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

Joni

Member
Aug 11, 2007
30,094
0
0
My House
Not any newspaper worth it's delivery weight. It's rare for several major newspapers to jump on such a patently false story. The OP had like 4 or 5 of the biggest videogame websites on the net. I can't think of a story, ever, that the Boston Globe, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, and Chicago Tribune all jumped on that was patently fabricated and so easy to see through.

Newspapers do their homework.
Here it did happen. Too bad I can't find any subbed video's of it. But they contacted all major Belgian news paper, even the most prestigious ones put in the paper. Anyone who speaks Dutch, can find the proof here ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVsSIXoxglM )

Some British dudes did it too apparantly: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/10002400

Can't even blame them; budgets get lower all the time and they don't get the time to fact check. Most stories in a news paper are also delivered by a couple of esteemed agencies so they don't fact check because they think those are perfect.
 

Perfo

Thirteen flew over the cuckoo's nest
Aug 22, 2010
5,704
0
0
myfinalfantasycollection.blogspot.it
Monster Hunter; most definitely since its a system seller and its port is very much requested.
GTA; most definitely, but it won't be Vice City Nights.
Final Fantasy; most definitely but not Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.
Tales of Innocence; most likely.
Sorry if I edit this just a little:

Monster Hunter; the game already exists, it's called Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, all it needs it's a DD release in the west for VITA, maybe helped with a retail release specifically made for our market.
GTA; most definitely, but it won't be Vice City Nights. OK
Final Fantasy; it's definitely Type-0. Square Enix said that the overseas version is already in the works, and certainly I add not for PSP. What we have then? An HD remaster for VITA/PS3 it's the logic choice.
Tales of Innocence R; trademark in the west already registered, so it's probably coming.
 
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
0
0
www.twitter.com
Hey guys. I'm the Kotaku reporter who wrote about this rumor. I've read through both this thread and the Play.com one and I can't seem to find any sort of proof that these game listings were photoshopped. Can somebody point me to the 4chan thread or wherever else you guys saw conclusive proof that the listings were fake? Or somebody claiming to have made the listings?

Just so you know, my standard operating procedure is to make it very clear when something is an unconfirmed rumor (as I did in the post) and to contact all related companies for comment (as I did this morning). Since the listings look legitimate, the timing seems to match with Sony's big Vita announcement plans on Friday, and none of the games seem particularly farfetched, I had no problem running this rumor as is.

If it's incorrect, I'm happy to update the post and admit my mistake. But right now all I see is a bunch of GAFfers assuming it's incorrect because it looks like it's maybe kinda fake? If somebody has more evidence than that, please let me know!
 
Oct 11, 2009
14,404
0
0
The Netherlands
Hey guys. I'm the Kotaku reporter who wrote about this rumor. I've read through both this thread and the Play.com one and I can't seem to find any sort of proof that these game listings were photoshopped. Can somebody point me to the 4chan thread or wherever else you guys saw conclusive proof that the listings were fake? Or somebody claiming to have made the listings?

Just so you know, my standard operating procedure is to make it very clear when something is an unconfirmed rumor (as I did in the post) and to contact all related companies for comment (as I did this morning). Since the listings look legitimate, the timing seems to match with Sony's big Vita announcement plans on Friday, and none of the games seem particularly farfetched, I had no problem running this rumor as is.

If it's incorrect, I'm happy to update the post and admit my mistake. But right now all I see is a bunch of GAFfers assuming it's incorrect because it looks like it's maybe kinda fake? If somebody has more evidence than that, please let me know!
Ok I understand that you want to put it up first and check later for clicks.
But it should be the other way around, fact that first and than post something.
 
Feb 17, 2009
12,544
0
0
Hey guys. I'm the Kotaku reporter who wrote about this rumor. I've read through both this thread and the Play.com one and I can't seem to find any sort of proof that these game listings were photoshopped. Can somebody point me to the 4chan thread or wherever else you guys saw conclusive proof that the listings were fake? Or somebody claiming to have made the listings?

