Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

6 January, 2010

Game Journalism Fail
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 4:02 PM
(This post has been viewed 22860 times.)

One problem that the game industry has is that game journalists sometimes lack a sense of professionalism. Many journalists are enthusiastic fans who land a "dream job" related to games; journalism might be as close to the ultimate goal of game development as some people will ever get. The dream of getting paid to play games is probably better realized as a typical journalist than as a game developer.

Unfortunately, this lack of professionalism hurts the game industry. We need more real game journalists who do a good job covering the industry and showing what is really going on. Sadly, this is all too rare and most game "journalism" fails spectacularly.

Why journalism matters

Why get all worked up over game journalism? It's my old friend legitimacy again. Without real journalists and critics, we don't move forward as fast as we might otherwise to gain more acceptance as an expressive medium. If we have too many "journalists" that just read press releases and give unfaltering praise to big games (reserving scorn for smaller games with little advertising budget), then we reinforce the same patterns that already dominate the industry.

This is also the reason why it's not entirely hypocritical for a crass game developer to point at a journalist and ask them to be professional. ;) What I sometimes lack in decorum I make up for by trying to move the industry forward in other ways.

And, I don't believe journalism can be completely replaced by blogging. As much as I love bloggers (being one myself), we just don't have the impetus to do the real work needed. Blogs are often good at lightly covering topics, or being quick to pick up on an interesting story. Real journalism digs deeper into the story and verifies facts.

I think that everyone, especially game developers, need to start appreciating good journalists more in order to move the industry forward. Real journalism takes time and effort, and has a potentially lower return on investment if we don't give them support. It might be nice to have a popular site willing to regurgitate press releases, but it's better to have critical insight. While I don't appreciate Roger Ebert's perspectives on video games, it's not hard to see that critics like him have had a tremendously positive influence on movies.

The culprit

So, let's look at an example of "game journalism" over at Joystiq about NDS closing down. Here are some of the inaccuracies in a two-paragraph blurb:

"We don't blame you if you can't remember Near Death Studios..."
Except that the company is newsworthy enough to get coverage on the front page of a major news site.

"...which today announced..."
Actually, the blog post referenced was dated the 31st of December, while this article was posted on the 5th of January.

"...nine years spent trying (and failing) to make money..."
Actually, we made a fair amount of money. Enough to pay five full-time employees at one time. Not luxurious wages, but about what my blue-collar father made when I was growing up. The problem is that we stopped making money just this last year and I didn't want to put the game in financial risk.

"The now-ironically named developer..."
That's not what "ironic" means. Unless you're talking about dramatic irony, in which case we got the joke because we picked the name in the first place.

"We can't help but wonder if changing the company name might have helped "Near Death" earn more confidence from prospective financial partners."
Let me end your wondering: No. Just like nobody turns away from Blizzard because they're afraid of being buried in snow. Coming from the Midwest, "blizzard" is most definitely a negative term for me.

And this is an article posted on the front page of one of the largest game sites. What's really unfortunate here is that this reflects typical attitude for large sites toward small developers: smaller developers get thinly veiled contempt. A topic that some other sites have handled with some delicacy becomes the target of mockery. It doesn't matter because I'm not likely to make a huge ad buy from a site like Joystiq. (Compare the tone of a story the previous day about EA shutting down multiplayer servers for old sports games. Less mocking there probably because EA will buy a large amount of ads when a new game they want to hype is coming up.)

A bitterly funny interlude

It sure is interesting that NDS is getting all sorts of attention these days now that it's ending. Few people took so much interest when it was still running. Props to the people out there who did pay attention and give it coverage before this announcement.

All is not hopeless

Let me give a counterexample about why we shouldn't give up on game journalists entirely. One journalist from GamePro actually contacted me by email to clarify some of the information for a story being written. Although the email got most of the information right, it was nice to see a journalist actually trying to do a good job. The article posted is pretty accurate and even includes a nice quote at the end from me. I appreciate the extra time it took to send an email before rushing to get a story out. Again, we should take time to appreciate people who do actual work to investigate a story.

