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

Status
Not open for further replies.
I honestly don't have a problem with selling covers of magazines.
Really? Then I hope you never enter that field.

And where's the story on the editor selling scores? That's what should be posted up as some kind of proof here, not the Kotaku un-boxing meme that one posters keeps popping up every page or 2. I'd like to read it.
It is merely an allegation made by a well-respected British journalist which hasn't been responded to, but given he claims direct knowledge of the incident I choose to believe him(as unlike the original article this allegation would clearly be libellous without further proof).
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Really? Then I hope you never enter that field.
I once reviewed games years ago, very small scale and for not a very long time. Got into it from a friend who got into from a guy he met playing Ultima Online. It wasn't nearly as fun as it sounds.

Try playing and beating Rocket Power for the PS2.. and then having to write about it.

Why? Do you write about games for a living?
Not anymore, and I did it for free years ago.

Yet I just don't really give a shit if they sell their cover of their magazine.. I already basically thought this was par for the course with Game Informer.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
It is merely an allegation made by a well-respected British journalist which hasn't been responded to, but given he claims direct knowledge of the incident I choose to believe him(as unlike the original article this allegation would clearly be libellous without further proof).
Shame, because that's the real kind of story that needs outed. Yet, without naming names or a smoking gun it's can't really be used as proof of a problem in any kind of actual article.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Ok, perhaps you are right and it's endemic to the larger culture. Perhaps the internet is just one big shopping mall. Jesus, that's a depressing thought. Where is my copy of Marcuse's One Dimensional Man when I need it.
What's worse is if you look those 21 posts were over a 3 year period.
 
Yet I just don't really give a shit if they sell their cover of their magazine.. I already basically thought this was par for the course with Game Informer.
Then basically conman was right:

Unlike you, I don't think "integrity" is some exceptional thing. I don't think it's "pure" or "idealistic." It's a decision and a commitment, no more difficult or exceptional than deciding to be good at one's job or faithful to one's friends or whatever. It isn't difficult, nor is it some rarefied domain of angels and saints.

And most games writers say (even the ones who claim they aren't journalists) that they pride themselves on their integrity. So, no, I don't think I'm being at all disingenuous. I'm sorry your life is so filled with cynicism.

I do in fact feel let down and disappointed by the response of the press. And rightly so. They're human beings. This has all been rather disappointing and disillusioning. If it weren't, so many of us wouldn't care so much.
The only real difference between you and most of the people in this thread is that you don't give a shit if it is just marketing and PR and you don't expect anything different.
 
The stories of straight-up corruption are few and far between, in my experience.

Bigger issues are far more murky and grey, which is why it's good that this discussion is happening and it's good that people are thinking and talking about this. A few too many GAFfers are making it seem more black-and-white than it actually is, and there isn't enough acknowledgement here that there are some very wide ranges of ethical practices, but issues surrounding personal relationships between press and the people they cover are far more frequent than incidents of straight-up bribery or corruption or even cases when journalists work for companies they cover.
 
but issues surrounding personal relationships between press and the people they cover are far more frequent than incidents of straight-up bribery or corruption or even cases when journalists work for companies they cover.
If you read through this thread, I think you will find that the vast majority of people posting in it recognize that. They are exploring that very area where the influence between the two is not direct in a lot of different ways. From discussions about how "news" is created to discussions about the way anticipation is generated to discussions about the influence of PR kits and personal relationships. There is a lot of ground that is being explored that is not about outright bribery. In fact, the vast, vast majority of this thread is not about that at all.

I also want to add this thought: isn't it far more insidious the idea that you can't clearly discern? The conman who can be bribed is just out for money in a blatant fashion, he will eventually be discovered and easily dismissed.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Then basically conman was right:



The only real difference between you and most of the people in this thread is that you don't give a shit if it is just marketing and PR and you don't expect anything different.
Covers are just basically giant ad's anyhow, they aren't content. If the content is a bunch lies saying how great a game is that actually sucks then I have a problem.
 
