Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reddit user makes a fantastic point on the gaming journalism industry.

For anyone who does not know what the hell is going on in the gaming world with this Zoe Quinn stuff I would suggest you take a quick look at this video.  There is some strange stuff going on between this girl and people in gaming journalism.  I will let you form your own opinion.  Please comment with ANY information if this is being told incorrectly.  Lets talk about this. 

I have been following all of this Zoe Quinn stuff going on for the past two days and I have to say I am starting to come to terms with the fact that gaming journalism is a sick and twisted world.  Actually it is just like the real world of journalism in that regard.  Apparently people are sleeping with game reviewers to get better scores now; and that seems to be just the surface of it!  Anyway, without getting too far into all of that, I was looking on Reddit and as expected people were making a massive deal out of all of this.  Mostly people were doing the usual witch-hunt crap we always see, but this guy got Reddit gold for this comment which leads me to believe he probably struck a nerve with what he said.  He makes a very great comment about how gaming journalists are wrong just like anyone else, but instead of admitting it they have to maintain the line they've started because if they ever admit they are wrong they lose a certain amount of credibility.

That got me thinking.  Maybe this explains why even when the Xbox One seems to have done a great job turning things around we still have sites regularly coming out and shitting on it for something new on a seemingly weekly basis.  I am not saying that is what is going on, but I am saying it could be what is going on.  Anyway, enjoy!

"I used to work in gaming journalism. I'd say TRUST A REVIEWER OR INDIVIDUAL WRITER who resonates with you and feels real to you. Don't trust their outlet and if that writer reveals himself to be a jackass, sellout, or panderer (or just lazy), then unsubscribe.
People think that just because they love games that they gaming industry should live up to their romantic notions of a community cooperating to put out the best products and market those products ethically. Gaming journalism is going to bear 100x more of a resemblance to journalism than it will to gaming at the end of the day - so if you want to think about how much you should trust gaming-journalism, just think about what you know about... journalism.
In general, anyone who is constantly complaining about shit - aka has a history of whining about how internet trolls or people unsympathetic to X group of people are "ruining" the gaming industry, will never be reliable journalists. Once you go out on record with a few condemnations against, say, white male gamers being abusive online and shutting down diversity in gaming, you have to keep interpretting events through that lens.
Let's say I wrote an article about how male investors are sexist and only invest in male games. I gain some followers and get some great buzz, and later it becomes clear that this article is completely wrong and I realize that the actual data points towards the opposite. Well, I've got followers now and some small cash stream coming in, perhaps even some new career opportunities with the on-fire articles - what am I going to do, admit I was completely fucking wrong?
Maintain, maintain, maintain. That's what journalists do when they realize they are wrong, they have to KEEP interpretting everything through the same biased lens that they first started interpretting events when they got their following.
This is why the journalism around Depression Quest isn't worth a damn. It's not only a shitty game, it's most likely something that real depressed people would find rather mocking of their condition. Any journalist, however, who has written something positive about Zoe before, however, cannot say that, because people on the internet would bring up their old post and new post and say, "HEY THIS PERSON CHANGED, FLIP FLOPPER!"
When you get your audience through stupid, hot-topic pandering and Twitter/blog circlejerking, you become a slave to that ideology you donned to gain followers. It's a field where there's highly polarized opinions and events can often be analyzed from either perspective (Donglegate for example can be used as part of the "tech is sexist" narrative OR the "tech is oversensitive and excessive anti-sexism just got 2 employees fired for no reason" narrative). This means journalists have a responsibility to stop fucking analyzing events as fuel for their own perspective - the same way people need to stop using kids shootings to push their narrative about gun control politics.
Find journalists who write about gaming. Not journalists who actually WANT to be writing about politics or social concerns, but didn't get hired or didn't get an audience for their blog, and so they instead resort to writing about politics through "gaming"."


"There was a reply to the comment above from another guy who claims to have worked in the industry. He makes another great point and rebuts what the first guy said very well.  
"Older journalism grad here; worked in video game journalism as well, beginning about 15 years ago. You're right about this newer trend of "journalists" becoming slaves to an ideology (as well as entire publications, I'd add).

Another thing that bothers me is the whole "cult of personalities" that's invaded the gaming press. Since I don't want to spend the next 10 minutes writing about this, let me sum it up for people really quick, in an easy-to-understand way...
TotalBiscuit is arguably the most well-known personality in the games press industry, but he's not a journalist. Now before everyone goes bat-shit insane, don't get me wrong; I like TotalBiscuit and think he does a great job with almost everything he's involved in. He's a personality, though... And I'm only using him as an example because of his fame.
That might be a distinction that's tough to understand, because the titles of "commentator," "streamer" and "journalist" are pretty much synonymous these days. What we're seeing is the result of how drastically the sources of advertising revenue has changed. Publishers realized the traffic potential of video streams and "Let's Plays," and acted accordingly.

Today, a high YouTube channel subscriber count is more valuable to publishers than a college degree in journalism. On one hand, you can argue that a publisher is doing what it needs to do to survive, and the kids being hired today are usually providing content that's well-received. But on the other hand, you've got a bunch of kids with absolutely zero academic education — or professional experience — in traditional journalism... And then we wonder; "What happened to video game journalism?" and "How can the industry be this unethical?"

In my opinion, it's because the majority of people working in video game journalism today aren't real journalists; they're personalities who cut their teeth editorializing, not reporting..."


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