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

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You're only saying that because you want to believe that. I'm saying what I'm saying because I've been watching Totilo as a journalist for years, and I believe he's ultimately a good dude. I doubt he cares about the RPG Codex article or the PA Article because, before they were posted, he was already talking about reevaluating his position.

Sometimes, people change their minds when presented with good, intelligent arguments. It might be a foreign concept to you, but it does happen.

Isn't the whole point of this thread to get things to change? To get people to change? Now you've got a guy going "huh, okay, yeah, this topic is important," and you're couching it like it's a bad thing, despite that being the intent of this very thread. He's not backflipping or backpedaling or what have you, he's changed his mind because people here on GAF made awesome arguments. This thread has done what it was intended to do. You can be proud of that!
Because it needs to be reposted:
From Stephen Totilo's comment on Kuchera's PA Report piece:

"I do regret the dismissive tone of that comment Ben quoted. Calling it not very important was a miscue because, a) the incident in and of itself was interesting and should have been an item on our site and b) the larger issues of distrust of the games press that have flared up again around this certainly are important. Giving a damn about whether the press can be trusted is always important, and I didn't mean to belittle anyone's concerns about that."
Why isn't the thread about our Silicon Knights story this long, NeoGAF? Sweeping that one under the rug?

Imagine a world where good games journalism doesn't generate really long threads on NeoGAF, but threads about games journalism and the alleged lack of good games journalism does. I guess everyone, not just Nick Denton, loves the whiff of scandal.
 
GRCade's thread on this has been quite interesting as they seem to know quite well the corrupt Ms. Wainwright and Mr Scammell - the latter of which was surprisingly one of the founders of the forum.

If that if the last page is correct, then Mr Scammell tried to downplay the Driv3rgate scandal back in the day.

EDIT - there's a post here by Mr Scammell showing just how many games he acquired in a certain year - when asked how many were promo copies he ignores the question. (mirrored in case the image vanishes)
 
Ouch. It's moments like this that I actually hate to get affirmation on why I've always found Gerstmann so abrasive and egotistical.

It seems pretty clear that many of these high-profile journalists feel under attack, and they're lashing out in these really mean-spirited ways. I mean, yes, readers are posting mean things, but that's what they always do. But that doesn't usually incite such bitter reactions from the press. This is getting ugly.

I'm sure this won't affect big sites' readership numbers in any significant way, but it will certainly change their reputations.
 
Huh, I guess all of tumblr is down right now
No it's up.

I'm kind of ok with Jeff's response to the topic there. He calls the bullshit (AC3 and the PR Awards) for what it is. And he says the unfortunate thing part is that it makes people think everyone covering games is ethically bankrupt or an idiot.

I would like GB to be as transparent as possible in exposing this kind of shit. But Jeff does get a more slack than most as far as I'm concerned due to his history.



I don't like how he just reduces whether or not they will talk about it to whether or not they are "bored" with it, though. And the DC3 thing still seems a little iffy to me.
 
I'd be down with late reviews. Hell, I'd prefer them.
While I fully agree with this concept, I think the current ecosystem of incentivizing preorders and emphasizing first day sales prevents it from being an effective method of informing people about the worth of a game.

Due to that, there would have to be an industy-wide change in marketing and overall goals of most publishers for anything to change with the games media.
 
No it's up.

I'm cool with Jeff's response to the topic there. He calls the bullshit (AC3 and the PR Awards) for what it is. And he says the unfortunate thing part is that it makes people think everyone covering games is ethically bankrupt or an idiot.

I would like GB to be as transparent as possible in exposing this kind of shit. But Jeff does get a more slack than most as far as I'm concerned due to his history.
I think you're giving his comment more credit than it deserves. It's a comment that effectively says, "These a-holes are calling me ethically bankrupt, so I'm just going to ignore them." It's not only a mischaracterization of the question he was asked, but it's also a shitty and dismissive answer. He can only ride on his own Gerstmanngate coattails for so long.
 
While I fully agree with this concept, I think the current ecosystem of incentivizing preorders and emphasizing first day sales prevents it from being an effective method of informing people about the worth of a game.

Due to that, there would have to be an industy-wide change in marketing and overall goals of most publishers for anything to change with the games media.
Not really, just a change in the attitude of enthusiasts.

I mean, we are the ones that line up and yell "day one" anyone. It ain't like for most games the casual gamer is doing that shit. The only possible exception being for the newest COD.

If we stop seeing "day one" as some kind of hardcore badge of honor and start seeing it as kind of dumb and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by marketing hype, then things can start to change.

At the very least we can do it on an individual level. Starting now.

I'm waiting a couple of weeks on AC3 even though I want to play it now.
 