A call to action

So, let's start putting this into action. Post in the comments if you've seen any particularly great or poor examples of game journalism out there. Let's start recognizing and rewarding the good people and sites with positive attention and shunning the poor ones. We may not be able to do much individually, but together we might have an influence, and that influence can spread.

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43 Comments »

  1. I think there's a pretty strong dividing line between sites like Joystiq and Kotaku and proper, professional journalism. They're gaming-oriented blogs with the goal of providing commentary along with their news. I may not agree with it, but it's clearly a format that works and is enjoyed by a fairly large audience.

    This line, however, I find pretty absurd (and probably offensive to journalists): "journalism might be as close to the ultimate goal of game development as some people will ever get"

    Why is a journalist's ultimate goal getting into game development? If you want game journalism to succeed, you want the journalists to have the end goal of being journalists. Viewing game journalism as just a stepping stone into development is a pretty flawed perspective.

    Comment by Trent Polack — 6 January, 2010 @ 5:10 PM

  2. I actually remember an instance where an MMO expansion (this was years ago) was reviewed by a popular network site. In the article, the writer referenced the raiding portion of the content as something the writer had not actually experienced directly, but "had heard was pretty good".

    Comment by Kendricke — 6 January, 2010 @ 5:34 PM

  3. Trent Polack wrote:
    This line, however, I find pretty absurd (and probably offensive to journalists):

    To clarify, I don't think all journalists are wannabe game designers, but from appearances it appears many people who do write about games also aspire to make them. Lots of people saw how a rant site writer (a really good one, mind you) turned his site into a game development career. I think this leads to some "journalists" to see writing about games as a stepping stone to getting into development work, and thus don't take the work very seriously. Not to say that we can't also get quality writing, but I completely agree that it's a different mindset getting into journalism for the sake of journalism and getting into it in order to pad your resume and get to meet developers. I would like to see more people get into journalism to really improve it.

    It is a shame that the really good journalists are so few and far in between. I think we do agree on this point, but I probably didn't express myself very well.

    Comment by Psychochild — 6 January, 2010 @ 5:56 PM

  4. Well, I clicked on Mr. Nelson's name to see what else he had written at Joystiq and noticed a pattern of snark almost immediately. Snark wouldn't be so bad if it went hand in hand with accuracy I suppose.

    Good journalists are to be treasured in any area of focus and are more rare than we would like to believe. We tend to believe what we read in the paper, but nearly every article I've read in our local Mercury News to which I have been close enough to know the facts first hand has been riddled with errors, from inconsequential (it was a Dodge, not a Ford) to material to the story at hand (no, the person did not die actually). And don't start me on that time I was grossly mis-quoted. You get in the local paper maybe once in your life before the obit page, and then they put embarrassingly wrong words in your mouth....

    Anyway, my point, such that it is, is that you notice that gaming journalism falls short because you are close to it. And while I'll grant that it is not taken as seriously as other areas in journalism, it is certainly not the only area that falls down in the facts department on a regular basis.

    What to do? Find the people who do take the time and do what you can to encourage and promote them when you can. But I see you already did that.

    Comment by wilhelm2451 — 6 January, 2010 @ 6:01 PM

  5. "Why is a journalist's ultimate goal getting into game development? If you want game journalism to succeed, you want the journalists to have the end goal of being journalists." - Trent Polack

    Because most game reviewers aren't actually journalists. Before I got into game development myself, I was a reviewer and a contributer at several fansites as well as my own online blog. I was fairly well known for my opinions, but generally speaking I wasn't a games journalist nor was I interested really in pursuing a career in journalism. Most of the people I worked with or worked alongside at other fansites or pseudonews sites felt similarly (I can name over a dozen former "games journalists" that I've worked alongside over the past five years who were hired into game development).

    Much of this is due to the nature of work at most online news sites. What most people don't realize is that the reviewers and editors who are putting numbers and scores on games are often unpaid or nearly unpaid intern level workers. It's all based on hits and ad revenue (why most game articles online are split into multiple pages and have tons of tags and links). At most "games news" sites I know of, there's little to no editorial oversight or even training. So long as the article you put together has "enough" facts in it to pass initial muster, you put it up and get on to the next story which you will increase your RSS feed +1.

