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

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Please forgive me, but this sounds like a shoddy excuse.
It may very well be but there's no reason to tell him to get out. He's been respectful even if you or I don't like what he's saying, it's no reason to jump on him.
 
I didn't say it wasn't real news. I said that I'm not particularly interested in writing about it (and admittedly I've thought a lot more about this in the past hour or two than I have all week - this sort of topic just doesn't interest me all that much), and that it might not fit the website that employs me. We don't often cover media issues like this. Remember, not every gaming website has to cover every issue (and the web would sure be a boring place if they did). You don't have to agree; I just want to make my reasoning clear.
The simple fact that these sorts of discussions are occurring is a positive thing.

Florence's original point was that the games media should be taking a look at itself every so often.

If the events of the past few days mean that is happening (even if it doesn't result in a specific story or a comment) that is a GOOD thing.

Not everyone is going to agree.
Not everyone is going to think it is a big deal.

But the simple fact that it's being talked about across the board (members of the media, people working in PR and regular fans/reader) means that Florence's point was a good one.
 
And as I've mentioned earlier in the thread, whenever I have called people out, I get the cold shoulder etc. People don't like it when you shit on their free rides.
Exactly, and I understand that completely. But it doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. In fact, the uproar from the gaming "audience" is kind of a check on this kind of thing. Maybe there needs to be an overseeing committee to help keep this kind of thing in check, I dunno. But the fact is that the honest voices are being censored, which is wrong.

BTW, I am a huge Nintendo fan, and I really respect the way they treat journalists, which is, from what I've gleaned, very professionally.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
As for Kotaku covering this, I can't speak for the site or anyone else on it, but I can say that I'm personally just more interested in spending my time writing about other things. I don't really see it as my place to serve as an ombudsman or watchdog for other members of the press, and I'm sorry if that's disappointing to you. I'm much more interested -- and I think my readers are much more interested -- in games, the people who make them, and the stories surrounding them. And also JRPGs. Lots of JRPGs.
Thanks for confirming Kotaku is shit and continuing my ban on ever following links to that site.

If you had balls you'd be following/writing about this news on Kotaku. But lord knows you guys have more important things to do for news like "FF7 hentai in Japan!? OMG WTF!" instead of standing up for someone that shined the light on the "games journalist" industry and showed the world how corrupt you guys really are.

And we both know the truth: You don't want to stand up for him/write about it because you're worried the industry and PR people will blacklist you/Kotaku because of you siding with him. Which is the sad part of this.
 
Good God, that article is terrible.

Context, my brother/sister. The writer is from the 90's tank/flight sim era, so there's this ongoing joke apparently between RPS readers and him (or something).
Ok, I can buy that. I guess I'm just not in on the joke. As it stands, the article is pretty bad when taken seriously.

That's also probably like the 3rd or 4th time my browser has been anywhere near RPS this year, so I'm not familiar with the circumstances.
 
what the heck is this, because i don't agree with the pitchfork mob voicing a different perspective my post history needs to be scrutinized? i have people calling for me to be banned for dissenting? is this really whats good? for the record (sorry i missed where you asked) i wish i was a journalist of some sort, i had facebook page that i wrote movie reviews that nobody read, but that's the extent.
Thanks for clarifying.
 
That isn't really the RPS response. They're not going to cover this issue there, for which there's room for criticism. John Walker took it to task on his blog and has also said it won't be something RPS goes over on their website.
 
A lot of you are seeming to forget that game journalists are people, They talk, eat and shit just like all of us. Just because the person in the Monster car gave me a T-shirt and a couple of drinks doesnt mean that I'll like Monster more; because when it gets down to it, I think Monster tastes terrible. While I realise thats hugely different to recieving promo gear that's worth hundreds of dollars, it's still the same basic principle. Just think, what would you do? All of you are hugely against this type of thing so wouldn't that mean that they are to?
They could totally be unbiased and they may not get swayed with swag and expensive dinners but from the outside it looks like they would be unable to give an unbiased opinion.

