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

Status
Not open for further replies.

Osiris

I permanently banned my 6 year old daughter from using the PS4 for mistakenly sending grief reports as it's too hard to watch or talk to her
I’ve seen swag move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from swag. Swag damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.
The swag is swag, and histories care little for a-speaking the truth of it! ;)
 
True, but I still think that they'll wait a few days to see if it'll blow over. Right now this is just a really hot issue on forums. If you look around it hasn't been picked up by many major gaming sites. It's something that should be a big deal everywhere (just like Gerstmann's situation).
Indeed, this is another in a long line of hilarious missteps that had next to no consequences for anyone involved in the original massive fuckup.

edit: Other than the lowly proles who got fucked over that is, in some cases!
 
Publishers do have records of specific journalists, copies of reviews they've written about their own games and their peers, and ultimately I'm sure they do intend to sway writers. I've been to a couple of press events (not as a journalist, however), and it is over the top. I think everyone would prefer just to be sat at a machine and left alone for a few hours, not constantly feed those tiny hamburgers and champagne, but I don't know what impact that kind of thing actually has on scores.

We know the scoring system is very soft, but I wonder if it matters all that much. Assassin's Creed is amongst the biggest new IPs this generation, the first one was met with wide indifference by the press and GAF, but it was a huge hit. Marketed wonderfully, people wanted that game to be great, the quality of the actual game was very low on the list of determining factors to it's sales. I have to wonder why the publishers still care what people say. They can prepackage a mega hit, let the reviewers buy their own games, at launch day, put no pressure on them, because it doesn't seem like the returns are all that worth it.

Just last month we had the claim that Edge fixed the GTA4 score, if that's true or not, GTA4 was not going to sell any less without it. It might make sense for Coke and GSK, but I don't see that it does here anymore.
 
I've pointed out many times on Neogaf that the really harsh reviews in terms of tone, the "this game must have been made by idiots" style hit jobs, are very disproportionately aimed at small-time developers and publishers.

Is it that much of a stretch to think that when a reviewer is writing "this game must have been made by idiots" about a team they've met and had a friendly lunch with they reconsider? (This is a rhetorical question, the answer is "no, it's not a stretch.")

Very basic familiarity with someone or even just physical proximity can humanize someone and make them more sympathetic. FFS this even has a name - "Propinquity."

I'm sure not many game reviewers, when they site down to write a review, think "man I had a great meal in Hawaii with these guys, 9/10!" But because you aren't actively compromising yourself doesn't mean you aren't compromised.

The idea that game journalists are some sort of unique breed of human with unflappable wills and perfect subconcious defenses is just inane.
 
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
Well said. This is why I understand people saying they won't be affected by the external pressures of these events and PR in general, but it's really difficult to understand when you know what the company's intentions are when they make the large investments in these events.
 
Arthur makes a valid enough point.

I guess a key reason folks favor GB is due to the open nature of everything.

They got a free freaking pizza from EA during MoH QL, and they don't hide the fact, nor do they become super positive about MoH.

Be open, build trust.


Actually, just post more pics of your kitten on polygon. problem solved.
 
True, but I still think that they'll wait a few days to see if it'll blow over. Right now this is just a really hot issue on forums. If you look around it hasn't been picked up by many major gaming sites. It's something that should be a big deal everywhere (just like Gerstmann's situation).

.
The Gerstmann situation also took some days to rocket launch.
 
Yes! We're all above average drivers. We're all (if slightly) smarter, funnier, attractive than average. Really, we're all a little like the latest game release.
If Bioshock Infinite isn't the handsomest, smartest, and most delightfully charming race car-driving fuck on the block, I'll know who to toss my shoe at for lowering standards.
 
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 choose 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 it. 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.
quoting for truth
 
True, but I still think that they'll wait a few days to see if it'll blow over. Right now this is just a really hot issue on forums. If you look around it hasn't been picked up by many major gaming sites. It's something that should be a big deal everywhere (just like Gerstmann's situation).
I'd actually would be a little sad if Gerstmann stayed quiet on the subject, given his past.
 