    Most people don't get into that situation because they want to write about games. Most people get into that situation because they want to either play or make games and get paid for it. Writing about games is a great way to network with the people who can get you a job in the industry. Don't take my word for it, ask Steve Danuser (formerly of mobhunter.com) over at 38 Studios, Ryan Shwayder (formerly of ageofdestiny.com) over at 38, Christie Renzatti (formerly of Ten Ton Hammer and Zam.com) over at SOE San Diego, Tony Jones (formerly of Ten Ton Hammer) over at SOE Phoenix, Carlos Mora (formerly of EQ2 Stratics) over at SOE San Diego, Cuppycake (of Cuppytalk) over at Metaplace, Andrew Beagle (formerly of Warcry and Zam.com) over at NC Soft... I can seriously do this for another 15-10 former "games journalists"...including myself: Kenn White (formerly of CR Gaming, Warcry, and Clockwork Gamer) over at Activision Publishing.

    Comment by Kendricke — 6 January, 2010 @ 6:12 PM

  6. You should see the movie Heckler. It shows that there really is a huge divide between 'journalism' aka professional writers/investigators who can state facts with small amounts of subjective opinion vs bloggers and paparazzi.

    Comment by Coppertopper — 6 January, 2010 @ 6:35 PM

  7. I'll let Randy address Brian's post himself, via email, but I wanted to address Kendricke's similarly off-target comments. Perhaps what you say is or was true of CR Gaming, Warcry, and Clockwork Gamer, but to suggest that you have the slightest inclination as to how a site like Joystiq works (or any of my Joystiq Network sites, like WoW.com), or what our editorial standards are, is misleading. We are not intern level unpaid workers, and we do not simply look to increase our output "RSS +1". You're speaking in cliches and anecdotal suppositions; hardly a compelling argument and it devalues any insights you may have offered.

    Comment by chrisgrant — 6 January, 2010 @ 7:27 PM

  8. Take it from me when I agree with your statement - "It sure is interesting that NDS is getting all sorts of attention these days now that it's ending."

    Going through that very same thing ourselves. People who hadn't heard of our product before (or hadn't tried it) now have all sorts of wild dramatizations about why it didn't succeed. So yeah, bleh.

    Comment by Cuppycake — 6 January, 2010 @ 7:30 PM

  9. I had a long comment to post then I went to the "About" page of Joystiq and realized it's actually a blog...

    "When they're not busy writing "about" themselves in third person, the bloggers of Joystiq can usually be seen wallowing in a deep and inescapable video game obsession."

    You can do journalism work and post on a blog (without being officially known as a journalist) but just because you're blogging it doesn't mean you're a journalist. Wish more people would see that.

    As for those doing an amazing job IMHO http://playthisthing.com and http://jayisgames.com/ comes to mind. Call them blogs or whatever. The reviews are interesting and I never touched the "comments" link.

    And how do you call a magazine asking you to pay for an article/review? For some reason I'm quite popular with them and they all have me in their contacts. Wish I could afford their "journalistic" skills to promote my games.... *cough*

    Comment by Dave Toulouse — 6 January, 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  10. Now that I've somewhat reestablished my internet I'm trying to catch up and give full reads to everything important to me. I think your point is pretty darn fair to be honest. A lot of game sites out there do a terrible job of being objective. Of course, sadly, professional journalism in other areas suffers from poor fact checking these days so I'm just not sure that those that go to school get the appropriate training.

    Ultimately it comes down to the fact that a lot of game journalists get there because they were pretty good bloggers. There is major difference between the two of course. When I write for my blog it is my opinion and that is clear. When I occasionally write for someone else I change the style completely and try to follow the "rules of the road." I'm not sure many of these folks do that.

    How embarrassing for them though. To make so many mistakes on this. If that writer worked for me we'd have serious words and a written apology.

