• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hi Guest. We've rebooted and consolidated our Communities section, so be sure to check it out and subscribe to some threads. Thanks!

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

Status
Not open for further replies.

SunhiLegend

Member
Aug 4, 2009
10,596
0
0
twitter.com
I'll do a short recap:

  • Keighley surrounded by doritos followed by gaming bloggers retweeting a hashtag for advertising to win a PS3 makes Florence of Eurogamer curious.
  • Florence writes an article saying how things are shady and some sound like straight up PR e.g. Wainright orgasms for everything Squenix.
  • Eurogamer/Wainwright send libel threats to Eurogamer, at which the article was edited to remove mentioning of Wainright.
  • Wainwright responds in twitter "Apology accepted" and something in the vain of applying her law classes to use.
  • Florence either steps down or is forced to resign to avoid any libel threat.
  • Both sides deny any threat or are not talking about it directly, but twitter posts hint that such threat existed. Florence is not confirming or denying whether he was fired or he stepped down.
  • "GAF and 4chan combine forces to see this standalone complex issue" alongside digital protest from Penny Arcade and more, showing what happened.
  • Wainwright's profile shows she is a freelancer for Square Enix. She admitted it and denied doing any reviews for Square Enix or shilling (she is wrong. She reviewed Deus Ex, Tomb Raider and did countless previews).
  • All this fiasco is too much for her and she privatize her twitter account. Next thing you know, she starts deleting tweets, videos and articles, and edits her profile to remove any mention of Square Enix freelancing.
  • David Jaffe offers Keighley Mountain Dew.
  • Gaming journalism.
Thank you, was wondering why this thread was so long.
 

GorillaJu

Member
Apr 23, 2010
26,268
0
0
Am I alone in feeling sorry for just about everyone involved - and wishing this could have been discussed in a less defamatory manner?
She's being made an example of here, but she put herself in this position. All the circumstances surrounding the situation make for a perfect scenario really.

I feel sympathy for her but I'm glad the issue is getting bigger. Hopefully it comes to positive effect on Gaf and people stop jerking off software and hardware devs in their thread titles and OPs.
 

Cataferal

Digital Foundry
Feb 2, 2007
1,865
1
0
England
I don't think there's been any defamation, but yeah, could've been better.

On the plus side, I'd hope at least one media outlet distances themselves from PR influence after this.
Indeed. Altered my post a bit there - I agree defamation is too strong a word since it implies slander, libel, and all those other nasty things.
 
Feb 6, 2012
7,492
1
0
This is the gaming story of 2012.

A man loses his job.

A publication loses their integrity.

And a corporate shill is exposed.

And it all started with a presenter sitting next to some Doritos.
 

Risible

Member
Nov 17, 2009
6,070
0
710
Westchester, NY
Hasn't this whole thing been blown way out of proportion? Going on some kind of witch hunt against a person, just because they were angered by the insinuation that they were not good at their job is quite frankly puzzling to me. Is it any wonder that all those writers tweeted that hashtag when PR and advertising has such a stranglehold on the games journalism industry as a whole? Why are there people haranguing this single person as though she is now suddenly a bad writer and bad at her job, when there's at least 20 people who did the exact same thing she did but just weren't called out in that article for doing it?

As much as the suggestion of libel seems an overreaction to the circumstances, so is the reaction of the gaming communities who are scapegoating somebody they hardly know anything about and have probably never heard of before today.
I don't think you have read everything or are misunderstanding:
  • Florence mentions Wainright in an article about journalistic integrity
  • Wainright responds with outrage
  • Wainright threatens libel, a very serious charge in her U.K homeland
  • Florence steps down from his job after they censor his piece due to implied libel threats from Wainright
  • Wainright is discovered to have very close ties to Square Enix - her friend works there and said friend gave Wainright her start in the games "journalism" business
  • Wainright claims to have never written pieces about Squeenix games, but that is shown to be untrue multiple times
  • Wainright goes on a cleansing purge and attempts to delete everything about herself from the internet and blocks her Twitter account

There's no "scapegoating", she is guilty of some very serious ethical lapses and has caused the loss of at least one job.
 

GeoNeo

I disagree.
Jul 24, 2005
5,015
0
1,260
She done fucked up.

How much more will detective gaf dig up in her web of lies and square enix shilling? Find out on this page or the next, or the next, or next, etc etc.

SMH.
 

Resilient

Member
Jan 4, 2010
7,011
0
715
So crazy watching this unfold. My favourite part was Tony's post and subsequent ban. What the hell was that guy thinking, some of the worst timing ever. Points to Evilore for shutting that down before it became a dirty carnival of stupid.
 

