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

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FStop7

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Written the day after he was boasting about Kotaku's stellar reporting.
Not meant to be a shot at jschreier, but let's face facts: Kotaku is owned by Nick Denton. Everything Nick Denton is associated with is trash. Nick Denton makes Rupert Murdoch look like Edward R. Murrow.
 

Garjon

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That said, I think sites like Kotaku are often condemned and accused of things that aren't quite true. The idea of Kotaku as a press release rewrite factory is rather inaccurate.
Any examples of things Kotaku have been falsely accused of that have then been proven untrue? Because I'm struggling.
 

Lancehead

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Do you think a lot of Kotaku readers are that interested in this story? I think a lot of GAF posters are, because a lot of GAF posters are fascinated by this sort of inside baseball stuff, but I think that makes up a rather small chunk of our audience, to be honest.
Maybe I'm a little too cynical here, but I read this post as "if media outlets don't write what readers are interested in, it does not generate ad revenue". This is the problem with reliance of gaming media outlets on gaming ads.

But, like you said subsequently, publishing something about this is not for you to decide.
 

Dennis

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Stephen Totilo said:
I don't think it's a pretty important story. I think it's the same tired nonsense about games journalism that some folks love to carry on endlessly about. If we had more clear facts about whether one journalism outlet or journalist really threatened to sue another and if that other outlet buckled under that needlessly, then maybe we'd have a small story. But that would take reporting to find it out, and I just don't care enough about the latest supposed media scandal to ask my reporters to look into it.

You know what's important? Doing good games journalism, which is what we did this week and highlights in this list above.
lmao

Nothing important about the incestuous relationship between games journalism and corporate PR. Nope.
 

Marcel

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Not meant to be a shot at jschreier, but let's face facts: Kotaku is owned by Nick Denton. Everything Nick Denton is associated with is trash. Nick Denton makes Rupert Murdoch look like Edward R. Murrow.
Yeah. Let's not forget that Gawker is quick to criticize people with corporations/money in the Caymans (rightfully so), but then they forget that Gawker Media itself is an entity in the Cayman Islands. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2010/12/gawker-stalker-nick-denton-spotted-in-cayman-islands.html
 

Coxy

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Jeff is saying people were angling for jobs as community manager all along and I 100% agree with that, it's very clear people are doing this. But I think saying 'well they were never REALLY part of games writing' is kind of the benefit of hindsight and keen knowledge, as far as most people reading the articles these people put up are concerned they're the same as any other writer
 

TommyT

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... But a lot of game writers are defending it like these comments from Weekend Confirmed:
"The nice thing is that he isn't sitting there with a copy of Darksiders 2 saying I love THQ. He is sitting there with a bag of Doritos." is a good point. Jeff Green echoed as much not too long ago on the Tested show when he said those (Mountain Dew and Doritos) were the kinds of ads he would have loved to have in the magazine instead of ads for games.
 

Bobby Roberts

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Seriously, the more I read that paragraph, the more mindfucked I get.

Stephen Totilo said:
I don't think it's a pretty important story.

If we had more clear facts... maybe we'd have a small story

I just don't care enough... to ask my reporters to look into it.

You know what's important? Doing good games journalism.
The cognitive dissonance.
 

Dead Man

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Why are you being so selective in your responses? Manos alt account?



You claimed Kotaku readers wouldn't be interested in the story despite the site having a list of these stories. Are you making it up as you go along?
Given his responses, I think that is obviously what he is doing. I will give him points fror continuing to post though, not too many other people would keep it up.
 

papersleeves

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You're right: I love having the freedom to write about whatever I want without ever worrying about how a publisher or PR person will react. And the only way that I can really convince you that's true is through my work, which I believe stands for itself. As I already pointed out, Kotaku is constantly publishing interesting, challenging stories that don't always align with the interests of the companies that we cover. I feel extraordinarily lucky to be a part of that.
Why don't you get that it is important for us to have your (gaming journalists) take on the subject and doing so front line on major gaming websites, not on random blogs or here at NeoGAF? Why does it have to be so taboo? Why do most of you seem to think there is no need for a conscience exam while it appears crystal clear to us that you have to?

What if you disagree? Alright! Feel to do so. But please write the piece and stand proud side-by-side with your belief, don't try to hide.

FWIW, you won't be able to gain my trust if the state of these things stay the way they are, no matter how fantastic your writing is. This stigma has been planted. You know what you have to do to defuse it.
 

