reviews, either. Yeah, PCG or CGW, whichever it was, gave that steaming pile Doom 3 a 93% rating. It also had like 16 pages of coverage. It's less likely that the editor and reviewer decided it needed a huge score and more likely that having a game that big that much ahead of anyone else made the reviewer geek out and overvalue what he had. Because he was a geek with something special. In truth, I can also see them only having been given that access if they guaranteed a review above X%, but still think that score was above anything even a skeezy editor would give and even the worst PR person would demand.

No one in this industry wants to lie or delude (maybe Randy Pitchford.) No one wants to mischaracterize. People just want to geek out over games and write about what they know and love. What they know and love eventually crosses over with the people they like. And that can be improved. As a whole, the journalism in this industry isn't particularly great, but it's improved massively since the days of even PCXL. It's matured and grown up. It has a long way to go, even in just distancing itself from the creators of the media.

But people expecting it to be covered with the same care and scrutiny and by the same caliber of reporter as recent developments in the Gaza Strip are delusional. Journalism majors want to be journalists. Game journalists want to geek out over an industry they love, and there will never be room for much more for them to do.



edit - this is total TLDR, and probably all over the place. Sorry, on a stupid conference call and half paying attention to it and half what I'm writing, which isn't good for anyone.
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