Risible

Member
Nov 17, 2009
6,070
0
710
Westchester, NY
This is the gaming story of 2012.

A man loses his job.

A publication loses their integrity.

And a corporate shill is exposed.

And it all started with a presenter sitting next to some Doritos.
Klepek is somewhere rubbing his hands together a la Mister Burns, thanking the gods above for the gift that has fallen in his lap.
 
May 2, 2006
11,974
315
1,235
I don't think you have read everything or are misunderstanding:
  • Florence mentions Wainright in an article about journalistic integrity
  • Wainright responds with outrage
  • Wainright threatens libel, a very serious charge in her U.K homeland
  • Florence steps down from his job after they censor his piece due to implied libel threats from Wainright
  • Wainright is discovered to have very close ties to Square Enix - her friend works there and said friend gave Wainright her start in the games "journalism" business
  • Wainright claims to have never written pieces about Squeenix games, but that is shown to be untrue multiple times
  • Wainright goes on a cleansing purge and attempts to delete everything about herself from the internet and blocks her Twitter account

There's no "scapegoating", she is guilty of some very serious ethical lapses and has caused the loss of at least one job.
Except we don't actually know the truth behind the alleged legal threats.
 

Oersted

Member
Mar 14, 2012
32,330
1
0
Except the trailers and arguing how much it sucks

(note that I'm not defending VGA, just saying that creating the "oscars" of video games is kind of difficult in an Age where the Oscars are losing its magic)
The relevance of the Oscars is so much higher than the Video-Games awards that even when Oscars are losing some magic they are still galaxies apart from the VGAs.
 

funkystudent

Member
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
0
0
This is the gaming story of 2012.

A man loses his job.

A publication loses their integrity.

And a corporate shill is exposed.

And it all started with a presenter sitting next to some Doritos.
also the original article uses the exact same picture of geoff that someone on gaf made when the video popped up.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=496681

Vs

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-10-24-lost-humanity-18-a-table-of-doritos

So technically gaf started this mess.

Thanks Gaf. You cost some poor chap his job. :p
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,040
0
645
I've Been accompanying this during the afternoon and holy shit. How can an opinion column explode out of proportion like this? I don't know what Lauren Wainwright expected when she started to edit all her past on the internet, this is something that usually doesn't end well, but this doesn't justify the hate that she is receiving. Hope that people come to their senses.
She threatened to sue EG and forced them to amend their column which led to the EG writer quitting. That is on her.

The shit that comes out of comments on random anonymous Steam or YouTube comments are neglible. They are just brought into these conversations to paint the offender as a victim.

Cook, Wainwright, and MCV knew what they were doing. The media needs to stop being all buddy-buddy with each other. You need to be able to call out shady dealings like Wainwrights without having to fear lawsuits and blacklists from other media members and PR.

This isn't prison. Be professional. Be ethical. Be honest. Simple.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
0
Waiting for the chick to be given the hump by MCV now, she's toxic as fuck.
I doubt they'll pull the trigger that quick. The games industry has a habit of blowing up over something one day and forgetting it the next. And that could easily happen with this since we're about to be flooded with major games and a new console.
 

Risible

Member
Nov 17, 2009
6,070
0
710
Westchester, NY
Except we don't actually know the truth behind the alleged legal threats.
"Intent Media, the publisher of MCV UK, reached out to Eurogamer to complain about comments made about their writer, Lauren Wainwright. Eurogamer has since deleted sections of the story, and it has been claimed that Intent in fact threatened Eurogamer with legal action if the offending sections of the story weren’t deleted. “Also, don’t blame Eurogamer for this,” Robert Florence, the article’s author, stated. “The threat of legal action brings unbelievable pressure. I am clear on who the bad guys are in this.”

Eurogamer ran the following statement: “Following receipt of a complaint from Lauren Wainwright, Eurogamer has removed part of this article (but without admission of any liability). Eurogamer apologises for any distress caused to Ms. Wainwright by the references to her. The article otherwise remains as originally published.”

excerpt from The Penny Arcade Report
 

aegies

Member
Apr 24, 2007
983
0
0
You don't believe that going to those events can even subconsciously shape your experience with a game. They don't spend that money to fly everyone to Hawaii to just make their employees happy. It is a conscious move that Capcom makes to put you in a good mood. They want you to become buddies with their PR people, because they know that people can be influenced by not wanting to let down their friend's game or being in Hawaii puts members of the press in a better mood.