Azar

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Jeff is saying people were angling for jobs as community manager all along and I 100% agree with that, it's very clear people are doing this. But I think saying 'well they were never REALLY part of games writing' is kind of the benefit of hindsight and keen knowledge, as far as most people reading the articles these people put up are concerned they're the same as any other writer
What? He said the opposite of that for himself, and implied that not everyone at 1UP wanted a game job despite how many of them crossed over when the company collapsed.
 

JDSN

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lmao

Nothing important about the incestuous relationship between games journalism and corporate PR. Nope.
I think what makes it particually callous is the implication that this "supposed media scandal" does not exist or is fabricated in some way, the only fabricated thing in this situation is the general apathy and need to downplay this.
 

McBradders

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"The nice thing is that he isn't sitting there with a copy of Darksiders 2 saying I love THQ. He is sitting there with a bag of Doritos." is a good point. Jeff Green echoed as much not too long ago on the Tested show when he said those (Mountain Dew and Doritos) were the kinds of ads he would have loved to have in the magazine instead of ads for games.
Indeed, lets ignore that huge fucking Halo standee there too.
 

EternalGamer

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"The nice thing is that he isn't sitting there with a copy of Darksiders 2 saying I love THQ. He is sitting there with a bag of Doritos." is a good point. Jeff Green echoed as much not too long ago on the Tested show when he said those (Mountain Dew and Doritos) were the kinds of ads he would have loved to have in the magazine instead of ads for games.
But that is not what is happening in this case. Actually it is even worse because it is still a promo for Halo. It is just a promo for Halo, Dorritos and Mountain Dew all the same time while claiming that it is important information for gamers.

Here is what Keighley actually says in the video:

Keighley said:
Part of what I'm talking about today is the double xp program that Mountain Dew and Doritos are bringing back which actually allow gamers to rank up inside of Wargames in Halo 4 by purchasing Mountain Dew or Doritos. So this is a great example of a brand saying 'Hey we wanna actually give benefit and value to gamers' so if you buy Mountain Dew, you buy Doritos you get a code... and your gonna get some experience in the game. It's a good partnership.
Keighley is saying that Dorritos and Mountain Dew Halo promotion gives "benefit and value" to gamers. It is not even being presented as a blanket marketing spot where he talks about their sponsors. He is literally arguing that this whole thing of chugging fucking high frutose corn syrup in order to get more experience points in Halo is a good deal for people who play games.
 

Psi

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Stephen Totilo said:
I don't think it's a pretty important story. I think it's the same tired nonsense about games journalism that some folks love to carry on endlessly about. If we had more clear facts about whether one journalism outlet or journalist really threatened to sue another and if that other outlet buckled under that needlessly, then maybe we'd have a small story. But that would take reporting to find it out, and I just don't care enough about the latest supposed media scandal to ask my reporters to look into it.

You know what's important? Doing good games journalism, which is what we did this week and highlights in this list above.
Well, this is all I need to hear to know I shouldn't trust this man's integrity.
 

ghst

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I did miss that, and I'm glad you brought it up again. Shawn is spot on. I enjoy reading and participating in discussions like this because I think people should be constantly criticizing the press. It keeps us honest and helps us do better jobs. There have been some comments in this thread that were out of line, but I appreciate most of what's been said, and it's definitely made me think.

That said, I think sites like Kotaku are often condemned and accused of things that aren't quite true. The idea of Kotaku as a press release rewrite factory is rather inaccurate.
Stephen Totilo said:
I don't think it's a pretty important story. I think it's the same tired nonsense about games journalism that some folks love to carry on endlessly about. If we had more clear facts about whether one journalism outlet or journalist really threatened to sue another and if that other outlet buckled under that needlessly, then maybe we'd have a small story. But that would take reporting to find it out, and I just don't care enough about the latest supposed media scandal to ask my reporters to look into it.

You know what's important? Doing good games journalism, which is what we did this week and highlights in this list above.
it's heartbreaking to see someone throw themselves in to the lion's den to attempt to bridge a debate which they're clearly at a disadvantage in (something i have the upmost respect for, despite what my caustic tones may suggest), only to see their boss rain down from his ivory tower the kind of clumsy passive aggressive hand-waving shit which the debate has long since evolved past, completely undermining the nuanced understanding that his employee is attempting to gently construct on behalf of his site.
 

