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

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They've written us off as whining children for so long that they have convinced themselves that whining children are all that remain.

Perhaps the saddest thing about this - this being every time the question of gaming journalism ethics comes up - is that they genuinely believe we're all angry conspiracy theorists because any attempt at walking in front of a mirror will ruin the fantasyland they currently live in.
What's your view on this as a former games journo?
 
"I am furious. I am furious because yesterday the games PR and marketing men flung a few people under a bus, and today they’re probably sipping drinks" -Robert Florence​
This past few days has been a real eye opener for me. So many people coming out of this in a bad light. But lets pretend everythings cool, go on twitter and turtle with my friends.
 
All the defensive posturing and 'conspiracy theorist' labeling going on isn't exactly helping the game media's case here. It just shows the contempt they have for their audience, not to mention a serious lack of introspection. How about quelling people's concerns without talking down to them? If we can't have an open discussion about it, then what else are we to assume but that these concerns are in fact founded in reality?
This should be discussed more.

The not so subtle contempt that games "journalists" and the games media hold their audience and gamers in. When you think you are far above the people you are addressing....

If you think so little of gamers why are you in this business?
 
So... N'Gai Croal wants specific publicist names to be given now? Until then, it's only "media-on-media violence" to him. lol
Sounds good to me, let's hear some names already.

Also,

2m N'Gai Croal ‏@ncroal
@JasonLauritzen A media outlet was allegedly threatened with a libel lawsuit by another media outlet. In this case, ethics/PR = sideshow.

This guy is hilarious. Precisely "in this case," judging from all that's been unearthed over the past cple of days, "ethics/PR" is at the heart of what happened. Threats were made following perceived questioning of ethics, in particular regarding relationships between press and PR. Did he actually follow any of this?

Loving the (laughably misinformed) smugness though. Keep em coming
 
I do have a question for people here though: What would happen if all the major news outlets, IGN, GS, GI, Kotaku, etc all stopped 'playing ball' with press. I don't know what that would involve since they need to talk about something.
I would hope it would be like the endearing image of a group of actors checking the reviews of their performance of last nights stage play. Where they are judged upon their performance in a critical manner.

Ah who am I kidding like any publisher would let someone judge their product without prior approval. They'd just take away their ball and say they're not playing.
 
N'gai is the enemy.

Former 'games journalist' turned consultant.

"We prefer to operate in the shadows, and our clients like it that way as well"
We're not in a crusade. Those always go wrong.

That N'Gai tweet feed picture just illustrates what's the problem with status quo. It has inertia, horror to change.
 
This should be discussed more.

The not so subtle contempt that games "journalists" and the games media hold their audience and gamers in. When you think you are far above the people you are addressing....

If you think so little of gamers why are you in this business?
Haha, you think this is exclusive to journalists? :D
 
What's your view on this as a former games journo?
It was business-as-usual until someone lost their job.

Then it made me sick and the cover-up just made it worse. That woman should have left it alone after the article was edited, everything beyond that was digging her grave deeper. It offended me as a practitioner and consumer of journalism. It wasn't enough to just get away with it, she wanted to do a victory lap, which, fuck you, seriously. You got someone fired (or asked to step down or what the hell ever) for something that did not demand that level of conflict.

Each time these ethical debates come up, I keep hoping this will be the time it sticks, this will be the time where journalists and PR people don't circle the wagons to keep their concept of "normal" going indefinitely. Maybe we can get a real conversation about why game criticism differs so much in terms of ethical quagmires from any other kind. Maybe we'll get people to cop to the fact that, hey, this is sort of fucked up, but this is the way it works and I doubt anyone capable of changing it is amenable to doing so. That's at least honest, you know?

It's not all game journalists that play the "I'm not touching you!" game with their hand an inch off your face and it's not all PR people that gleefully celebrate the murkiness of the waters that we all find ourselves in now, but stuff like that N'Gai Croal twitter conversation up above somehow manages to make me sick all over again. We can talk about the abstracts of journalism, and if you want to sweep those under the rug, at least no one's getting hurt. But now real people are suffering from this circus that's been set-up for pointing out how comical the whole thing is and that's when trying to just "move on and forget it" or joking about it until it's gone becomes wildly offensive.
 
I do have a question for people here though: What would happen if all the major news outlets, IGN, GS, GI, Kotaku, etc all stopped 'playing ball' with press. I don't know what that would involve since they need to talk about something.
Like Jeff Green says, I don't think the point is to stop "playing ball." The point is to revise the rules. Sites want pre-release material and developer access. Publishers want to control that access. Fine. But game sites need to set some hard-and-fast (and clear) ground rules for what they will and won't do for that access.