    Comment by Ferrel — 6 January, 2010 @ 9:38 PM

  11. Journalists, checking facts? What an outlandish idea!

    Bloggers *aren't* journalists. Most of us do it as a sideline, usually to entertain ourselves and whatever audience may or may not be out there -- the vast majority of us don't set out to either educate or inform per se. That many bloggers are careful about what they write and *are* educational and informative is a good thing, but it's not a professional obligation as I conceive it to be with formal journalists. But hey, I'm an idealist, I still believe in ethics and protecting one's sources too.

    Excuse me, must go. Sudden urge to (re)watch His Girl Friday.

    Comment by Ysharros — 6 January, 2010 @ 10:23 PM

  12. I'd like to give some props to the guys at Rock, Paper, Shotgun who are some of the most professional game journalists in the business.

    Comment by Spinks — 7 January, 2010 @ 12:10 AM

  13. Well, if you see a general decline in game journalism, let me add that journalism in general seems to have taken a real nosedive when it comes to professionality, ethos and quality. Especially web-journalism, the print issues usually don't let every BS get into print.

    Comment by Longasc — 7 January, 2010 @ 1:04 AM

  14. chrisgrant wrote:
    [...]to suggest that you have the slightest inclination as to how a site like Joystiq works (or any of my Joystiq Network sites, like WoW.com), or what our editorial standards are, is misleading.

    Perhaps you could educate us. You've got an audience here. As I mentioned in my email reply to Randy, I've written a few reviews for a small site and have been to big game PR functions. I've also had friends who worked as journalists, as many game developers do. I would be interested to hear your side of the story here.

    Cuppycake wrote:
    Going through that very same thing ourselves.

    Sorry to hear. Given that there has been no news of NDS for the past several years, I thought the announcement would go unremarked. I hope the news sites are eager to pick up news of my next game. I suspect, however, it's more ghoulish glee at seeing companies "fail"* in poor economic times.

    (* Once again, we're choosing to shut down NDS while it has no debt. It's a reasonable business decision.)

    Ysharros wrote:
    Bloggers *aren't* journalists.

    I think this is a cop-out. If I wanted to report the news on my blog, I accept there would be a reasonable expectation that I would check facts before posting stuff up. Unless, of course, I was clear that I was posting rumors. As I said, AJ Glasser from GamePro took the time to verify some information even before I posted this article; I don't see why this has to be the exception instead of the rule.

    Editorializing and cracking jokes about a company name are fine, but there should be accurate information if you're going to cover news. I also think that high-profile bloggers who care about the game industry enough to cover it should work to take a bit more care to check their facts. I do my own research when posting on here or writing an article.

    Comment by Psychochild — 7 January, 2010 @ 1:07 AM

  15. Joystiq eh?

    Never looked at them myself, can't stand flight sims.

    Comment by Stabs — 7 January, 2010 @ 4:32 AM

  16. [...]to suggest that you have the slightest inclination as to how a site like Joystiq works (or any of my Joystiq Network sites, like WoW.com), or what our editorial standards are, is misleading.

    Sure there are sites and positions at some sites where the writers make money. I don't believe I ever said otherwise. However, there are also sites where the writers are paid in game samples and free trips to conventions and conferences.

    Certainly, most sites have editorial standards. Most newspapers do as well. That didn't stop Jayson Blair at the New York Times, did it? Are the editorial standards at WoW Insider greater than those of the New York Times, I wonder? Did it matter in the case of Blair? Did the Washington Post's standards matter in the case of Janet Cooke? Stephen Glass? Patricia Smith? Sometimes, the ball just gets dropped. In the case of online blogging networks (even such as Joystiq, WoW Insider, and Massively), I'd argue there is often less incentive to make sure the ball doesn't get dropped (as compared to major newspapers or networks - just ask Dan Rather how he feels about the term "fact check" right about now).

    Look, like Brian, I know there are good and dedicated people who take their journalism seriously. These people spend their days putting in the work to make sure they get it right each and every time. Some of the hardest working people I know are out there making sure they get it right. What Brian's advocating is that these are the people who should be encouraged and given more access. I have a lot of respect for Brian Crecente over at Kotaku. I have/had a lot of respect for Michael Zenke when he was writing at Slashdot and then Massively (now he's at SOE Austin). I have a tremendous respect for N'Gai Croal. There are probably another dozen names I could rattle off here regarding writers I tend to keep up with.

