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

scy

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Jul 20, 2007
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Chill out, GAF. Jason Schreier has written some great stuff on Wired, his blog, and even at Kotaku.
I really don't think too many people are attacking every little aspect of his career. You've got to admit, though, that there's some irony in the "People are stupid (lol Twitter)" article and this situation, however.

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.
To be fair, I kind of expected something more about what Sterling said but I figured the whole "Seriously though, you got me good" part kind of smoothed things over.

The thing is, Jason came here about it and inquired about information. I expected things to go well from that. But he quickly went into "I see no proof, you guys are the ones making shit up" mode despite all the posts to the contrary. Perhaps there was some hostility towards him that kicked it into that mode, certainly, but it kind of went downhill from there.

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.
Who do we blame, though? The one who submitted it as news or the one who created it? I'm pretty sure the image creator didn't do it to troll anyone and it's not even a convincing photoshop to begin with.

There was no due diligence. At most, it seems there was some e-mails to the companies (which makes little sense, honestly, for proving/disproving this) and then ... checking the other news websites? "Well, they reported it must be legit."

And, again, this now isn't really about that people fell for it. It's about how the reaction to it. "Hahaha, those silly journalists" only went so far; "I'm not wrong until you guys prove I'm wrong, ps bansssss" is the fuel here now.

Edit:

There's no reason why this needed to blow up into a crazy thread of personal attacks.
This is definitely true, though. Some over the top hostility was present, he gets defensive, and then it just kind of built up from there. Then again, in about a week nobody will care.

Well, unless Monster Hunter, Tales of Innocence R (US), GTA, and Type-0 HD get announced tomorrow. Then this will live on forever.
 
Feb 14, 2005
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As I said earlier, I don't blame the blogger for running the story. That's how blogs work. They source a story and they make commentary.

The major networks, however, should feel a bit ashamed. IGN, Gamespot, Eurogamer, etc. are all pitched as news outlets. If you want credibility in your reporting, fact check. I don't hold bloggers to that same standard when it comes to stories where they aren't the origination point.

Now, when a blogger breaks a story, I fully expect them to know that they have the facts correct.

I was actually the person that broke the story years ago that Warhawk for the PS3 was going to be a PSN title and that the single player would be nixed. My little insignificant blog had the story first, and I watched as sites ripped it off and reported what I had written. Not ONE person contacted me for clarification, but it got reported all over the place. I was pretty shocked. I wasn't so annoyed by other bloggers reporting the story and linking back, but I thought it was lame that media outlets would do so without asking me what my basis was and many of them neglected to link back to me or acknowledge that I was their source.
 

WanderingWind

Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
Feb 4, 2009
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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.
And both require a basic level of fact checking, accountability and professionalism when dealing with adversity. None of which was present.

It blew up because, unfortunately, the things you say and do while in the public realm have consequences. As they go, this is relatively minor. If he, simply said "I made a mistake" and posted a retraction (like mainstream media does) it would already be forgotten. You're thinking the topic ballooned because of the initial mistake. It has far, far more to do with the serious of increasingly odd decisions he's made since. Even if it turns out on Friday that these games are being announced, it doesn't change any of that.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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I really don't think too many people are attacking every little aspect of his career. You've got to admit, though, that there's some irony in the "People are stupid (lol Twitter)" article and this situation, however.



To be fair, I kind of expected something more about what Sterling said but I figured the whole "Seriously though, you got me good" part kind of smoothed things over.

The thing is, Jason came here about it and inquired about information. I expected things to go well from that. But he quickly went into "I see no proof, you guys are the ones making shit up" mode despite all the posts to the contrary. Perhaps there was some hostility towards him that kicked it into that mode, certainly, but it kind of went downhill from there.
It may not have been everyone but when some dickhead posts that Jason's a "failure as a man" its time for some introspection.
 
Feb 14, 2005
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And both require a basic level of fact checking, accountability and professionalism when dealing with adversity. None of which was present.