Relationships between press and PR should be treated like other sensitive/taboo relationships in other fields (teachers and students, lawyers and jury members, etc).
 
I feel really sorry for the actual developers, having to be associated with these circle jerking pricks.

Still, i'm comforted by the fact that apparently their wages are terrible.

Sucks for the good ones though, obviously.
 
This should be discussed more.

The not so subtle contempt that games "journalists" and the games media hold their audience and gamers in. When you think you are far above the people you are addressing....

If you think so little of gamers why are you in this business?
I take it you haven't been following AAA gaming this generation. It seems like the console manufacturers, publishers, developers as well as their PR departments, don't think too highly of their audience either.
 
We're not in a crusade. Those always go wrong.
Definitely not attempting to incite anything. Just saying that his motivations are very much contrary to the spirit of this thread no matter what kind of cachet he retains from his time as 'one of the good games journalists'.
 
Reposting for people to read:

I'd love for someone to maintain a list of all the great replies and arguments in this thread by people who know what they're talking about. That way they won't get lost in the shuffle. I don't want to usurp these people's posts and use them as ammo in a shit-flinging contest, but simply keep them easily accessible since they're very much worth reading for anyone involved in the discussion.

I'll start, point me towards posts and I'll add them:

Shawn Elliot 1 2 3 4
Jeff Green
ShockingAlberto
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
It's times like these I wish this site was affiliated with something bigger than just a forum, or that the owner was some how interested in the gaming world.
 
I take it you haven't been following AAA gaming this generation. It seems like the console manufacturers, publishers, developers as well as their PR departments, don't think too highly of their audience either.
True in general I suppose but with them their is at least no pretense of journalism or there being any other concern besides making money off gamers as consumers.
 
It was business-as-usual until someone lost their job.

Then it made me sick and the cover-up just made it worse. That woman should have left it alone after the article was edited, everything beyond that was digging her grave deeper. It offended me as a practitioner and consumer of journalism. It wasn't enough to just get away with it, she wanted to do a victory lap, which, fuck you, seriously. You got someone fired (or asked to step down or what the hell ever) for something that did not demand that level of conflict.

Each time these ethical debates come up, I keep hoping this will be the time it sticks, this will be the time where journalists and PR people don't circle the wagons to keep their concept of "normal" going indefinitely. Maybe we can get a real conversation about why game criticism differs so much in terms of ethical quagmires from any other kind. Maybe we'll get people to cop to the fact that, hey, this is sort of fucked up, but this is the way it works and I doubt anyone capable of changing it is amenable to doing so. That's at least honest, you know?

It's not all game journalists that play the "I'm not touching you!" game with their hand an inch off your face and it's not all PR people that gleefully celebrate the murkiness of the waters that we all find ourselves in now, but stuff like that N'Gai Croal twitter conversation up above somehow manages to make me sick all over again. We can talk about the abstracts of journalism, and if you want to sweep those under the rug, at least no one's getting hurt. But now real people are suffering from this circus that's been set-up for pointing out how comical the whole thing is and that's when trying to just "move on and forget it" or joking about it until it's gone becomes wildly offensive.
I agree so much with this perspective.

But as long as money keeps trickling down I'm willing to believe most of the people involved will be content to keep things the way they are.
 
Definitely not attempting to incite anything. Just saying that his motivations are very much contrary to the spirit of this thread no matter what kind of cachet he retains from his time as 'one of the good games journalists'.
Sorry for putting you on the spot. And I concur with you. He's an agent of the status quo so his actions/words reflect that.
 
I'm trying to catch up with the story, what exactly is N'Gai's role? I haven't really read anything he's written bit I've really enjoyed listening to him on various podcasts. Weird to think he'd treat this like a non-issue, though if he's a consultant these days his job may depend on it. I don't know if he has a GAF account but it'd be cool if he posted here.

I was just thinking it'd be really cool if Klepek or someone did an interview with the Bioware doctors about this, they might get a rare candid interview from two guys who presumably have nothing to lose at this point by openly talking about how they viewed their relationship with games media.
 
Not to be too voyeuristic into Twitter (I abhor its quality of discourse), but since people are mentioning N'Gai Croal so much:



He can't possibly be this dense.
 
In a perfect world, if gaming publications realized their collective power then publisher PR would be the ones having to play ball and not the other way around. That would mean transparency. If a member of one media outlet gets blacklisted or punished for not playing ball, then it should be reported on not only by the affected outlet but all outlets as a whole. There are ways for the gaming media to stand together and hold PR publicly accountable and/or make them realize they need the media to some extent.

