Games Journalism! Wainwright/Florence/Tomb Raider/Eurogamer/Libel Threats/Doritos

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So bizarre. I don't care about AC3 at all. I've been honestly puzzled as to why the game's been getting any hype. Everything about it just seems so boring and uninteresting.

A buckskin jacket? Well now. Strap in for electric visceral dynamo excitement!

To be fair, the same can be said of people who think that the gaming industry is worth covering like someone would goings on at the White House.

How much time do you spend complaining to TMZ about their lack of effort promoting social justice via progressive celeb bonafide journalism?
I think there is room for TMZ analogues, and serious criticism and journalism too. Just like every other entertainment medium. If there were no serious literary or film critics you would have a point.
 
The rest of the stuff, there has been comments here about how "it's rubbish we don't want, it either gets thrown out or given away", then those sites should take a stance on it, actually tell these people you won't accept it, if they continue sending it, call them out on it on your websites and/or refuse to write an article on the product they're trying to get you to talk positively about. The other stuff like being given holidays, or expensive dinners should be obvious that it shouldn't be accepted.
Game press needs a limited code of ethics. Not only can it draw a line between the press and PR, it can facilitate peer review among the press.
 
Do you honestly think that only political journalists should have a code of ethics( Also I can think of a few film critics who would agree that critics should hold PR at arms-length).
I'm saying that the standard being demanded given the industry and products covered is massively unrealistic. There's only one source for the info being covered. That's the gaming industry.

Also in my experience the perception of gaming media and PR being bed buddies is terribly warped. Just from my own experiences reviewing games, I simply got burnt out having to play a bunch of mediocre games constantly. I wasn't inclined to give a game a higher score due to a press kit. That luster dies, and it dies fast.

If you're reading what equates to a celebrity stalking magazine, but you want something more out of it FFS, go buy a magazine that actually covers something worthwhile.

Further, so many rant about no standards when we're at a far better place than were not all that long ago. Gaming coverage has generally improved across the boards. (It's not all exclusively targeted at 13 year olds nowadays for example.)

Lest we forget, old gaming journalism consisted of stuff like:

"You all need to buy an Atari Jaguar! It's 64 bits! I don't care if Black and Decker made it! It's 64 bits! 64!!! Go! Buy now!!!"

Gamepro launched with no review scores, and every article printed in the early mags was nothing but upbeat hype for any game they covered.

EGM was aimed at 13 year old boys.

So was DHGF

And Gamepro

In reality, the target audience for gaming media is trending older and the coverage has been steadily growing more mature and has been moving in a more responsible direction in response for years.

Is it there yet? That's another question entirely.

I think there is room for TMZ analogues, and serious criticism and journalism too. Just like every other entertainment medium. If there were no serious literary or film critics you would have a point.
You act like there isn't in gaming media, and that's kinda strange. It's not like Blistered Thumbs is the only gaming site in existence.
 
How do you explain why your site, and all of the big gaming sites, are ignoring this incident? You've said why you aren't bothered with it. But how come all of you feel the same way? That's a bit of a weird coincidence isn't it? That none of you find it news-worthy. Look at the size of this thread, look at the small amount of people who are reporting on it outside of Neogaf, and look at how everyone is so passionate or outraged by it. If it was a non-story, then why are people pissed off.
I have no idea why it hasn't run on various sites. I've explained why we have not yet covered it and that the discussion here has changed my mind. I've written quite a lot in this thread about the ethical standards at Kotaku about the specifics of stories people have brought up, such as why we did a Halo unboxing, why we didn't do anything (yet) on Robert Florence's thing, some of the background on the SK story and other stuff. I'm always happy to answer questions and have tried to answer them here. I started chatting here on Saturday. Robert's piece had run on Wednesday. Now it's Sunday, and I've been busy for two whole days playing a game for review and then have a pile of stories to edit and write, starting tonight. A massive storm is bearing down on my neighborhood so we may be without power and maybe I'll regret spending so much time taking gaming breaks by posting in here. So as for why, since Wednesday, we have run nothing, it's because I decided that we wouldn't on Wednesday, changed my mind yesterday and have had other things to do since yesterday other than drop everything and start reporting this out.
 