It blew up because, unfortunately, the things you say and do while in the public realm have consequences. As they go, this is relatively minor. If he, simply said "I made a mistake" and posted a retraction (like mainstream media does) it would already be forgotten. You're thinking the topic ballooned because of the initial mistake. It has far, far more to do with the serious of increasingly odd decisions he's made since. Even if it turns out on Friday that these games are being announced, it doesn't change any of that.
Ok, yeah, I see what you're getting at. I think that we initially jumped on the "lol games journalism" shtick a little heavy though, so it was bound to blow up if anybody came and said anything. But right, I see where you're coming from.
 
May 14, 2009
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Someone want to give me the Cliff Notes on what this LUElinks site is all about?
It's a site that's simply a spin off of LUE on GameFAQs, which was a spin-off board simply called Life, the Universe, and Everything. Many of the users migrated to LUELinks after the staff on the FAQs closed off LUE to newer users and started being more aggressive to posts that happened in that board. Eventually the site became private as staff on GameFAQs wanted to punish those who violated the ToS, even though LUELinks was its own site. Or at least that's something I remember with it.
 
Feb 17, 2009
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It may not have been everyone but when some dickhead posts that Jason's a "failure as a man" its time for some introspection.
Funnily enough I responded directly to your post and instead of actually addressing it, you're being all passive aggressive in an entirely unsurprising fashion. Jason acted, and is acting like a child, but of course it would be too much to ask that you actually consider what people are criticizing him for. He had a wonderful opportunity to be the bigger man but chose the path of maximum pettiness. Yet somehow the outrage is not what he did, but that he was called out.

Your faux anger is clever because you get to reduce the entire discussion to small phrases that paint him as the victim, but for all your bluster I don't think you've said a single substantive thing in this thread. Time for some introspection indeed.
 
Feb 16, 2008
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It's a site that's simply a spin off of LUE on GameFAQs, which was a spin-off board simply called Life, the Universe, and Everything. Many of the users migrated to LUELinks after the staff on the FAQs closed off LUE to newer users and started being more aggressive to posts that happened in that board. Eventually the site became private as staff on GameFAQs wanted to punish those who violated the ToS, even though LUELinks was its own site. Or at least that's something I remember with it.
Pretty much. We used Luelinks to link to websites containing porn or whatever, and then would use the link number, and post that on gamefaqs. It'd be a totally anonymous number and you ended up being able to post anything you wanted on Gamefaqs. The mods didn't like it much though.
 
May 12, 2009
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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."
damn WW, you're crazy in GAF-hop sometimes, but much respect due - exactly what i'd want to say here, only more thorough.
likewise, it's always bothered me that the blogs get to be bloggers when running any story they like, but journalists when interviewing at events or covering something already established. I don't think a simple correction (either from a fiasco like this, or even a simple omission) is too much to ask; rather, it'd be a simple way to raise the bar. some of the popular names in these discussions seem entirely unwilling to do so, then go right into martyr complexes because the story is somehow about them.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
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As I said earlier, I don't blame the blogger for running the story. That's how blogs work. They source a story and they make commentary.

The major networks, however, should feel a bit ashamed. IGN, Gamespot, Eurogamer, etc. are all pitched as news outlets. If you want credibility in your reporting, fact check. I don't hold bloggers to that same standard when it comes to stories where they aren't the origination point.
So Kotaku shouldn't feel ashamed, because they're not really a news outlet, but IGN and Eurogamer should be, because they are pitched as news outlets.

Okay.

But if there's a difference between bloggers and news reporters, why are Kotaku employees listed as editors and reporters?

http://kotaku.com/about/

"Masthead" (a newspaper term)

"Editor-in-Chief"

"Features Editor"

"Contributing Editor"

"Reporter"

"Reporter"

"Reporter"

"Reporter, Weekends"

"Contributing Columnist"

etc.

Not one listing for "blogger", though.

I don't know, seems like Kotaku is trying to come across as a news site to me.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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Funnily enough I responded directly to your post and instead of actually addressing it, you're being all passive aggressive in an entirely unsurprising fashion. Jason acted, and is acting like a child, but of course it would be too much to ask that you actually consider what people are criticizing him for. He had a wonderful opportunity to be the bigger man but chose the path of maximum pettiness. Yet somehow the outrage is not what he did, but that he was called out.