The stories of straight-up corruption are few and far between, in my experience.

Bigger issues are far more murky and grey, which is why it's good that this discussion is happening and it's good that people are thinking and talking about this. A few too many GAFfers are making it seem more black-and-white than it actually is, and there isn't enough acknowledgement here that there are some very wide ranges of ethical practices, but issues surrounding personal relationships between press and the people they cover are far more frequent than incidents of straight-up bribery or corruption or even cases when journalists work for companies they cover.
Agreed, and I think it's important for the people who cover games to be up-front and as transparent as possible about these potential conflicts of interest when writing (and especially when writing critically) about games and gaming companies.

In the case of a personality site like Giant Bomb, their readers get a lot of that information by following the Bombcast, but I think it would be a better practice if reviews included (preferably at the head of the review) any personal relationships between the reviewer and publisher, and any gifts/trips/parties provided to the reviewer by the publisher. A little transparency goes a long way toward helping your readers understand where you're coming from.

I also wish that gaming publications would spend less time being the right arms of publishers marketing departments when it comes to pre-release preview content, but I also understand that with gaming culture being what it is, doing so would basically kill any publications that tried such a tactic.

Covers are just basically giant ad's anyhow, they aren't content. If the content is a bunch lies saying how great a game is that actually sucks then I have a problem.
Has a cover ever not been accompanied by a multi-page puff piece/preview within the magazine proper?
 
If you read through this thread, I think you will find that the vast majority of people posting in it recognize that. They are exploring that very area where the influence between the two is not direct in a lot of different ways.
I have been reading through this thread. And I think it's a shame how many people are so quick to jump to the "can't trust anyone" conclusion because of an issue that is extremely amorphous. Coming in here and saying something like "wow there are no journalists in gaming they're all marketers" or "welp can't trust any gaming website anymore" just seems so immature and misguided to me that it makes me want to ignore everything else you say. It'd be like me saying "welp can't trust anything GAF says anymore" because I dislike the way people behave in a few threads.

Should reporters be constantly rethinking and considering how their relationships affect the way they work? Absolutely. Just a few weeks ago I had a long conversation with one of my colleagues about this very issue. It's something that I imagine gets discussed quite a bit among journalists. We talk a great deal. And I'm happy to have these conversations out in the open. But it's not very productive to turn them into circlejerks about how awful Kotaku is or how corrupt game journalists all are.
 
The stories of straight-up corruption are few and far between, in my experience.

Bigger issues are far more murky and grey, which is why it's good that this discussion is happening and it's good that people are thinking and talking about this. A few too many GAFfers are making it seem more black-and-white than it actually is, and there isn't enough acknowledgement here that there are some very wide ranges of ethical practices, but issues surrounding personal relationships between press and the people they cover are far more frequent than incidents of straight-up bribery or corruption or even cases when journalists work for companies they cover.
When there are no generally accepted ethics and principles of games journalism like there are in sports journalism (no cheering in the press box), it's hard not to assume the worst. There doesn't appear to be standards across the board, and no one wants to call out those who cross their own personal ethical boundaries.
 
Covers are just basically giant ad's anyhow, they aren't content. If the content is a bunch lies saying how great a game is that actually sucks then I have a problem.
Usually covers include cover stories. Previews should be more than just advertisements companies pay for. Previews should be critical because many readers base their purchases on previews. They shouldn't be paid advertisements.
 
Previews should be critical because many readers base their purchases on previews.
How many previews can you think of that are critical? In general previews are almost always nothing but praise. And it really doesn't make sense. That seems like a perfect time to tell developers what's wrong with a game sot hat it can be fixed while also warning gamers of potential faults.
 
Usually covers include cover stories. Previews should be more than just advertisements companies pay for. Previews should be critical because many readers base their purchases on previews. They shouldn't be paid advertisements.
In most cases previews read like ads, whether they're paid for or not. It's like the saying goes, you can't spell preview without PR.