Just now getting around to reading about this whole fiasco and it's just depressing to see that this is where the indistry is at. This is the very reason why games journalism is a joke. You put your job on the line for doing actual journalism. It's a shame Rab is out of a job and that Lauren still has one.
 
I'm afraid there's a bunch of people in this thread, and in this forum, who will have missed this post, or skipped this post, and everyone who's ever said something along the lines of "it's just games." or "it's just toys" or "this is being blown out of proportion should read this:

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 choose 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 it. 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.
 
Arthur makes a valid enough point.

I guess a key reason folks favor GB is due to the open nature of everything.

They got a free freaking pizza from EA during MoH QL, and they don't hide the fact, nor do they become super positive about MoH.
Maybe so, but I can only speak for myself, but I was surprised that they were so chill about it. I'm not usually one to be irked by these 'gifts,' but it's just so shocking that they think nothing of it. Why not just spend the two extra seconds and think, 'maybe this doesn't give off the best impression.' Is that really too difficult?

Them being 'transparent' is also taking the easy way out in some regard. I wouldn't want a film critic eating popcorn and coke bought for him by a studio head as he's reviewing a movie.
 
I'd actually would be a little sad if Gerstmann stayed quiet on the subject, given his past.
I wish Gerstmann would be a touch more serious more often, we basically only get that when he's doing something outside of gaming (like those tech podcasts around E3), or at a PAX panel when someone outright confronts him.

He's clearly impassioned about the subject, as I imagine much of the press are, and he is certainly the figure head for the separation of sales/editorial since his dismissal.
 

Evolved1

make sure the pudding isn't too soggy but that just ruins everything
The woman began the day imo as a bit of a villain, with her questionable actions/ethics and snarky gloating tweets... but has ended the day a victim, as yet again the internet doesn't know when to quit.
 
Maybe so, but I can only speak for myself, but I was surprised that they were so chill about it. I'm not usually one to be irked by these 'gifts,' but it's just so shocking that they think nothing of it. Why not just spend the two extra seconds and think, 'maybe this doesn't give off the best impression.' Is that really too difficult?
Well, it was just pizza and the game was totally destroyed in the QL (they ven mocked the patch notes)

Them being 'transparent' is also taking the easy way out in some regard.
Is not, or at least doesn't seem so considering some comments in the Gamespot's Podcast of RE6

I wouldn't want a film critic eating popcorn and coke bought for him by a studio head as he's reviewing a movie.
Pretty sure they are given them better swag than that.

I wish Gerstmann would be a touch more serious more often, we basically only get that when he's doing something outside of gaming (like those tech podcasts around E3), or at a PAX panel when someone outright confronts him.
His Jar Time is pretty good too when it gets serious.
 
Maybe so, but I can only speak for myself, but I was surprised that they were so chill about it. I'm not usually one to be irked by these 'gifts,' but it's just so shocking that they think nothing of it. Why not just spend the two extra seconds and think, 'maybe this doesn't give off the best impression.' Is that really too difficult?

Them being 'transparent' is also taking the easy way out in some regard. I wouldn't want a film critic eating popcorn and coke bought for him by a studio head as he's reviewing a movie.
I guess it's due to what they do, with them being in front of a camera or mic all the time. It's really hard for them to hide bullshit.

But I guess GB always gave off the air of 'we don't give a fuck, we just fuck around' professionally, so I don't take them seriously, in a good way. I guess it is the opposite of the snobbish views of sites that plain deny everything.



One day something might happen that could change my opinion though.
 
Maybe so, but I can only speak for myself, but I was surprised that they were so chill about it. I'm not usually one to be irked by these 'gifts,' but it's just so shocking that they think nothing of it. Why not just spend the two extra seconds and think, 'maybe this doesn't give off the best impression.' Is that really too difficult?

Them being 'transparent' is also taking the easy way out in some regard. I wouldn't want a film critic eating popcorn and coke bought for him by a studio head as he's reviewing a movie.
I think you do only speak for yourself because it's not rational to be shocked by a free pizza or concerned about movie critics eating free popcorn.
 
I wish Gerstmann would be a touch more serious more often, we basically only get that when he's doing something outside of gaming (like those tech podcasts around E3), or at a PAX panel when someone outright confronts him.