This thread is moving super fast. Question: what happens to review copies of games? Are they normally kept by the reviewers? Sent back? Given away to readers/viewers in contests?
Speaking from my own experience: If they're super pre-release copies, they're often expected to be sent back - especially DS games and such, since I've gotten a couple on really weird cartridges (which I assume are professional equivalents to R4 units or something). Sometimes I've seen games on blank white discs that are clearly marked as review code. 9 times out of 10, though, we're just sent retail copies a few days before release, or timed to arrive specifically on release day. Those are never expected to be returned, and in my case end up on the shelf/in boxes.

On PC, it's Steam codes and downloadable versions all the time now. A year or two ago it was about a 50/50 split between downloads and retail copies, but now it's pretty much entirely digital, so there's nothing you really can do with a copy once you're done with the game.

I'd imagine that sites that get truly early games have debug hardware or are going to review events, neither of which are things I have experience with.
 
I don't think dismissing particular websites or individuals is really helpful. Criticizing behavior and atittudes and scrutinizing the system of influences is.
Thing is, it shouldn't be our job to constantly tell these people how to act like professional, rational adults with integrity. They should have learned these personality traits and cognitive functions when they grew up, when they attended college, and when some of them took their journalism degrees.

Yet somehow these individuals keep on acting like 17-year olds with no respect for their profession, no idea about ethical standards, no critical thinking, no self-reflection, no humility, no engagement towards their audience, and on and on. It's frankly unfathomable how anyone can be this immature and unprofessional.
 
This is one of my favourite threads on GAF. From the initial story, the discoveries about Wainwright, the broader discussion, and some shocking responses (or deafening lack thereof) from established figures... Its really something.

Hoping Monday brings Eurogamer's response (they can't ignore it), and further revelations. After its all done, an epic ordered write-up of events is needed with screenshots, quotes, the best comments from gaffers, a list of shamed sites that are cowering away from the story, further revelations (such as the Assassins Creed message), so that the shame of supposed journalists can be preserved for all to see. It might help potential readers separate the more and least trustworthy figures of the industry.
And you're just the man to do it. I believe in you.
 
Hoping Monday brings Eurogamer's response (they can't ignore it), and further revelations. After its all done, an epic ordered write-up of events is needed with screenshots, quotes, the best comments from gaffers, a list of shamed sites that are cowering away from the story, further revelations (such as the Assassins Creed message), so that the shame of supposed journalists can be preserved for all to see. It might help potential readers separate the more and least trustworthy figures of the industry.
I eagerly await your work. :p
 
This is one of my favourite threads on GAF. From the initial story, the discoveries about Wainwright, the broader discussion, and some shocking responses (or deafening lack thereof) from established figures... Its really something.

Hoping Monday brings Eurogamer's response (they can't ignore it), and further revelations. After its all done, an epic ordered write-up of events is needed with screenshots, quotes, the best comments from gaffers, a list of shamed sites that are cowering away from the story, further revelations (such as the Assassins Creed message), so that the shame of supposed journalists can be preserved for all to see. It might help potential readers separate the more and least trustworthy figures of the industry.
I nominate you. EDIT: Beaten
 
Just wanted to point out that, as far as this notion that gamers outside of GAF are not interested in this issue -- the article summarizing the Rab incident is by far the most commented on story on the front page of Penny Arcade Report right now. Stories about other controversial gaming meta topics that lie outside of the realm of reviews of actual games or fluff feel-good pieces have generated similarly hot discussion.
 
Just wanted to point out that, as far as this notion that gamers outside of GAF are not interested in this issue -- the article summarizing the Rab incident is by far the most commented on story on the front page of Penny Arcade Report right now. Stories about other controversial gaming meta topics that lie outside of the realm of reviews of actual games or fluff feel-good pieces have generated similarly hot discussion.
Shhh, if they keep spouting the collective lie then maybe it will come true.
 