Dead Man

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Empty

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Speaking of the New York Times, I would love to hear what David Carr would make of all of this.
based on that nyt documentary with him in it, i'd love to watch his reaction in person to hearing totilo justify talking down the merits of covering this story while posting about halo swag.
 

Sharp

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To be honest, I have never looked at Kotaku as a publication that's trying to be taken "seriously." Look at the name and the types of stories they publish. Every once in a while they have a brilliant expose of one sort or another, but I don't think they are trying to be the watchdogs of the industry or anything. Was anyone actually going to them before this to try to dig up dirt on other publications?
 

Gestahl

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If there's one thing I've learned from this thread it's that there is a fucking enormous gap between the way the gaming press is perceived by their audience and the way they think they are perceived.
Yeah it's funny that the majority of people who recognize your name, understand your profession, and read your work in "game journalism" basically either despise who you are or regard you as a laughingstock, or both!, and yet there's a pervasive sense of smugness and self-importance permeating through almost everything most people out there write, either in articles or on the twitter as it were.
 

aeolist

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I certainly wasn't expecting this thread to kill any last vestiges of respect I had for Totilo

On the other hand props to Schreier for at least trying, even though he has a fundamental and apparently insurmountable misunderstanding of what the issues here actually are
 

Jackpot

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"Microsoft PR emphasized that I mention that Halo 4 comes with the system."

I don't know how you can hear a statement like that and believe that Microsoft has little influence on editorial content of sites like Kotaku.
Guys, it's all nonsense, Totilo said so!
 

Rufus

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To be honest, I have never looked at Kotaku as a publication that's trying to be taken "seriously." Look at the name and the types of stories they publish. Every once in a while they have a brilliant expose of one sort or another, but I don't think they are trying to be the watchdogs of the industry or anything. Was anyone actually going to them before this to try to dig up dirt on other publications?
No, but they're one of the loudest voices, usually interested in anything click-worthy and Jason Schreier is one of the few among the press who cares to participate in the discussion. That's why they're getting most of the attention right now. Oh, and there's Stephen Totilo's reflex to declare it a total non-issue, too...
 

Dennis

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Yeah it's funny that the majority of people who recognize your name, understand your profession, and read your work in "game journalism" basically either despise who you are or regard you as a laughingstock, or both!, and yet there's a pervasive sense of smugness and self-importance permeating through almost everything most people out there write, either in articles or on the twitter as it were.
Yes indeed. This and the utter contempt they seem to hold gamers in is quite remarkable.
 
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To be honest, I have never looked at Kotaku as a publication that's trying to be taken "seriously." Look at the name and the types of stories they publish. Every once in a while they have a brilliant expose of one sort or another, but I don't think they are trying to be the watchdogs of the industry or anything. Was anyone actually going to them before this to try to dig up dirt on other publications?
For me, the difference is that they want to be taken seriously, and they -- specifically Totilo -- repeatedly talk about the quality of journalism they're doing.

I think what you say applies more to Giant Bomb. They don't carry the pretense that Totilo does, and I don't really take them seriously. They don't take themselves seriously either. Ironically, they have several orders of magnitude more integrity than Kotaku -- at least to my mind.

Also, I should say that Patrick does want to be taken seriously, but he's surrounded by a bunch of goofballs so that's easy to forget sometimes. :)
 

Dead Man

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I certainly wasn't expecting this thread to kill any last vestiges of respect I had for Totilo

On the other hand props to Schreier for at least trying, even though he has a fundamental and apparently insurmountable misunderstanding of what the issues here actually are
Pretty much.
 

EternalGamer

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For me, the difference is that they want to be taken seriously, and they -- specifically Totilo -- repeatedly talk about the quality of journalism they're doing.
He definitely does. I remember listening to an episode of Brainy Gamer where he was interviewed and that was largely what he talked about. I will be honest, I didn't visit Kotaku much, but when I listened to that episode I gained some respect for Totillo. He talked the talk anyway.

But now I see how he walks. For them to pass on coverage of something like this while he is personally involved in a video unboxing of what amounts to tech porn where he literally speaks the press release to you, that, that is all incredibly disgusting.
 

TheOddOne

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"Microsoft PR emphasized that I mention that Halo 4 comes with the system."

I don't know how you can hear a statement like that and believe that Microsoft has little influence on editorial content of sites like Kotaku.
So? There has been tons of confusion about what is actually in the box. We had to find out via twitter what was in the Special Edition.

I really don't see the big deal people are making of the unboxing, tons of sites do it.
 