I think you're giving his comment more credit than it deserves. It's a comment that effectively says, "These a-holes are calling me ethically bankrupt, so I'm just going to ignore them."
Without a doubt he is being a bit dismissive but I think that's greatly overstating it. Jeff has that kind of eye rolling attitude about basically everything, though. If you watch a lot of his content (especially his Jar videos) you'd kind of pick up that tone in this.

Again, I'm not saying I am totally happy with that response, but not only does he have a history, he frequently does mock PR nonsense. And he regularly encourage people to never pre-order anything. He outright calls it bullshit all the time.

So I am reading that statement with kind of a knowledge of the lines he has drawn in the past.
 
Not really, just a change in the attitude of enthusiasts.

I mean, we are the ones that line up and yell "day one" anyone. It ain't like for most games the casual gamer is doing that shit. The only possible exception being for the newest COD.

If we stop seeing "day one" as some kind of hardcore badge of honor and start seeing it as kind of dumb and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by marketing hype, then things can start to change.

At the very least we can do it on an individual level. Starting now.

I'm waiting a couple of weeks on AC3 even though I want to play it now.
Ha. My thought exactly.

We're all guilty of this, as though "day one!" is how we express our commitment and enthusiasm to the games we're most excited about. If we're asking journalists to turn the gaze on themselves, we may as well do the same. It's not like "being a PR mouthpiece" ends with journalists. We all do the same shit here and elsewhere.

Again, I'm not saying I am totally happy with that response, but not only does he have a history, he frequently does mock PR nonsense. And he regularly encourage people to never pre-order anything. He outright calls it bullshit all the time.

So I am reading that statement with kind of a knowledge of the lines he has drawn in the past.
Fair enough. I'm sure I'm reading my own personal dislike of the whole "Cult of Gerstmann" into his comment. I'll take it. The dude has done an impressive thing in the wake of his ouster, and he does get to cash in on that one for a while longer. But not forever. ;)
 
Ha. My thought exactly.

We're all guilty of this, as though "day one!" is how we express our commitment and enthusiasm to the games we're most excited about. If we're asking journalists to turn the gaze on themselves, we may as well do the same. It's not like "being a PR mouthpiece" ends with journalists. We all do the same shit here and elsewhere.
Agreed we can still be enthusiastic about games and support the companies we want without being blind, mindless consumers. And if we want those that actually take the time to get outside the PR system--both in terms of the initial hype window and in terms of allowing them to not have depend upon publisher access--then we can do our part to promote that by making their work still count a week out.

Also my new meme is this:

"Week 2, maybe. Depending on reviews and other stuff." That will be my new equivalent for "Day One."
 
Was just reading a conversation on Alex Navarro's twitter. Ouch. It's anecdotal but looks like Wainwright leaves an impression everywhere she goes. A real class act.
 
I take issue with this mentality that "journalism" means pissing people off. Sometimes it certainly means pissing people off, but sometimes it can also align with a publisher's interests. If I want to chat with some developers about the crazy story behind their game and it reflects on them and their publishers in a positive way, that is still journalism. Probing Reggie Fils-Aime about the Wii's weak final years is also journalism. Uncovering a story about sexual harassment at Stardock is journalism too. Contacting sources and telling stories in a fair, honest way is journalism, and I think it's only fair to recognize that Kotaku does a great deal of it, even if you dislike our Halo 4 unboxing video or other, more lighthearted content.
 
Not really, just a change in the attitude of enthusiasts.

I mean, we are the ones that line up and yell "day one" anyone. It ain't like for most games the casual gamer is doing that shit. The only possible exception being for the newest COD.

If we stop seeing "day one" as some kind of hardcore badge of honor and start seeing it as kind of dumb and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by marketing hype, then things can start to change.

At the very least we can do it on an individual level. Starting now.

I'm waiting a couple of weeks on AC3 even though I want to play it now.
Fair point, though publishers now are starting to capitalize on that tendancy to buy first day by offering content that can only be obtained through preorder at specific retailers. Granted, up to this point, it has mostly been cosmetic items; Borderlands 2 is one exception that I know of, though.

Either way, that seems to be where the industry is trending, and as you said, the only way we can change that is avoiding buying first day.
 
I take issue with this mentality that "journalism" means pissing people off. Sometimes it certainly means pissing people off, but sometimes it can also align with a publisher's interests. If I want to chat with some developers about the crazy story behind their game and it reflects on them and their publishers in a positive way, that is still journalism. Probing Reggie Fils-Aime about the Wii's weak final years is also journalism. Uncovering a story about sexual harassment at Stardock is journalism too. Contacting sources and telling stories in a fair, honest way is journalism, and I think it's only fair to recognize that Kotaku does a great deal of it, even if you dislike our Halo 4 unboxing video or other, more lighthearted content.
No one takes issue with the "lightheartedness" of the unboxing video. It's that there's no content to it other than crass commercialism. It's an advertisement dressed as editorial.

