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

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Another note about the ME3 thing: we ran multiple articles about the ending when the game came out. Some of our writers loved it. Some of our writers HATED it. I wish I could post links, but the hurricane has taken out Kotaku, sadly. :(
 
Yeah, there was a bit too much hostility there. I remember tweeting something about people who petitioned for a new ending being entitled. In retrospect, I definitely regret that tweet now. I should have done a better job of respecting peoples' passion.
It also makes it worse when we see people pull the "entitled" card that are out wining and dining with the PR representatives for the game. We also see that those "journalists" get their games for free. It's easy to say suck it up when you will just move on to the next AAA title. A lot of your audience spends their hard-earned money on these games. If you get burned by a game because the critics or surrogate indicators were too busy reveling in the festivities of review events or getting drunk with their PR buddies the night before a preview, it makes people not trust the field as a whole.

When journalists don't shine a light on those who don't take their jobs seriously and don't remember what they are employed to do, it makes me question the ethics of everyone involved.
 
Well... http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2011/03/dragon-age-ii-review/

Not every reviewer felt the same way about all of those games. Just saying.
Totally fair. Good on you. Credit where it is due. Still there was a larger trend and a larger media reaction to that backlash. That "entitlement" meme is horseshit. Games media helps create the hype then they blame US when it doesn't meet those expectations.

At any rate, critics are supposed to be the most demanding and insightful of their peer group. They aren't supposed to be the pushovers. The fact that gamers have become more demanding than the critics just demonstrates the problem of the PR-media relationship. I mean, you never see movie critics going "Oh the public is too hard on that brainless blockbuster; they are so entitled and demand so much."
 
Yeah, there was a bit too much hostility there. I remember tweeting something about people who petitioned for a new ending being entitled. In retrospect, I definitely regret that tweet now. I should have done a better job of respecting peoples' passion.
Look, it's not often that you get to engage with gamers in a thread like this - I typically don't even bother reading threads about that shit because I don't care about it. It's a waste of my time. Which is the same 'hardline' stance I have about bullshit on gaming websites - I don't want to read it, or even really look at it.

If you're wondering why you don't get a more reasoned response more often, perhaps thats why - I typically don't even visit threads/tweets/articles about stuff like that, much less bother to spend the time to write up a reasoned response. As time has gone by, I've found myself posting less and deleting replies before I ever hit post far more often. Someone with less self control (read: angry emotional OMG 8.8?! reader) is not going to do that. They'll fire off that zinger and move on without a second thought (and I'll do that myself occasionally as well - sometimes the lol ____ response is the right one!).

You have to learn to recognize when you're dealing with the raving masses, and when you're speaking with people who are sharing their honest opinion. In some cases, the two may well even be the same message, just delivered very differently.

Also, Twitter is a fucking plague on real communication. If you take peoples tweets (and article comments) at face value, you're asking for trouble. A minute of talking to someone who sounds like a raving lunatic from a tweet in person will probably get you a more honest and direct response, but you're not going to get that from a five word snarky retort to something you said or did.

If you wall yourself off from all criticism, no mater how vitriolic, you're going to harden yourself from outside influence to the point that you can't even recognize reasonable criticism.

How you respond to it is entirely up to you - like I've said before, I'm still not convinced that there are enough people out there who care about 'vidya game writer ethics' to significantly influence website traffic, and if that's what pays the bills, why does it matter how you handle it? TMZ and the New York Times are both in business, yes? (who wants to place bets on the revenue streams from schlock reporting vs real reporting?)

And if it makes you feel any better, the mainstream 'real' press isn't much better at times, I have to visit three or four different 'biased' news sites to get some sort of clear picture about certain events and draw my own conclusions from multiple articles.
 
Such a great thread and discussion that I haven't seen on gaming side in a while; it's awe inspiring. People are pouring their hearts out, demanding a change and pointing out journalistic discrepancies since this fiasco started last week. I'm glad that some journalists are coming out of the wood work and participating in what I see as a struggle to open the eyes of the games media. At this point I feel that the next step is for the media at large to do some self reflection, how does one recognize its faults and what it stands for if you just press "next"? Look back on what you wrote, see where the mistakes where made, and maybe you'll see where the influence came to write those words. I understand that you all love games but take it to task to ask the hard questions, do some investigative journalism, let the reader get into the minds of the developers, question publisher decision, and don't forget that "the customer is always right" and in this case it's your readers.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
Come Back Shawn Elliott!
 
That was embarassing to listen to

edit: 'to help balance the game'. lmfao. I'm done!
Jesus. I heard that inititially a long time ago. But, after this thread, I listened to it in an entirely different light.