    There's a lot of things games writers can get right. The problem is when others (or even they themselves) get it wrong. I've read identical reviews on major gaming news sites for the Wii/Xbox360/PS3 versions of games for features that don't actually exist on one platform over another. I've read articles where the facts were horribly off-base. I've read reviews wherein the writer obviously didn't spend more than 10-20 minutes on a game and assumptions were made about later in-game systems. It happens far more than it should. A quick proactive email here or there could solve a lot of problems.

    Comment by Kendricke — 7 January, 2010 @ 7:09 AM

  17. I'm really a fan of Gamasutra for video game news. It's not a consumer focused site but they do a pretty good job of the news they do report. For example here is their NDS story http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/26677/Meridian_59_Developer_Near_Death_Studios_Closes.php

    Comment by Logo — 7 January, 2010 @ 8:16 AM

  18. Given that there has been no news of NDS for the past several years, I thought the announcement would go unremarked. I hope the news sites are eager to pick up news of my next game.

    Here's a thought. When you're ready to release, do a press release announcing that you decided to abandon your ongoing project and that the whole thing was a failure.

    Of course that won't be true but (based on recent events) since it's bad news you're sure to get a lot of cover. That will also allow us to easily spot those that just read the press release and those who actually did some research and discovered the truth. :)

    Don't do that on April 1st though as we all know news websites will be busy talking about the expected and not surprising WoW pseudo-prank that day ...

    Comment by Dave Toulouse — 7 January, 2010 @ 8:18 AM

  19. @ Brian -- "I do my own research when posting on here or writing an article."

    Well aye, so do I, and when I'm just wildly guessing (or ranting, or exagerrating) I tell people so before I go off on one, but I still feel there's a distinction, even if it's just minor nuance. If I were to call myself a journalist, or news reporter or any kind, I would hold myself (specifically, related writings) to higher standards than I do on my waffle/commentary blog.

    I don't think we're disagreeing here, actually. I'm splitting hairs.

    Comment by Ysharros — 7 January, 2010 @ 8:52 AM

  20. I'm with Longasc. Journalism in general is a dying practice. Just try following anything political, especially if you're not in the majority. Tea Party much? How about Global Warming?

    There's so much BS out there, some of the most egregious being from "mainstream" sources, that I can't take *any* journalist seriously or at face value. At least bloggers tend to wear their prejudices on their sleeves and tend not to affect airs of authority. Journalists present their prejudices as fact and are trusted thanks to their veneer of legitimacy. The "science is settled", after all, simply because the Oracles of Journalism say it is. Not a damn one of them does their own homework or bothers to present *facts* and let the audience do the interpretation. (Or if they present facts, they only present convenient ones.)

    No, let's just call bad writing what it is, bad writing. Journalism as an ideal exists, but in practice, it's all but dead. It has been for years, if not decades.

    Comment by Tesh — 7 January, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

  21. Sigh. I must be grumpy today.

    I'm all for *real* journalism. I thirst for it. I believe in it as a pillar of a strong society. I just don't see it anywhere, so it doesn't surprise me to see a fluff gaming site botch it up as well. It *is* good to hear that there are some people trying to do their job.

    Comment by Tesh — 7 January, 2010 @ 12:48 PM

  22. I'm staying out of the journalism aspect of this discussion. (haha, there's another aspect?)

    Brian I actually saw all of these articles quite differently than you did. (surprise!) I think that the individual facts aren't really important (except I hate when I'm called 'Rob Ellis' instead of 'Rob Ellis II', I suffered my Father to earn that title) and the attempts at humor are just ridiculous, how could one *not* understand that we "got it" when we came up with the name? What is important are two things: They *all* say your name and many of the commenters say your name. Meaning many people are making the connection to your name rather than NDS. Second, and why the first is a positive, they're making that connection with the conclusion that you're a very passionate and dedicated game developer. Again, even if one of the individual story writers doesn't pick up on that, many of the commenters are. Even folks saying "Hey I didn't even know M59 was still running" follow up with comments about how noble it was of you to have kept it going for so long. Take that to the bank, leave the rest behind.