Now this analogy might fall completely on it's face but I'll give it a crack.

Imagine a there was a court case and a lawyer is seen giving a judge a very nice dinner/night out and some free suits or something. Now this may not affect the judges verdict but because of the gestures from the lawyer there is no way you could trust the Judge to give a fair unbiased ruling simply for being so close with the lawyer.

I hope that works, it does in my head anyway.

This whole tight relationship PR seem to have struck up with the gaming media is toxic.
 
A lot of you are seeming to forget that game journalists are people, They talk, eat and shit just like all of us. Just because the person in the Monster car gave me a T-shirt and a couple of drinks doesnt mean that I'll like Monster more; because when it gets down to it, I think Monster tastes terrible. While I realise thats hugely different to recieving promo gear that's worth hundreds of dollars, it's still the same basic principle. Just think, what would you do? All of you are hugely against this type of thing so wouldn't that mean that they are to?
The problem, as has been stated before, is that it's not all about the clear exchange. It's not about bartering a Coke for a review, or putting a price on a specific review score (while based on what people have said this sort of thing has happened at publications, it's not the big problem.)

It's that a giant chunk of video game industry money goes into a PR staff with resources to throw events and give away stuff to the 'journalists' covering them (part of the problem being games writers don't always wear nametags saying "I'm the Dan Rather of Video Games!" vs "I'm the Billy Bush of video games!") It's about the idea that video game companies don't do these things because they're swell guys who just want to give a hardworking journalist a free meal, they're doing it because the research tells them this will make people predisposed to talk about their stuff, and to say nicer things about it. Not one guy in particular, but the average--you may not be swayed by the Monster T-shirt, but Monster gives away shirts because they know it will have an impact on brand awareness, thus pushing sales. It gets them out there.

We've seen past examples that industry PR does shady things for coverage, even outside the press--Paid social engineering shills, that stupid 'All I Want For XMas is a PSP' video, they spend money on ways to trick us into thinking their stuff is popular. We know blacklisting is a thing which is threatened, and we know review scores are Serious Business where PR is concerned. We know PR isn't our friend. The #GimmeAPS3 thing that was mentioned in the original article indicates that the idea of goods in exchange for coverage has obtained some level of acceptance within the video games press. The idea is that something relatively low-key like that being so readily accepted means there's probably more going on we don't know about. More times when free stuff is being exchanged for coverage, or is at the very least motivating coverage where the game itself hasn't earned it. The idea is that it needs to be examined, but that people in the press may not be motivated to look too hard or too long because the same PR people who aren't our friends are their friends, and nobody wants to make a friend look bad for doing their job.
 
That isn't really the RPS response. They're not going to cover this issue there, for which there's room for criticism. John Walker took it to task on his blog and has also said it won't be something RPS goes over on their website.
Oh ya, that totally makes sense. Of course the lore surrounding City of Heroes is far more interesting writing material for a video game site. Give me a break.
 
Exactly, and I understand that completely. But it doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. In fact, the uproar from the gaming "audience" is kind of a check on this kind of thing. Maybe there needs to be an overseeing committee to help keep this kind of thing in check, I dunno. But the fact is that the honest voices are being censored, which is wrong.

BTW, I am a huge Nintendo fan, and I really respect the way they treat journalists, which is, from what I've gleaned, very professionally.
Oh I don't stop. I still rib people if I see some bullshit going on. This probably means I'll never go anywhere in this industry because that kind of crap doesn't fly with me. I wish it didn't feel like I was alone though. Obviously I'm not, but some days it does feel it.

Aside from the 3DS fiasco, I can't remember in recent history Nintendo really pulling out a big bribery tactic. Then again, I'm small fries and can hardly get any game I request, so I may not be seeing it from the "real" view.

