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

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Asking any group to criticize their peers in public is a ludicrous request.. and if you can't understand why it's unacceptable you have a lot to learn in life.
No. Just. Fucking. No.

The worry should be about LETTING THIS SHIT SLIDE and not reporting it. The industry should be worried about their conduct - not calling someone out. They should be afraid when they do stupid shit that someone can call them on - instead they use their weight to force silence. And you think this is how life is supposed to work? It seems you are the one who has a lot to learn.

How fucking sad.
 
I have like 40 tweets joking about the presidential debate. Do you think I consider the presidential debate a joke? Come on, man. Most of my Twitter feed consists of jokes, because I try to avoid having serious conversations on a platform where messages are limited to 140 characters a pop. Did you not see me write my personal opinions about what happened?
I don't doubt that you're genuine, and I respect the fact that you're always up here defending yourself.

This isn't a presidential debate you're removed from. This is your colleague and you can see his posts and writings about how upset he is about this whole situation, how awful the last few days have been for him. He just lost his job and you responded lightheartedly to someone reducing his position, the thing he lost his job for, to conspiracy theories.

To say that all of the posts in that image were in bad taste would be an understatement.

Again, I don't care what you write about. I actually like your work, which is the reason I just wanted to explain why I thought seeing your name in that image was disappointing.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Actual journalists keep critizing each other all the time. It is part of their business. NPR on the media for example was already mentioned and there are thousands worldwide doing this. Hack, even SNL is doing it in a way. It is journalists job to critize.


PS:Stop with this "talking shit about others" crap. Critizing is NOT talking shit
SNL.. or fuck the Daily Show can get it away with it all they want.. because.. omg.. they are comedy shows.

Openly criticizing someone on speculation of bias is pretty much talking shit. Thanks.
 
Asking any group to criticize their peers in public is a ludicrous request.. and if you can't understand why it's unacceptable you have a lot to learn in life.
I can only guess that you haven't had a real career before. Either that, or you work in a field that doesn't change much. As for me, my field depends upon my ability to criticize and be criticized by my colleagues and peers. We don't go for blood. It's all very civil. But it's absolutely necessary.

No one's saying you need to chew anyone to pieces here. There are diplomatic and smart ways of performing critique without pissing off your peers.
 
Actual journalists keep critizing each other all the time. It is part of their business. NPR on the media for example was already mentioned and there are thousands worldwide doing this. Hack, even SNL is doing it in a way. It is journalists job to critize.


PS:Stop with this "talking shit about others" crap. Critizing is NOT talking shit
Excellent point!

In any discipline it's expected to have peer reviews, with the goal of striving to be better. I'm not sure why games journalism gets a pass. I really, really, mean no disrespect in saying this... but educated professionals strive for excellence. Right now, I'm taking a course that assess my presentation and speaking skills. The purpose of the course is to brutally break me down, then build me up again, giving me the tools to improve on any deficiencies in my skill set. Game journalists, on the other hand, keep using the manufactured term of "enthusiast press" in order to sidestep any criticism. If they want to be immature shills, then more power to them, but with all the pea-cocking and posturing, they act as if they're something better. If you're going to profess that you're the second coming of Jesus (in game journo form), have the professionalism to back this up.
 
Here's a nice little article about a concurrent example of the tension between journalism and business concerning a story published by the NY Times.

Right now, I really don't think any gaming outlet has the spine to do something this.
 
I can only guess that you haven't had a real career before. Either that, or you work in a field that doesn't change much. As for me, my field depends upon my ability to criticize and be criticized by my colleagues and peers. We don't go for blood. It's all very civil. But it's absolutely necessary.
Nice!

I think it would be great to have game journos get a real job for a bit, and realize that we don't all suck on a teat for our daily deliverables.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
I can only guess that you haven't had a real career before. Either that, or you work in a field that doesn't change much.
Yup, you got me... this job I've had for over a decade isn't a career.. and hasn't changed with the times..

Not sure what field you work in that you routinely openly burn all your bridges.

I always learned don't rock the boat, and don't burn your bridges.

Especially when you have kids and bills to pay... work is a necessary evil.
 
