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

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I've only read the first two pages, skimmed the next to and then skipped to the end, so I don't know if there's been any other big developments since then, but as disappointing as this whole debacle has been, at least all parties will likely learn something from it. Particularly Lauren, given her relatively minuscule experience in the field.
 
Has Goeff Keighley responded to this ? Seems like he's the only one who didn't care much even though he's the most prominent figure in that article.
He's making bank from his TV show. I'm pretty sure he long ago stopped caring about any sort of integrity. I mean, just look at the photo. You couldn't do that if you cared about integrity.
 
Companies should not be handing out free consoles, games, trips, etc to journalists and they should have the self respect and integrity to refuse them if these companies do that.
It's something that goes on in every form of entertainment. That's why it's important for magazines, websites etc. to put in place rules to prevent those types of things from swaying their employees. They should be attempting to do what Ebert said

Some of Roger Ebert's personal ethics guidelines:

"No posing for photos! Never ask a movie star to pose with you for a picture . . . . . . You diminish yourself by asking for a snapshot."

"A trailer is not a movie."

"Accept no favors. For example, if some 'friends' throw you a birthday party at a Vegas joint they hope to fill with movie stars who are your 'friends,' say thanks, but no thanks. That crosses the line, even if the 'Britney Spears of Korea' truly is your close personal friend."

"Keep track of your praise. If you call a movie 'one of the greatest movies ever made,' you are honor-bound to include it in your annual Top Ten list. Likewise, for example, if you describe a film as 'the most unique movie-going experience of a generation,' and 'one of the best films of 2007, and of the last 25 years,' it's your duty to put it in the Top Ten of 2007."

I'd love to see game journos adhere to ANY of these.
But that doesn't seem to happen much in the game industry. Instead we end up with stuff like this

A few years back, a bit before the launch of the Wii and PS3, I attended a media day at a large publisher's office. We were there to see games for the 360, Wii, and PS3, and for many in attendance it would be their first hands on with Wii and PS3 software. After the first couple of major titles, we broke for lunch. The publisher treated us to a decent meal of sandwiches, salads, and a few desserts. As we sat to eat, I noticed that a few other reporters left to "go get some real food" with a couple of members from the PR team. The group was pretty small, and at the time it seemed harmless.

As we sat down to eat, a few guys at the table grumbled a bit about the guys who left for lunch with the PR team members. Someone said that those journalists were getting a great free meal somewhere, but that they "typically will pay it back with a glowing preview."

I didn't think much of it and chuckled at the comment, figuring it was more of a joke than anything. But sure enough, as embargoes lifted, the guys who went to lunch served up previews that were devoid of criticism that were also packed with bits of information that nobody else had access to at the event.
http://www.gamertheory.com/story.as...relationship+between+games+journalism+and+PR/
 

DCharlie

And even i am moderately surprised
On the Lauren thing - i'd side with the naive theory - without knowing her in any way shape or form until today, Rab basically sums up the feelings on the tweets : it plants a seed of suspicion.

You know what doen't help? The complete barrage of stupidity then aimed directly at her via Twitter.

Sometimes i think gamers get treat like idiots as a whole because our fringe element seems much larger than other fringe elements and that fringe has all the grace of a mound of donkey cack.
 
I've only read the first two pages, skimmed the next to and then skipped to the end, so I don't know if there's been any other big developments since then, but as disappointing as this whole debacle has been, at least all parties will likely learn something from it. Particularly Lauren, given her relatively minuscule experience in the field.
Haha what, she learned that she can get away with throwing a hissy fit?
 
Klepek tried to defend the idea that reviewers shouldn't have to finish the game they're reviewing. If that's your best example of a gaming journalist...
Reviews are bullshit anyway.

Klepek is one of the best actual reporters/journalists out there when it comes to writing interesting and well-researched articles. I'd take his work over "yet another useless review" any day.
 

mattiewheels

And then the LORD David Bowie saith to his Son, Jonny Depp: 'Go, and spread my image amongst the cosmos. For every living thing is in anguish and only the LIGHT shall give them reprieve.'
I don't totally agree with what he's saying here....

