Yup, it's real.
One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: "Urm... Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that's a bad thing?"
Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: "Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ"
And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist's apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she's in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?
Another journalist, one of the winners of the PS3 competition, tweeted this at disgusted RPS writer John Walker: “It was a hashtag, not an advert. Get off the pedestal.” Now, this was Dave Cook, a guy I’ve met before. A good guy, as far as I could tell. But I don’t believe for one second that Dave doesn’t understand that in this time of social media madness a hashtag is just as powerful as an advert. Either he’s on the defensive or he doesn’t get what being a journalist is actually about.
Geoff Keighley, meanwhile, is sitting beside a table of snacks. A table of delicious Doritos and refreshing Mountain Dew. He is, as you'll see on Wikipedia, "only one of two journalists, the other being 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, profiled in the Harvard Business School press book 'Geeks and Geezers' by noted leadership expert Warren Bennis." Geoff Keighley is important. He is a leader in his field. He once said, "There's such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish I had more time to do more, sort of, investigation." And yet there he sits, glassy-eyed, beside a table heaving with sickly Doritos and Mountain Dew.
It's an important image. Study it.
Recap from shagg_187
(Thanks to Ledsen)
I'll do a short recap:
-Keighley surrounded by doritos followed by gaming bloggers retweeting a hashtag for advertising to win a PS3 makes Florence of Eurogamer curious.
-Florence writes an article saying how things are shady and some sound like straight up PR e.g. Wainright orgasms for everything Squenix.
-MVC/Wainwright send libel threats to Eurogamer, at which the article was edited to remove mentioning of Wainright.
-Wainwright responds in twitter "Apology accepted" and something in the vain of applying her law classes to use.
-Florence either steps down or is forced to resign to avoid any libel threat.
-Both sides deny any threat or are not talking about it directly, but twitter posts hint that such threat existed. Florence is not confirming or denying whether he was fired or he stepped down.
-GAF and 4chan combine forces to see this "standalone complex issue" alongside digital protest from Penny Arcade and more, showing what happened.
-Wainwright's profile shows she is a freelancer for Square Enix. She admitted it and denied doing any reviews for Square Enix or shilling (she is wrong. She reviewed Deus Ex, Tomb Raider and did countless previews).
-All this fiasco is too much for her and she privatize her twitter account. Next thing you know, she starts deleting tweets, videos and articles, and edits her profile to remove any mention of Square Enix freelancing.
-People find some comments of her thanking someone called Korina that used to work at Ubisoft.
-Korina Abbot used to work at Ubisoft and is currently the marketing executive at...Square-Enix.
-David Jaffe offers Keighley Mountain Dew.
Wings over Sealand (Stuart Campbell) articles (second article has early summary) 1 2 3
John Walker's (Rock Paper Shotgun) blog (start with Games Journalists, And The Perception Of Corruption, includes guest post by Rab Florence)
Penny-Arcade 1 2
Jason Lauritzen editorial and GAF post
RPGCodex writes an excellent summary
EDGE article that was written a few weeks ago
Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell (editor who edited Rab's column) about the last few days
Rock Paper Shotgun official stance
The Guardian and a funny thing related to the article
VG247 on their new ethics statement
Video Games Interactive
Kotaku 1 2
Gamesindustry.biz 1 2
Old (but still relevant) articles/videos/podcasts
Rab Florence (the guy who started all this) criticizing games writing since 2008
An old episode of CGW Radio discussing Gerstmann-gate
Old Gamasutra article on the influence of PR
Old GFW radio bits
1up YoursShawn Elliot and Shane Bettenhausen
Comments from the industry
Shawn Elliot - 1 (aegies is Arthur Gies of polygon.com) 2 3 4 5 6 on the psychology of PR etc
and some more Arthur Gies - 1 2 3 4 5 and some replies 1 2 3
Jeff Green on the way it actually works, and another post, an another
ShockingAlberto on his view as a former games writer
Jason Schreier (Kotaku) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 and many more
N'Gai Croal initial reaction on Twitter
Chris Schilling (freelance) likes both people involved and so doesn't want to write about it
Danny O'Dwyer (Gamespot UK) on why his site won't cover this (audience is not interested) - 1 2 3
pastapadre on being shunned by the industry
Stephen Totilo (Kotaku)
Weekend Confirmed 1 2 (these two are from the podcast) 3 4 (comments from Garnett) 5 (podcast #2)
Syriel on his experiences of PR
Jeff Gerstmann short comment on swag
Christian Donlan and Simon Parkin of Eurogamer want to change how they do things[/QUOTE]
Nert on his experience as PR in the tech industry 1 2
John Walker (RPS) on
Rab Florence tweets
Jeff Gerstmann 1 (1 is from Tumblr) 2 (2 via EternalGamer, highlights some other stuff) 3 4 5 (3-5 are comments by Jeff in this thread)
MaxwellGT2000 talks about his experiences as a writer for a small site that got bigger
Dave Long 1 2
Brad Shoemaker 1 (in reply to this) 2
Brad Lawrence (2K games UK PR)
Comments from others
GillianSeed79 and firehawk12 on how journalist do criticize their peers
voodoopanda highlights that the issue is not in any way black or white
Snowden's Secret comments on gaming press reactions
Zissou weighs in
Other relevant/interesting links and examples of PR
Examples of various press kits
The 3DS comes to GiantBomb
Letter sent to reviewers from UbiSoft along with their press copy of Assassin's Creed 3
How Rockstar handled the reviews for GTA4
Battlefield 3 review questionnarie