I honestly haven't had much in the way of bribes from many other companies that I can recall. Sure, they send games and maybe a bit of swag or two that gets chucked in my closet to be lost forever, but I don't consider that a huge influencer. More like a space sucker. ;p
 


So professional. And egalitarian towards women.
I was talking more about they fact that they don't give gifts and pay for meals and--

you know what? Never mind. You are right. Nintendo is a sexist, completely unprofessional company. We should all stop buying their games because they hired models to show off new hardware.

And they didn't even have the decency to put these models in cleavage-revealing outfits! I mean, c'mon, get with the program Nintendo!
 

speedpop

Has problems recognising girls
That isn't really the RPS response. They're not going to cover this issue there, for which there's room for criticism. John Walker took it to task on his blog and has also said it won't be something RPS goes over on their website.
Indeed. Walker has two articles up on his blog as well as a guest post from Florence. RPS doesn't need to tackle the issue because they already stick their noses in to the business year-in-year-out.


I'm waiting to see what articles might pop up on GamaSutra over the coming week, though I wouldn't be surprised if it is barely mentioned since it doesn't exactly touch their sphere.
 
I feel bad for Geoff Keighley getting caught up in all of this. I genuinely believe he is one of the "good guys".
He choosed this path. He didn´t have to.


It may very well be but there's no reason to tell him to get out. He's been respectful even if you or I don't like what he's saying, it's no reason to jump on him.
I didn´t say he needs to get out all. His statement sounded for me like a "I get myself out before I get myself into trouble" excuse. That is all.
 
The simple fact that these sorts of discussions are occurring is a positive thing.

Florence's original point was that the games media should be taking a look at itself every so often.

If the events of the past few days mean that is happening (even if it doesn't result in a specific story or a comment) that is a GOOD thing.

Not everyone is going to agree.
Not everyone is going to think it is a big deal.

But the simple fact that it's being talked about across the board (members of the media, people working in PR and regular fans/reader) means that Florence's point was a good one.
I agree!

But one of the reasons I didn't find it very interesting in the first place is that it's pretty bloody obvious to me that a journalist should not be advertising for a video game or consulting for a publisher he/she covers. It would just never occur to me that any of those things would ever possibly be okay. So I read Florence's piece, I read Walker's piece, and I didn't think there was very much nuance or room for discussion there.

It's great that people are discussing the issue, but I think there are plenty of people on our side who think those actions were pretty black and white.
 
Oh, and another thing: I agree that games media should always be scrutinizing itself and trying to get better. I don't necessarily agree that games media should be scrutinizing and criticizing each other, you know?
 
That isn't really the RPS response. They're not going to cover this issue there, for which there's room for criticism. John Walker took it to task on his blog and has also said it won't be something RPS goes over on their website.
Which is a respectable way of dealing with the situation, compared to the journal- I meant "game enthusiasts" saying they dont care.
 
It's great that people are discussing the issue, but I think there are plenty of people on our side who think those actions were pretty black and white.
Isn't a games journalist's entire job to communicate from your side to our side?

If it's not so black and white on our side, wouldn't you want to clarify why it's so black and white on your side? I find the disconnect to be odd. Aren't you basically just saying "We get it, you don't."?
 
I think it's a bit unfair to demand that someone write a story, no matter how important it is to you. It's one thing to ask somebody how they feel about a topic, or to ask if they would write one, but it crosses a line when you say they suck for not doing what you told them to do. I think some of us should dial down the internet rage a bit. Just sayin'.
 
A lot of you are seeming to forget that game journalists are people, They talk, eat and shit just like all of us. Just because the person in the Monster car gave me a T-shirt and a couple of drinks doesnt mean that I'll like Monster more; because when it gets down to it, I think Monster tastes terrible. While I realise thats hugely different to recieving promo gear that's worth hundreds of dollars, it's still the same basic principle. Just think, what would you do? All of you are hugely against this type of thing so wouldn't that mean that they are to?
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
.
 