Just so you know, my standard operating procedure is to make it very clear when something is an unconfirmed rumor (as I did in the post) and to contact all related companies for comment (as I did this morning). Since the listings look legitimate, the timing seems to match with Sony's big Vita announcement plans on Friday, and none of the games seem particularly farfetched, I had no problem running this rumor as is.

If it's incorrect, I'm happy to update the post and admit my mistake. But right now all I see is a bunch of GAFfers assuming it's incorrect because it looks like it's maybe kinda fake? If somebody has more evidence than that, please let me know!
You don't see anything wrong with the burden of proof being on any random image being fake before posting? What will stop you from repeating this circus when the next photoshopped image is submitted?
 
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
0
0
www.twitter.com
Ok I understand that you want to put it up first and check later for clicks.
But it should be the other way around, fact that first and than post something.
In an ideal world, every game publisher in the industry would respond to me within 15 minutes and offer actual answers, instead of "no comment."

But since we don't live in an ideal world, I have to go with my gut. If a rumor seems legitimate to me - as this one did - I don't have a problem posting it without confirmation.
 
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
0
0
www.twitter.com
You don't see anything wrong with the burden of proof being on any random image being fake before posting? What will stop you from repeating this circus when the next photoshopped image is submitted?
Do you have proof that it's photoshopped?

Like I said earlier, a number of factors led me to believe that these listings could very well be real. I still don't see anything to contradict that belief.
 
Jun 7, 2004
22,706
0
0
33
New York, NY
Hey guys. I'm the Kotaku reporter who wrote about this rumor. I've read through both this thread and the Play.com one and I can't seem to find any sort of proof that these game listings were photoshopped. Can somebody point me to the 4chan thread or wherever else you guys saw conclusive proof that the listings were fake? Or somebody claiming to have made the listings?

Just so you know, my standard operating procedure is to make it very clear when something is an unconfirmed rumor (as I did in the post) and to contact all related companies for comment (as I did this morning). Since the listings look legitimate, the timing seems to match with Sony's big Vita announcement plans on Friday, and none of the games seem particularly farfetched, I had no problem running this rumor as is.

If it's incorrect, I'm happy to update the post and admit my mistake. But right now all I see is a bunch of GAFfers assuming it's incorrect because it looks like it's maybe kinda fake? If somebody has more evidence than that, please let me know!
I notice that your source is Eurogamer. I'd suggest checking their comment thread:

Eurogamer was alerted to this by reader el_pollo_diablo, who sent us the image displayed in this story.
el_pollo_diablo said:
To be fair, it was spudsbuckley who spotted this and posted it on the forum, I just sent it to EG as news.
spudsbuckley said:
Lol, i post a picture from a user on some other forum (Something Awful) and EG post it as news when someone on here emails them the image.

Awesome.

What other rumours do people want me to start?
And finally, a comment from someone who claims to work for Play.com, which can't be proven immediately but is consistent with the absence of anyone claiming to have actually seen the listings for the three non-MHP3 titles on Play.com:

chadrtc said:
Errrrrr, I work for Play.com, I've just checked our system and the only one of these that we have on our systems is Monster Hunter 3. The others are mock-ups some scamp has made using the Monster Hunter listing as a template.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news... someone is having a bit of fun at everyone's expense!
 
Sep 30, 2004
5,330
0
1,140
You don't see anything wrong with the burden of proof being on any random image being fake before posting? What will stop you from repeating this circus when the next photoshopped image is submitted?
Are you going to be part of the solution here, or are you just going to be an indignant dick lording your superiority over the world?

Do you have proof that it's photoshopped?

Like I said earlier, a number of factors led me to believe that these listings could very well be real. I still don't see anything to contradict that belief.
I've not seen the 4CHAN post (nobody can seem to find the link here... but I'll attribute that to a matter of taste and good choice in not visiting 4CHAN,) but there was decent proof of the fake here, amongst other places.

http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=503261&st=60 (look for T777)

Plus, nobody ever had the links to the Play pages (unlike the MH3 listing) even though there was this supposed screenshot. Links usually archive easier than screens. So, seems like there's lots of evidence to call it a hoax.
 