Thing is, it shouldn't be our job to constantly tell these people how to act like professional, rational adults with integrity. They should have learned these personality traits and cognitive functions when they grew up, when they attended college, and when some of them took their journalism degrees.

Yet somehow these individuals keep on acting like 17-year olds with no respect for their profession, no idea about ethical standards, no critical thinking, no self-reflection, no humility, no engagement towards their audience, and on and on. It's frankly unfathomable how anyone can be this immature and unprofessional.
Well, it kind of is. Everybody has blindspots. Everybody rationalizes their own actions to themselves and most people think they are never doing anything compromising even when they are. Those inside the games media are also extremely likely to see the whole media circus as business as usual with no impact on them since they are around it all the time.

Shawn Elliot's link from earlier in the thread is totally relevant here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XBmJay_qdNc#
 
You act like there isn't in gaming media, and that's kinda strange. It's not like Blistered Thumbs is the only gaming site in existence.
Never said it was. You were acting like it was either CNN or TMZ with no middle ground possible. Nobody is taking TMZ to task becuase there are lots of good, well thought out film critiques available. Not really the same for gaming.
 
Im so jelaous of that Geoff guy!

*throws MD diploma at the garbage*


I really love this thread and I hope it can change at least one journalist, there isnt a tool more powerful to better a worker than introspection, some experienced potential comunity managers like Ngai and Jeff are really deep into cognitive dissonance, but maybe the ones that are starting will steer away from that direction.
 
Thing is, it shouldn't be our job to constantly tell these people how to act like professional, rational adults with integrity. They should have learned these personality traits and cognitive functions when they grew up, when they attended college, and when some of them took their journalism degrees.

Yet somehow these individuals keep on acting like 17-year olds with no respect for their profession, no idea about ethical standards, no critical thinking, no self-reflection, no humility, no engagement towards their audience, and on and on. It's frankly unfathomable how anyone can be this immature and unprofessional.
What's wrong with age 17?! I was 17 once.
 
Just wanted to point out that, as far as this notion that gamers outside of GAF are not interested in this issue -- the article summarizing the Rab incident is by far the most commented on story on the front page of Penny Arcade Report right now. Stories about other controversial gaming meta topics that lie outside of the realm of reviews of actual games or fluff feel-good pieces have generated similarly hot discussion.
Not to mention there are 400 views for every 5 replies in this thread. That's a shitload of lurkers, especially for a 3 day-old thread.
 
Never said it was. You were acting like it was either CNN or TMZ with no middle ground possible. Nobody is taking TMZ to task becuase there are lots of good, well thought out film critiques available. Not really the same for gaming.
Given the quote I quoted... The premise seemed to be that a middle ground wasn't possible or desirable.

They were indeed taking a site that viewed itself as entertainment focused to task for not being highly professional uberjournalists.

It was an evasion, a dodge, an excuse which was unacceptable etc.

So are entertainment focused sites allowed to operate or not?
 
I really love this thread and I hope it can change at least one journalist, there isnt a tool more powerful to better a worker than introspection, some experienced potential comunity managers like Ngai and Jeff are really deep into cognitive dissonance, but maybe the ones that are starting will steer away from that direction.
It seems like it has for some

https://twitter.com/Doonvas/status/262172548370948096
 
Not to mention there are 400 views for every 5 replies of this thread. That's a shitload of lurkers, especially for a 3 day-old thread.
I am sure that none of the games journalists that work for all the sites that refuse to comment on this story are lurking.

Because as we are constantly being told - this is a non-story.
 
Well, it kind of is. Everybody has blindspots. Everybody rationalizes their own actions to themselves and most people think they are never doing anything compromising even when they are.

Shawn Elliot's link from earlier in the thread is totally relevant here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XBmJay_qdNc#
Sorry I didn't mean that we shouldn't criticize them - it has more to do with the things we need to criticize them for are basic stuff you learn when you become older, get educated, specialize yourself in some profession, and so on. I'm simply irritated by the fact that we have to point out basic stuff that should be self-explanatory for almost anyone above the age of 17 (the number is arbitrary, but you get my point).