Your faux anger is clever because you get to reduce the entire discussion to small phrases that paint him as the victim, but for all your bluster I don't think you've said a single substantive thing in this thread. Time for some introspection indeed.
What on earth are you talking about? I know what people are criticising him for and while some of it is deserved, the way you attacked him is pathetic.

The fact that you use a word like "outrage" to describe your expected reaction to what this guy did is absurd.

I'm not painting Jason as a victim because it seems that neither he nor his employer really give a shit about your hyperbolic response to his actions over the past 48 hours but that doesn't make the way you've handled yourself any less disgraceful.
 
Sep 2, 2010
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It is. Invites aren't currently open right now. Also, 'sup fellow Yetis. :D

so it's like a private torrent site with a more tightknit message board?


I remember people clamoring to get in, but I think the proliferation of private torrent sites made most people not care that much about it.



Someone invite WanderingWind for massive damage

not even worth it. every time I've gone head-to-head with a blogger, it's been pointless. they already have the hits and attention, after all. most recently, that asshole boingboing guy who reblogged the FGC shit with his own editorialization, which was all pretty damn inaccurate. Needless to say, he banned me and all the regulars on the site had his back.
 
Feb 17, 2009
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What on earth are you talking about? I know what people are criticising him for and while some of it is deserved, the way you attacked him is pathetic.

The fact that you use a word like "outrage" to describe your expected reaction to what this guy did is absurd.

I'm not painting Jason as a victim because it seems that neither he nor his employer really give a shit about your hyperbolic response to his actions over the past 48 hours but that doesn't make the way you've handled yourself any less disgraceful.
You came into the thread babbling about personal vendettas without naming names. You ignored my post addressing precisely that ridiculous charge and replied to someone else in a cowardly, passive aggressive manner. You then moved the goalposts, pretending to be upset and offended by a frankly mild reaction to Jason's childish attempt at silencing his critics. Now that I've engaged you directly to see if you have anything of substance to say, all you can muster are vague insults and accusations.

Any suggestion that Jason has behaved in a less than adult fashion is now apparently absurd, pathetic, and hyperbolic--all patently ironic words coming from you.
 
Oct 29, 2011
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As I said earlier, I don't blame the blogger for running the story. That's how blogs work. They source a story and they make commentary.

Being a blog doesn't mean you adhere to lower journalistic standards. Every news site has a goddamn blog these days; it's nothing but a delivery format. Kotaku is a news aggregate site--a very popular one--they have a responsibility to not run shitty fake stories.

One of the first (good) aggregate blogs was called 'Romenesko'. Started by Jim Romenesko, the blog would aggregate all of the major stories about journalism and delivery it in a very well-packaged format. Every morning, it was updated with the freshest journalism news!

The difference of quality between Kotaku and Romenesko? Romenesko would wake up every morning before the crack of dawn, sit down at Starbucks with a cup of coffee, and work for hours doing research on the entire journalism industry.

Kotaku contributors seem to just copy and paste whatever interesting tidbit they find on Neogaf/4chan/Various Gaming site, then throw in their meaningless, forum-like opinion. This isn't always the case but, as a reader, it's certainly how it feels.

I just don't feel like Kotaku articles have the same level of research and effort that something like Romenesko had. As a former journalism student, I really got to study on how the best in the news industry do their thing. You just don't see that in gaming journalism.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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You came into the thread babbling about personal vendettas without naming names. You ignored my post addressing precisely that ridiculous charge and replied to someone else in a cowardly, passive aggressive manner. You then moved the goalposts, pretending to be upset and offended by a frankly mild reaction to Jason's childish attempt at silencing his critics. Now that I've engaged you directly to see if you have anything of substance to say, all you can muster are vague insults and accusations.

Any suggestion that Jason has behaved in a less than adult fashion is now apparently absurd, pathetic, and hyperbolic--all patently ironic words coming from you.
If you must have names then amongst a sea of vitriol, posts by both yourself and wanderingwind come across as particularly hateful.