And thus comes the part of the thread where we fall upon each other like rabid honey badgers and tear each other apart. I think it's enough to participate in the discussion. Demanding that every one in the game industry write about this, even if they feel uncomfortable with how well they could really cover it, is just plain rude. You don't ask movie reviewers to cover the White House beat or write on the opinion page.
 
Oh I don't stop. I still rib people if I see some bullshit going on. This probably means I'll never go anywhere in this industry because that kind of crap doesn't fly with me. I wish it didn't feel like I was alone though. Obviously I'm not, but some days it does feel it.

Aside from the 3DS fiasco, I can't remember in recent history Nintendo really pulling out a big bribery tactic. Then again, I'm small fries and can hardly get any game I request, so I may not be seeing it from the "real" view.

I honestly haven't had much in the way of bribes from many other companies that I can recall. Sure, they send games and maybe a bit of swag or two that gets chucked in my closet to be lost forever, but I don't consider that a huge influencer. More like a space sucker. ;p
I respect you. :D Don't feel alone, there are those of us with ethics in every field that have to stand up and say something. The only thing needed for evil to win is for good people to do nothing blah blah blah and stuff.
 
Isn't a games journalist's entire job to communicate from your side to our side?
No, not really! I see my job as trying to inform, entertain, and tell interesting stories to readers. While sometimes I might talk about my personal feelings or thoughts or life, I think those stories should usually be about the industry and culture I cover, not the people who cover it.
 
I was talking more about they fact that they don't give gifts and pay for meals and--

you know what? Never mind. You are right. Nintendo is a sexist, completely unprofessional company. We should all stop buying their games because they hired models to show off new hardware.
I was giving an example of an act of complete unprofessional behaviour to counter your claim that Nintendo were professional in their PR. You don't see how strapping their soon-to-be-released console to the waist of pretty women is a terrible idea to the professional audience? Do Nintendo PR actually think their audience is that gullible and stupid?

And they didn't even have the decency to put these models in cleavage-revealing outfits! I mean, c'mon, get with the program Nintendo!
You don't think it's sexist to have lots of (only) women be tied to the console? Just because they aren't as demeaningly treated as regular gaming conventions doesn't make the fact that they are used as objects to promote a certain product any less sexist/wrong.
 
If it's not so black and white on our side, wouldn't you want to clarify why it's so black and white on your side? I find the disconnect to be odd. Aren't you basically just saying "We get it, you don't."?
What do you mean?

What I'm saying is that it's pretty black and white to me that journalists should not be advertising for PS3s or working for companies that they cover.
 
No, not really! I see my job as trying to inform, entertain, and tell interesting stories to readers. While sometimes I might talk about my personal feelings or thoughts or life, I think those stories should usually be about the industry and culture I cover, not the people who cover it.
Isn't this an industry story? It directly talks about the way you cover games and the relationship between journalists and PR.
 
And thus comes the part of the thread where we fall upon each other like rabid honey badgers and tear each other apart. I think it's enough to participate in the discussion. Demanding that every one in the game industry write about this, even if they feel uncomfortable with how well they could really cover it, is just plain rude. You don't ask movie reviewers to cover the White House beat or write on the opinion page.
Not everyone should write about it, but every gaming website should. Especially the ones which basically don't discriminate at all in regards to what kinds of stories they'll post.
 
I feel bad for Geoff Keighley getting caught up in all of this. I genuinely believe he is one of the "good guys".
At the very least he's never once made himself out to be anything but an enthusiast mainstream video game/entertainment host/presenter. He does have an account here too, and he's smart for not posting anything positive, negative or indifferent.
 
Isn't this an industry story? It directly talks about the way you cover games and the relationship between journalists and PR.
This is ABSOLUTELY an "industry story" in just about every way possible.

To suggest otherwise is to narrow the scope of what constitutes an "industry story" in a quite disingenuous manner.
 
Isn't a games journalist's entire job to communicate from your side to our side?
My side, your side.
My side, your side.