Feb 17, 2009
12,544
0
0
Do you have proof that it's photoshopped?

Like I said earlier, a number of factors led me to believe that these listings could very well be real. I still don't see anything to contradict that belief.
In case you don't know how 4chan works, the original thread is probably gone by now and would be impossible to search for to begin with. People have been watching the Play site for a long time before the image emerged and never saw any such listings. There were never any links to them. The only evidence that such listings existed came from the image which was sourced on several forums from 4chan, and one of our own users supports that being the original source with his own testimony.

You're asking the community to effectively do your job, but not only that, you're asking them to prove a negative which is about as absurd as demanding that Iraq prove that they absolutely don't have any weapons of mass destruction.

You say that you have absolutely no problem with posting nonsense without any verification or substantiation, and that much is self evident. I'm missing the part where that policy should be treated with anything other than mockery, especially in light of how stubbornly you're defending a photoshop.
 
Oct 12, 2011
126
0
0
Right outside NYC
I don't think many involved with 'games journalism' actually have a degree in journalism from a good program. And that's really the problem because when people don't have a formal education in journalism they're more likely to completely disregard fact checking in favor of just running with it and posting some sort of redaction later. Its basically the pro-am version of typing "FIRST!" on a messageboard thread.

Then again, this crap happens on the web all the damn time for so many different subjects. Which is why there will always be a class difference between dirtbag bloggers and actual journalists..as much as said D-bag bloggers would argue with that.
 
Dec 31, 2011
5,902
0
0
lol I posted on the CVG news item about this saying it was bollocks and the whole page has since been taken down from what I can tell.
 
Jan 6, 2011
4,045
0
0
www.twitter.com
In case you don't know how 4chan works, the original thread is probably gone by now and would be impossible to search for to begin with. People have been watching the Play site for a long time before the image emerged and never saw any such listings. The only evidence that such listings existed came from the image which was sourced on several forums from 4chan, and one of our own users supports that being the original source with his own testimony.

You're asking the community to effectively do your job, but not only that, you're asking them to prove a negative which is about as absurd as demanding that Iraq prove that they absolutely don't have any weapons of mass destruction.
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.
 
Nov 10, 2010
34,178
0
0
Atlanta GA
In case you don't know how 4chan works, the original thread is probably gone by now and would be impossible to search for to begin with. People have been watching the Play site for a long time before the image emerged and never saw any such listings. The only evidence that such listings existed came from the image which was sourced on several forums from 4chan, and one of our own users supports that being the original source with his own testimony.

You're asking the community to effectively do your job, but not only that, you're asking them to prove a negative which is about as absurd as demanding that Iraq prove that they absolutely don't have any weapons of mass destruction.

You say that you have absolutely no problem with posting nonsense without any verification or substantiation, and that much is self evident. I'm missing the part where that policy should be treated with anything other than mockery.
ooh the philosophical debate. Do people really need to fact check before they post a rumor? If there were facts, it wouldn't really be much of a 'rumor' imo.

I do feel like posting rumors have to depend on 'gut reaction' more than anything else. If your gut reaction is wrong, make sure to take the proper steps to inform readers.

And with boxarts with ign tag, and capcom misspelling everything these days... wtf is true anymore on the internet?
 
May 14, 2009
22,559
1
0
I don't think many involved with 'games journalism' actually have a degree in journalism from a good program. And that's really the problem because when people don't have a formal education in journalism they're more likely to completely disregard fact checking in favor of just running with it and posting some sort of redaction later. Its basically the pro-am version of typing "FIRST!" on a messageboard thread.
That seems quite true to video game "journalism". We should have a list of those who actually have journalism degrees, and only follow those guys when it comes to reports.

I'm quite sure none of the major game sites have anyone like that, beyond an intern or something.
 
Sep 30, 2004
5,330
0
1,140
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.
No, no, don't get heated over it jschreier. The worst thing somebody can do unfortunately when something has gone wrong is engage the audience because 99.99% of the time it turns sour on both sides, but some of us appreciate that you tried, and hopefully you can see enough evidence on this thread to appropriately act on your story.