Of course it would take sacrifices, which I don't think the industry's press are willing to make yet. It would require some basic journalism code of ethics. It would mean no more exclusive review agreements. It would require stuff like not accepting gifts greater than say $10. It would require calling out publishers if they pull a GTAIV and only let reviewers review a game under controlled conditions. It would require not publishing a review and waiting for a retail copy if that happens.

Again, I don't see this happening because gaming outlets stand to gain financially if they play ball and their competitors don't. Just know that you do so at the expense of damaging your credibility. Yes, even if everyone else is playing ball.
 
Not to be too voyeuristic into Twitter (I abhor its quality of discourse), but since people are mentioning N'Gai Croal so much:

http://www.abload.de/img/deflectingdek96.png[IMG]

He can't possibly be this dense.[/QUOTE]

You should've directed him to Green and Elliot's posts.
Might've been useless, though.
 
Not to be too voyeuristic into Twitter (I abhor its quality of discourse), but since people are mentioning N'Gai Croal so much:



He can't possibly be this dense.
In light if the followup article complaining about people focusing on Wainright over the industry in general, this is awesomely hilarious.
 
Jesus Christ... the absolutely shameful attitudes and behavior of journos and PR in the wake of this is mind-blowing. It's time to clean house, and these hacks need to be called out on their bullshit.
 
Tinfoil hats, conspiracy yada yada yada...

They can laugh it off just as much as they want, but the way how they react just rubs me in the wrong way. Most posters here on GAF (or any non-GAF'er with an opinion on magazines/sites) are adults who like their hobby and we can have a rational discussion about it. I just know some PR guy will read this over and laugh while whispering "this is Neogaf dude", but there is no shame into admitting that several journalists have a very friendly relationship with publishers. Hell, I understand why. It's amazing if you get invited for some crazy press thing with all expenses paid. I mean, who wouldn't be tempted to take the trip? Okay, some posters would say no but that's entirely different topic.

But please, don't make us look like fools. We know how the world works; I scratch your back and you scratch mine. Why would the videogame industry be any different?

Reminds of a Dutch reviewer who gave Assassin's Creed a 99(!) and when the sequels appeared... Ubisoft gave him all kinds of goodies, including Ezio statues and other stuff. He would happily post it on Twitter. When someone called him out he was a bit peeved. It's your own damn fault.
 
People don't like having a mirror held up to their more questionable, self-glossed-over imperfections; it's natural for folks in such situations to speak -- in a kneejerk-like, if not plain old jerklike fashion -- in defence of themselves and to seek peer approval in a moment of self-reflection among other similars, where group-size seems to offer a promise of justification.

Thing is, despite the reflex reactions, the cause of that response, the reflection in the mirror or whatever, will linger and will be dwelled upon.

I actually have hope that the past few days will indeed impact positively on a number of the individuals involved on the press side. We just perhaps won't notice it, subtle and slow and stubborn as a personal perspective change can be. An issue raised can be an issue helped, without overnight paradigm shifts in attitudes, public confessionals and declarations of seeing the light. Let these humans handle the things they suddenly may have seen in the mirror as any human might be expected to do. In private and in phases and shit.
 
Can someone please give me a quick summary of what happened here? 60 pages of thread is alot to read
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.
That was, like, yesterday evening. Nothing much has happened since. Maybe read Sterling's piece here, and the latest from Florence himself here.
 
No, that's just overgeneralization. By your logic, it is impossible to write a negative review/article if the PR gifts/food/whatever was excellent? Because, we've had plenty negatieve reviews about bad games, even if the PR was good. I remember getting a very cool Brink PR package, but that game was awful. Thus it received an awful review. PR gift was cool, but that's it.
The site listed in your profile gave Brink an 81 out of 100.
 
shagg_187 needs to correct that damn summory.

It says Eurogamer/Wainwright sent a libel threat to Eurogamer......

MVC/Wainwright sent the threat. :p


Actually MVC has been pretty much left out of the discussion for most of this. Is there traffic that bad that its not even worth it?
 
The reason you feel sports journalism is nothing like games journalism is because sports journalism is simply so much better.
Given that sports journalism consists of reporting on steroid abuse and who's in jail now in-between talking about injuries and whether or not the writer thinks the coach can do it this year...

Yeah... Sports journalism is considered a joke by and large.
 
Know someone who works for a gaming magazine. They gave Madagascar a low rating. Guess what happened? They are blacklisted, another big magazine got the exclusive CoD title story.


Edit: Thank you CambriaRising. Mixed it up.
 
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