Game "Journalism": Major sites fooled by 4chan, Jason Schreier offers GAF apology

Oct 29, 2011
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I've known Schreier before he went into gaming journalism. The problem with people like him is that they don't come from a real journalism background. Schreier, as far as I know, went from being an enthusiastic gaming fan on message boards to writing reviews for his friend's website. Somehow he climbed the social ladder and jumped straight into aggregate blogging.

There are no real reporters in gaming journalism, just a bunch of writers that regurgitate press releases and leaked information, as well as the occasional sensationalist drama-mongering comment by a gaming industry member in order to get site hits. Then these 'journalists' go on to lick PSPs, dance with copies of Skyrim, and perhaps even go on to work in the gaming industry itself--even if it is just being featured in Mass Effect 3.
 
Oct 30, 2007
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I've known Schreier before he went into gaming journalism. The problem with people like him is that they don't come from a real journalism background. Schreier, as far as I know, went from being an enthusiastic gaming fan on message boards to writing reviews for his friend's website. Somehow he climbed the social ladder and jumped straight into aggregate blogging.

There are no real reporters in gaming journalism, just a bunch of writers that regurgitate press releases and leaked information, as well as the occasional sensationalist drama-mongering comment by a gaming industry member in order to get site hits. Then these 'journalists' go on to lick PSPs, dance with copies of Skyrim, and perhaps even go on to work in the gaming industry itself--even if it is just being featured in Mass Effect 3.
Patrick Klepick is one. There are a couple of others. Not many. Kotaku is a joke though and this guy is an immature fuck, which sadly is VERY common for the gaming industry. Man up, say you screwed up and move on or better yet, DO YOUR JOB. The problem is they are so desperate to publish the news first they don't wait to confirm it. People like Schreier and Kotaku in general are no higher in quality than gossip magazines that shit out any old rumour to sell their trash.
 
Oct 29, 2011
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^^^Fair enough. There are very few reporters.

There is just so much ego bouncing around with these young guys who become rock star gaming journalists. Even The New York Times has a daily list of mistakes they made. Nobody expects journalists to be perfect. I guess this is what happens when the industry plucks their writers straight off internet message boards.
 
Jun 27, 2011
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It's just not a good field to be in. Nobody gets into videogame journalism unless they really want to.
If you have a degree in english or journalism, you can make better money and beef up your portfolio writing in just about anything else.
Like Wired? That's a prime place to have been. I'd have fought tooth and nail to stay there.
 
Feb 16, 2008
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Sad what happened to blinds1de on LL, considering Prisms been covering that forum with his garbage since forever, and as soon as someone takes steps to call them out, blammo. That being said, most likely that's why he got a suspension instead of a ban, LL is fucking insane about harassment and the secrecy of the site in general.
 
Jan 28, 2007
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He seems to have a very bad way of doing damage control.

Couldn't all of this been fine if he said "I goofed, sorry!" and not try to put the burden of proof on the internet?
Pretty much. Jason is behaving pretty childishly.

If he had just said:

"I'm sorry, guys. I really should have done a bit more legwork and looked at that image a bit more critically. Definitely one to learn from!"

I think this topic would be dead.
 
Feb 16, 2008
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Pretty much. Jason is behaving pretty childishly.

If he had just said:

"I'm sorry, guys. I really should have done a bit more legwork and looked at that image a bit more critically. Definitely one to learn from!"

I think this topic would be dead.
Yeah, he's now retreated into the asylum of "everything on neogaf is untrustworthy don't believe them you can't prove anything" which I think is hilarious all considered.
 
Mar 29, 2005
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I also love how he makes it seem like WanderingWind is the one with the problem. Maybe he should stop acting like a child and respond to what he said.
Nah...what he said was he doesn't want to know what goes on in WW's head, which is perfectly reasonable. I imagine seeing how the brain of a mature adult functions would be pretty depressing for a manchild like Scheier.
 
Sep 17, 2006
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Have the sites and the "journalists" apologized for their unprofessional conduct yet?
Well, they updated the respective articles with "well, it was a rumor/leak/photoshop , etc.".

There's still tomorrow's thing and if/when the games are revealed; that will be used as evidence that the rumors were right all long and the leak was real...even when it wasn't.
 
Apr 19, 2011
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I've known Schreier before he went into gaming journalism. The problem with people like him is that they don't come from a real journalism background. Schreier, as far as I know, went from being an enthusiastic gaming fan on message boards to writing reviews for his friend's website. Somehow he climbed the social ladder and jumped straight into aggregate blogging.

