GamesIndustry.biz Says Video Game Journalism Culture Needs To Change

By William Usher 2 years ago discussion comments
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Thankfully, we're at the end of a whole new week and the article by Rab Florence at Eurogamer is still kicking the hornet's nest and rocking the cradle like a home-wrecker never could. GamesIndustry.biz decided to take a swathing bite out of the hog's hide and give their meaty opinion on the state of video game journalism and in their eyes the vets of the industry and the culture itself needs a major makeover.

Rob Fahey of GI.biz does an excellent job of laying out the nitty gritty of the matter that transpired last week when former writer for Eurogamer, Rab Florence did a piece about the corruption in video game journalism. He states that the entirety of games journalism culture needs an overhaul, a good looking-through and pretty much an uncompromising digital enema.

Fahey does what a lot of other sites failed to do when discussing the matter: take accountability. He flatout admits that the baby-to-cradle relationship between PR and games journalists has accounted for the massive distrust in the gaming community, even referencing his own lavish trips and outings as reason for readers to be wary. He states that much of this needs to change not stand as an excuse for justification.

True enough, there are some events and trips that may be necessary (flying across the world to a game studio to interview employees and execs for an extensive write-up, for instance) but getting a free trip to a fancy hotel party, with the room redecorated to look like a key scene from a video game before being shown a limited walkthrough demo in order to relay the mind bending experience to readers is a complete no-no. All that does is reinforce that image of corruption wise-thinking gamers already have of this utterly reprehensible industry.



Fahey goes on to say that the younglings aren't to blame, and I agree to some extent. Lauren Wainwright from MCV caught a ton (un)necessary flak for the way things went down and playing a part in Rab Florence stepping away from Eurogamer, but at the same time she's a newb. Her editor, Michael French, should have known better and should have dissuaded legal action, but instead decided to lie to the public and say no legal actions were made from intent...check it out below...
Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.

I'm sure it's one of those cases where it's not a clear definition of what “is” is.

Regardless, Fahey is right, the vets should have held their heads in shame and stepped forward, instead they stood proud and backed into the shadows, admonishing Florence and some going as far as praising Wainwright. There's nothing like defending and protecting corruption in a business that advertises games in an industry worth well over $70 billion, right?! Right?!

I doubt bigger sites will ever take accountability or responsibility in handling top-end AAA titles. Will they pressure pubs to come clean about the actual budgets for these games and if it's even necessary to pump the tens of millions into some (worthless) copy-cat clones just because it seems like the thing to make a quick billion? Doubtful. Will pubs ever get pressured in interviews why they don't pursue low-cost, low-risk ventures like the Minecrafts, Slenders, and DayZs? No way, there's no merit in trying to right the tilting titan on the verge of falling. The closest thing we'll get to recourse in games journalism are review scores that better portray the actuality of the game, and thankfully this was the case with Resident Evil 6 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter. In that regards, I tip my hat off to journalists exercising intestines of steel to stick to their guns and the low(ish) review scores for those games. The real question is will they do it where it counts and will they be honest about the games that deserve all the harsh honesty they should get? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
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