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

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For someone who's insistent on ethics, claiming I'm making excuses when you have no idea what my views are on the actual actions being discussed is fair? :p

Now find me the universal guide to what constitutes a conflict of interest. I'm not trying to defend any specific actions that someone has taken, but as Jason said, some see things differently - even the small ones
Clearly I have to do all your Google work for you:

http://bit.ly/QKRboM
 

greycolumbus

The success of others absolutely infuriates me.
Interesting that Jason Schreier is, at least going by that image, seemingly okay with this laughing off the questioning of all of this, since he wrote an editorial asking why is it developers/PR don't open their mouths more about games earlier during the summer.
That picture makes me feel icky.
 
So far we've had:

2 who said: I'm not a journalist, so I'm not going to write about it.
2 who said: Our readers are not interested.
1 who said: It's not up to me to write about it. I'll let someone else handle it.
1 who said: I like writing about games not game journalists.

I think it's pretty clear that big gamin media writers are full of excuses, and don't care about this subject and just want it to die. One can only asks why.
this makes me sad for gamers :-(
 
-snip-

And when something like this does happen in Eurogamer's case, where the shadier side of the industry is exposed, it should be reported on by everyone instead of just sweeping it under the rug.
As a hypothetical...

Are people not reporting on it because it immediately puts themselves into the spotlight? If Journalist A for Website B were to write up this whole thing people would look into both the author and the site's credibility - there's nothing wrong with that, it's natural and healthy - but I wouldn't be shocked if that's part of the reason.
 
Report it and let them decide if they care or not.
Of course Kotaku should report it. I'm just saying, this type of thing has always gone on in all forms of media. Most people don't care because an honest new source isn't what they are looking for.

The people who do care will always gravitate to the reporters they feel are most trustworthy, even if they are misguided.
 
"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​
http://i.imgur.com/TQA4D.jpg[IMG][/QUOTE]

Hey look, it's Jason Schreier pissing away all the good will I had for him. Disappointing, I expected better from him.
 
Here I was thinking I was the only one who never liked N'Gai or any of the shit he said. I'm happily surprised by GAF.

And where's that Dawg guy to respond to his 81 score for Brink after claiming him receiving a sweet Brink PR kit had nothing to do with the supposed "awful" game?
 
Clearly I have to do all your Google work for you:

http://bit.ly/QKRboM
You seem to keep misunderstanding my basic point. Everyone has different ethics. Generally people have them within some similar area. I don't want to throw out bullshit hypotheticals, but things like what counts as a conflict? Polygon have gone with no gifts more than $50, some say no gifts at all. Guess what, ethics is your own decision and opinion. You might say no gifts is the only way. Others will disagree.

But most conflict of interest/ethic policies are guidelines. They work you through decisions. They don't tell you what decision to make - that's your decision based on those ethics.
 
Remember with the whole gerstman thing?

I remember there were 1up guys picketing outside of GS office and long blog posts from many press guys.

Times changed?
The times haven't changed, it's just that this story doesn't promote journalists as noble, honest victims:
If you compare the media's reaction and coverage to this and 'Gerstmanngate', it's equal parts hilarious and sad.

One was a story of a veteran, respected editor who was "fighting the good fight" and "sticking it to the man!". Yes, it illuminated part of the publisher/publication symbiotic relationship that many would prefer not to talk about, but it painted the journalists in a good light; trying to do the right thing while being caught between their publication (with PR and ad sales breathing down their neck) and the audience's trust.

The other story exposes the many self-proclaimed 'journalists' who happily toe the PR line for the fringe benefits of an otherwise low paying job. A job which they don't see themselves wanting to do forever (or even currently...) so they need to prepare and build relationships for the eventual transition into community management, PR, consultancy or if they're very, very lucky (and stay friendly with the right people) production.

I'll let you guys figure out which got weeks of coverage in the mainstream gaming press and which was relegated to message boards, a few blog posts and some indie outlets.
 
Exactly. This kind of stuff is disgusting. You should never, ever, ever, ever, in a million years accept one of those flags. If they send it to your office send it back or make a vide of you throwing it in the trash.
I"m actually really shocked that Giant Bomb got one apparently.

I guess we don't know... maybe they did send it back?
 
Any gaming website that refuses to cover this, I am going to move from apathy to actively loathing. I don't care if you're an incompetent journalist, but when someone in your profession loses their job because they stood up for what's right, and you refuse to say anything, I'm sorry, but I consider you scum.
 
Remember with the whole gerstman thing?

I remember there were 1up guys picketing outside of GS office and long blog posts from many press guys.

Times changed?
Nothing's changed. It's just that with Gerstmann, the "bad guys" were clear to those reporting the gaming news. And it didn't pose any threat to their livelihood. In fact, it could actually help them since it was directed at a competitor.

But this time, there is no "bad guy," just a bad system. There are no fingers to point. No one to single out. They risk pissing off the people they most depend on (publishers) and have nothing to gain from it but a vague sense of "integrity." And as we've seen already in this thread, many game journos believe they already have integrity because they don't feel like they're influenced by PR. Somehow, despite the billions of dollars dumped into the game marketing machine every year--much of it targeted directly at members of the gaming press--game journos are above it all.