There are no real reporters in gaming journalism, just a bunch of writers that regurgitate press releases and leaked information, as well as the occasional sensationalist drama-mongering comment by a gaming industry member in order to get site hits. Then these 'journalists' go on to lick PSPs, dance with copies of Skyrim, and perhaps even go on to work in the gaming industry itself--even if it is just being featured in Mass Effect 3.
This. If it were that easy to cover games, then why I am I bothering to get my degree in journalism? It seems that nowadays, gaming news sites as well as gaming companies hire just out of fandom - how someone loves a game x number of times and the managers of gaming sites/companies will say "You're hired!"
 
Jun 13, 2011
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All I know is, people always tend to focus on the overtly negative stuff and never the positive. So as flawed as all the writers involved in this have acted, they're figures waiting to be vilified regardless. If they created "proper" news stories that involved actual journalistic practices, I'm not sure most people would ever really praise them for it, or even acknowledge it for that matter. People like talking about the bad stuff, especially when it games to internet games communities.
 

Oxx

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Oct 9, 2005
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He is correct in saying that posting on Neogaf was a mistake.

Plenty of bloggers/writers messed-up the story, but only one of them came here demanding evidence that his gut reaction was false.
 
Mar 29, 2005
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If they created "proper" news stories that involved actual journalistic practices, I'm not sure most people would ever really praise them for it, or even acknowledge it for that matter. People like talking about the bad stuff, especially when it games to internet games communities.
Sorry, but you can't really judge the community on its treatment of Scheier when he popped in here to stir the pot like half a dozen times without ever issuing a true mea culpa.
 
Oct 27, 2006
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Do any of these "journalists" actually have degrees in journalism? I mean, at least they teach you about research, fact checking, confirming sources, asking the right questions, the difference between fact and opinion, formulating thoughts, proper grammar, the use of Standard English when applicable.

And if all of that is "useless" for reporting on the gaming industry, at least in journalism school they make you report on issues outside of your element, research topics you are not comfortable with, make you take a stance on a topic you do not agree with or take a side you disagree with.

The experiences some of these "journalists" would have had within their educational background should eliminate oversights such as the ones mentioned in this thread.
 
Jan 13, 2009
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All I know is, people always tend to focus on the overtly negative stuff and never the positive. So as flawed as all the writers involved in this have acted, they're figures waiting to be vilified regardless. If they created "proper" news stories that involved actual journalistic practices, I'm not sure most people would ever really praise them for it, or even acknowledge it for that matter. People like talking about the bad stuff, especially when it games to internet games communities.
Not true. Good games journalism gets praised here. Stephen Totilo, Ben Kuchera and Patrick Klepek have done good work in the past and gotten noticed for it.
 
Jun 13, 2011
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Not true. Good games journalism gets praised here. Stephen Totilo, Ben Kuchera and Patrick Klepek have done good work in the past and gotten noticed for it.
So why is that there's always the prevailing snark whenever "games journalism" comes up? I do admit that there is a lot of shoddy game press out there, but it's not as if the enthusiast boards like NeoGAF consider it a respectful job to have, which always strikes me as ironic in a way.
 
Dec 21, 2009
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"Games journalism" is becoming just the obstacle/waiting period to that community manager/social media coordinator job at EA or somewhere. I don't even have a particular problem with that line of work but I think it is what it is (for most up and comers), Klepek looking like the exception to the rule.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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The personal vendetta that some posters in this thread seem to have towards this guy is absolutely pathetic.

A couple of you should truly be embarrassed by your behaviour
 
May 14, 2009
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The personal vendetta that some posters in this thread seem to have towards this guy is absolutely pathetic.

A couple of you should truly be embarrassed by your behaviour
To be fair, it goes both ways. Hammering one guy is a bit much, but his "integrity" for the job he does is just as hollow and poor. Really, we can pick posters here that aren't even journalists and do a better job than the Jason and countless other game "journalists".

Maybe that's what we should do: have a GAF squad to do proper journalism.
 
Feb 17, 2009
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The personal vendetta that some posters in this thread seem to have towards this guy is absolutely pathetic.

A couple of you should truly be embarrassed by your behaviour
As WanderingWind put it before, it's weird that the occasional person comes in and starts talking about personal vendettas when most of us had never heard of this guy until yesterday. Even with his refusal to admit any sort of wrongdoing, all he had to do at any time was just walk away. Instead at every point he has chosen to stir the pot and inflame the issue further.

I honestly believed that the story would die overnight, but then he starts boasting of how he banned people on Kotaku for posting his own article. Then he seeks revenge on the guy who outed him. Just when that's about to blow over, it turns out that he's banning more people on Kotaku from the LUElinks community. It's really unbelievable.

Holding him accountable for his ongoing actions is not a vendetta. What started with a professional oversight has now turned into a foot stomping childish tantrum, and this from someone Kotaku astoundingly believes to be one of their best reporters. This is what game journalism has come to.
 
