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

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FStop7

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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.[/b]

*sigh* I mean, come on.
 

ultron87

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Gaming sites could still be profitable and negate the effects of PR on their editorial content if they just went with different kinds of advertisements. Tell me about movies or TV shows I might not know about. Even a Doritos & Mountain Dew ad is miles better than the game you're reviewing.
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I think the fact of the matter is that they can't be profitable without taking gaming ads. I can't find any sources right now, but I know I've heard various people in the business say that the advertising from non-gaming sources simply isn't there in large enough quantities to keep sites running.
 

Lime

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The thing about gamers is that we love all the stuff the PR hype machine gives us.
No. I fucking hate it. PR statements are written by robots.

I just don't know what people want out of game journalism, there's just really not a huge need for serious game journalism outside of a few stories now and then.

Is that really, really what we want? Take away all the PR, and what are we left with? More than likely no access... or just press releases straight from the studios?
Yes, I'd love to completely remove anything remotely PR from the game journalism side of things. Instead of another hype-inducing PR summary, we would get some actual reporting, exploratory interviews, proper critical and reflective criticism, etc.

Games?.. I guess there's some serious stuff.. but again.. games are toys. We play with them. I know some want them to be more.. but having played games for 30+ years.. that's really what they are.
You don't think games affect people in some way? Or toys for that matter? E.g. Barbie has contributed to a lot of ideas about gender roles, while the torture sequence in Splinter Cell: Blacklist has appalled many, many people. You don't think such phenomena need to be scrutinized, analyzed and criticized for the effects and cultural intentions they convey?
 

tim.mbp

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@onthemedia said:
Just had a great conversation with @botherer about game journalists advertising games to win themselves a PS3 . bit.ly/SyeLoz
Looks like John Walker might be on this weeks episode of On The Media (NPR show on press critism, first amendment issues).
 

NervousXtian

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Ore-Gone.. not Ory-Gone.
Gaming sites could still be profitable and negate the effects of PR on their editorial content if they just went with different kinds of advertisements. Tell me about movies or TV shows I might not know about. Even a Doritos & Mountain Dew ad is miles better than the game you're reviewing.

I think no gaming site or mag should advertise games. I know most tell themselves that the editorial and commercial departments are completely separate and don't interact with each other, but that quickly falls apart when the publisher in question represents a significant portion of the advertisement pie.

tl;dr: It should be completely unethical to advertise the stuff you're criticizing and that ALL gaming sites are unable to see this is troubling to say the least.

I dunno.. let me load up Chud.com (I Robot ad).. and Aintitcoolnews.com (Cloud Atlas ad)... hmm... comingsoon.net bunch of blu-ray ads... yeah... not going to happen.

You think they can make enough money to pay for all that content with ads for Doritos?

No freaking way.
 

GlamFM

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Was gone for a couple of hours and the thread has grown about 15 Pages, so I guess something big must have happened....?

Was the girl fired yet?

Was the guy hired by Polygon yet?
 

Goldmund

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Sorry to answer only now. And also sorry for the "You're out of your mind" bark. It was only an attempt to in a short reply assure you that your analysis of my post was incorrect.

Rab in his original article wrote this:



He didn't name the "worst of the bunch" in his original article. I didn't knew him or his work before all this ruckus, but from this article and all the feedback from people that I do follow in the industry, he seems to be an intelligent reasonable guy. He knows that naming names will affect others that work on the same outlets these "worst of the bunch" do. The mantel of suspicion and corruption will fall on everyone. He was prudent enough to understand that in his original article, and translated that to a "it's a horrible thing to do." We as anonymous agents can claim for blood and names but people that have relationships and professional connections in the business need to be understandably more prudent.