    So don't think of it as a bunch of stories about NDS after it's too late. Take this as an opportunity for the public to learn that Brian Green is an "above and beyond" dedicated passionate game developer... I think that's what most people are learning.

    Comment by Rob Ellis II — 7 January, 2010 @ 2:07 PM

  23. I think it's clear that the Joystiq author was not familiar with Meridian 59 or NDS. It looks like they saw the the post on Gamasutra and found it interesting enough to attempt to make a humor piece out of it. And for anyone whose first experience with an MMO was something like WoW (likely a large portion of the Joystiq audience), that post probably seemed completely normal. Anyone who has actually played M59 would know better. But I do agree it's a shame he didn't do a bit more research on the subject.

    Comment by wightlight — 7 January, 2010 @ 3:06 PM

  24. This is the problem of games journalism: Money. (http://insomnia.ac/commentary/the_videogame_news_racket/)

    Comment by Daniel — 7 January, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

  25. Sorry you had to go through that.

    It seems 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' gets forgotten all too easily or their so animal minded they never think of it to begin with.

    With the attitude he's showing...he was probably bombarded with that attitude to his stuff from others during his formative years. Perhaps you can pity him for the personal history he's repeating.

    Comment by Callan S. — 7 January, 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  26. I used to be a writer/editor for a small video game news website, and I liked the job. Even though I was essentially a professional blogger, I tried to hold myself to journalistic standards when possible.

    I was a communications grad with enough love for journalism to make most of my articles as factually accurate as possible. Whenever there was an error or oversight on my part or on the part of the writer who made an article, I made sure that retractions and corrections were timely, and that acknowledgment was given to the correction giver for pointing out an error.

    That said, I wish I could go back to that job, because I miss it.

    Thank you for the nostalgia trip of sorts, sir. :)

    Comment by Victor Stillwater — 7 January, 2010 @ 5:21 PM

  27. I totally agree with you here, Brian.

    People tend to confuse blogging with journalism. Blogging is an amateur expressing their opinion (which may be no less valid than a critic's or professional's opinion) whilst a journalist is meant to be objective, restrained and experienced. A journalist is also expected to dig deeper into the facts, as you said.

    If a blogger says "go checkout film X, it was awesome!", well that's their right and opinion and people may trust it but we have to bear in mind that they don't have the years of expected professionalism and experience to actually be able to critique the film. It's why blogs are free and newspapers tend to not be.

    As for Joystiq... that's when things become murky. Are they a real journalistic source or just one big blog? I'm betting on the latter.

    Comment by We Fly Spitfires — 8 January, 2010 @ 4:43 AM

  28. /AFK – The Cold, Hard Winter Edition

    [...] Psychochild calls games journalists to be professional [...]

    Pingback by Bio Break — 10 January, 2010 @ 5:51 AM

  29. I totally agree.

    Yet, I also don't view my blog as a platform that must maintain professional journalistic standards. It's my personal free form platform. Although personally, I think I should try to do better with my writing as a reflection of myself.

    @weflyspitfires I totally understand where you're coming from about Joystiq, BUT :), I personally like to draw clearer lines in the sand, for myself. I view Joystiq as a professional source.

    I guess I take it from my academic life. I view a lot of things as being opinion, primary sources, and secondary sources(among other forms of writings).

    Comment by Jeremy S. — 10 January, 2010 @ 5:51 PM

  30. A tangential note, but: There are lots of kinds of blogs. Some of them are journalism. Some are not. A blog is simply a site that arranges its posts in chronological order. Grumpy Gamer (or this site, for that matter) is clearly a personal blog, and to expect "journalistic standards" from it is silly. Kotaku and Joystiq are, however, widely-read, professionaly staffed sites that pay contributors, to which many gamers turn to for news about the field. It -is- reasonable to expect them to at least make a cursory stab at fact-checking.

    Comment by Greg — 11 January, 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  31. A Blogger’s Journalism

    [...] condition. Are bloggers also journalists? One of my favorite blogs, Psychochild’s, says we aren’t because “we don’t have impetus to do the real work needed.” Most of the article [...]