SNL.. or fuck the Daily Show can get it away with it all they want.. because.. omg.. they are comedy shows.

Openly criticizing someone on speculation of bias is pretty much talking shit. Thanks.
Rab is a personality, a commentator... not a journalist. Lost his job.


Other people reported about this issue, critized the gaming industry. Many of them much more journalists than Rab.


Where is the speculation? Where is the bias? What is your agenda?
 
SNL.. or fuck the Daily Show can get it away with it all they want.. because.. omg.. they are comedy shows.

Openly criticizing someone on speculation of bias is pretty much talking shit. Thanks.
This is incorrect. One of very basic elements of scientific progress has been based on reproducing results and pointing out when they can't be reproduced or when you believe someone has fabricated results.

Medical professionals do this too.

It's how people learn and progress, and if your ego is too fragile to take it or you aren't assertive enough to criticize when something is wrong then you are doing your profession a disservice.
 
Yup, you got me... this job I've had for over a decade isn't a career.. and hasn't changed with the times..

Not sure what field you work in that you routinely openly burn all your bridges.

I always learned don't rock the boat, and don't burn your bridges.

Especially when you have kids and bills to pay... work is a necessary evil.
Why is it that you and some of the more vocal twitter voices are instantly going to extremes here? Critique is not the same as "burning bridges" or "talking shit." Any healthy industry depends on regular critique. And sometimes, as with Rab Florence's piece, that criticism hits a sore spot. It happens. The response shouldn't be to attack the one doing the critique, though.

Hell, even game design depends on regular critique! That's what the game media has been built on, for crying out loud. They're called "critics" for a reason.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Why is it that you and some of the more vocal twitter voices are instantly going to extremes here? Critique is not the same as "burning bridges" or "talking shit." Any healthy industry depends on regular critique. And sometimes, as with Rab Florence's piece, that critique hits a sore spot. It happens. The response shouldn't be to attack the one doing the critique, though.

Hell, even game design depends on regular critique! That's what the game media has been built on, for crying out loud.
They are paid to critique games, not the other people critiquing games.. if you really can't understand the difference.. I can't help that.

To be fair, Rab is a comedy writer who writes about games. He isn't, nor does he claim to be, a games journalist.
I wasn't talking about Rab, but the people asking all the games sites to basically call people out on this.
 
Yup, you got me... this job I've had for over a decade isn't a career.. and hasn't changed with the times..

Not sure what field you work in that you routinely openly burn all your bridges.

I always learned don't rock the boat, and don't burn your bridges.

Especially when you have kids and bills to pay... work is a necessary evil.
Gaming journalists don´t critize a game. You might end up working with those who produced it.
 
They are paid to critique games, not the other people critiquing games.. if you really can't understand the difference.. I can't help that.
Only if you're talking specifically about "review" writers. But there's a lot more writing that happens in the gaming press than just reviews/previews... even if publishers wish that weren't the case.

Game journos regularly write critical pieces about the "industry" or the "culture" of gaming. Those are very broad terms. And it's a safe bet that the "industry" and "culture" of gaming includes the gaming press themselves. Which is why it's a big fat lie (or at least bit of convenient denial) when folks in the gaming press say that this isn't relevant to what they do. I call BS.
 

NervousXtian

Thought Emoji Movie was good. Take that as you will.
Gaming journalists don´t critize a game. You might end up working with those who produced it.
Must be hard living life so jaded.

Of course they criticize (and can you learn to spell that word please) games... that is their job.

..but now I see you're not really up to discuss this.

Only if you're talking specifically about "review" writers. But there's a lot more writing that happens in the gaming press than just reviews/previews... even if publishers wish that weren't the case.
Of course there is, but why exactly do you think they should feel compelled to call out on speculation the bias of others based on PR relationships?

Honestly, I don't think people outside of the threads on a few sites really give much of a shit as long as they are getting advance trailers, previews, screenshots and PR press.
 
For people who write words for a living they sure are awful at communicating with their primary audience.

Don't make fun of us on Twitter, engage us in conversation and discussion like normal human beings. They may actually earn a little respect from the people that make up a part of their primary demographic. Ya know, work together instead of butting heads all the time. I don't like the tense relationship between gaming forums and games journalists, although I 100% understand why they're so put off by it.