What I meant with my "going full rogue" comment was that it would surprise me if Rab that in his first article was so prudent, now would start naming names without any care for the consequences of doing so. I'm not an english-speaking native but I think that rogue can be used to mean a person that acts isolated against the practices of a common group of people. Not judging that isolated person. In this case he is the one in the righteous position even. Sorry for the length of my post I felt I needed to explain myself thoroughly I hope I achieved that. If not, please PM me and I'll try to explain myself better without bothering others.
I agree. If he were to speak out against certain practices, he'd be very careful about not implicating people just because their colleagues/friends have participated in them, which would happen so quickly. He seems incredibly considerate and cautious.

I'm sorry if it seemed that I was insinuating you're threatening him. I simply found fault with the "going rogue" part and tried to point out how that could be understood, not that that was my understanding of it. My wording wasn't very clear, either.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
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No. I fucking hate it. PR statements are written by robots.
How exactly do the journalists get access to games in development? PR is a necessary evil.. in EVERY industry... no company is giving 100% access with no restrictions. Name me one?

Yes, I'd love to completely remove anything remotely PR from the game journalism side of things. Instead of another hype-inducing PR summary, we would get some actual reporting, exploratory interviews, proper critical and reflective criticism, etc.
Going to be very few updates on that site if you remove all the previews, trailers, and game dev news.. because you won't have any.


You don't think games affect people in some way? Or toys for that matter? E.g. Barbie has contributed to a lot of ideas about gender roles, while the torture sequence in Splinter Cell: Blacklist has appalled many, many people. You don't think such phenomena need to be scrutinized, analyzed and criticized for the effects and cultural intentions they convey?
Did I say they can't affect you? Still they are toys.
 

Jackben

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Leave it to the idiots to ruin things. People posting insults and misogynistic abuse at Wainwright are just enabling her and other miserly hacks to deflect the legitimate criticism being aimed at her.

A damn shame.
 

faceless007

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Looks like John Walker might be on this weeks episode of On The Media (NPR show on press critism, first amendment issues).
Oh, awesome, OTM is a great show for anyone interested in media and Internet issues. They've also done some good episodes on video games. Looking forward to it.
 

FStop7

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Yeah I can still remember the rabid defence from people in the games press about being given a 360 for attending a microsoft press conference.
The part about this that mystifies me is: why are people who review games for a living giving up their credibility and fucking each other over for a free 360/PS3? First of all, is that all your reputation is worth? $300-$500? That's it? Second all, don't these people already own game consoles considering they're instrumental components of their jobs?
 

AkuMifune

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I like RPS, but that's a mess of an article that doesn't really say anything. Here's another point, we can talk about these issues without having to tackle it from a "funny" "cute" "here are some goofy pictures" blog style. That's part of the problem. Or I'm just too hungover and grumpy. My head hurts.

Was gone for a couple of hours and the thread has grown about 15 Pages, so I guess something big must have happened....?

Was the girl fired yet?

Was the guy hired by Polygon yet?
No, they hired the girl. In the land of journalistic approaches and PR approaches to gaming sites, which side do you really think polygon falls on, seriously?
 

Dawg

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Leave it to the idiots to ruin things. People posting insults and misogynistic abuse at Wainwright are just enabling her and other miserly hacks to deflect the legitimate criticism being aimed at her.

A damn shame.
Yeah, wonder how long it'll take for an article about misogny to appear on Kotaku (or a different site), totally missing the actual point.
 

Kinyou

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Looks like John Walker might be on this weeks episode of On The Media (NPR show on press critism, first amendment issues).
Oh wow. Previously I actually wanted to make a comment like "Why is no one covering this, it's not like NPR will make a news story about this" but I guess I was wrong, lol
 

Dead Man

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Most of those gifts go to our editor-in-chief and he gives a lot of them away to the community. I refuse to believe those things have any substantial role in our review-scores. They're toys, most of the time. Not actual bribe money.

Sure, you can keep talking about the pr gifts, but imo...they're not the biggest problem in the gaming press industry. That's why I refuse to believe they hold any value. When the time comes and I have to play a game, my brain is focused on that game. If it's awful, it's awful.