If you saw Ryan Seacrest posing in a grove of Burger King products or wearing a glowing Walmart hat, you wouldn't hold it against him because its his thing. Geoff ain't a journalist, I guess the source of stress here is that a lot of people confuse what he does with what journalism is, and that is a big problem I guess. I just think he's the wrong guy to go after.
 
On the Lauren thing - i'd side with the naive theory - without knowing her in any way shape or form until today, Rab basically sums up the feelings on the tweets : it plants a seed of suspicion.

You know what doen't help? The complete barrage of stupidity then aimed directly at her via Twitter.

Sometimes i think gamers get treat like idiots as a whole because our fringe element seems much larger than other fringe elements and that fringe has all the grace of a mound of donkey cack.
We need to be irate about at least one topic a day. Then we move on. The smart choose to avoid interactions and end up floating away back into the ether without consequence, while the ones who defend themselves end up as more permanent targets of scorn. Though in my opinion she deserves it. If you have a prominent position and abuse it or act entitled, twitter comeuppance is a small price of karma to pay.
 

marrec

Loves ketchup on hot dogs and Pringles
The article might have been amended, but it can hardly be argued that she's "got away with it" when all is said and done.
I'm not sure, there are plenty of people in the industry who will and are lining up to defend her and the suspicious tweets. It's unfortunate.
 
Just to clear up a few misconceptions that seem to be common:

It's not clear whether MCV actually threatened a libel suit. They deny they did, Florence says he was told otherwise.

It's not clear whether Florence was fired or if he resigned. One of his tweets says he stepped down, a later one says he "was effectively put out of a job."
 
They were all extremely biased and were rewarded with jobs in the things they were biased for. It's as simple as that.
This we agree on. Shane is easy to point out since he really went out of his way to get his job at Sony by doing constant PR for them and giving their games higher reviews. To the point of being mocked by his co-workers. The entrie 1UP crew were all in it to get industry jobs but Shane made it obvious on a weekly basis. 1UP Yours podcast was jist a weekly interview for Sony for him.

And looking back, it paid off.
 
Polygon: Game Journalism has changed, indeed.

Quality news reporting like this can't be found on ANY other site: http://www.polygon.com/2012/10/25/3...g-trailer-shows-animated-cutscenes-combat-and
Actually, I'll give them props for this. My old company has had Iranian game developers hoping to use us to try and escape the trade embargo. It was a sad affair.:

http://www.polygon.com/2012/10/25/3544758/game-development-in-the-middle-east

They aren't perfect, but it seems that they are trying. Some of their articles while the team was on theverge.com was pretty good. I'm giving them a chance.
 
By attempting bullying tactics to stifle speech and then simply running away, Wainwright and her bosses have just shined the spotlight even brighter on themselves. She's going to be linked to this mess for years to come, and I can't say that it's undeserved. You reap what you sow.
 
Is there some story on how they handle press events?
John Walker had this to say:

Press trips are the other big issue. I haven’t been on one for years now (and in the last few years they’ve only been with Valve, who are quite exceptional in their doing absolutely no PR whatsoever – a driver collects you from the airport, drops you at a hotel, and then you get yourself to their office and back, and figure out food, entertainment, etc for yourself)
http://botherer.org/2012/10/24/games-journalists-and-the-perception-of-corruption/
 
I never agreed with him about DC3 being bad. I simply said that lack of coverage/a review can be a way to show bias.
True. But I find bombcast talk to be more informative than their reviews anyways. So it really isn't a big deal for me. And Jeff did explain why( bs or not is up to user interpretation I guess).
 
I don't totally agree with what he's saying here....

If you saw Ryan Seacrest posing in a grove of Burger King products or wearing a glowing Walmart hat, you wouldn't hold it against him because its his thing. Geoff ain't a journalist, I guess the source of stress here is that a lot of people confuse what he does with what journalism is, and that is a big problem I guess.
not really the same. Ryan Seacrest doesn't tout himself as a restaurant critic or provide retailer reviews. If he did, he absolutely would get lambasted the same way.

I don't think the issue is with the identifiers of those writers. Journalism, critics, whatever you want to call them. The issue more or less stems from those in the industry that work for a company that leads the public to believe they provide objective reviews. From that standpoint, accepting gifts, meals or favors poses a potential conflict of interest.
 