This ... this is kind of disingenuous. GAF is hostile to press. Or at least, a very, very, very, very vocal contingent of GAF is hostile to the press. Asking a group of people that GAF regularly shits on and makes personal attacks against to talk to GAF members as normal human beings is actually asking kind of a lot. You might not have said anything negative, ever. Most of the posters here haven't. But there's a contingent that sets GAF's tone as perceived by the outside, and that tone is, like I said, hostile.

You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.

That kind of behavior, which I've watched get more hysterical over the last five years, has made GAF a thing that most press avoid, and tell other members of the press to avoid, instead of engaging with the forum the way they used to. I don't think I should automatically have your respect because I get paid to write about games, but some decency from people here as a human being would be a good start. And I don't see that very often.

The funny thing is, with regards to this thread topic, I'm in the same camp as GAF. I think the shit that went down was gross, and that a great deal of the ass-covering is shameful.

Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.

Going negative about other sites is toxic, and most readers don't like that kind of content. It's lose lose. None of which stopped me from going on an extended twitter tirade about it, which I still don't know if I should have done, because it's more complicated than "write the story idiot."
 
I wasn't talking about Rab, but the people asking all the games sites to basically call people out on this.
Okay, fair enough.

One thing I should point out, not all of us here are in agreement with Rab's decision to mention Wainwright and Cook by name. I think he could have written a piece that was just as effective, if not more, without doing that.

Still that doesn't negate the fact that gamers and editors alike have been saying for years that there is - at the very least - a perceived impropriety between the gaming press and the publishers they cover. Regardless of whether it is a real thing or not, the perception is something that ought to be addressed or at least discussed.
 
Of course there is, but why exactly do you think they should feel compelled to call out on speculation the bias of others based on PR relationships?
I'm not asking them to "call" anyone out. The big distraction behind Rab's piece (as he and countless others have pointed out) is the specific names. The names weren't the important part in all of this. It's the deep-rooted system of relations between journalism and PR. The only ones they need to "call out" is everyone, including themselves. Make a statement. Tell us what they do to keep that boundary firmly in place.

Because in my experience, I've seen a lot of what Rab is talking about. And clearly, this isn't news to anyone who's been doing games writing for any amount of time. But it is news to many who read what they write. Most people don't know exactly how this works and why we should all be skeptical. It should be writers' and editors' jobs to explain to us what they're doing to keep our trust and make us not skeptical of every judgment they make.

That's the least they can do as members of the gaming "press." The thing that sucks is that they all figure that this is "safely" confined to a handful of forums. If they were to bring it up on their sites, suddenly it would be an issue to people who know nothing about what's going on right now in these discussions. Then they'd have to explain themselves. So they're just taking the wussy way out right now and not bringing it up at all. Lame. Cheap. Cop out.

As with others here, I'm quickly losing respect for writers who I've respected for years.
 
..but now I see you're not really up to discuss this.
Dude, stop.

This entire page hasn't been about the issue at all, it's become about you, and people arguing with you and your "expertise" when you have yet to prove you understand even the basic fundamentals of journalism beyond what you think the term means based on your consumption of news.

If you're going to cite personal experience, as you have been, you need to clarify whether your 10 years of employment have been in journalism. Have you worked for a newspaper of any kind? A television network? A magazine? A website? Have you gathered news, helped gather news, or written a story based on news gathered by other journalists? Are you a writer of any type?

If you are a journalist, by all means, continue to speak authoritatively on the ethics and practices of working journalists in a first person context. But if you are not, and have never been, then stop derailing discussions with your opinions on how you THINK things work based on what appear to be assumptions pulled from the methane-producing parts of your digestive tract.

That's not to say you shouldn't have a voice. You should. That voice simply shouldn't be an authoritative one. Maybe a questioning one, instead. One that at least seeks to learn how journalism basically works before making sweeping proclamations as to how it should work.
 