IC_Champion

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Not meant to be a shot at jschreier, but let's face facts: Kotaku is owned by Nick Denton. Everything Nick Denton is associated with is trash. Nick Denton makes Rupert Murdoch look like Edward R. Murrow.
That's saying a lot. Scary thing about it is, it's true.
 

TommyT

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Indeed, lets ignore that huge fucking Halo standee there too.
That's not what I'm saying at all, neither did I include that with the particular ads I was talking about - for a reason (and yes, I understand they're relevant to Halo in this case). I wasn't trying to absolve him of anything. I'm trying to go beyond this particular instance where they do correlate and instead to when they often don't.

But that is not what is happening in this case. Actually it is even worse because it is still a promo for Halo. It is just a promo for Halo, Dorritos and Mountain Dew all the same time while claiming that it is important information for gamers.

Here is what Keighley actually says in the video:



Keighley is saying that Dorritos and Mountain Dew Halo promotion gives "benefit and value" to gamers. It is not even being presented as a blanket marketing spot where he talks about their sponsors. He is literally arguing that this whole thing of chugging fucking high frutose corn syrup in order to get more experience points in Halo is a good deal for people who play games.
Sorry if you thought I was going that deep into it, I'm not. I was simply commenting on what the picture shows, which is what Garnett was talking about and my reference from what Jeff was saying. As stated above, I'm not trying to absolve him of anything. I think their point is more broad and not as specific to this as their using it as a jumping off point; I could be wrong though.

The point I'm taking away from this being that they don't/won't always and that ads like those (which often relate to people who play games, see: snack foods, soda, junk food, viagra, etc.) are the ones outlets like these should, or rather ideally would, like to go after to give them their needed funds but still show impartiality.

edit: lol I get that is kind of convoluted :p
 

Rufus

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For me, the difference is that they want to be taken seriously, and they -- specifically Totilo -- repeatedly talk about the quality of journalism they're doing.
Good games journalism, as in exclusively talk about games (while also being the helpful idiot for PR). And of course "wacky Japan".

So? There has been tons of confusion about what is actually in the box. We had to find out via twitter what was in the Special Edition.

I really don't see the big deal people are making of the unboxing, tons of sites do it.
Satire?
 
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He definitely does. I remember listening to an episode of Brainy Gamer where he was interviewed and that was largely what he talked about. Then for them to pass on coverage of something like this while he is personally involved in a video unboxing of what amounts to tech porn where he literally speaks the press release to you, that, that is all incredibly disgusting.
I don't know about you, but I think "Last Night’s Jeopardy Contestants Sure Did Not Know Much About Video Games" is a pretty effing important piece of journalism. :D
 

Marcel

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Kickstarter for a media ethics in game journalism watchdog organization anyone? I'm down for a donation.
 

carfo

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So? There has been tons of confusion about what is actually in the box. We had to find out via twitter what was in the Special Edition.

I really don't see the big deal people are making of the unboxing, tons of sites do it.
It's about PR influence on what is supposed to be unbiased organizations. Not only, in this case, is PR telling them what to say, but you could argue they're also buying them out with this needlessly extravagant box set. If you don't see anything wrong with the latter, or at least the former, something is wrong with you.
 

EternalGamer

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That's not what I'm saying at all, neither did I include that with the particular ads I was talking about - for a reason (and yes, I understand they're relevant to Halo in this case). I wasn't trying to absolve him of anything. I'm trying to go beyond this particular instance where they do correlate and instead to when they often don't.



Sorry if you thought I was going that deep into it, I'm not. I was simply commenting on what the picture shows, which is what Garnett was talking about and my reference from what Jeff was saying. As stated above, I'm not trying to absolve him of anything. I think their point is more broad and not as specific to this as their using it as a jumping off point; I could be wrong though.

The point I'm taking away from this being that they don't/won't always and that ads like those (which often relate to people who play games, see: snack foods, soda, junk food, viagra, etc.) are the ones outlets like these should, or rather ideally would, like to go after to give them their needed funds but still show impartiality.

edit: lol I get that is kind of convoluted :p
I get the general point that they ideally want advertisers outside of the medium. But to apply it to this case is to miss the point that (1) this isn't even a case of outside advertising and (2) there is a big difference between having sponsors/advertisement and what Keighley is doing in that video.

Out of all the quotes in my post, though Garnett's comment was certainly the least egregious. I agree with that much.
 
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