If you consider saying someone "fails as a man" as mild then we'll agree to disagree but its clear that I'm not alone in thinking you've gone completely over the top.

Like I said, the journalist in question could have handled things better but the response has been absolutely hyperbolic and you've been leading the charge.
 
Sep 2, 2010
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Like I said, the journalist in question could have handled things better but the response has been absolutely hyperbolic and you've been leading the charge.

See, this is kind of the problem. Every time this happens, this is the response. It feels a bit more like a game-- like they find some news, know they have to get it up first, and post it without giving a shit because they can always say "sorry, we could have handled this better and didn't mean to mislead you" every single time with no consequences...it doesn't negatively affect their credibility because "hey, everyone else ran it too!" and really, average people who visit the site just don't care that much, so it's gonna be perennial controversy.
 
Oct 22, 2009
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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.
I think a lot of perceived problems about games journalism comes from an unimaginably widespread failure to clearly delineate between these two types of activities.
 
Jan 16, 2007
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See, this is kind of the problem. Every time this happens, this is the response. It feels a bit more like a game-- like they find some news, know they have to get it up first, and post it without giving a shit because they can always say "sorry, we could have handled this better and didn't mean to mislead you" every single time with no consequences...it doesn't negatively affect their credibility because "hey, everyone else ran it too!" and really, average people who visit the site just don't care that much, so it's gonna be perennial controversy.
I'm mildly surprised that there's no desire to be the first to *prove it wrong*. It's also news that this picture managed to fool so many sites - with a bit of fact-checking, you'd have got a genuine scoop; a scoop about games journalism rather than about games, but that should be enough for the average gaming news site.
 
Feb 17, 2009
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If you consider saying someone "fails as a man" as mild then we'll agree to disagree but its clear that I'm not alone in thinking you've gone completely over the top.
I think you are the only one who thinks that accusing him of being childish is some great crime against decency. Countless others have said the same thing, often with cruder words than the ones I chose. It is among the milder accusations that seem fit for the circumstances.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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I think you are the only one who thinks that accusing him of being childish is some great crime against decency. Countless others have said the same thing, often with cruder words than the ones I chose. It is among the milder accusations that seem fit for the circumstances.
Stop being reductive. You and wanderingwind have done far more than simply call him childish.
 
Sep 30, 2004
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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.
Maybe that's how you simplify the term for the purposes of running your site, but blogs are just content repositories. You can write news on them, you can copy others' news onto them, you can make shit up on them, whatever. I don't think it's advantageous to divorce the two and put either on a different level. If you're reporting news, you are reporting, simple as that.

People have talked a lot about GAF being the alternative to "game journalism", but again, the people who post news here are reporting (some of those people are even professional reporters or industry staffers.) There are some news channels out there that use forum technology as the backbone of their content management tool, they post a header thread and the rest is the comment section; same as GAF, except here everybody has equal rights to start a thread, and credibility is managed by bans and/or complaint responses. It's just a way of getting info out there, and responsibility is still a factor.

I was actually the person that broke the story years ago that Warhawk for the PS3 was going to be a PSN title and that the single player would be nixed. My little insignificant blog had the story first, and I watched as sites ripped it off and reported what I had written. Not ONE person contacted me for clarification, but it got reported all over the place. I was pretty shocked. I wasn't so annoyed by other bloggers reporting the story and linking back, but I thought it was lame that media outlets would do so without asking me what my basis was and many of them neglected to link back to me or acknowledge that I was their source.
That's a fair cop, although I would argue that your annoyance over lack of link-backs and such is more about professionalism than journalistic integrity. If a story like this breaks, their responsibility to their readers is to call Sony, not you. (Though you would be an important person to talk to in order to get a feel for how solid a lead it is; I'm not sure who'd go to press with a link to a "little insignificant blog", but wasn't your site an Advanced Media site, or are you talking about a different blog? AMN wasn't insignificant.)