I would have quit this hobby a long time ago if I was doing it for those gifts. If my review disc comes with figurine or art book, I'm really not gonna spend time and money to send it back to the publisher. It'll change nothing.
Again, it is great if you have perfect independence, but it is also about the consumer having faith in your review. It is not just about your personally and whether you have conscious bias.
 

Antiwhippy

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I like RPS, but that's a mess of an article that doesn't really say anything. Here's another point, we can talk about these issues without having to tackle it from a "funny" "cute" "here are some goofy pictures" blog style. That's part of the problem. Or I'm just too hungover and grumpy. My head hurts.
Yeah, it is their style and I like their style, but sometimes they can get gratingly obtuse.
 

FStop7

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I like RPS, but that's a mess of an article that doesn't really say anything. Here's another point, we can talk about these issues without having to tackle it from a "funny" "cute" "here are some goofy pictures" blog style. That's part of the problem. Or I'm just too hungover and grumpy. My head hurts.



No, they hired the girl. In the land of journalistic approaches and PR approaches to gaming sites, which side do you really think polygon falls on, seriously?
No, you're correct. That article was puerile.
 
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The part about this that mystifies me is: why are people who review games for a living giving up their credibility and fucking each other over for a free 360/PS3? First of all, is that all your reputation is worth? $300-$500? That's it? Second all, don't these people already own game consoles considering they're instrumental components of their jobs?
One of the guys who took part in the gma tweets mentioned he already had three ps3s. Greed and the universal appeal of free shit I guess. Also it comes back to accepted practices in the business. They don't see anything wrong if it's the norm. Thats why after it was pointed out as shady so many journos (including wainwright) took to twitter to say there was nothing wrong with it.
 

Miletius

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Most of those gifts go to our editor-in-chief and he gives a lot of them away to the community. I refuse to believe those things have any substantial role in our review-scores. They're toys, most of the time. Not actual bribe money.

Sure, you can keep talking about the pr gifts, but imo...they're not the biggest problem in the gaming press industry. That's why I refuse to believe they hold any value. When the time comes and I have to play a game, my brain is focused on that game. If it's awful, it's awful.

I would have quit this hobby a long time ago if I was doing it for those gifts. If my review disc comes with figurine or art book, I'm really not gonna spend time and money to send it back to the publisher. It'll change nothing.
The appearance of corruption is enough in this case to calcify my, and others opinion of your outfit, whatever it may be. Ancedotally it's one of the reasons why I've long since given up paying attention to game mag reviews and just play whatever I've liked.

The biggest problem is the entanglement of the game industry with the reviewers. Part of it certainly the industries' fault -- they have pushed the boundaries of the relationship farther and farther from integrity at every turn.

However, reviewers are every bit as much to blame, possibly even more so as many of them are trained journalists -- they know what lines are seemingly unethical and yet they continue to cross them in a brazen fashion -- without any regard to appearance unless they get "caught" with their hand in the cookie jar.

Not your fault at all, of course. But just because you don't let the trip, the figurine, the 24 pack of mountain dew and the 10 bags of Doritos ;) influence you doesn't mean that others aren't out their trading their integrity for a bag of chips. And even if they aren't, it sure looks like it when people are brazenly displaying their industry credentials on their Linkedin for all the world to see.
 

Victrix

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That was a serious article?

Or was it a joke?

I didn't find it informative or funny, clearly I'm both obtuse and lack a sense of humor
 

clockpunk

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I personally think a steady flow of competitions for the community a site - with all such gifts as prizes - would be the best solution all round. Engenders good will, fosters a better community relationship, and the inferrence of 'bribery' is very much diminished.
 

Dead Man

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I can't tell if this article is a stealth attempt to brag about all the worthless swag he gets or if he's mocking the entire idea that accepting swag is bad form for journalists. Either way, I'm surprised RPS would publish a piece that obfuscates the main issue here.
Yeah, those are the only 2 conclusions I can draw from it, and both are pretty disappointing.
 