It's an almost impossible situation to overcome in the short term, however, given that preview access is entirely determined by the publishers.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Usually covers include cover stories. Previews should be more than just advertisements companies pay for. Previews should be critical because many readers base their purchases on previews. They shouldn't be paid advertisements.
Well, honestly the game magazines I've seen recently were Game Informer and that Best Buy one.. which I basically look at as pretty much all advertisements to begin with.

So I guess I should have referenced in that aspect. I pretty much assumed that Game Informer "sold" covers to whoever wanted to give them a bunch of exclusive access.

They are basically fluff magazines through and through anyhow. Reviews are basically short form opinions. They don't hide their PR or developer relationships, take a look at any of the pictures underneath the letter sections.

How many previews can you think of that are critical? In general previews are almost always nothing but praise. And it really doesn't make sense. That seems like a perfect time to tell developers what's wrong with a game sot hat it can be fixed while also warning gamers of potential faults.
Because you aren't reviewing a finished product, so you have to go by what they tell you will be fixed by the time it releases. There are previews that mention faults though, it's not always glowing.
 
Here's another part of the problem, as I see it.

I listen to a lot of gaming podcasts and whenver someone is playing a game that is not one of the hot new releases inevitably somebody gives them shit for how it's old and nobody cares to hear about it anymore. I think this is also true in gaming culture at large.

Now imagine a situition where I just watched or re-watched Network (1976) and wanted to talk about how relevant it is to our current media climate (and it is; anyone who hasn't seen it should do so immediately). And somebody said to me, "Oh man, that movie is nearly four decade old." Or if I just read Lolita or Brothers Karamazov and got a similar response. Only in videogame culture is the cult of the new so prominent that any discussion of older products is largely discouraged and dismissed in this fashion. Older games are far less relevant.

Why is that? My guess is that it is directly related to what mainstream videogaming media is and what it does. It is about marketing the next big thing. When they aren't doing that, they aren't serving their primary purpose.
I don't know if that would be as true of film or book sites/podcasts as you think. One of my favorite podcasts (Filmspotting) talks about a recent release as their lead story, but they manage to squeeze in their love for old or obscure films in their weekly top-5 lists. It's a great combination of new and old, and they've inspired people to go digging for more. There are some material reasons why this can't as easily be done in gaming, but it's not impossible. It's traditionally been a tech-driven industry, but thankfully that's coming to an end with more retro-gaming, remakes, and general interest in older games. Taking the focus away from the "new" would be very difficult. Really, it would take a greater emphasis on criticism over reporting. But I'm okay with that. Many of today's "reviewers" don't seem to realize how powerful and important "criticism" can be (Ratatouille should be required viewing for them).

In general, there's still just simply not enough differentiation in games writing. It isn't easy to tell the difference between marketing, enthusiast writing, blogging, criticism, interviews, investigative work, etc. The distinctions are all very blurry. And many journalists use this blurriness to their ethical advantage. They can say that they "have to" cultivate relationships with PR, publishing execs, and developers in order to do their job. And at the same time, they can claim they have a superhuman ability to resist feeling close to their subjects (emotionally, financially, culturally, whatever). Some call themselves "journalists," while others who do the exact same work don't.

It's an ethically convenient position for them, when it should be intensely uncomfortable.
 
When there are no generally accepted ethics and principles of games journalism like there are in sports journalism (no cheering in the press box), it's hard not to assume the worst. There doesn't appear to be standards across the board, and no one wants to call out those who cross their own personal ethical boundaries.
As someone who follows a great deal of sports journalism, I really don't think there's any sort of unified ethical system at all. In many ways I think it's worse than gaming journalism - if you think Halo 4 unboxing videos are bad, what about ESPN striking multi-billion dollar deals to be the only outlet that televises the product it reports on? (But this is a whole different conversation.)