May 14, 2009
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he starts boasting of how he banned people on Kotaku for posting his own article.Just when that's about to blow over, it turns out that he's banning more people on Kotaku from the LUElinks community.
I think those were one in the same, not sure. I do recall he suspended the user from Kotaku for the post as it was "targeting staff" or some other poor reason he explained, but he later banned the user because he found him to be a shitty poster based on his post history. There were about 3-4 topics on this, so it's hard to follow all of this.
 
Nov 10, 2010
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Funny how that after Jason popped up here. He's the main attention of the thread ;P

Pretty sure pretty much every other site on the internets posted this story.

Maybe we just need some fresh blood to yell at about nonsense like journalism and what not.

Just deal with it. You either be a journalist, or you do your job.
 
Feb 14, 2005
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Chill out, GAF. Jason Schreier has written some great stuff on Wired, his blog, and even at Kotaku.

The only reason he took so much heat is because he tried to discuss it. It's far better than what a guy like Jim Sterling did with the "oh, you forever nerd virgins got me! LOLOLOLOLOL" type of update.

And yes, it's common practice for a blog to source a major media outlet.

If you want to be pissed about anything, be pissed that somebody with nothing better to do than to dupe a news outlet was successful. Eurogamer could have followed up better, it's true, but if the listings had been pulled, obviously Play.com would have denied that they had existed.

It's unfortunate that rumors spread like they did. It happens.

When rumors circulated about North Korea's leader dying a few weeks back, we weren't running up hundreds of posts to rip apart any reporter that reported on the rumor and speculation, did we?
 
Jan 8, 2009
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Chill out, GAF. Jason Schreier has written some great stuff on Wired, his blog, and even at Kotaku.

The only reason he took so much heat is because he tried to discuss it. It's far better than what a guy like Jim Sterling did with the "oh, you forever nerd virgins got me! LOLOLOLOLOL" type of update.

And yes, it's common practice for a blog to source a major media outlet.

If you want to be pissed about anything, be pissed that somebody with nothing better to do than to dupe a news outlet was successful. Eurogamer could have followed up better, it's true, but if the listings had been pulled, obviously Play.com would have denied that they had existed.

It's unfortunate that rumors spread like they did. It happens.

When rumors circulated about North Korea's leader dying a few weeks back, we weren't running up hundreds of posts to rip apart any reporter that reported on the rumor and speculation, did we?
wow.
 
May 14, 2009
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When rumors circulated about North Korea's leader dying a few weeks back, we weren't running up hundreds of posts to rip apart any reporter that reported on the rumor and speculation, did we?
Perhaps with that territory, there's more credibility. And this trickery has been mentioned and established before. I'm sure there are at least three other examples mentioned in this thread of sites not doing their jobs properly, the same sites tricked by 4chan.

I would assume that people are tired that the "professionals" dedicated to writing about their hobbies do a pretty mediocre job in terms of journalistic integrity. Every thread about "journalism" with games almost always has a group of people calling out how amateurish and hollow it is. I know if I were to equate my interest in this hobby as being represented on many major game sites, I'd feel quite embarrassed.
 
Sep 30, 2004
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All I know is, people always tend to focus on the overtly negative stuff and never the positive. So as flawed as all the writers involved in this have acted, they're figures waiting to be vilified regardless. If they created "proper" news stories that involved actual journalistic practices, I'm not sure most people would ever really praise them for it, or even acknowledge it for that matter. People like talking about the bad stuff, especially when it games to internet games communities.
Not true. Good games journalism gets praised here. Stephen Totilo, Ben Kuchera and Patrick Klepek have done good work in the past and gotten noticed for it.
...For their columns and features. Huge difference there. Guys in the day-to-day trenches fuck up every now and and get beaten up for it. Giant Bomb's guys get some credit on GAF, but that seems to mostly come from their personalities and appealing videos (I wouldn't think of GB as a leader in news stories.) That's about it, except T-Frog at 1UP sometimes, and that's also for features.

Sorry, but you can't really judge the community on its treatment of Scheier when he popped in here to stir the pot like half a dozen times without ever issuing a true mea culpa.
But go back to his original posts, the guy was trying to get his story straight. There was some hubris involved in possibly screwing up, but otherwise he came here I thought not being a dick about it. And if you follow the thread, you can see it igniting and escalating (the first post afterwards: clear and helpful (despite Fernoca expressing disdain for this error in other posts, he didn't unleash, he just provided evidence;) the second post: disappointed that this could happen in a professional newsroom; the third post: fuck you!!

And that was just here, Schreier tried to bow out before he got sucked into the trolling but it followed him over to Kotaku even though he edited the post with fair crediting and a bit of humor. It kept going, he got sucked in, got heated, lost his cool, and acted out of frustration and anger. 550 posts earlier on this thread, he was just a guy posting, "Gee fellas, you really think something's wrong with this news?", and now he's the ass of the world.