Goddamn Shawn. Fuck you again for leaving this profession. That shit you are doing now better be worth an Arthur Gies level of hyberbole.

Also was that Giant Bomb Brad in a surprise appearance? Who is the third voice?
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
Man Shawn was awesome.

And a random Brad Shoemaker appears.

Brad speaking caught me off guard.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
Someone needs to dig up Luke Smith going off on him!
 
Yeah, there was a bit too much hostility there. I remember tweeting something about people who petitioned for a new ending being entitled. In retrospect, I definitely regret that tweet now. I should have done a better job of respecting peoples' passion.
I'm glad you realise that now at least.

This idea of "entitlement" needs to be dragged out the back and summarily executed. Us mortals have to pay for our games, the consoles, the overpriced DLC. Reviewers seem to have lost all perspective; we don't have the luxury of getting it for free. We don't get boxes of new consoles and shiny trinkets. The only place 'entitlement' comes into the equation is the fact that as a paying customer I'm damn well entitled to say something like "The Mass Effect 3 ending is so bad that it's flat out unacceptable" or "This feels like an unfinished product".

Most of us are people who give up our hard-earned cash. And it only seems to be in the gaming industry that this issue of entitlement comes up.
 
Hey Garnett, if you are reading this, you should listen to this. This is where you were. Now re-listen to last week's Weekend Confirmed podcast and reflect on the whole Machinima/Andrea thing.

Shit went wrong somewhere, man. Fix it.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
Four years later and it's as relevant as ever.

I wish Luke was there to bust Shane's balls even harder over it. :)
 
"You weren't eatin sushi off naked chicks at night were you, though?"

Edit: and of course Shawn has to bring up Fatman as an allegory for Kojima's refusal to quit making MGS games. Both Fatman AND Kojima are still doing the same thing.

This is the funniest shit ever.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be


I remember this ridiculous thing. Shane didnt do the review for EGM though.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
That vid took me down the Youtube rabbit hole and I started to watch old 1UP Yours and 1UP Show videos. Man I miss those shows.
 
That vid took me down the Youtube rabbit hole and I started to watch old 1UP Yours and 1UP Show videos. Man I miss those shows.
Let's not get too crazy nostalgic.

Ryan O'Donnell: "The problem with Gears of War 2 is that it is almost too good."

PR firms wouldn't have the hubris to write that shit. If I were there, I would have shut the damn camera off and smacked him and then told him to come up with something else to say because we have a credible website to run.
 
Let's not get too crazy nostalgic.

Ryan O'Donnell: "The problem with Gears of War 2 is that it is almost too good."

PR firms wouldn't have the hubris to write that shit. If I were there, I would have shut the damn camera off and smacked him and then told him to come up with something else to say because we have a credible website to run.
I don't mean in the context of this thread. I'm not under any illusion that the shady relationship between PR and media is anything new (hell I still remember Gamefan's story about their Goldeneye N64 review as a kid and thinking "WTF this isn't right...") I am speaking purely from nostalgia. Those were funny shows and the crew had great chemistry.
 
It was only just now posted, but this week's Giant Bombcast includes a discussion about "the current state of ethics in game journalism."

We talk Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Assassin's Creed III, The Walking Dead, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Zynga layoffs, and the current state of ethics in game journalism.
Edit: Gah, Garth beat me to it. I should have went for the exclusive rights to the podcast story.
 
I don't mean in the context of this thread. I'm not under any illusion that the shady relationship between PR and media is anything new (hell I still remember Gamefan's story about their Goldeneye N64 review as a kid and thinking "WTF this isn't right...") I am speaking purely from nostalgia. Those were funny shows and the crew had great chemistry.
Wait, what was the GameFan story?
 

DjangoReinhardt

Thinks he should have been the one to kill Batman's parents.
"Hey look, Polygon has a great ethical statement posted on their website!"
"This guy disclosed everything he received from a publisher for this review!"
"This preview described exactly what sort of conditions he saw the game under!"
"This reporting is great!"

Isn't that what you guys are asking for in this thread? I'm not saying there should be a thread where people post about how journalists and PR are interacting behind the scenes. I'm saying encouraging positivity would be far more productive than the usual practice of slamming all gaming press.
It's pretty much a guarantee that a high-quality piece of writing from a site with any sort of traffic is going to generate a thread here. The reason that the positivity feels so rare to you is because games journalists are not generating much writing that is worthwhile. The SK article thread is full of encouragement. When stories of that caliber are the majority of what Kotaku posts, then the majority of discussion about Kotaku will likely be far more positive.