This ... this is kind of disingenuous. GAF is hostile to press. Or at least, a very, very, very, very vocal contingent of GAF is hostile to the press. Asking a group of people that GAF regularly shits on and makes personal attacks against to talk to GAF members as normal human beings is actually asking kind of a lot. You might not have said anything negative, ever. Most of the posters here haven't. But there's a contingent that sets GAF's tone as perceived by the outside, and that tone is, like I said, hostile.

You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.

That kind of behavior, which I've watched get more hysterical over the last five years, has made GAF a thing that most press avoid, and tell other members of the press to avoid, instead of engaging with the forum the way they used to. I don't think I should automatically have your respect because I get paid to write about games, but some decency from people here as a human being would be a good start. And I don't see that very often.

The funny thing is, with regards to this thread topic, I'm in the same camp as GAF. I think the shit that went down was gross, and that a great deal of the ass-covering is shameful.

Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.

Going negative about other sites is toxic, and most readers don't like that kind of content. It's lose lose. None of which stopped me from going on an extended twitter tirade about it, which I still don't know if I should have done, because it's more complicated than "write the story idiot."

I appreciate your response, it actually goes a long way towards my point that games journalists should be more engaging with their fans (I might not have said it like that, but this is what I mean).

Like I've said earlier, we're both men and I can respect another man that feels comfortable putting himself out there.
 
Speaking from experience, turning down trips/gifts and holding companies accountable (which they'll inevitably view as unfair) leads to being shunned. Which has been fine for me as I much prefer being outside of that circle. It's pretty evident though when they won't even respond to emails regardless of the topic even if it's something as simple as requesting comment on an issue (which typically they would like to interject in a story).

It's as though they expect someone to beg if they're not included in getting invited to events, early copies, interviews, or the like. Almost as though they believe - and some outlets probably prove it to be true - that if you go it without them you're going to be doomed so you have no choice but to stay in their good graces in whatever way is necessary. They don't know how to deal with an individual our outlet who doesn't feel as though they need them to provide valuable content to readers. If anything being able to stay independent from their reach while building other sources and providing relevant news and analysis with proper evaluation (and an avoidance of influence) has proven to be a level of differentiation that has helped sustain and grow a following. It's ironic in a sense.

It's important to never compromise those values and know that the readers are who you're servicing and avoid becoming an arm of PR. Unfortunately it seems there aren't enough of those people/outlets out there who have proper self control or respect for the field they're covering. The relationship between writers and PR is something that should always be closely scrutinized.
 
Must be hard living life so jaded.

Of course they criticize (and can you learn to spell that word please) games... that is their job.

..but now I see you're not really up to discuss this.



Of course there is, but why exactly do you think they should feel compelled to call out on speculation the bias of others based on PR relationships?

Honestly, I don't think people outside of the threads on a few sites really give much of a shit as long as they are getting advance trailers, previews, screenshots and PR press.
We got it, according to you, journalists shouldn´t criticize other journalists work. Based on the principle:

" Don´t fuck with your maybe employer. Only with gaming companies."


I´m deeply thankful that there are thousand of crazy journalists who don´t live up to your standards.
 
This ... this is kind of disingenuous. GAF is hostile to press. Or at least, a very, very, very, very vocal contingent of GAF is hostile to the press. Asking a group of people that GAF regularly shits on and makes personal attacks against to talk to GAF members as normal human beings is actually asking kind of a lot. You might not have said anything negative, ever. Most of the posters here haven't. But there's a contingent that sets GAF's tone as perceived by the outside, and that tone is, like I said, hostile.

You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.

That kind of behavior, which I've watched get more hysterical over the last five years, has made GAF a thing that most press avoid, and tell other members of the press to avoid, instead of engaging with the forum the way they used to. I don't think I should automatically have your respect because I get paid to write about games, but some decency from people here as a human being would be a good start. And I don't see that very often.

The funny thing is, with regards to this thread topic, I'm in the same camp as GAF. I think the shit that went down was gross, and that a great deal of the ass-covering is shameful.

Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.

Going negative about other sites is toxic, and most readers don't like that kind of content. It's lose lose. None of which stopped me from going on an extended twitter tirade about it, which I still don't know if I should have done, because it's more complicated than "write the story idiot."
Arthur, I have not always agreed with you, but I give you the upmost respect for participating in this conversation. I think what you're missing, is that here at GAF, we hold honesty and authenticity above all else. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but that's the reason why I've chosen this community.