What's wrong with age 17?! I was 17 once.
We all were. But as 17-year olds we weren't working full-time jobs as editors or journalists with the responsibility of reporting/telling the truth on both straightforward and complex issues within a multi-billion entertainment industry, or having an audience that you needed to be honest and upfront to. Instead we were careless, got hammered, did massive amount of drugs and had casual sex without a care in the world.
 
I'm saying that the standard being demanded given the industry and products covered is massively unrealistic. There's only one source for the info being covered. That's the gaming industry.

Also in my experience the perception of gaming media and PR being bed buddies is terribly warped. Just from my own experiences reviewing games, I simply got burnt out having to play a bunch of mediocre games constantly. I wasn't inclined to give a game a higher score due to a press kit. That luster dies, and it dies fast.

If you're reading what equates to a celebrity stalking magazine, but you want something more out of it FFS, go buy a magazine that actually covers something worthwhile.

Further, so many rant about no standards when we're at a far better place than were not all that long ago. Gaming coverage has generally improved across the boards. (It's not all exclusively targeted at 13 year olds nowadays for example.)

Lest we forget, old gaming journalism consisted of stuff like:

"You all need to buy an Atari Jaguar! It's 64 bits! I don't care if Black and Decker made it! It's 64 bits! 64!!! Go! Buy now!!!"

Gamepro launched with no review scores, and every article printed in the early mags was nothing but upbeat hype for any game they covered.

EGM was aimed at 13 year old boys.

So was DHGF

And Gamepro

In reality, the target audience for gaming media is trending older and the coverage has been steadily growing more mature and has been moving in a more responsible direction in response for years.

Is it there yet? That's another question entirely.

You act like there isn't in gaming media, and that's kinda strange. It's not like Blistered Thumbs is the only gaming site in existence.

I disagree,I know that the majority of US print media in the period you are referring to was clearly aimed at 12 year olds, but in the UK for the last 20 years or so I have been able to find well written articles that didn't treat its readers as children, also you seem to assume the only reason that PR tries to entice/"bribe" writers is for higher scores which is a false conceit, we have evidence that merely getting additional coverage is enough (we know covers have been bought, & the letter with the flag was sent months before reviews are due).

They were indeed taking a site that viewed itself as entertainment focused to task for not being highly professional uberjournalists.
I assume you are talking about Kotaku? The same Kotaku whose editor claimed they were too busy carrying out good journalism to cover this "story". After saying that it was pretty obvious what was going to happen next.
 
Given the quote I quoted... The premise seemed to be that a middle ground wasn't possible or desirable.

They were indeed taking a site that viewed itself as entertainment focused to task for not being highly professional uberjournalists.

It was an evasion, a dodge, an excuse which was unacceptable etc.

So are entertainment focused sites allowed to operate or not?
Not really my take on it, but I'm tired so I'll just say the sites in question have been trying to have their cake and eat it too. Entertainment sites are fine but they need to act ethically still, and not pretend to be something they are not when it suits them. If people are acting in unethical ways, even if they are an entertainment site they need to own up or people will justifiably deride them.
 
as good as this thread is, i think it's (unfortunately) fundamentally nothing more than a very good collection of smoking guns demonstrating the reality of something that many up here were already quite aware of. & i believe it will have little if any affect on 'business as usual', to the extent that there'll always be someone eager to fill the shoes of any game journalist who might have second thoughts about it...

ignore the hype, listen to people that actually pay for their games, &, if possible, educate the uneducated. but don't hold your breath waiting for 'change', cuz it's just not gonna happen. it's been institutionalized. this's just the way things work (& have done for a while now)...
 
as good as this thread is, i think it's (unfortunately) fundamentally nothing more than a very good collection of smoking guns demonstrating the reality of something that many up here were already quite aware of. & i believe it will have little if any affect on 'business as usual', to the extent that there'll always be someone eager to fill the shoes of any game journalist who might have second thoughts about it...

ignore the hype, listen to people that actually pay for their games, &, if possible, educate the uneducated. but don't hold your breath waiting for 'change', cuz it's just not gonna happen. it's been institutionalized. this's just the way things work (& have done for a while now)...
A couple people have had their outlook changed a little, and have made public comments, for which they should be commended, but on the whole I think you are correct.
 