    Pingback by Kill Ten Rats — 12 January, 2010 @ 7:40 AM

  32. Gaming Journalism vs. Real Journalism vs. Media Journalism

    [...] me, first of all, back up Brian “PsychoChild” Green’s assessment of my sister site — Joystiq. When they wrote up their notice that Near [...]

    Pingback by Experience Curve — 12 January, 2010 @ 9:47 PM

  33. [...] Psychochild has a new post up about journalistic standards within the video game industry. I largely agree with these posts, whenever they pop up. To me journalism is journalism, and the integrity, standards, and legitimacy should cover every aspect of journalism(including writings on video game culture)… [...]

    Pingback by My Blog — 13 January, 2010 @ 9:44 PM

  34. Journalism is a business, and has adapted to the market as any business would. Game journalism has only followed the general trend, which is to provide consumers not only with facts, but with opinions.

    Opinions used to be on the editorial page; they had their place. Now, virtually all news is expected to show a bias or a 'take.' People want to be told what to think, not only what to think about. As an example, watch Fox News for a short time, or listen to talk radio. Then, to see the contrast, listen to the news on a station like NPR. NPR, of course, is nowhere near as popular as something like Rush Limbaugh. Even shows like The Daily Show are indicative of the trend away from objectivity in journalism.

    Ultimately, most people find snarky and sarcastic little opinions interesting. Until the intellectual standards of the West reverse their free-fall and start to improve, this will continue--and will probably worsen.

    Comment by M. Spitzli — 20 January, 2010 @ 6:15 AM

  35. Am I A Video Game Journalist?

    [...] posts. She wrote a follow up article commenting on Brian “Psychochild” Green’s journalistic standards post, as well as other bloggers who also gave their opinions. A big mess of thoughts started swirling in [...]

    Pingback by Just One MOAR — 22 January, 2010 @ 2:29 AM

  36. Journalism on the whole has been suffering from too much advocacy and a lack of objectivity. People who go into journalism school do so for all the wrong reasons and mainly because they want to "change the world" or "make a difference". The result is that modern day journalism has been discredited so much that traditional news outlets in both media and print are going out of business.

    Therefore it's not realistic to expect serious journalism to be practiced in the MMO world.

    Comment by Wolfshead — 27 January, 2010 @ 6:54 PM

  37. Kotaku.

    Comment by Tizoc — 29 January, 2010 @ 2:36 PM

  38. Journalism Fail

    [...] was picked up by Joystiq, although some of the reported facts were wrong. This led Green to post a sharp critique of gaming journalism. It’s an interesting read, and one of the guys from Joystiq jumps in to the comments at the [...]

    Pingback by Twenty Sided — 1 February, 2010 @ 2:30 AM

  39. Game Journalism: No such thing

    [...] loved this article. Go read it before doing anything else…including eating that bacon in you hand. [...]

    Pingback by The Common Sense Gamer — 16 April, 2010 @ 5:48 AM

  40. An amusing site related to this topic: Game Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits.

    Plenty of additional examples of how game "journalism" doesn't really live up to that name. If you read through the site, you'll see a lot of patterns....

    Comment by Psychochild — 20 June, 2010 @ 12:21 PM

  41. Let’s begin with a few questions

    [...] some hints, and the consensus is “not much”. Game journalism involves low ethics, low professionalism, a bit of conflict and too much partying. In the unlikely event that you work in the game [...]

    Pingback by The Enigma of Game Journalism — 26 July, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

  42. The Massively arm of Joystiq posted a soapbox rant about game "journalism" and referenced this post. Well worth reading: http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/01/11/the-soapbox-game-journalism-is-not-journalism-yet/

    Comment by Psychochild — 11 January, 2011 @ 3:17 PM

  43. The wheels of fortune

    [...] considering the small game. When it closed down, we got some restrained yet polite (and a few not-so-polite) mentions. One journalist at LOGIN for a site that only covers MMORPGs didn't seem particularly [...]

    Pingback by Psychochild's Blog — 24 May, 2011 @ 11:20 AM

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