This situation has become a bit more than a forum cat fight. Distrust of "enthusiast press" has been building up for a while, and is finally boiling over. You've implied that it's somehow GAF's responsibility to fix it. Well, we try. We've been asking our boy at Kotaku all night why this doesn't warrant a mention between articles about love pillows and video game themed wedding cakes. I just hear excuses.

Bottom line, it's not our responsibility to fix it, it's yours (not you specifically, the gaming press.) You launched a new site, and I would recommend adding a small link with your ethics, conflict of interest, and business conduct rules. Anywhere else, this is readily available. You guys want to be the start of a new gaming journalism revolution? Prove it! Make your readers know that you can't be bought, and are completely unbiased. A unified set of rules will accomplish this.

Best of luck,

RedNo5
 
calling out ethical issues in your industry is normal for journalism. There are organizations like Poynter that are dedicated to it. Journalism is a business based on trust, if youc an't trust the writers then news is useless.
 
Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.
Those are all valid questions, but then again, if you HAVE answers to those questions (and the fact you're asking them is a good thing, and a necessary thing) then there's pretty much no reason NOT to level those criticisms. Again - regular press do it all the time. If a paper gets caught being faulty on the journalistic end, and reporters from other papers uncover that in the course of their digging into a story? That gets called out. So long as the facts are in place and are worth standing on - that other paper's role in the story BECOMES part of the story. There's no way it doesn't.

Writing about "the competition" is only difficult if the worry is less about the quality of your content and more about whether you'll lose audience to the competition by dint of merely mentioning them.
 
You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.
Bullshit: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=43606004

If you had evidence, they would be banned.

GAF is far from perfect, and not everything you said is without merit. But GAF has very little tolerance for bullshit, and members of this site don't hold back their opinions just because someone who is in the public spotlight is talking to them. It's an honest place. The people who come here and take it seriously and think the same rules that apply in the business world are applicable here, are eaten up. Plenty of people (see Jeff Green and Shawn Elliott, but there are many more) manage just fine because they understand that bullshit is bullshit no matter who's ass it's spewing from.
 
Arthur, I have not always agreed with you, but I give you the upmost respect for participating in this conversation. I think what you're missing, is that here at GAF, we hold honesty and authenticity above all else. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but that's the reason why I've chosen this community.

This situation has become a bit more than a forum cat fight. Distrust of "enthusiast press" has been building up for a while, and is finally boiling over. You've implied that it's somehow GAF's responsibility to fix it. Well, we try. We've been asking our boy at Kotaku all night why this doesn't warrant a mention between articles about love pillows and video game themed wedding cakes. I just hear excuses.

Bottom line, it's not our responsibility to fix it, it's yours (not you specifically, the gaming press.) You launched a new site, and I would recommend adding a small link with your ethics, conflict of interest, and business conduct rules. Anywhere else, this is readily available. You guys want to be the start of a new gaming journalism revolution? Prove it! Make your readers know that you can't be bought, and are completely unbiased. A unified set of rules will accomplish this.

Best of luck,

RedNo5
http://www.polygon.com/pages/ethics-statement

Bullshit: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=43606004

If you had evidence, they would be banned.

GAF is far from perfect, and not everything you said is without merit. But GAF has very little tolerance for bullshit and members of the site don't hold back their opinions just because someone who is in the public spotlight is talking to them. It's an honest place. The people who come here and take it seriously and think the same rules that apply in the business world are applicable here, are eaten up. Plenty of people (see Jeff Green and Shawn Elliot, but there are many more) manage just fine because they understand that bullshit is bullshit no matter who's ass it's spewing from.
Uh, Tony wasn't a plant. He acknowledged that he was here as outreach for amazon games. He wasn't viral anything.
 
Bullshit: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=43606004

If you had evidence, they would be banned.