So this time, there's "nothing" to report on because they feel utterly unaffected by the PR machine. They are all a bunch of super-intelligent, super-human men and women who can resist the evil powers of the Marketing Machine. It's just those anonymous "other" writers who are easily swayed. It's not their problem; it's just something that affects "those other people" who are "amateur" writers and "hacks," not "professionals" like us. Our readers don't care because they know we're better than that.

And so on.

Riiiiiight.
 
You seem to keep misunderstanding my basic point. Everyone has different ethics. Generally people have them within some similar area. I don't want to throw out bullshit hypotheticals, but things like what counts as a conflict? Polygon have gone with no gifts more than $50, some say no gifts at all. Guess what, ethics is your own decision and opinion. You might say no gifts is the only way. Others will disagree.

But most conflict of interest/ethic policies are guidelines. They work you through decisions. They don't tell you what decision to make - that's your decision based on those ethics.
Except that gift of $750,000 from Microsoft
 
Any gaming website that refuses to cover this, I am going to move from apathy to actively loathing. I don't care if you're an incompetent journalist, but when someone in your profession loses their job because they stood up for what's right, and you refuse to say anything, I'm sorry, but I consider you scum.
"Scum" is too hyperbolic for me. But without a doubt I will be paying attention to who covers it and who doesn't. And to the way they cover it.
 
I"m actually really shocked that Giant Bomb got one apparently.

I guess we don't know... maybe they did send it back?
From the looks of "I love Mondays" they seem to get a lot of that shit. They got a faux oil painting promoting "The Walking Dead". They don't seem to really care about any of it though. It would be nice if they gave some of it away to fans, but I don't know if they are just not allowed to or what.
 
I have a feeling that this is going to be the last week I've enjoyed frequenting some of my previously favorite video game websites. Their silence is cutting through my cherished veil of Maya.

(It's a sign of naivety to feel disenchanted this late, I know.)

It's not the (thread of) incident(s) that can't be laughed off, -- after all, this hasn't been about Florence and Wainwright for a while now. It's trying to ignore or ridicule the discussion their clash provoked that's incredibly frustrating and insulting.

Not everyone wants to be the smug and cunning cynic who simply assumes the vilest theories about PR and press entanglements to be true from the get-go.
 
But most conflict of interest/ethic policies are guidelines. They work you through decisions. They don't tell you what decision to make - that's your decision based on those ethics.
No, the entire point of those policies are to tell you exactly what is and isn't acceptable. There should be no ambiguity. But hey, free stuff is free stuff right?
 
And the person who paid that amount did not sue?
God knows but I'd be mighty unhappy if I found out that I'd been duped into paying an overinflated price for something that someone is claiming to be rare as rocking horse poo but has 50 of. Then again I'm not that stupid to spend $600 on a bloody video game.
 
From the looks of "I love Mondays" they seem to get a lot of that shit. They got a faux oil painting promoting "The Walking Dead". They don't seem to really care about any of it though. It would be nice if they gave some of it away to fans, but I don't know if they are just not allowed to or what.
Apparently pawning them off on eBay is allowable.
 
Any gaming website that refuses to cover this, I am going to move from apathy to actively loathing. I don't care if you're an incompetent journalist, but when someone in your profession loses their job because they stood up for what's right, and you refuse to say anything, I'm sorry, but I consider you scum.
You should've already been actively loathing them!
 
"Scum" is too hyperbolic for me. But without a doubt I will be paying attention to who covers it and who doesn't. And to the way they cover it.
Silence, as they say, speaks volumes. I am forced to assume that those who stay silent, do so because they are actually guilty of that which the original Eurogamer article only hints at. Excuses like "the readers don't care" is BS. You want to say you cover gaming news, this is gaming news.
 
You seem to keep misunderstanding my basic point. Everyone has different ethics. Generally people have them within some similar area. I don't want to throw out bullshit hypotheticals, but things like what counts as a conflict? Polygon have gone with no gifts more than $50, some say no gifts at all. Guess what, ethics is your own decision and opinion. You might say no gifts is the only way. Others will disagree.

But most conflict of interest/ethic policies are guidelines. They work you through decisions. They don't tell you what decision to make - that's your decision based on those ethics.
So when does someone become corrupt? I never heard anyone say from himself that he's corrupt. It's always okay in your own set of ethics.
 
Articles/videos
Wings over Sealand articles (second article has summary) 1 2
John Walker's (Rock Paper Shotgun) blog (start with Games Journalists, And The Perception Of Corruption)
TotalBiscuit
Jim Sterling
Penny-Arcade
Gamasutra
Forbes
Worthplaying
GiantBomb

Other links
Shawn Elliot - 1 (aegies is Arthur Gies of polygon.com) 2 3 4 5 on the psychology of PR etc
Jeff Green on the way it actually works
ShockingAlberto on his view as a former games writer
Jason Schreier (Kotaku) - 1 2
N'Gai Croal initial reaction on Twitter
Chris Schilling (freelance) likes both people involved and so doesn't want to write about it
Danny O'Dwyer (Gamespot UK) on why his site won't cover this (audience is not interested) - 1 2 3
Examples of various press kits
 
I have a feeling that this is going to be the last week I've enjoyed frequenting some of my previously favorite video game websites. Their silence is cutting through my cherished veil of Maya.