There are no standards across the board because there is no "across the board." As Stephen mentioned earlier, bigger sites like Kotaku can afford to have very strict standards (and ethical standards are one of Kotaku's strongest points, in my opinion), but who's going to tell some college kid that he has to follow certain ethical standards for the volunteer site he writes for? And who gets to decide what those ethical standards are? I think accepting and keeping review copies is OK - what if some other reporter doesn't? Why should I let that reporter dictate how I do my job?

The conversation is very important, but again, please keep in mind that this is not black and white, and there are different levels for every issue.
 
From now on I won't refer to these people as journalists, I'll just call them what they really are - game marketers. No reason to retain any integrity then. Case closed.
Yeah, that's where I am after all this. I'm disappointed, but in myself. I always knew it was enthusiast press, but somehow felt it could grow out if that into something more substantial. The juvenile responses, twitter jokes and calls for us to move on have really opened my eyes. I'll stick to what I can get on GAF, but I'm done going to any 'professional' gaming site. They're just a glorified extension of every publishers pr team. I hope their days are all numbered to be honest.
 
Oh, asking for my ban because you disagree with me. That really furthers discussion in here!
Not asking for a ban, but I am pointing out that your continuous moving of goalposts and deafness to answers being given to the very questions you've asked in poor faith many pages ago is similar to what Manos used to do before the mods seemingly had had enough. Prove you aren't posting all your ignorance in bad faith and I'd maybe take what you say more seriously.

Either way, congratulations for being on my ignore list! You're so special!
 
Because you aren't reviewing a finished product, so you have to go by what they tell you will be fixed by the time it releases. There are previews that mention faults though, it's not always glowing.
That's another problem then. They can't actually tell us the problems with the game because publishers will say "This will be fixed/That will be fixed". That really isn't benefiting anyone but the developers. Gamers are left thinking that something may be amazing while it could have plenty of issues. You can easily sell people on a game with previews.
 
You can't tell the difference between criticism, interviews and investigative work?
Take for example Keighley's "Final Hours" or even the regular "interviews" he does on GT.

Is that advertising along the lines of celebrities showing up to a late-night talk show? Is that a journalist doing an interview? He likes to think he can also "dig up" information that his interviewees don't want to give. Is that investigative work? And so on.

Games writing/reporting doesn't make it easy. And to be fair, most popular journalism in all fields has gone down this ugly road. But just because everyone else is doing it is no reason to do likewise.
 
Take for example Keighley's "Final Hours" or even the regular "interviews" he does on GT.

Is that advertising along the lines of celebrities showing up to a late-night talk show? Is that a journalist doing an interview? He likes to think he can also "dig up" information that his interviewees don't want to give. Is that investigative work? And so on.

Games writing/reporting doesn't make it easy. And to be fair, most popular journalism in all fields has gone down this ugly road. But just because everyone else is doing it is no reason to do likewise.
The very "interview" that Keighley did that generated the picture that started this entire discussion has that problem. In reality, it is really just a Dorritos and Mountain Dew ad. But it sure isnt framed that way. Keighley frames it as important information for gamers.

And in a way it is because Halo 4 has now become an advertisement for Dorritos and Mountain Dew itself. The whole thing is gross.

Part of what I'm talking about today is the double xp program that Mountain Dew and Doritos are bringing back which actually allow gamers to rank up inside of Wargames in Halo 4 by purchasing Mountain Dew or Doritos. So this is a great example of a brand saying 'Hey we wanna actually give benefit and value to gamers' so if you buy Mountain Dew, you buy Doritos you get a code... and your gonna get some experience in the game. It's a good partnership. - Geoff Keighley
If that paragraph isnt a a perfect unintentional satire of this entire industry, I don't know what is. Oh man, Mountain Dew and Dorritos is "actually going to allow [me] to rank up." I gotta get on that shit!
 
jschreier said:
I think accepting and keeping review copies is OK - what if some other reporter doesn't? Why should I let that reporter dictate how I do my job?
Because you find the logic correct or more cogent than yours or any argument you can make against it. Aka looking for guidance for your actions and not rationalizing them?