He's clearly impassioned about the subject, as I imagine much of the press are, and he is certainly the figure head for the separation of sales/editorial since his dismissal.
Are you a subscriber? Check his Jar Time videos.
 
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
I've spent the last four hours reading this thread. I'm so glad to reach this post at the end!

Just as I did in a thread that touched on Heroes of the Web-worthy behavior, I've been reading this thread thinking to myself, "Where is Shawn Elliott when we need him?"

Thank you.

Nemo iudex in causa sua.
 
I think you do only speak for yourself because it's not rational to be shocked by a free pizza or concerned about movie critics eating free popcorn.
Standards and such.

And film critics may get free popcorn, but I've never seen one start their review by saying 'and thanks to Universal for the free popcorn and soda!'

Again, why is it so wrong to want more separation of reviewer and publisher? I don't get what bad could come from holding them to high standards, instead of just saying 'oh it's just a pizza lighten up,' especially when we know it's so much more (not necessarily referring to GB).
 
If I do jump into games journalism instead of writing for something else, I will make sure I'm completely transparent in how I handle with developers. If they strong-arm me, I will make sure that everyone knows this is how they handle business.
 
Standards and such.

And film critics may get free popcorn, but I've never seen one start their review by saying 'and thanks to Universal for the free popcorn and soda!'
The films that gets 1 star are generally not showcased to the critics in advance (see the equivalent in the Medal of Honor Warfighter Debacle )

Again, why is it so wrong to want more separation of reviewer and publisher?
Because they are still humans and is just pizza that was ruined by Patrick after the QL.

Sorry if I made it seem that way. I think she is. There's a bit of overreaction here on her part, to say the least (okay, it's probably quite an overreaction). To immediately go the libel route is incredibly harsh, so let me make it clear that she was wrong to do that.
I can agree with that.
 
No, but standards dictate that person should disclose that they worked for/were paid by that company any time they write about them. That's fair. She didn't do that, and has, in fact, gone through great lengths to cover up her association with Square Enix since it came to light.

Frankly, if she worked in any journalism field outside of gaming she would be un-hirable and her career would be over, not because of the initial PS3 prize issue, but because of her behavior that followed. And that would be the proper response.
Can't deny this. You're right about disclosure and I think that she should be disclosing the fact she worked with them when she covers Square Enix stuff, not trying to cover up the past. The behavior here is a big no-no.

Her biggest problem is her actions after the article, the revelations since and her
They all line up to the narrative that she is a corporate shill.

Now. As you say she really is obsessed with Tomb Raider so I'll go with you on that; but the fact remains she used what she was taught on libel laws (to protect her) to attack another journalist - that is the big issue here (along with at no point mentioning links to SE, its clear she at least got some special access from her friend).

It goes against journalism entirely; it truly reeks. Instead of responding to the article she attacked it and the author, to me that indicates something underlying (a shill especially would not want this).

Its a total mess. Based on the frankly disgraceful use of anti-press libel laws (theres a reason they haven't been changed - politicians like them) shes just thrown any journalistic integrity out the window. The SE/Tomb Raider shit is really secondary to all this for me at least. Using the 'libel card' is just a dreadful thing to do, Rab was opening a question to readers but she still stabbed him in the back with the dagger all the press in the UK fear most.
Also agree with these last two paragraphs, grim. A response would have been better than threatening to sue. Rab's been wronged here no matter how you look at it, because playing the libel card and then Eurogamer basically bowing to her demands instead of standing up for their writer was bad, period.

I get this feeling I ended up writing a half-completed thought in my response. Sorry about that, guys.
 
The thing I don't understand is how Eurogamer's editors didn't see that Graf and remove it.

I went to J school, and one of the final classes in sequence at Medill covers the legal history of journalism. The United States is outrageously more progressive/forgiving when it comes to free speech and labor laws than most countries. South Korea and England are known for having incredibly harsh libel laws to the point of (arguably) chilling free speech.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
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.
Bingo.
 