I disagree,I know that the majority of US print media in the period you are referring to was clearly aimed at 12 year olds, but in the UK for the last 20 years or so I have been able to find well written articles that didn't treat its readers as children, also you seem to assume the only reason that PR tries to entice/"bribe" writers is for higher scores which is a false conceit, we have evidence that merely getting additional coverage is enough (we know covers have been bought, & the letter with the flag was sent months before reviews are due).
That's hardly new. Rad Gravity was crammed down everyone's throat for way too long back in the day. Such "successes" are rather short lived if the product isn't up to snuff. (Which was the case with Rad. Can't remember anyone buying it.)

That aside, any mag that actively down-rates 2d games because they're "not innovative enough" is aimed at 12 year olds as well. There's certainly no respect directed at the reader with hamfisted editorializations like that.

I assume you are talking about Kotaku? The same Kotaku whose editor claimed they were too busy carrying out good journalism to cover this "story". After saying that it was pretty obvious what was going to happen next.
I don't really know. He was talking about a podcast. Didn't recognize the names of the people involved. (I've visited Kotaku ~2 times since its inception.) What bothered me was the assertion that it's unacceptable for a publication to go the entertainment angle at all.
 
Update: Added letter from UbiSoft, RedFalcon's Weekend Confirmed commentary, Stephen Totilo 10,11

Articles/videos
Wings over Sealand articles (second article has summary) 1 2
Rab Florence (the guy who started all this) criticizing games writing since 2008
John Walker's (Rock Paper Shotgun) blog (start with Games Journalists, And The Perception Of Corruption)
TotalBiscuit
Jim Sterling
Penny-Arcade
Gamasutra
Forbes
Worthplaying
GiantBomb
Old Gamasutra article on the influence of PR
Jason Lauritzen editorial and GAF post

Forum posts etc
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
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 reply
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
Examples of various press kits
Letter sent to reviewers from UbiSoft along with their press copy of Assassin's Creed 3
The 3DS comes to GiantBomb
GillianSeed79 and firehawk12 on how journalist do criticize their peers
pastapadre on being shunned by the industry
An old episode of CGW Radio discussing Gerstmann-gate
Stephen Totilo (Kotaku) doesn't think this is an important story (has possibly changed his mind about that part, read post 9). Wants to focus on good games journalism, this prompted a pretty funny picture and a comment about it, then Stephen Totilo enters the thread 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Weekend Confirmed 1 2
Syriel on his experiences of PR
Jeff Gerstmann short comment on swag
Snowden's Secret comments on gaming press reactions
Christian Donlan and Simon Parkin of Eurogamer want to change how they do things
 
Boo. Guess that's one more outlet I might be done with. Haven't had a chance to listen to this week's yet. I'll give it a listen and see if it really is that bad.
I just heard it and it's not that bad. Andrea is particularly defensive, but Jeff can see our side of it.

Jeff understands he's a cog in the machine. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. The site needs to make money, but readers don't want to pay for it. People want pre-release info on a game, but that entails developing relationships with PR.

He understands that these actions can put his opinion in jeopardy, and his opinion is his whole career. Unfortunately he leaves it to readers to decide who they can trust. However, we need more disclosure about these things to make up our own minds.
 
That's hardly new.

That aside, any mag that actively down-rates 2d games because they're "not innovative enough" is aimed at 12 year olds as well. There's certainly no respect directed at the reader with hamfisted editorializations like that.
I have no idea what this has to do with my post. My point was that outside of somewhere like Gamasutra, I see nothing in todays coverage that has shown any progress(in terms of serious coverage) from things I was reading a decade or two ago.

Edit: Just read your edit, admittedly most of the magazines I was referring to eventually shut but the majority of them lasted for years, & some are still going.