Please, write positive pieces about the industry. Write about "the little studio that could." Keep writing about the ways that games are used in veteran rehabilitation. Please, be positive. But if you want to be taken seriously (even when you're having fun!), don't pander to consumers' basest desires.
 
I take issue with this mentality that "journalism" means pissing people off. Sometimes it certainly means pissing people off, but sometimes it can also align with a publisher's interests. If I want to chat with some developers about the crazy story behind their game and it reflects on them and their publishers in a positive way, that is still journalism. Probing Reggie Fils-Aime about the Wii's weak final years is also journalism. Uncovering a story about sexual harassment at Stardock is journalism too. Contacting sources and telling stories in a fair, honest way is journalism, and I think it's only fair to recognize that Kotaku does a great deal of it, even if you dislike our Halo 4 unboxing video or other, more lighthearted content.
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” -George Orwell
 
The Weekend Confirmed guys pretty much nailed this.

Videogame "journalism" is entertainment reporting. No more, no less. Keighley is Ryan Seacrest, not Walter Cronkite.
This, as many of us have pointed out endlessly, is a cop out. I understand if some sites want to go down that road (Gametrailers, for example). But across the board, every major site has gone down this road. Not just that, but these same sites also produce criticism (reviews) that largely dictate consumer tastes (and buying habits). It's long past time to push back and that we start holding them to stronger journalistic standards.

And clearly this push has struck a nerve. If more journalists felt comfortable with being designated merely as "entertainment reporters," we wouldn't be seeing such defensive reactions from the press.
 
No one takes issue with the "lightheartedness" of the unboxing video. It's that there's no content to it other than crass commercialism. It's an advertisement dressed as editorial.

Please, write positive pieces about the industry. Write about "the little studio that could." Keep writing about the ways that games are used in veteran rehabilitation. Please, be positive. But don't pander to consumers' basest desires.
Right, and that's a separate conversation. An interesting one! It's worth thinking about and worth considering every time we think about doing an unboxing video in the future.

My point is that Kotaku does a great deal of journalism, and I don't think a lot of the people in this thread have recognized that. I spend most of my time every day calling people, chasing stories, reaching out to contacts, and writing (hopefully) interesting things both long and short. Before Kotaku, I worked for Wired doing the same thing, and before that I reported for various papers/websites in various ways. I've made my fair share of mistakes over the years -- one of which unfortunately came under the spotlight here on NeoGAF -- but I am proud of what I have done and continue to do at Kotaku.

Let me put it this way: if the bulk of my job was to unbox video games, I don't think I'd last very long doing it!
 
This, as many of us have pointed out endlessly, is a cop out. I understand if some sites want to go down that road (Gametrailers, for example). But across the board, every major site has gone down this road. Not just that, but these same sites also produce criticism (reviews) that largely dictate consumer tastes (and buying habits). It's long past time to push back and that we start holding them to some journalistic standards.

And clearly this push has struck a nerve. If more journalists felt comfortable with being designated merely as "entertainment reporters," we wouldn't be seeing such defensive reactions from the press.
We need to just start a FAQ at this point.
 
I wouldn't even dignify "games journalism" as entertainment reporting or enthusiast press. It's a miracle these morons even get paid to write. Until you realize they're just paid shills for the big publishers's PR arms. What happened to staffs like Die Hard Game Fan or Next Generation, where you could feel the passion for the hobby in their words? Now, you get atrocities like the Spike Video Game Awards where no game made by a company other than Ubisoft, Microsoft, EA, Activision or Sony even gets a sniff.
 
The Weekend Confirmed guys pretty much nailed this.

Videogame "journalism" is entertainment reporting. No more, no less. Keighley is Ryan Seacrest, not Walter Cronkite.
Perhaps I want better than Ryan Seacrest, and it's not because I'm "jealous" of Keighley like the fine folks at Weekend Confirmed might have you believe.
 
Ouch. It's moments like this that I actually hate to get affirmation on why I've always found Gerstmann so abrasive and egotistical.
Here's the full quote:

"It’ll probably come up on the podcast, assuming everyone isn’t completely bored of hearing about it by then. But sure, I’ll write something. Here:

“The Games Media Awards is set up to honor game journalists in the UK and every single ‘Gold Partner Sponsor’ is a fucking video game company. The end.”

Or perhaps my reaction could more accurately be summed up as “except for the unfortunate part where this will cause some people to incorrectly assume that everyone in this line of work is ethically unsound, an idiot, or both, I am too busy covering games to give a shit about what any of those people are doing.”

My take on it is not that he's defensive but rather that he doesn't give two shits about anyone involved in this whole debacle. Don't forget, he was let go over journalistic integrity reasons, I think he's one of the "good guys", if you will. Could be my love of GB talking :).
 
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