Look, the guy fucked up. Even if he hadn't seen the doubt over the Play listings ahead of time (which he didn't) it still was an iffy story to pick up from Eurogamer. (Retailer listings should never be taken as a promise.) But he ran it and it's on him if it shakes out bogus and whatever. But this "mea culpa" that people think they are owed (he still believe his story, so how do you say "I'm sorry" when you don't think you're wrong?) is silly. And the witchhunt and inevitable flame battle that happened because Schreier tried to engage the conversation sure does allow judging of the community when it hurts the community to have it act like torch-bearing rabblers. (Many have said that GAF is the pure solution to game journalism's problems, but even for those like me on here every day, who amongst us would want to introduce a friend new to gaming to the snakepit that is NeoGAF? You've gotta have armor to post up here.)

Both sides lost their shit.
 

WanderingWind

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Feb 4, 2009
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Chill out, GAF. Jason Schreier has written some great stuff on Wired, his blog, and even at Kotaku.

The only reason he took so much heat is because he tried to discuss it. It's far better than what a guy like Jim Sterling did with the "oh, you forever nerd virgins got me! LOLOLOLOLOL" type of update.

And yes, it's common practice for a blog to source a major media outlet.

If you want to be pissed about anything, be pissed that somebody with nothing better to do than to dupe a news outlet was successful. Eurogamer could have followed up better, it's true, but if the listings had been pulled, obviously Play.com would have denied that they had existed.

It's unfortunate that rumors spread like they did. It happens.

When rumors circulated about North Korea's leader dying a few weeks back, we weren't running up hundreds of posts to rip apart any reporter that reported on the rumor and speculation, did we?
I really expected better of you. At no point do you admit that Jason made any sort of error. This is why this thread is so long. Not because of an honest mistake, but because of a mistake that had led to a childish tantrum from a supposed industry professional.

And this -
Jason said:
Actually, I'm asking you to prove the accusations you're making in this thread. You are accusing me (and other reporters) of posting incorrect information, but your evidence appears to be based on nothing but assumptions. If you want to continue throwing around tired "lol game journalism" insults instead of, you know, actually backing up your claims, be my guest.

Meanwhile, as I said before, if anybody has something conclusive showing that these listings have been photoshopped, please let me know here or via e-mail (jason@kotaku.com). I will of course continue to look into this on my own, but I always appreciate hearing more info.
is exactly the type of thing that you just called Sterling out for (rightfully so...and if you think "GAF" hates Jason, you ought to do a search on Jim here.) but not Jason. He didn't really try to discuss anything. He wanted us to check the sources for him, then began to get irritated when rebuked.

Again, I'm really haven't posted too many times ITT, because I don't want to be perceived as holding some sort of grudge. I'm not jealous, I don't want his job. I'm not sputtering profanities or asking people with dissenting opinions to be banned.

I am, however, starting to get slightly annoyed with the creeping condescension-filled comments that "GAF" (again, with the hive mind thing) is just out to get somebody over something that isn't a big deal. That somehow, this shouldn't have spawned a discussion on integrity and professionalism in the industry.

With every passing defense, it becomes more and more clear that industry writers are more interested in passing blame, deflecting responsibility and denying accountability than in raising the bar on their own standards. Which I guess is fine. I don't think anybody expects everybody who writes a paragraph about Mario to be held to the standards of Walter Cronkite or Woodward and Bernstein.

But if you're unwilling to make the basic effort of researching a topic, are unwilling to post real retractions (and not passive aggressive digs at your "haters") and are more invested in silencing speech than promoting it, then I don't believe you've earned the right to call yourself a journalist at that point.

It comes back down to it. If you want to call yourself a journalist, then do the work of one. If not, don't get upset when you're called another arm of public relation/marketing or dismissed by your contemporaries with the term "blogger."
 
Feb 14, 2005
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gamertheory.com
I really expected better of you. At no point do you admit that Jason made any sort of error. This is why this thread is so long. Not because of an honest mistake, but because of a mistake that had led to a childish tantrum from a supposed industry professional.

It comes back down to it. If you want to call yourself a journalist, then do the work of one. If not, don't get upset when you're called another arm of public relation/marketing or dismissed by your contemporaries with the term "blogger."
Can't you wear multiple hats? You can be a blogger and a reporter. If you are reporting, and you're the origin of a story, then you get your facts straight and you report the story. If you're sharing news that another site broke and giving some commentary, you're blogging.

Mainstream media reports on rumor ALL. DAY. LONG. As long as they point to where the rumor originated from, nobody calls them out. There's no reason why this needed to blow up into a crazy thread of personal attacks.
 
Aug 26, 2006
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Not surprised by these developments.

Which, if you think about it, is pretty damning in and of itself.

In the valley of the blind the man with one eye is king.

Just think about that for a moment.





....., or not whatever.