I don't really know. He was talking about a podcast. Didn't recognize the names of the people involved. (I've visited Kotaku ~2 times since its inception.) What bothered me was the assertion that it's unacceptable for a publication to go the entertainment angle at all.
Because too many people in the last few days are trying to have their cake & eat it, either you call yourself a journalist or you don't. It's no good to claim to be a journalist & then when people are asking you to step up you then withdraw that claim & hide behind the "I'm not a journalist, I'm a enthusiast", Jim Sterling was right(can't believe I have had to type that) on that matter.
 
I don't know if this has already been covered because I'm still on page 85 and trying to catch up again, but RPS posted their weekend news roundup and didn't link to any stories about this. They are getting a lot of flack in the comments to the article.
 
I didn't listen to Weekend Confirmed yet this week...I can't believe those comments are real. "Iconic for that demo"??? Seriously? Like, I've been listening to that show for years and that's seriously enough to make me stop for a while.

I wish we didn't live in a society where so many people were like "what's wrong with everything being saturated with ads? Programming your subconscious to react impulsively towards consumer goods is just good old fashioned American business!"

People are so unaware that they don't get that these aren't just colourful labels and slogans on these products that somebody thought up one day and decided it looked nice. These are the fruits of marketing firms that have had psychology graduates on payroll for decades who understand how behavioural modification and classical conditioning work. The words chosen, the colours, even the placement within the frame, these are all purposeful and group tested. There are decades of academic literature out there on this.


I just heard it and it's not that bad. Andrea is particularly defensive, but Jeff can see our side of it.

Jeff understands he's a cog in the machine. He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. The site needs to make money, but readers don't want to pay for it. People want pre-release info on a game, but that entails developing relationships with PR.

Unfortunately he leaves it to readers to decide who they can trust. However, we need more disclosure about these things to make up our own minds.
Okay, hopefully it's not as corporate-droney as it comes across in print. I'll give it a listen.
 
I didn't listen to Weekend Confirmed yet this week...I can't believe those comments are real. "Iconic for that demo"??? Seriously? Like, I've been listening to that show for years and that's seriously enough to make me stop for a while.

I wish we didn't live in a society where so many people were like "what's wrong with everything being saturated with ads? Programming your subconscious to react impulsively towards consumer goods is just good old fashioned American business!"

People are so unaware that they don't get that these aren't just colourful labels and slogans on these products that somebody thought up one day and decided it looked nice. These are the fruits of marketing firms that have had psychology graduates on payroll for decades who understand how behavioural modification and classical conditioning work. The words chosen, the colours, even the placement within the frame, these are all purposeful and group tested. There are decades of academic literature out there on this.
Andrea used the word "demo" so often in that segment, I thought my head was going to explode.

Jeff had a rousing speech about guarding his opinion and the importance of trust. But then he went on to accuse everyone who was criticizing the Keighley pic as just being jealous (yes, really). And all of three of them seemed to agree the issue was overblown.
 
Just wanted to point out that, as far as this notion that gamers outside of GAF are not interested in this issue -- the article summarizing the Rab incident is by far the most commented on story on the front page of Penny Arcade Report right now. Stories about other controversial gaming meta topics that lie outside of the realm of reviews of actual games or fluff feel-good pieces have generated similarly hot discussion.
I'm not surprised, claims of sites readers not being interested in this story is bullshit.
 
People are so unaware that they don't get that these aren't just colourful labels and slogans on these products that somebody thought up one day and decided it looked nice. These are the fruits of marketing firms that have had psychology graduates on payroll for decades who understand how behavioural modification and classical conditioning work. The words chosen, the colours, even the placement within the frame, these are all purposeful and group tested. There are decades of academic literature out there on this.
Which puts "consumers are also getting what they want" in a completely different perspective.

Instead we were careless, got hammered, did massive amount of drugs and had casual sex without a care in the world.
I thought that was all pretty important stuff. :(
 
I think we deserve better than what we have.

I love the way Patrick Klepek adressed the question in his "Worth reading". It's all about trust, and knowing the integrity of a reporter.

Seeing the interaction on Giant Bomb with the Double Fine and Harmonix people can be disconcerting, but I am sure there is nothing intentionaly bad going on there.