Do you ever think about these things when you go to these events? These junkets are performed to influence opinion leaders. The environmental and social pressures applied at these events are a conscious investment made by the Marketing departments of these publishers. They do it because they know know press members are influenced by these gifts.
Too bad Aegies never replied to this comment.

I'm not buying the "it doesn't work and we hate it"-talk. Not even coming from someone like Jeff Gerstmann (whom I love to listen to).
PR wants lots of things. Very rarely do they get them.

I know that those events don't positively move my opinion, because I've been on them. When I started, the idea was neat, but the reality was pretty clear pretty quickly.

Using captivate as an example, it is in large part specifically to get their employees in one place and happy. A lot of these trips happen at specific times of year so that PR departments can use up their budget surplus in order to keep getting the same amount from the publisher the next year.

Most PR people are actually pretty professional, and generally know to keep an appropriate professional relationship. If they get too chummy, it's a no-win for them. It's more likely that enthusiast audiences will think poorly of the game if they think a member of the press has been bought by PR.

Have you been to one of these events? I'm genuinely curious. I've never attended one where there was pressure to do anything more than attend the appointment times that were made for me. This pressure that you and others have attached to them is not in keeping with the experience I and other members of the press I regularly see at them have.

I don't see these trips as gifts, particularly because I end up paying for them now that I work for Polygon. The games I review or write about aren't "my friends' game." They're games from a company with who I am not friendly, because they're not people. The developers are, but I'm not reviewing them either. You can keep talking about how these things influence people to reflect more kindly on titles, but I am hard pressed to think of a single example in the last several years of a reputable outlet that gave super positive coverage out of an event like this for a game that wasn't generally received positively anyway.

Your accusations aren't based on fact, they're based on suspicion. And if I have to choose between catering to your suspicion and sacrificing coverage or serving our audience and, say, getting a preview of Resident Evil 6, or reviewing Halo 4 in a timely manner, that's not a hard decision to make. It's not out of spite to you, and I'll do it as ethically as possible by disclosing those trips. I want to be transparent about it.

I'm sorry if you guys don't buy that, and I really am sorry if that means you can't trust me. But it's the truth.
 

Kinyou

Member
Sep 12, 2009
48,208
2
765
I doubt they'll pull the trigger that quick. The games industry has a habit of blowing up over something one day and forgetting it the next. And that could easily happen with this since we're about to be flooded with major games and a new console.
lol, true. If MS would announce the 720 tomorrow everyone would forget this event in an instant.
 

Bleep

Member
Sep 27, 2011
725
0
0
Australia
also the original article uses the exact same picture of geoff that someone on gaf made when the video popped up.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=496681

Vs

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-10-24-lost-humanity-18-a-table-of-doritos

So technically gaf started this mess.

Thanks Gaf. You cost some poor chap his job. :p
The image originated from Something Awful over a week ago, and slowly built up steam from there. One of my friends found the video and started posting it out of context as a joke, then people who care about games started to notice it and shared it around. http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3025385&pagenumber=285&perpage=40#post408659686
 

JDSN

Banned
Sep 13, 2006
23,949
0
0

funkystudent

Member
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
0
0
I doubt they'll pull the trigger that quick. The games industry has a habit of blowing up over something one day and forgetting it the next. And that could easily happen with this since we're about to be flooded with major games and a new console.
Well its not like she is a experienced writer who cant been replaced.

She is a young freelancer who fucked up HUGE and not only damaged her own reputation and that of her employer MVC but the entire Gaming Journalism profession.

It wouldn't be hard for MVC just to write her off after this.


Its quite impressive really and she hasn't even finish her degree yet. It normally takes a few years at kotaku or hugging a copy of skyrim before you do this kind of damage.
Just think what damage she will do if she gets hired full time at the likes of IGN or gamespot uk.
 

TheBaronOfNA

Banned
Apr 28, 2012
9,044
0
0
Tacoland
She's being made an example of here, but she put herself in this position. All the circumstances surrounding the situation make for a perfect scenario really.

I feel sympathy for her but I'm glad the issue is getting bigger. Hopefully it comes to positive effect on Gaf and people stop jerking off software and hardware devs in their thread titles and OPs.
Considering that is not exactly a developer issue and that brand loyalty in the whole gamer community is enough that people will defend Capcom's good name in SFXT and Resident Evil threads... well...
 
May 2, 2006
11,974
315
1,235
"Intent Media, the publisher of MCV UK, reached out to Eurogamer to complain about comments made about their writer, Lauren Wainwright. Eurogamer has since deleted sections of the story, and it has been claimed that Intent in fact threatened Eurogamer with legal action if the offending sections of the story weren’t deleted. “Also, don’t blame Eurogamer for this,” Robert Florence, the article’s author, stated. “The threat of legal action brings unbelievable pressure. I am clear on who the bad guys are in this.”