Reason and logic are telling you how to act not a person, is what I am attempting to say. Apologies.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
That's another problem then. They can't actually tell us the problems with the game because publishers will say "This will be fixed/That will be fixed". That really isn't benefiting anyone but the developers. Gamers are left thinking that something may be amazing while it could have plenty of issues. You can easily sell people on a game with previews.
If games are truly going to be duds we pretty much always know sometime after the early previews are long done and before the reviews come out.

Writing scathingly critical previews isn't really all that useful, and it if it became the norm you'd just lose access to seeing or playing early builds of games.

Besides how many of those games shown early that are rough turn out great by the end, it'd be unfair to judge them on what isn't finished yet.
 
If games are truly going to be duds we pretty much always know sometime after the early previews are long done and before the reviews come out.

Writing scathingly critical previews isn't really all that useful, and it if it became the norm you'd just lose access to seeing or playing early builds of games.

Besides how many of those games shown early that are rough turn out great by the end, it'd be unfair to judge them on what isn't finished yet.
What about the average Joe that reads one preview and decides that he wants the game. Isn't that doing the reader a disservice when you gloss over fundamental flaws in a game, because you have to worry about access being taken away.
 
Covers are just basically giant ad's anyhow, they aren't content.
Covers are a giant banner saying "we think you should care about this!" It has your magazine's logo plastered right above it. It associates your name and judgement with the product.

More to the point, covers are attached to lengthy cover stories. They definitely are content.
 
As someone who follows a great deal of sports journalism, I really don't think there's any sort of unified ethical system at all. In many ways I think it's worse than gaming journalism - if you think Halo 4 unboxing videos are bad, what about ESPN striking multi-billion dollar deals to be the only outlet that televises the product it reports on? (But this is a whole different conversation.)

There are no standards across the board because there is no "across the board." As Stephen mentioned earlier, bigger sites like Kotaku can afford to have very strict standards (and ethical standards are one of Kotaku's strongest points, in my opinion), but who's going to tell some college kid that he has to follow certain ethical standards for the volunteer site he writes for? And who gets to decide what those ethical standards are? I think accepting and keeping review copies is OK - what if some other reporter doesn't? Why should I let that reporter dictate how I do my job?

The conversation is very important, but again, please keep in mind that this is not black and white, and there are different levels for every issue.
You are right that there are ethical misdeeds in sports journalism. Reporters will call them out though. They will take shots at other outlets.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/pu...review-snubs-hockey-tragedies?urn=nhl,wp20822
 
Take for example Keighley's "Final Hours" or even the regular "interviews" he does on GT.

Is that advertising along the lines of celebrities showing up to a late-night talk show? Is that a journalist doing an interview? He likes to think he can also "dig up" information that his interviewees don't want to give. Is that investigative work? And so on.

Games writing/reporting doesn't make it easy. And to be fair, most popular journalism in all fields has gone down this ugly road. But just because everyone else is doing it is no reason to do likewise.
People generally give interviews to promote what they're working on. This goes for pretty much everything. Not just games.

Keighley's Final Hours articles, which I haven't read, generally coincide with the release of the games he focuses on. It serves both the game publisher and the outlet publishing the article as people are most interested in these stories around the time of release. He would never get that access if it didn't help to promote the game it focuses on.

Review copies are given in advance to help promote the game. They also serve the outlet publishing them because the audience for reviews shrinks dramatically every day after the game releases.

This is nothing new, and it isn't something unique to the game industry. Replace games with movies, albums, novels, automobiles, tech, television shows, etc.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
What about the average Joe that reads one preview and decides that he wants the game. Isn't that doing the reader a disservice when you gloss over fundamental flaws in a game, because you have to worry about access being taken away.
Then that average Joe is an idiot for not understanding what a preview is.