GAF is far from perfect, and not everything you said is without merit. But GAF has very little tolerance for bullshit and members of the site don't hold back their opinions just because someone who is in the public spotlight is talking to them. It's an honest place. The people who come here and take it seriously and think the same rules that apply in the business world are applicable here, are eaten up. Plenty of people (see Jeff Green and Shawn Elliot, but there are many more) manage just fine because they understand that bullshit is bullshit no matter who's ass it's spewing from.
It's also a question of focus. Any messageboard, much less one this huge, is going to have a considerable signal-to-noise ratio. If you're going to wade into it, you have to narrow your focus. It's no different than combing your own posts for the comments that contain insight and legitimate criticism as opposed to people who are just frothing at the mouth. Most writers have learned to do this to some degree. GAF is no different, except that there are voices in this crowd who have proven to bat ideas back and forth in good faith. It's simply a matter of recognizing them when they pop up, and shutting out the rest.

To be fair, this isn't a skill that is particularly easy. Which is why a lot of writers claim they simply don't read the comments at all. (which is a lie, but still)
 
(Sorry if this is coming off sounding like me telling someone how to do their job.)

For me, I think it would be advantageous to share how the publishers try to court you. Maybe have someone make a blog talking about the lifestyle of a gaming journalist, dispelling some of the myths and confirming others. Show off the swag and give it away. Earn the readers' trust by making an effort to connect with them and be transparent. What I'm trying to say is, it doesn't necessarily have to be about 'outing' other press groups. There are many different angles from which one can approach this.
 
So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.
I think part of the problem Gaming Press runs into is that it's very rare for a games writer to become successful without also being some kind of personality--which makes it difficult/impossible to express dislike for the professional writer personality without it getting personal. Given the nature of podcasts and blogging and back-and-forth comments it's very difficult to express dislike of a Games Journalist/Critic/Professional Enthusiast/Whatever without it seeming like dislike of the person as an individual.

That said, I'm pretty sure outing shills and plants on GAF would actually get you a sizable fandom, probably consisting of many vocally anti-press people. Maybe still banned, but your memory would live on in our hearts. Because making fun of shills is good entertainment.

GAF being GAF (and the internet being the internet, really), the interaction with jschreier is probably the best press/forum relations could go--very wide scope of reactions, some of which did get ugly but many others that were respectful. It's at least appreciated more than snarky comments on Twitter met with back-patting and reassurance.
 
This ... this is kind of disingenuous. GAF is hostile to press. Or at least, a very, very, very, very vocal contingent of GAF is hostile to the press. Asking a group of people that GAF regularly shits on and makes personal attacks against to talk to GAF members as normal human beings is actually asking kind of a lot. You might not have said anything negative, ever. Most of the posters here haven't. But there's a contingent that sets GAF's tone as perceived by the outside, and that tone is, like I said, hostile.

You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.

That kind of behavior, which I've watched get more hysterical over the last five years, has made GAF a thing that most press avoid, and tell other members of the press to avoid, instead of engaging with the forum the way they used to. I don't think I should automatically have your respect because I get paid to write about games, but some decency from people here as a human being would be a good start. And I don't see that very often.

The funny thing is, with regards to this thread topic, I'm in the same camp as GAF. I think the shit that went down was gross, and that a great deal of the ass-covering is shameful.

Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.

Going negative about other sites is toxic, and most readers don't like that kind of content. It's lose lose. None of which stopped me from going on an extended twitter tirade about it, which I still don't know if I should have done, because it's more complicated than "write the story idiot."
Wow. I'm honestly impressed. And I will say that Polygon (as with Chris Grant's prior baby, Joystiq) has been one of the most forthright with its ethical stance about trips and gifts and whatnot. GAF has been critical of your launch, but I honestly think it's healthy and potentially productive criticism.

I'll also (sheepishly) admit that I've been horribly unfair to you as a writer. But I would also hope you can tell the difference between that sort of lambasting of you as one individual writer and the recognition of a deeply troubling and deliberate collective denial. This is different.

Even if there's a loud contingent of GAF that will always shit on journalists no matter what, there's an even larger contingent (likely made up of even those who are loudest in their criticisms) who read widely and avidly in the gaming press. Many of us see this forum as an extension of the larger collective "project" of writing about, understanding, and, yes, being critical of the industry we all love. You journalists are part of that. Many of us are incognito journalists or would-be journalists. Some of us are regular bloggers. Whatever. We all contribute to the conversation and work of making games into something more than just some "fun toy" that we all play with.