(It's a sign of naivety to feel disenchanted this late, I know.)

It's not the (thread of) incident(s) that can't be laughed off, -- after all, this hasn't been about Florence and Wainwright for a while now. It's trying to ignore or ridicule the discussion their clash provoked that's incredibly frustrating and insulting.

Not everyone wants to be the smug and cunning cynic who simply assumes the vilest theories about PR and press entanglements to be true from the get-go.
Exactly. I've always had a healthy dose of pragmatism when it comes to these things. I know how advertising works. I know how media works. I know how PR works. I was mostly not bothered by the way gaming sites conducted business, and I've always been the first to roll my eyes at the "moneyhat" accusations (and I still know that that's not the way things work).

But this is a real issue. A real fundamental question of any claim to authority and respectability. I'm quickly losing respect for writers I have grown to admire over the years. This is an ugly incident for the way it's completely changed my mind about people (yes, actual human beings) whose work I have respected for a long time.

We all know that everyone in the gaming press knows what's going on. They all know that we're fuming about it here on GAF, Twitter, and various blogs and forums. And we know that they know. And still, we're treated to silence, dismissive attitudes, and denial.

Not cool.
 
So when does someone become corrupt? I never heard anyone say from himself that he's corrupt. It's always okay in your own set of ethics.
People should just continuously link to Shawn Elliot's posts about influence and self deception and ask skeptics to address his point. He and the links he provides articulate the problem better than anyone in this thread.
 
So when does someone become corrupt? I never heard anyone say from himself that he's corrupt. It's always okay in your own set of ethics.
Exactly! That's why these boiler plate policies exist. At no point should you be questioning if an action is right or wrong. You should already know the answer. There is no excuse in legitimate journalism or business for any less.
 
Microsoft paid them $750,000 to make a documentary about building their site and add "Brought to you by Internet Explorer 9" at the end.
Huh...that doesn't really change anything for me, I never had the intention to go to Polygon anyway (I only regularly visit GB and scroll through Kotaku and Joystiq RSS headlines) but...what? Haha

I'm behind the times obviously, did anyone from Polygon ever address this publicly?
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
As I said earlier. Those press kits aren't any different than sending a wad of money with the review copy.
And that goods are exchanged for money is not a hypothetical in the writing industry.

I think it was Jeff Green that told the story that when he first started for a magazine the different editors would take their free books they got from the various companies they were covering and traded them in at book shops that gave you the money instead of vouchers for the trade-in.
(Hopefully I'm not wrong with specifics, but it definitely was told on GFW Radio.)

Of course that doesn't mean that everyone that gets these press kit things does it. A large group of people will probably adorn their office if they are fans of the game. And if the office is full it will be thrown away.
A lot of people will throw it out immediately or give it to friends that are into these things.
Some give it away to their audience using various contests.

Most non-personalized gifts do however have a monetary value attached to them and the less scrupulous people might end up selling it on Ebay.

And this seemingly impropriety is a very real thing to me. Now that I'm aware of the expensive flag that went to Giant Bomb I want to know who ends up with it. I would call it curiosity, they would probably call it jealousy. ;-)

From the looks of "I love Mondays" they seem to get a lot of that shit. They got a faux oil painting promoting "The Walking Dead". They don't seem to really care about any of it though. It would be nice if they gave some of it away to fans, but I don't know if they are just not allowed to or what.
CGW/GFW have given away things they got from publishers using contests. I'm sure GB could do it if they cared enough.
It sucks so hard that I wasn't aware of CGW/GFW while they were still alive and that I'm on a different continent. They were the best.
 
It's so transparent, lol.

But it says Internet Explorer and not Xbox guys! It's okay!
At least on Major Nelson's side it seems clear to me it is.

I mean I have been following his twitter feed for years (No, I don't really know why...). I don't think I have ever seen him refer to the launch of gaming website before and he rarely links to stories.
 
Exactly. I've always had a healthy dose of pragmatism when it comes to these things. I know how advertising works. I know how media works. I know how PR works. I was mostly not bothered by the way gaming sites conducted business, and I've always been the first to roll my eyes at the "moneyhat" accusations (and I still know that that's not the way things work).

But this is a real issue. A real fundamental question of any claim to authority and respectability. I'm quickly losing respect for writers I have grown to admire over the years. This is an ugly incident for the way it's completely changed my mind about people (yes, actual human beings) whose work I have respected for a long time.

We all know that everyone in the gaming press knows what's going on. They all know that we're fuming about it here on GAF. And we know that they know. And still, we're treated to silence, dismissive attitudes, and denial.

Not cool.
It's one thing to suspect people hold you in contempt, it's another thing to have it confirmed.
 
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