Sorry, not buying that argument.

I think writing a scathingly critical preview of an unfinished game is just unwarranted. That said, I don't think they are always the glowing thing being implied.

I searched for 15 seconds to find this, tell me it's 100% gushing:

http://www.destructoid.com/preview-defiance-236906.phtml
 
Honesty is always useful (and essential), whether it's in a review, a preview, a reported feature, a tweet, or anything else. If a reporter is worried that his/her access will be limited if he/she is honest, that is a serious problem.

What's the solution? I have no idea. Publishers have been conditioned to treat press a certain way over the past few decades, and the press who aren't big enough to be unconcerned with these issues don't have all that many options. For a smaller website that needs early Metacritic review traffic to survive, access can make all the difference. Not that I want to pick on the smaller guys, many of whom do some great work. But it is indeed a problem.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Covers are a giant banner saying "we think you should care about this!" It has your magazine's logo plastered right above it. It associates your name and judgement with the product.

More to the point, covers are attached to lengthy cover stories. They definitely are content.
I'll be 100% honest here. I don't even know who does print gaming magazines these days other than Best Buy and Game Informer(stop). I always looked at them as extensions of the stores, so basically 100% PR and ads.

I haven't been down a magazine aisle in years, but Gamestop sends me there's and I picked up the BB one a few times for the coupons inside.

I sometimes read them while taking a shit or toss them to the kids to look at.
 
If games are truly going to be duds we pretty much always know sometime after the early previews are long done and before the reviews come out.

Writing scathingly critical previews isn't really all that useful, and it if it became the norm you'd just lose access to seeing or playing early builds of games.

Besides how many of those games shown early that are rough turn out great by the end, it'd be unfair to judge them on what isn't finished yet.
It doesn't need to be scathing. I'm simply referring to a preview that points out negatives and positives. In a later preview that site (or magazine) could even point out that an earlier complaint has been solved or confirm that it's still there. It seems like it would benefit everyone. Developers would know what to fix and gamers would know what to watch out for.
 
Honesty is always useful (and essential), whether it's in a review, a preview, a reported feature, a tweet, or anything else. If a reporter is worried that his/her access will be limited if he/she is honest, that is a serious problem.

What's the solution? I have no idea. Publishers have been conditioned to treat press a certain way over the past few decades, and the press who aren't big enough to be unconcerned with these issues don't have all that many options. For a smaller website that needs early Metacritic review traffic to survive, access can make all the difference. Not that I want to pick on the smaller guys, many of whom do some great work. But it is indeed a problem.
Maybe bigger sites like Kotaku should actually take stands against PR that will help the overall quality of reporting done by the bigger and smaller sites. Kotaku has options. IGN has options. GameSpot has options. They take the easy way out. They shape the way the little guys cover stories. They grow up reading your previews, reviews, news stories, and unboxing videos. They look at those and follow the template that has been set by those before you. The big sites have the power to make a difference, but they would rather not suffer the short-term pain and damage it would take to make a difference. The one that jumps into the pool first will be eaten alive by the sharks.
 
Honesty is always useful (and essential), whether it's in a review, a preview, a reported feature, a tweet, or anything else. If a reporter is worried that his/her access will be limited if he/she is honest, that is a serious problem.

What's the solution? I have no idea. Publishers have been conditioned to treat press a certain way over the past few decades, and the press who aren't big enough to be unconcerned with these issues don't have all that many options. For a smaller website that needs early Metacritic review traffic to survive, access can make all the difference. Not that I want to pick on the smaller guys, many of whom do some great work. But it is indeed a problem.
Schreier this post has been referred by many GAFers throughout this thread because it and the video that follows point out some excellent grey areas in the way PR works. Since it is such an important contribution to this thread, I would like your reaction to Elliot's post and the video he links to:

This is the post:

No insult, no finger-pointing intended in the following.