Hearing Jeff talk about how Dance Central 3 and how it's the Kinect's fault that the game isn't 100% accurate at detecting movement does make me question how much a person can be influenced subconsciously.

I mean, they reviewed Dance Central 1 and 2, but did not do a third review. I know they (mostly) write reviews for games they want to review, but I don't see Jeff writing a bad Dance Central 3 review if he can rationalize that it isn't Harmonix's fault, and they don't deserve to get a Metacritic hit because a shitty Microsoft product. He was clear on the Bombcast, and I don't recall him explicitly saying he would review the game, but it's still weird to see they decide to not review the third game in a series. And if the reason he doesn't do a review is because he doesn't feel like doing one, great! That's even better.

I trust Jeff, and I honestly believe that he is honest and transparent, but the fact that it brings up these kinds of questions goes to show how awkward these kinds of relations can be for readers.
 
I have seen the Pharma Reps analogy several times in this thread. There have been major reforms and laws concerning their relationships with physicians. The stereotype of gorgeous 20 something reps wooing doctors is no longer true. Pharma is no longer allowed to give trips, tickets, and the like to physicians.

Maybe the games industry needs a similar awakening.
 
I don't know if this has already been covered because I'm still on page 85 and trying to catch up again, but RPS posted their weekend news roundup and didn't link to any stories about this. They are getting a lot of flack in the comments to the article.
I noticed that too. I think one of the writers posted something on his personal blog but nothing on the actual site. Lots of people on GAF talk about how great they are, I wish they would put something up.
 
Never saw the Giantbomb 3DS thing. Yuck.

I know how the publishers & PR push stuff like that, and there isn't much that can be done about it with how things are, but its still such a shitty thing to see. The whole industry seems fucked these days. If you don't play along, plenty of other sites will. I didn't know a thing about 'journalistic integrity' growing up in the early 90s, but when it came time to buy a game, I always checked EGM's reviews. They saved me from a lot of shitty games. Twenty years later, its gaf and some youtubers covering that role, not the 'game critics.'
 
I think we deserve better than what we have.

I love the way Patrick Klepek adressed the question in his "Worth reading". It's all about trust, and knowing the integrity of a reporter.

Seeing the interaction on Giant Bomb with the Double Fine and Harmonix people can be disconcerting, but I am sure there is nothing intentionaly bad going on there.

Hearing Jeff talk about how Dance Central 3 and how it's the Kinect's fault that the game isn't 100% accurate at detecting movement does make me question how much a person can be influenced subconsciously.

I mean, they reviewed Dance Central 1 and 2, but did not do a third review. I know they (mostly) write reviews for games they want to review, but I don't see Jeff writing a bad Dance Central 3 review if he can rationalize that it isn't Harmonix's fault, and they don't deserve to get a Metacritic hit because a shitty Microsoft product. He was clear on the Bombcast, and I don't recall him explicitly saying he would review the game, but it's still weird to see they decide to not review the third game in a series. And if the reason he doesn't do a review is because he doesn't feel like doing one, great! That's even better.

I trust Jeff, and I honestly believe that he is honest and transparent, but the fact that it brings up these kinds of questions goes to show how awkward these kinds of relations can be for readers.
I don't think it is as simple as "trust," though. Does anyone think game writers are consciously altering their opinions? No, it is was more complicated than that on a lot of fronts. Again relevant:

More on that note-

Originally Posted by Dawg:
"No, that's just overgeneralization. By your logic, it is impossible to write a negative review/article if the PR gifts/food/whatever was excellent? Because, we've had plenty negatieve reviews about bad games, even if the PR was good. I remember getting a very cool Brink PR package, but that game was awful. Thus it received an awful review. PR gift was cool, but that's it."


Not at all. It's interesting that your defense is to dismiss the notion that influence works in subtle ways that we aren't always aware of (as opposed to the popular notion of blatant bribery and "money hats") as generalization, and then use as your argument the assumption that any PR interaction at all would have to guarantee a good review if in fact the psychological research was right. That is gross generalization... or you just aren't getting the argument. I can't offer a crash course on the topic at the moment as I'm at work, so instead imagine it from the "appearance of impropriety" angle.