So, I guess let me sum up my thoughts on the whole thing a second time now that Baron and everyone else have chimed in on what I wrote (and what I omitted, too):

Blah blah, known Lauren for a while, big Tomb Raider superfan, should have disclosed her past work and written a response to the article instead of deciding to pull the libel card and try wiping part of her past from the Internet. She was in the wrong with her response to the whole situation.

Eurogamer was in the wrong not to stand up for Rab and edit his opinion piece on their own, apparently without even asking him to rewrite or do something else first. Rab has every right to be pissed.
 
So is ShockingAlberto going to come and explain what he said about the MGS4 OT creator getting gifts from Konami? I'd like to know more about that, especially considering the person who created that OT is m0dus who is also a GAF mod.

And the F1 2011 OT's creators getting free games and shirts? What? I had no idea this actually went on here.

Maybe getting the free swag after the fact as a thank you by developers can be acceptable. Maybe. But after all is said and done, I'd never want those same gaffers making another OT for a game by that same developer. Things can start to get into shady territory then.
 
Are you a subscriber? Check his Jar Time videos.
Thanks, I'll try it next time the membership is on offer.
Standards and such.

And film critics may get free popcorn, but I've never seen one start their review by saying 'and thanks to Universal for the free popcorn and soda!'

Again, why is it so wrong to want more separation of reviewer and publisher? I don't get what bad could come from holding them to high standards, instead of just saying 'oh it's just a pizza lighten up,' especially when we know it's so much more (not necessarily referring to GB).
You can, and should want that, but it's not like the film industry. Movie critics don't impact the film's performance as much, they are tolerated by studios because they're of no issue, and it's expected. On the few occasions a major studio has declined to have press screenings, it is typically indicative of an exceptionally bad film, but critics still review it.

The game's press relies completely on publishers. They need the first parties for debug systems, they need the third parties for trailers, screenshots, preview events, preview builds, review builds, interviews, etc. The industry might completely shit can the new Medal of Honor, but there will be EA games which receive a very warm reception, it's give and take. However, there have been instances of publishers blacklisting publications. There's a certain amount of that you could work around, but if you're consistently negative towards a publisher's output, they'll refuse to support you, and when enough of them do so, your publication will be inherently inferior to your peers because of their competitive advantage, so it is in your best interest to make sure that doesn't happen.

That might seem disgusting to some people, but I think the readers internalize and compensate for that anyway. They know that 7/10 means acceptable, but probably not worth playing, and anything six or below is garbage. It keeps those metacritics ratings in the green, and it keeps users informed, I don't really see any huge moral issue with the system, it just takes a little context.
 

shintoki

sparkle this bitch
So is ShockingAlberto going to come and explain what he said about the MGS4 OT creator getting gifts from Konami? I'd like to know more about that, especially considering the person who created that OT is m0dus who is also a GAF mod.
Sure you're referring to Modus who announces how he has been commissioned by companies to produce art. Well after he started to produce stuff if I recall?
 

davepoobond

you can't put a price on sparks
this is simply a travesty. i dont even think the initial picture is as bad as the stuff that follows after it. it is only part of the cohesive problem.

during my short stint in what could be classified as "games journalism" you become very tempted by the rewards you can get by what the gaming companies offer you. Getting to preview games before they're available, getting put into a hotel to attend an event that has catered food and a copy of the game to go with it.

its ALL ABOUT greasing the palms of so-called journalists. I can say that when I reviewed games I tried my best to not have those experiences influence my score of the game, but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel obligated to review a game well because they were so "nice" to me.

I never really interacted that much with "other" game journalists, but when I did it was almost amazing to me how normal it all seemed to them to get a dinner and drinks paid for. I'm not entirely sure why we needed to spend 2 days to play a game for literally 2 hours at most.
 
The woman began the day imo as a bit of a villain, with her questionable actions/ethics and snarky gloating tweets... but has ended the day a victim, as yet again the internet doesn't know when to quit.
Well, she could've handled it much, much better. You said it yourself, instead of being apologetic/open about the situation and provide more context, she thought she could sneak out the backdoor while at the same time *act* like a victim.

Internet caught her red-handed. I said this earlier but like most things in life, people are willing to listen and forgive...until you try to pull another lie over their eyes and they find out about it. The backlash becomes tenfold.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.