My point is, this is a seriously f-ed up situation. You journalists are the most public mouthpieces in our gaming culture. We expect you to voice these things. It is your responsibility to us and to our collective gaming culture to give a larger voice to these things. It really is the right thing to do. And it's seen as a betrayal by many of us to just sweep this under the rug. This is an opportunity to do some atonement and stake out what could truly be a new direction for the industry. A true moment of "growing up." Finally.

As for writing about the competition, well, you all are writers. It's your job to know how to write about these things in smart, intelligent, diplomatic ways. This just happens to be an especially touchy series of events for you all.

Why not get together with a handful of prominent writers from other sites? Why not write a collective statement that you can all proudly sign off on? Show your collective disgust with what's happened and with what continues to happen? Is this really so difficult? Is game journalism truly incapable of doing such a thing? Is it really as bad as that? If so, I feel bad for you all. It must suck to live and work in such a jaded community, to be writers with creative souls chained to disillusionment and disenchantment. But I'd like to think, much like Rab Florence himself said in one of his recent blog posts, that as writers you all are capable of doing better than what you're currently doing.
 
(Sorry if this is coming off sounding like me telling someone how to do their job.)

For me, I think it would be advantageous to share how the publishers try to court you. Maybe have someone make a blog talking about the lifestyle of a gaming journalist, dispelling some of the myths and confirming others. Show off the swag and give it away. Earn the readers' trust by making an effort to connect with them and be transparent. What I'm trying to say is, it doesn't necessarily have to be about 'outing' other press groups. There are many different angles from which one can approach this.
My man. I already read those magazines which are doing couple of these things.
 
Damage control.



Why would he avoid naming people he is sure are actually guilty of being in bed with PR and instead using others "he is sure are not guilty of it" as examples.

It's silly, this is like saying "I'm sure Suzie is not a prostitute, but let me post 5 pieces of evidence suggesting that she is"
Because as you defenders have demonstrated, unless you have an ironclad case demonstrating how Wainwright was payed off by Square you can not make such a strong assumption. I have no doubt in my mind that he really believes Square Enix's hand is in her pocket and her actions were gravely corrupt, but he can't just go around making accusations because unlike us his livelihood depends on his credibility and his connections in this business.

His follow-up piece seems on the outside to be an appeal to making nice on this whole account, but in reality it's to highlight the side of the issue that has not as fully captivated the attention of the internet gaming public as Wainwright's corruption: the fact that it's commonplace in the industry to do the exact same things she did, while still calling yourself a journalist. The fact that that Keighley picture was mostly played for laughs and used as a meme until this whole scandal is a telling example of the state of the medium. It's a PR controlled system where "journalists" do their best to rub elbows with the best and get in their good graces for exclusive preview privileges and free swag. There are often times I feel some journalists' measures to maintain their credibility are overexaggerations, but it's important.

Any "real" journalist from back when "real journalism" mattered would get laughed out of the building and have their careers ruined for this shit. In today's gaming media it happens all the time and no one bats an eyelash. There is no higher condemnation for the state of gaming as a serious medium.
 
I don't think anyone would be banned for actually outing some PR plant you were certain about, though it's probably something you'd want to go through via PM. The mods don't take kindly to that stuff and actual plants have been banned here before. There can often be a fine line between a genuinely enthusiastic fan and someone with an agenda beyond that, which can make it difficult to police without outside information.
 
Speaking from experience, turning down trips/gifts and holding companies accountable (which they'll inevitably view as unfair) leads to being shunned. Which has been fine for me as I much prefer being outside of that circle. It's pretty evident though when they won't even respond to emails regardless of the topic even if it's something as simple as requesting comment on an issue (which typically they would like to interject in a story).