You're publishing a review. Pretend you're willing to include a sidebar with the subhead "Things that can have no influence at all on my perspective." In this sidebar are photos of you sharing single malt Scotch and haute cuisine with PR people. There are photos of the array of tchotchkes you received at the assorted press events for the title that you attended. There are also photos taken from your night out with your hosts. Despite your confidence in you being the rare exception to rules about human behavior, how likely is your audience to come to the same conclusion?

Apparently, judges' glucose levels affect their rulings: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/n...how-food-breaks-sway-the-decisions-of-judges/
And yet you expect your audience to regard you as a Randian ubermensch rational above your biology.
And

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XBmJay_qdNc#
 
I noticed that too. I think one of the writers posted something on his personal blog but nothing on the actual site. Lots of people on GAF talk about how great they are, I wish they would put something up.
Reading the comments on Rock Paper Shotgun about this (The Sunday Papers post) unfortunately shows that RPS has totally pussied out.

John Walker, Jim Rossignol and Kieron Gillen (yes I know) all making sure to keep RPS officially from saying anything critical and instead wimping out and telling people to follow them on twitter.

Most of the gaming journalist icons across the games media world come out of this mess looking a lot less like icons......
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
I think we deserve better than what we have.

I love the way Patrick Klepek adressed the question in his "Worth reading". It's all about trust, and knowing the integrity of a reporter.

Seeing the interaction on Giant Bomb with the Double Fine and Harmonix people can be disconcerting, but I am sure there is nothing intentionaly bad going on there.

Hearing Jeff talk about how Dance Central 3 and how it's the Kinect's fault that the game isn't 100% accurate at detecting movement does make me question how much a person can be influenced subconsciously.

I mean, they reviewed Dance Central 1 and 2, but did not do a third review. I know they (mostly) write reviews for games they want to review, but I don't see Jeff writing a bad Dance Central 3 review if he can rationalize that it isn't Harmonix's fault, and they don't deserve to get a Metacritic hit because a shitty Microsoft product. He was clear on the Bombcast, and I don't recall him explicitly saying he would review the game, but it's still weird to see they decide to not review the third game in a series. And if the reason he doesn't do a review is because he doesn't feel like doing one, great! That's even better.

I trust Jeff, and I honestly believe that he is honest and transparent, but the fact that it brings up these kinds of questions goes to show how awkward these kinds of relations can be for readers.
Giant Bomb in general is pretty awful with reviews. Other than the really big AAA titles they often quit reviews halfway through or are extremely late with them. Well, at least Brad and Ryan are. While Jeff did have a fair bit of negativity towards the game, you bring up a good point that there's something fishy about him not officially throwing his thoughts out there.
 
This thread is moving super fast. Question: what happens to review copies of games? Are they normally kept by the reviewers? Sent back? Given away to readers/viewers in contests?
Large sites/mags will often have an archive room where retail copies are stored. The library is kept for reference.

Some freelancers (such as myself) keep our own archive. My review copies (a few generations back) are basically sitting in plastic containers, stacked in the closet.

Some may say "ooh, corruption!" For me, it's practicality, as I simply can't remember every single detail about every single game I've played over the last 15 years. When a new game in a series (or as is popular now, a HD remake) comes out, it can be useful to go back to the original.

For example, when I wrote my review of Tony Hawk HD, I didn't just wax euphemistic about the PSone originals. I dug them out and played them for an hour in between sessions of Tony Hawk HD. I don't know how many reviewers actually did the head to head, but at least for me, when I wrote about the controls, I knew I was writing authoritatively.

Yes, some reviewers sell their shit. Unfortunately, there is little anyone can do to stop them, unless it is beta/NDA code. Once a retail disc is sent out to a critic, it's theirs to do with as they wish, at least according to US law. That's true of music and movie (DVD/BD) reviewers as well as game reviewers.

With digital stuff, the reviewer always keeps it as there's nothing else you can do with it.
 
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