Pharmaceutical company companies extensively research physicians' hobbies and personal interests, send attractive spokespeople to "inform" said physicians about their products over three-star michelin meals and golf games. Without exception, these physicians insist that they are immune to unethical influence.

Corporations like Coca Cola spend $10 billion a year or more on advertising campaigns with messages that college undergrads -- here I'm speaking from experience as a former instructor -- unfailingly insist they're uniquely insusceptible to.

Either these corporations are somehow recklessly burning revenue by the billions and somehow raking in unprecedented profit despite the sheer stupidity of their business practices or people are prone to maintain flattering though entirely unrealistic images of themselves. Unfortunately for us, replicated psychology experiments point to pervasive self-deception. Fortunately for us, while it's practically impossible for us to accurately monitor our own self-interest, we're marvelous at pointing it out in others. And this is the why the appearance of impropriety matters so much.

Tomes of research on the topic are out there and anyone remotely interested in cognition will encounter the experiments again and again. For those unfamiliar with it I recommend starting here: http://www.amazon.com/Honest-Truth-...How+We+Lie+to+Everyone---Especially+Ourselves

This is the video:
 
Maybe bigger sites like Kotaku should actually take stands against PR that will help the overall quality of reporting done by the bigger and smaller sites. Kotaku has options. IGN has options. GameSpot has options. They take the easy way out. They shape the way the little guys cover stories. They grow up reading your previews, reviews, news stories, and unboxing videos. They look at those and follow the template that has been set by those before you. The big sites have the power to make a difference, but they would rather not suffer the short-term pain and damage it would take to make a difference. The one that jumps into the pool first will be eaten alive by the sharks.
What sort of stands are you looking for? Stephen wrote a long post outlying our ethics policies. They're quite strong. He'd also kill me if he thought I was being dishonest in a preview, review, news story, feature, or whatever else. I can't speak for anyone else at Kotaku, but I believe everything we do is honest and fair, even when it pisses people off. Sometimes that means pissing off publishers; other times it means pissing off rabid fans. (You should've seen some of the reactions when we gave World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria a "NO" in our review.)

Unboxing videos is a different conversation. I think they can be informative and helpful to readers who want to see what's inside the limited edition of a game. You might think they're just marketing videos. Maybe the truth is a mixture of both. Again, I don't know. And that's something that we should maybe be discussing more. But in the grand scheme of things, one Halo 4 unboxing video is relatively insignificant. And we certainly didn't publish that because we thought doing otherwise might cost us access or piss off a publisher.
 
This is also a very well put post by Shawn Elliott:

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/no...ons-of-judges/
And yet you expect your audience to regard you as a Randian ubermensch rational above your biology.
 
This is also a very well put post by Shawn Elliott:
Here is the real bitch of all this. Shawn's posts in this thread have been so insighful and succinct in cutting to the heart of the matter that they basically servs as an advertisments for Bioshock Infinite as far as I'm concerned because I want to see what the bastard has been up to for the past 5+ years.

You are welcome, Shawn. That one was free. You didn't even have to send me a golden statue of Fontaine pissing or some shit.
 
Here is the real bitch of all this. Shawn's posts in this thread have been so insighful and succinct in cutting to the heart of the matter that it basically serves as an advertisment for Bioshock Infinite as far as I'm concerned because I want to see what the bastard has been up to for the past 5+ years.

You are welcome, Shawn. That one was free. You didn't even have to send me a golden statue of Fontaine pissing or some shit.
Speak for yourself. I want an Elizabeth body pillow.
 
Now that Shawn is years removed from being a member of the game press, I wonder if he'd be willing to give specific examples of times when he was affected by PR.
 
If it weren't for review-copies I'd be paying to be a game-critic. The site I write for doesn't have the kind of money to pay reviewers. Hell I still end up buying quite a few of the games I review. That's just how it goes sometimes.

It doesn't seem to make a difference either way.

EDIT: Goddamn I hate being the "00th" post. I may as well have not even bothered.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.