It's important to never compromise those values and know that the readers are who you're servicing and avoid becoming an arm of PR. Unfortunately it seems there aren't enough of those people/outlets out there who have proper self control or respect for the field they're covering. The relationship between writers and PR is something that should always be closely scrutinized.
You do good work over at PastaPadre. I think this is a really good point. There needs to be strict ethical standards at every website that covers games for this kind of stuff. From the stories today, a lot of sites let their writers decide for themselves where to draw the line on the fly. Even though I've been critical of Polygon, I appreciate them posting their ethical mission on their site. I'm pretty sure a lot of press wants to "move on" from this because they don't want to think about and reflect on the murky ethical choices they have to make to perform their job. It's kind of like the Tour De France. If you want to compete with the big sites, you have to cut some corners and "play ball."

I wish there was more of an audience for people who care about journalistic integrity. More and more with the advent of company blogs and dedicated fan sites, independent outlets don't have the same pull that they had in the nineties.

If you look at sports journalism, the same thing is happening. There is less of an audience for features and the actual process of journalism. Tweets and fast blog posts are valued over carefully considered thoughts. Teams now have their own web site and twitter account to communicate with fans, so they no longer need to give access to big papers or even smaller sites. Only small NBA or NHL teams are fighting for coverage.
 
This ... this is kind of disingenuous. GAF is hostile to press. Or at least, a very, very, very, very vocal contingent of GAF is hostile to the press. Asking a group of people that GAF regularly shits on and makes personal attacks against to talk to GAF members as normal human beings is actually asking kind of a lot. You might not have said anything negative, ever. Most of the posters here haven't. But there's a contingent that sets GAF's tone as perceived by the outside, and that tone is, like I said, hostile.

You acknowledge that there's a tense relationship, but I don't see anyone at GAF that's particularly influential or with the ability to guide conversation making an effort on this end to make any sort of peace. Even those of us who are posters here suffer some pretty hateful personal shit at the hands of other members, but it's totally fine, because, you know, whatever. We're press. So we deserve to be called giant pieces of shit. Meanwhile, if we were to come here and point out when we are absolutely positive that someone is a PR plant or a schill for a game, we'd get banned.

That kind of behavior, which I've watched get more hysterical over the last five years, has made GAF a thing that most press avoid, and tell other members of the press to avoid, instead of engaging with the forum the way they used to. I don't think I should automatically have your respect because I get paid to write about games, but some decency from people here as a human being would be a good start. And I don't see that very often.

The funny thing is, with regards to this thread topic, I'm in the same camp as GAF. I think the shit that went down was gross, and that a great deal of the ass-covering is shameful.

Covering this story for most outlets is writing about the competition, which is a really difficult thing to navigate. Are you being too negative? Is it because it's to your competitive advantage to make another site look bad? Can you be a trustworthy source on another site? What if your report is wrong? Like, completely, 100 percent wrong? What are we actually exposing? This isn't dateline. We're not taking down a major corporation that's dumping chemicals into the river.

Going negative about other sites is toxic, and most readers don't like that kind of content. It's lose lose. None of which stopped me from going on an extended twitter tirade about it, which I still don't know if I should have done, because it's more complicated than "write the story idiot."
This is not particularly fair. Your definition of hostility seems to begin and end with ad hominem attacks on your person, which by and large I agree with your view, but they also seem extremely rare and are called out when they happen. So, as near as I can figure, you're extending that definition of hostility to, for example, questioning your journalistic integrity over things like Press Reset. Not just over that specific example, but things like that. Am I wrong? I don't have a good history with you answering questions I ask like this, but I am legitimately asking if this is what you mean and it will help clarify your position and my understanding of said position if you expound upon that.

Your hypothetical of calling someone out as a PR shill - has this been an issue in the past? Are you implying that a member of the press has been banned, or threatened with a ban, for exposing someone like this? Did they have proper evidence? What made them so sure? I want to make sure myself that this is simply not a hypothetical and that you have a reasonable expectation that you would in fact be banned if you participated in any such naming and shaming.

I am struggling to understand the hostility you feel. While I have no doubt that some people here can be insulting and overzealous, to even imply that's representative of any larger group, especially when the majority of people here are making pleas for sanity, is completely inaccurate. I feel like there's an inherent hypocrisy in what you're doing here and what you're accusing this board of doing.
 
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