Eurogamer ran the following statement: “Following receipt of a complaint from Lauren Wainwright, Eurogamer has removed part of this article (but without admission of any liability). Eurogamer apologises for any distress caused to Ms. Wainwright by the references to her. The article otherwise remains as originally published.”

excerpt from The Penny Arcade Report
So far all we know is that Rab was told that, other people have claimed that there were none. Like it says in your quote "it has been claimed". And if there were we don't know if it was her behind it or her employers. I'll agree that it does look shady on the surface though.
 

PrimeRib_

Member
Apr 6, 2012
449
0
0
Boston, MA
PR wants lots of things. Very rarely do they get them.

I know that those events don't positively move my opinion, because I've been on them. When I started, the idea was neat, but the reality was pretty clear pretty quickly.

Using captivate as an example, it is in large part specifically to get their employees in one place and happy. A lot of these trips happen at specific times of year so that PR departments can use up their budget surplus in order to keep getting the same amount from the publisher the next year.

Most PR people are actually pretty professional, and generally know to keep an appropriate professional relationship. If they get too chummy, it's a no-win for them. It's more likely that enthusiast audiences will think poorly of the game if they think a member of the press has been bought by PR.

Have you been to one of these events? I'm genuinely curious. I've never attended one where there was pressure to do anything more than attend the appointment times that were made for me. This pressure that you and others have attached to them is not in keeping with the experience I and other members of the press I regularly see at them have.

I don't see these trips as gifts, particularly because I end up paying for them now that I work for Polygon. The games I review or write about aren't "my friends' game." They're games from a company with who I am not friendly, because they're not people. The developers are, but I'm not reviewing them either. You can keep talking about how these things influence people to reflect more kindly on titles, but I am hard pressed to think of a single example in the last several years of a reputable outlet that gave super positive coverage out of an event like this for a game that wasn't generally received positively anyway.

Your accusations aren't based on fact, they're based on suspicion. And if I have to choose between catering to your suspicion and sacrificing coverage or serving our audience and, say, getting a preview of Resident Evil 6, or reviewing Halo 4 in a timely manner, that's not a hard decision to make. It's not out of spite to you, and I'll do it as ethically as possible by disclosing those trips. I want to be transparent about it.

I'm sorry if you guys don't buy that, and I really am sorry if that means you can't trust me. But it's the truth.
the bolded makes it a fair statement. Anything less would have been contrary to the general arguments. Good for you, Arthur
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,040
0
645
I doubt they'll pull the trigger that quick. The games industry has a habit of blowing up over something one day and forgetting it the next. And that could easily happen with this since we're about to be flooded with major games and a new console.
It's why us as readers shouldn't so easily forget these events. It's why I hate the notion that everything is being "blown out of proportion."

That notion is why nothing changes. There are no repercussions for unethical behavior. Editors of these gaming outlets for the most part view gamers as children who whine and moan, but will forget about these events by next week. There is no reason to change when in a week there will be no incentive to do so.
 

papersleeves

Member
May 29, 2010
1,929
1
590
There's some disappointing comments in this thread worth weighing in on. Specifically, those who have dismissed the controversy because it's just "games journalism" and not worth further consideration because it's about toys.

Film was once looked on in this way. It was juvenile. Made for the poor masses and below any serious study. Then people started seeing the impact moving images could have and movies started invoking new emotions in their audiences. Do we not see the same in breath of themes in video games? And at a faster pace than in film?

Of course, if we chose to regard video games as mere toys then we'll likely repeat the same mistakes as those who disregarded the impact of early film.

The film industry eventually got thoughtful critics like Pauline Kael who pioneered film journalism. There are already some excellent writers like Tom Bissel who are doing this. There needs to be more.

Eventually, film critics did begin winning Pulizter prizes. For writing about movies. Even sports journalists — who are possibly the closet the video game reporters in that they're typically enthusiasts — are honored with the same award won by those who covered the Gulf War and life in Haiti. Should we not too demand the same level of thoughtfulness in the industry we enjoy?

There are strong stories out there worth telling. From the often deplorable working conditions of those who make the games we love possible to how a studio's vision can be too ambitious and come crashing down — and taking taxpayers with in. We need well-trained journalists to deliver these deserving stories.