In the meantime, I would suggest that you condition yourself not expect showers of praise for doing the absolute bare minimum. Ask your friends and relatives in non-videogame fields how often they hear statements like this from their bosses:

"Way to show up on time!"
"Thanks for not stealing office supplies today!"
 
Wait, what was the GameFan story?
it was nothing super nefarious, but IIRC when Gamefan reviewed Goldeneye they mentioned how they didn't really get a copy of the game, Nintendo sent a few "ninjas" with an N64 locked up in a briefcase/cage, watched them play for a few hours and then took it away. And then they were expected to write a review based on that. I just remember thinking as a kid "yeah that doesn't sound like the best way to really form an opinion on a game"
 
Taking a quote out of context without listening to the proper source first. You should be a gaming journalist.
Ok, so is the person who said they called it a witch hunt wrong then? They classified it as a witch hunt? Yes or no? Sorry to annoy and inconvenience you, but I don't have the time to listen to the podcast right now so do enlighten me. Or if you feel that the person who posted the message is overblowing it, then correct that poster. Otherwise I'm just commenting on someone's summary of what they just heard and I'll comment on the replies and opinions of others as much as I want, you dig?
 

Antiwhippy

the holder of the trombone
Ok, so is the person who said they called it a witch hunt wrong then? They classified it as a witch hunt? Yes or no? Sorry to annoy and inconvenience you, but I don't have the time to listen to the podcast right now so do enlighten me. Or if you feel that the person who posted the message is overblowing it, then correct that poster. Otherwise I'm just commenting on someone's summary of what they just heard and I'll comment on the replies and opinions of others as much as I want, you dig?
Fair enough.

Though they do actually call out and condemn her legal threats.
 
They seem to be rapping up where I'm up to so...

Nice to hear them call it a witch hunt right off the bat
Well take into account the context and their viewpoint of not only the reasonable posts (both here and elsewhere because this isn't "GiantBomb reponds to NeoGAF"), but some of the more extreme viewpoints and those who cap everything off by calling Lauren Wainwright a pretentious bitch, etc. (yeah, that specific comment is on here and it's classy as hell).

GB: Gaming journalist suing another gaming journalist into silence = witch hunt, how brilliantly objective.
because your evaluation here is far more fair and balanced.


Ok, so is the person who said they called it a witch hunt wrong then? They classified it as a witchhunt? Yes or no? Do enlighten me. Or if you feel that the person who posted the message is overblowing it, then correct that poster. Otherwise I'm just commenting on someone's summary of what they just heard and I'll comment on the replies and opinions of others as much as I want, you dig?
I think a couple of them say witch hunt, witch hunt territory or some approximation, I'm paraphrasing. It's not in the context of some stupid "ME3 ending is great, Entitled gamers lol" kind of statement, it's probably fair to a certain degree. Just listen to it when you get time.

Edit: it's not some blatant dismissal as could be inferred from the post you responded to.
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS815r1k&feature=youtu.be
What happened to gaming podcasts man?
 
Earlier in the thread, Shane Bettenhausen was mentioned in what could be seen as his questionable 'journalistic' actions in light of his admitted love of all things Sony.

While I don't think Shane was just a shill angling for a job with Sony, he can also be an example of a 'games journalist,' with perhaps the best intentions, 'playing ball' with PR.

Here's a clip from 1UP Yours, 4/4/2008, where Shawn Elliott busts Shane for literally following the Konami PR script following his special trip to Japan to play MGS4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zddwS...ature=youtu.be
Yeah, I brought this up ages ago. In hindsight, it's unbelievable how fucked up it was to have Konami get journalists to preview their game in a special camp in Japan and basically focus group the game for them.
 
Let's not get too crazy nostalgic.

Ryan O'Donnell: "The problem with Gears of War 2 is that it is almost too good."

PR firms wouldn't have the hubris to write that shit. If I were there, I would have shut the damn camera off and smacked him and then told him to come up with something else to say because we have a credible website to run.
The best part of this quote is that Gears of War 2 wasn't even that good. Campaign was fine but the multiplayer was a disaster.
 
Yeah, I brought this up ages ago. In hindsight, it's unbelievable how fucked up it was to have Konami get journalists to preview their game in a special camp in Japan and basically focus group the game for them.
the big difference was that when Shawn called Shane out on it, he sort of admitted it was stupid bullshit fluff meant to skew their perception as players, rather than call Shawn jealous and blow the whole thing off.
 
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