By the way ... funny you should bring up Warhawk because I know a bit about that story's development from way back when. The rumor was out there for a while (let me guess: you had a source who gave you some big love about everything that Incog was up to?) so it could be that nobody could substantiate it and were just waiting for somebody anybody to break it so they could run with the pieces they had. Or could even be that they had an inside source but they were too close and knew that running it could get them in trouble, so instead they were bargaining with Sony to run the exclusive until you broke it on the sly. Still rude that they didn't cite you, but it's not necessarily a matter of poor journalistic integrity.
 
Feb 15, 2010
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Incredible. That's all you've been doing during your entire time in this thread. You harped on and on about that one line and now you're moving the goalposts again. I have a feeling this is heading nowhere fast so let's go back to agreeing to disagree, yes?
Moving the goalposts?Do you even know what that means because it makes zero sense as a response to any of my posts.

I haven't modified my argument in any way and you've yet to provide a single justification for the hostility of your comments.
 

WanderingWind

Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
Feb 4, 2009
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Moving the goalposts?Do you even know what that means because it makes zero sense as a response to any of my posts.

I haven't modified my argument in any way and you've yet to provide a single justification for the hostility of your comments.
Well, you've called me hateful and dropped my name twice, yet I have not said anything to you. We all get a little heated, now and again, yeah?
 
Aug 27, 2008
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I'm not at all surprised by these turn of events. Gaming journalism, as it is today, is used as nothing more than a stepping stone to get a "real" job in the industry. When your profession attracts that sort of people, it's no wonder unprofessionalism and immaturity runs rampant.
 
Jan 27, 2012
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That's all quite sad actually.

Recently, I've been searching Google for information on various games, and the same sentences keep appearing in the results, direct copy-paste I think. I just skipped most of it, but it seems like 2-3 small bits of information spread out over 1 month would keep most popular/known gaming sites active -- cause once one site gets ahold of it, the others copy it.

Is that legal, though? I thought about it the other day, cause a couple of sites and IGN seemed to share a lot of stuff. It does seem like many of todays news gaming sites are working in the same company/firm, and they are all 'in on it', in a way.

Or maybe it's cause the new sites that started up wanted to make money without working a lot, or started the whole thing cause someone figured out how to make money and not do a lot of work, and simply copied the formula (Basic ethical principles, review score agenda, how to present articles, how to write articles, what to write articles about, etc.) of the most popular gaming news/review site at the time.

Credited+copy-pasted 3rd party info or not, the point is that it's the same information on pretty much all gaming sites -- so, what are the journalists/paid employees of these magazines/sites/articles/blogs/whatever actually doing?

Some of them do feature interesting articles, information on unknown games/developers/etc, of course. But I think many gamers want news on many games, not just the 3-4 biggest upcoming games from various major studios. (Perhaps a bit extreme, but it's just an example. :p)

Kotaku has actually featured a couple of up and coming promising projects that hasn't gotten a lot of media attention otherwise - but, while I just read one or two or so articles, it seemed more like they had grabbed some stuff people chatted about on forums just to diversify or post a new article/mix it up. But that was just an impression, and I rarely go to Kotaku, so..

Anyway, there are probably too many gaming news websites as well -- and, as I said, many of them post the same stuff, so maybe they will eventually merge and diversify + exsclusively post their own news eventually. (Ok, they will probably merge in the way that one company shuts down, and some employees might get hired by another gaming site.)

There are most likely A LOT of people on forums like NeoGaf who spend maany hours on the net reading about games, news, etc, people who are very interested in gaming in general -- why aren't there more of these at professional sites? Sure, most people might get a little bored of it if they work with it, but there are freelancers (Is that the right word? People who sell articles/pieces they wrote to magazines, but they aren't employeed by anyone.) as well, and there are probably a lot of gamers who wouldn't get bored for quite awhile even if they worked daily with it. :p

I guess they should start putting up some ads on their sites looking for interesting articles they will pay for/genuinely interested gamers who want to get paid for reviewing games. Not sure how it'd work out, but someone should try it at least I suppose.



And what's up with the attacks on NeoGaf? I just found out about this site a few months ago, but the majority of the posters in the gaming part seem to be surprisingly rational and basically nice -- especially compared to other forums on, well, the internet. Is that totally wrong or?