Not demanding that kind of quality has enabled the kind of thing that has gone down during the past two days. Boiled down, video games may just be toys, but they're also a growing medium that continue to become more and more important to our cultural identity. That makes them worth writing about and giving serious consideration. This buddy-buddy club that has journalists in bed with PR and publishers undermines that, and it should be rooted out. So cheers to guys and gals like Rab Florence who see the state of things and do not so easily except them — and let all us readers do the same.
I like this post. You gave it lots of attention.
 

TheBaronOfNA

Banned
Apr 28, 2012
9,044
0
0
Tacoland
The relevance of the Oscars is so much higher than the Video-Games awards that even when Oscars are losing some magic they are still galaxies apart from the VGAs.
And I'm not discussing that, just the notion that having the Oscars of Video games is as hard as current Nasa going to the moon.
 

StuBurns

Banned
Jan 9, 2008
69,543
0
0
The Oscars work because films feature famous people the public want to see. Films are also just much more popular. How many people went to see The Avengers this year? Sixty million? That's about three times the most popular game of the year will sell.

Gaming might be higher revenue, but they are not more popular, nor are they held with nearly the importance film is. Chasing the Oscars is pretty redundant I think.
 

Victrix

*beard*
Sep 1, 2005
7,657
0
0
It may change down the line, but not until a significant chunk of the population is older, and has grown up with games. This is not an old industry, and the people who understand it instinctively grew up with it - and they're still young yet.
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,040
0
645
The Oscars work because films feature famous people the public want to see. Films are also just much more popular. How many people went to see The Avengers this year? Sixty million? That's about three times the most popular game of the year will sell.

Gaming might be higher revenue, but they are not more popular, nor are they held with nearly the importance film is. Chasing the Oscars is pretty redundant I think.
I'd also have to imagine that the demographics for the people who would sit down and watch a video game award show are much different than the Oscars. The Oscars appeal to a lot of older people.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
17,350
0
0
I know that those events don't positively move my opinion, because I've been on them. When I started, the idea was neat, but the reality was pretty clear pretty quickly.
But how do you know?

People claim to know a lot of things about how they think and act but whenever tests are being done by for example Harvard's psychology department people don't act as the initial report they've filled out would suggest.

The human mind is very complex and much behavior does not result from deliberate thought. It's more like the conscious brain justifying the position that it subconsciously decided on.

I think all you can do (let's take you as an example) is follow the ethics code that you guys have written and displayed on your website.
Separate people that preview games from the people that review the games they've attended preview events for.
The more I read about human psychology the less I believe humans are trusted with what they believe, therefor there need to be ethics codes that must be followed.

(This is not an attack, as I said I think the ethics code on Polygon is great.)
 

lednerg

Member
Feb 27, 2006
8,160
0
0
NJ
I work in the games press in the UK (GameSpot) and know Lauren and many of the folks mentioned here relatively well. I was disgusted to hear what happened in relation to the Eurogamer article this morning, and disagree that it was the right course of action for all concerned to take. But I also think that this story is starting to grow legs and walk further from the truth.

I believe we have a case of gross nativity on her part, but the removal of her information from various websites is an understandable (though ill conceived) defensive reaction to what must be a pretty awful night of internet interest in her, her friends and her past.

I'm happy that today's actions have forced a lot of the games press over here to reconsider the way they act. Those of us who take the work seriously have a disdain for those who act like spoiled children while working in an industry we are privileged to be part of. But in relation to Lauren's PAST work - I don't believe she was fooling or attempting to fool anyone. Anybody trying to do so wouldn't post about it all on public forums, blogs or twitter. Her deleting of certain information tonight is the work of a worried person - not somebody leading a double life.
Just quoting this because nobody else did and it got lost in the fray.

EDIT: ...and this post will be at the bottom of a page, lol.
 
Apr 16, 2008
1,308
0
0
Raleigh, NC
This is almost surreal at this point. Of all the people Rob Florence could have used as an example in his article, one of the ones he picked turns out to be an absolute gold mine. I don't know whether he is just that lucky or the issue is that wide spread.
 

Oersted

Member
Mar 14, 2012
32,330
1
0
The Oscars work because films feature famous people the public want to see. Films are also just much more popular. How many people went to see The Avengers this year? Sixty million? That's about three times the most popular game of the year will sell.

Gaming might be higher revenue, but they are not more popular, nor are they held with nearly the importance film is. Chasing the Oscars is pretty redundant I think.
It´s not. No, I´m not saying that VGAS should become as big as the Oscars. That is probably out of reach. But should aim for the same integrety, the same cultural relevance and things like writing, artstyle etc. Right now, these things are just non-factors.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.