Sorry, couldn't resist that one. ;)



As far as opinions, anyone who does have a well thought out response should probably post an opinion piece up over at Bitmob. It's community driven and a well written opinion piece will likely rise to the top.

Just because you don't write for a traditional outlet, doesn't mean you should hold back if you have something to say.

Also keep in mind that larger sites do accept pitches. You think one of them should cover this? Why not pitch the story to them as a freelancer writer?
 
I really like Jim Sterling's article.

He sometimes comes off as an ass, but he seems to have the right principles.
I think he also does a good job at summarizing why this sort of article isn't the most pleasant/easiest thing to do for a games journalist.
 
Oh, and another thing: I agree that games media should always be scrutinizing itself and trying to get better. I don't necessarily agree that games media should be scrutinizing and criticizing each other, you know?
I think you have to scrutinize the behavior of other gaming journalists, especially when they so blatantly violate standards of integrity. Otherwise, the standard itself will likely slide and everyone will have to compromise integrity just to keep up.
 
Demanding that every one in the game industry write about this, even if they feel uncomfortable with how well they could really cover it, is just plain rude. You don't ask movie reviewers to cover the White House beat or write on the opinion page.
That's just coming from the frustration over the lack of coverage from major sites. Then you throw in things like that Twitter message from N'gai where PR and journalists are joking about the situation and it pisses people off even more. It seems like some just want it swept under the rug, and that's irritating people here.
 

speedpop

Has problems recognising girls
And thus comes the part of the thread where we fall upon each other like rabid honey badgers and tear each other apart. I think it's enough to participate in the discussion. Demanding that every one in the game industry write about this, even if they feel uncomfortable with how well they could really cover it, is just plain rude. You don't ask movie reviewers to cover the White House beat or write on the opinion page.
Isn't the point of writing articles to satiate a demand from the audience? People read reviews of new books, movies, music, games, etc because the demand is there, just as much as people read the Economist or National Geographic because articles from those publications usually deal with current events happening in those parts of the world.

Even a blind person could see that the demand is there to see opinion pieces about this issue. Unfortunately it is more than ironic to see that the only messages being communicated through the lines are seemingly coming from the usual names who fight against this bullshit practice from the beginning.
 
I was giving an example of an act of complete unprofessional behaviour to counter your claim that Nintendo were professional in their PR. You don't see how strapping their soon-to-be-released console to the waist of pretty women is a terrible idea to the professional audience? Do Nintendo PR actually think their audience is that gullible and stupid?



You don't think it's sexist to have lots of (only) women be tied to the console? Just because they aren't as demeaningly treated as regular gaming conventions doesn't make the fact that they are used as objects to promote a certain product any less sexist/wrong.
I'm not saying Nintendo is blameless. I am saying they are better than most. But that's my opinion, and I'm a blatant fanboy, so you can safely disregard my opinion.
 
At the very least he's never once made himself out to be anything but an enthusiast mainstream video game/entertainment host/presenter.
Which is exactly why I never really had any issues with him sitting in front of Mountain Dew and Dorito's in the first place.

What do you mean?

What I'm saying is that it's pretty black and white to me that journalists should not be advertising for PS3s or working for companies that they cover.
My misunderstanding, I apologize. Thanks for the clarification.
 
I think you have to scrutinize the behavior other gaming journalists, especially when they so blatantly violate standards of integrity. Otherwise, the standard itself will likely slide and everyone will have to compromise integrity just to keep up.
Considering how small and incestuous the job market in the area is it's not surprising nobody wants to really touch this.
 
And thus comes the part of the thread where we fall upon each other like rabid honey badgers and tear each other apart. I think it's enough to participate in the discussion. Demanding that every one in the game industry write about this, even if they feel uncomfortable with how well they could really cover it, is just plain rude. You don't ask movie reviewers to cover the White House beat or write on the opinion page.
i may not share your opinion on the initial matter, but this is spot on.
 
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