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.
Again, check this link:
http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=503261&st=60&#entry1061133750 (*EDITED TO GO DIRECT - thanks, creid!)

Am I the only one bothered by the fact that only one of the shots has the DVD | Blu-Ray | Music | Etc.... bar at the top? The rest have it removed for some bizarre reason.
Not uncommon for a retailer to create its own boxes.
 
Oct 12, 2011
126
0
0
Right outside NYC
That seems quite true to video game "journalism". We should have a list of those who actually have journalism degrees, and only follow those guys when it comes to reports.

I'm quite sure none of the major game sites have anyone like that, beyond an intern or something.
You know...I feel sorta bad for saying that, because I read these sites too and I enjoy them. I won't lie. Its just...there's got to be an enforcement of higher standards.

I'd like to see a list of who's studied what in college for all the heavyweights.
 

scy

Member
Jul 20, 2007
24,496
0
0
College Station, Tx
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.
There's nothing conclusive that they haven't either, which apparently doesn't matter in the slightest. Meanwhile, there's actual evidence in this topic that things are fishy. It seems a tad unprofessional to go with it as anything more than a rumor (which, admittedly, you did mention). There's little proof of anything showing that there's some credibility behind these claims.

Plus, what part of Tales of Innocence getting localized doesn't strike you as weird? Come on! :x

Not uncommon for a retailer to create its own boxes.
Huh? No, I mean the one from Play.com's website. It's their own header for the website itself. It's been photoshopped out of the picture for the 2x2 block picture of the four games. It's there in the first shot of just Monster Hunter.

Edit: Also, the Home > Search "Term" part is missing too. The actual search bar is there at the top, though, so it's just the middle section missing.
 
Aug 5, 2010
5,754
0
0
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.
Maybe I don't know how things are supposed to work, so if I'm wrong, then I apologize ahead of time.

But um... as the professional, shouldn't you be the one with evidence before posting the article? You can't be like "well, it can't be proven that it's a photoshopped image, so it must be valid". It seems like you're assuming it's true based on a single inconsistent image. Shouldn't you, as a proper journalist, assume it's false until you have sufficient evidence to prove otherwise?

Imagine if the news outlets ran stories on anything that the journalist felt was plausible with the most paper thin "proof". I think you're supposed to be more responsible than that.

But if I'm wrong, then I'm sorry.
 
Feb 2, 2009
8,321
1,132
800
Seems like a lot of folks don't realize quite how tabloidy Eurogamer is.

There do publish some good reviews and articles (although quality control varies), but as a news site its abysmal, and has been for quite a long time.
 
Apr 28, 2011
4,501
0
0
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.
Did you not see Father Brain's post? If that is not proof enough for you, you are simply being irrational. And from what I've seen so far, that's exactly what you're doing; irrationally defending an obvious lapse in judgement and lack of research.
 
Jan 27, 2011
7,633
14
640
Nevada, USA
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.
So you're essentially asking GAF to do the journalistic work you should have done before.


But um... as the professional, shouldn't you be the one with evidence before posting the article? You can't be like "well, it can't be proven that it's a photoshopped image, so it must be valid". It seems like you're assuming it's true based on a single inconsistent image. Shouldn't you, as a proper journalist, assume it's false until you have sufficient evidence to prove otherwise?
Basically this.

That said, it was an honest mistake. And I see what some of these guys are going with in that there is a "first to the punch" element that exists with game journalism that can compromise accuracy.
 
Feb 17, 2009
12,544
0
0
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.
Here is the process that led to this being front page news across the industry:

1. Image emerges on random forums sourced to 4chan, unaccompanied by any links at all
2. El Pollo Diablo sends the image to Eurogamer, which posts it without any caveat
3. You lift the story from Eurogamer, are gullible enough to believe it is legit despite being shown the original postings that sourced it from the most notorious den of trolls on the internet
4. You continue to insist that there's no reason to believe the image is fake

This is why the "journalism" is in parentheses and will remain that way.