Antiwhippy

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This is not "The RPS Piece", this is a piece on RPS from one of their contributors rather than the core staff. I don't think it muddies the waters if taken in that context.
Hmmm, still, would be disappointed if this is the only input they have in this matter.
 

Jackben

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I don't really get that article but it's just from one writer at RPS and it probably caters to more hardcore followers of that community. RPS is wonderful so I'm just going to ignore that since I don't understand it anyway.

Still waiting on a statement from Wainwright, MCV or Intent. Doubt we'll get anything but I hope people think twice about the integrity of these journalists and publications in the future.
 

Osiris

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That RPS piece is just yet another example of the tired defense (used many times before) of "You take this shit too seriously".

You could almost play gamer press bingo with the responses used by various writers to defend the status quo.

"I'm incorruptible!"

"You're just jealous"

"You take this shit too seriously, let me mock you!"


Just two more to go and I've got a full line on my card, what do I win?

*I win nothing, there's no winners in this game, only losers
 

Dawg

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Again, it is great if you have perfect independence, but it is also about the consumer having faith in your review. It is not just about your personally and whether you have conscious bias.
The appearance of corruption is enough in this case to calcify my, and others opinion of your outfit, whatever it may be. Ancedotally it's one of the reasons why I've long since given up paying attention to game mag reviews and just play whatever I've liked.

The biggest problem is the entanglement of the game industry with the reviewers. Part of it certainly the industries' fault -- they have pushed the boundaries of the relationship farther and farther from integrity at every turn.

However, reviewers are every bit as much to blame, possibly even more so as many of them are trained journalists -- they know what lines are seemingly unethical and yet they continue to cross them in a brazen fashion -- without any regard to appearance unless they get "caught" with their hand in the cookie jar.

Not your fault at all, of course. But just because you don't let the trip, the figurine, the 24 pack of mountain dew and the 10 bags of Doritos ;) influence you doesn't mean that others aren't out their trading their integrity for a bag of chips. And even if they aren't, it sure looks like it when people are brazenly displaying their industry credentials on their Linkedin for all the world to see.
Totally agree with both of you. I know the current system is flawed, but it's a fun hobby that I don't want to lose (yet). I've met people like Rob did, who are quite corrupt, but they don't see the problem in it. It makes it harder for the people who are trying to be as unbiased as possible.

Our site is however very strict on these things. Our editor-in-chief really wants an independent site, how difficult that may sound. I think it's partial thanks to him that my views are different than the average doritos journalist. Comes to show that training is a vital issue as well, really. Pretty sure most (young) gaming reviewers just get the wrong idea and keep doing what they think is right.
 

PrimeRib_

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I think the fact of the matter is that they can't be profitable without taking gaming ads. I can't find any sources right now, but I know I've heard various people in the business say that the advertising from non-gaming sources simply isn't there in large enough quantities to keep sites running.
This.

I also have to think if the integrity issue is this widespread, it has a lot more to do with the industry norms from within these online rags. I'm not saying it's right, but I can understand anyone facing intense pressure from an employer to "not" bite the hand that feeds as being a worthy reason for so many to just give them what they want.

On a side note, I worked for a brief spell at one such online blog and the environment was very indicitive of a good ole boys club. You were either in the group that received invites to all the events, free games and shwag, or you weren't. It's why I left, really. No scruples, no moral integrity.
 

ghst

thanks for the laugh
May 9, 2006
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asperger RPS crip sheet, re: tim stone's article.

it's a humour piece. tim stone is rps'/uk pc gaming's famed simulator grognard beardman gamer, it's a common theme for him to make light of how unglamorous and dry his field is, the piece is an extension of this theme which satirises the current narrative.

it's complex. don't hurt your head.
 
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