What's really crazy is that anyone who's worked in games coverage sees this kind of behavior all the time. It's gross, but it's there for everyone to see, and everyone knows it happens. It's insane that the only thing this Eurogamer article did was explain to readers something that the gaming press has taken as "normal" for a very long time.

Props to Eurogamer for publishing this and to Mr. Florence for writing this. A shame they edited out some material, but gaming sites are extremely vulnerable to pressure from folks with real muscle (like MCV/Intent). As Ben Kuchera's article in PA mentions, libel suits are no small thing at the moment in the UK.
 

marrec

Loves ketchup on hot dogs and Pringles
By attempting bullying tactics to stifle speech and then simply running away, Wainwright and her bosses have just shined the spotlight even brighter on themselves. She's going to be linked to this mess for years to come, and I can't say that it's undeserved. You reap what you sow.
This is what will come out of it in the end.

She's famous for all the wrong reasons now within the community who is most likely to read what she writes, it could prove problematic.

Now if we could only teach our community to not spew vitriolic hate like a 12 year old on XBox Live anytime someone wrongs them...
 
I don't totally agree with what he's saying here....

If you saw Ryan Seacrest posing in a grove of Burger King products or wearing a glowing Walmart hat, you wouldn't hold it against him because its his thing. Geoff ain't a journalist, I guess the source of stress here is that a lot of people confuse what he does with what journalism is, and that is a big problem I guess. I just think he's the wrong guy to go after.

And that's why it's dangerous for the media and some "game journalists" to act this way. A large part of the viewing public will never have any idea that Geoff isn't a credible source (not everyone can be as savvy as a typical GAF member). I understand some think that this is all just no big deal, but when you take a step back and see the real effects, then you can see why it is actually a big issue that needs to be addressed and recognized.
 
But 1Up was nothing but a sham job used as transition/booster to something better. The amount of people that got jobs that way is really telling.
THIS. The turnover rate at 1UP was crazy. It felt like someone was leaving to get a community manager job every other month. In retrospect, the entire site was used as a stepping ladder to get into the industry proper by the "personalities".
 

marrec

Loves ketchup on hot dogs and Pringles


Re-arranged in proper order for the twitter impaired.
This is true which is why I think Eurogamer is deserving of some serious questioning. Libel suits suck (especially in the UK) but someone needs to be able to tell the truth if anyone expects 'games journalism' to be taken seriously.
 
I'm really disappointed in Eurogamer for amending the article. I understand that they might have had to spend a bit of money to defend someone who might not have been very important to them... but there has to be a line of integrity that you draw for yourself and that line should be well before you cower to the threat of a lawsuit because someone factually quoted someone else with a bit of an opinion below that quote.

Simon Singh is respected for a reason, and while writing about video games may never be as important as what Simon Singh writes about, it definitely will never be taken seriously if this kind of crap keeps happening.
Yup. To me your integrity is one of the most important things you can have. It really truly is. Sadly so many lack any.
 
Geoff was singled out in the article, true. And yea, the picture is telling regardless. But the point was made. There is a problem in the games industry in regards to the relationships between PR and journalists. The op-ed author was correct: PR people should fear journalists. It's a poignant commentary. Geoff was merely in the crossfire.
 
Yeah, that's definitely how should be. It doesn't sound like they're doing anything to influence a preview. They're just giving people an opportunity to try it out and that's it. There's a big difference there compared to something like this

This April, a group of a few dozen game journalists flew off to a beautiful Hawaiian resort for a three-day trip. The occasion wasn't some sort of industry-wide retreat or group vacation, but rather a Capcom game preview extravaganza known as Captivate. There, these select opinion-makers of the game industry enjoyed some of the best accommodations Hawaii had to offer, many of them on Capcom's dime.

Ostensibly, the purpose of these kinds of events -- known as junkets in the industry -- is to write up early access previews of upcoming games and interact with the people who make them. But the fringe benefits of these publisher-sponsored junkets -- which can range anywhere from free food and drink to flights and hotel stays to exclusive trips in military fighter jets and Zero-G suborbital planes -- can draw controversy for their effect on the way games are covered.
http://kyleorland.com/thegamebeat/?p=2607

Capcom often seems to pick vacation destinations for their Captivate events. This year they held it in Rome.
 
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