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

Status
Not open for further replies.
This thread is awesome. We have done a better job of covering this story, exposing injustice and raising pertinent points than all of "videogame journalism"

It's honestly depressing how many "videogame personalities" have proven themselves to be lying, spineless, hypocritical fucks who revel in cronyism

N'Gai Croal has to come to the defence of geoff keighley and his "industry pals" so he can keep appearing on bonus round and getting that industry money. Nothing he has ever written has merit as far as i'm concerned. Guy has zero integrity

Totilo is much the same. He has avoided this story out of some misguided loyalty to the "industry cabal" both he and n'gai see themselves as part of. You'd think it'd be front page news given it's popularity on this forum and elsewhere along Totilo's own sense of journalistic duty and curiosity. But Totilo is no woodward or bernstein. Totilo needs to get those hits and Totilo needs to keep those publishers happy!
 
This thread is awesome. We have done a better job of covering this story, exposing injustice and raising pertinent points than all of "videogame journalism"

It's honestly depressing how many "videogame personalities" have proven themselves to be lying, spineless, hypocritical fucks who revel in cronyism

N'Gai Croal has to come to the defence of geoff keighley and his "industry pals" so he can keep appearing on bonus round and getting that industry money. Nothing he has ever written has merit as far as i'm concerned. Guy has zero integrity

Totilo is much the same. He has avoided this story out of some misguided loyalty to the "industry cabal" both he and n'gai see themselves as part of. You'd think it'd be front page news given it's popularity on this forum and elsewhere along Totilo's own sense of journalistic duty and curiosity. But Totilo is no woodward or bernstein. Totilo needs to get those hits and Totilo needs to keep those publishers happy!
huh?
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Also, I love how every journalist has dismissed this story because the facts are too unclear or because it's "inside baseball" or just industry drama. THAT COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT.

When Florence wrote his piece, it wasn't about Geoff's dumb picture, he merely used that as a starting point for a larger discussion.

This story isn't about Florence/Wainright, that's merely the starting point for a larger discussion.

The problem is that journalists don't want to have that larger discussion because it's painful. No one wants to talk about how to alleviate climate change, for example, because every solution is painful. People have to make sacrifices. Give up things that have made them very comfortable. So instead of arguing about the solution, opponents stall the discussion at whether climate change is even occurring, disregarding all of the evidence, because if people have to fight about Step 1 (admitting the problem) then they'll never get to Step 2 (fixing the problem).

THIS IS WHAT TOTILO ET AL ARE DOING. We have 100 pages of arguing that this should be a story (when all facts show that it is!), not 100 pages of what Jason and Stephen are going to do to fix it.

Totilo is telling us that there is no climate change (this isn't a story, no one's interested, there is no pervasive symbiosis, we do lots of other 'real' stories) while the jungles burn and the ice caps melt around him. He'll grow gills and recycle his own urine long before he ever admits anything is wrong, because admitting that something's wrong is the easy part. Fixing it is the awful, painful process.

And why should he even bother to try? Just like global warming, no one person can fix the problem--if Totilo doesn't unbox that X-Box, someone else will.
This is the most truthful forum post to ever contain a stealth Waterworld reference.
 
This thread is awesome. We have done a better job of covering this story, exposing injustice and raising pertinent points than all of "videogame journalism"

It's honestly depressing how many "videogame personalities" have proven themselves to be lying, spineless, hypocritical fucks who revel in cronyism

N'Gai Croal has to come to the defence of geoff keighley and his "industry pals" so he can keep appearing on bonus round and getting that industry money. Nothing he has ever written has merit as far as i'm concerned. Guy has zero integrity

Totilo is much the same. He has avoided this story out of some misguided loyalty to the "industry cabal" both he and n'gai see themselves as part of. You'd think it'd be front page news given it's popularity on this forum and elsewhere along Totilo's own sense of journalistic duty and curiosity. But Totilo is no woodward or bernstein. Totilo needs to get those hits and Totilo needs to keep those publishers happy!
Suikodish and Tolito start to generalize all of gaf collectively due to this bad response in 5....


Hey Kotaku guys.


I know it will probably cost GAF a few laughs but just STOP posting.

You don't get it. Thats the problem but clearly we are not going to fix it. At this point you have spent more time saying why you are not covering this story then it would have taken to write a short news story yesterday about it.


Just go back to writing about cosplay and posting videos of your sweet free swag.


But before you go please read the OP of this thread. Read the posts from Jeff Green and Shawn Elliot because they a did better job explaining the problem then any random poster on gaf has then just for kicks read the links from other sites that did report on this story and then think about the way you guys handled this story and handle yourselves professionally when you go to a swanky e3 party or do a unboxing video of $500 worth of stuff a publisher sent you to review there $60 game then maybe you will get why some people think people in your profession can sometime seen seen as shameless hacks.

Oh and the SK story was cool. So was leaking the MW3 script last year. If you had more then 2 stories in recent memory I could remember then maybe the sites rep would be a bit better. You should get on that.

This issue is bigger then your little site and its history of problems so stop making it about it.
Quoting this because it doesn't deserve to be buried under the end of the last page. I respect that the Kotaku guys are in here discussing this, but at the end of the day it seems like we're both on opposite ends of the street throwing stones at each other because we can't seem to see the problem from both point of views and come to a solution that benefits both sides of the argument.

I think we can both agree that you guys in the press need to be more careful about how you handle yourselves with PR issues though.
 
Hi. I'm back. I figured this would be nice to answer.

Seeing as we have a couple of Kotaku folks in here, does Kotaku have an ethics statement available to read anywhere (like Polygon does)?
Nope. Nothing published for Kotaku.

I mean, would Kotaku writers be free to consult on games for developers/publishers and then report on those games at Kotaku?
Absolutely not. It's sad that you even would feel the need to ask. But I get that that's what this whole thread is about: that that this kind of thing can happen elsewhere.

Is it fine for Kotaku writers to go out for meals, hit the town etc with PR people at the PR people's expense?
It's not the end of the world, and I pay my share some of the time, but if you're looking for a lapse, here you go. I always offer to pay my share but will be willing to be talked out of it sometimes. I should be more consistent in paying. (I can afford it; so don't make the impoverished-games-journalist excuse for me). You didn't ask, but I think I've gone to dinner with PR people three or four times this year. Maybe they paid twice or three times? I can't remember. I don't make PR dinners a habit. I prefer to have non-work dinners!

Is there any monetary value limit to what you'll willingly receive from people in the games industry?
I don't have a limit, but then again we don't accept stuff from publishers other than games we're sent for review/coverage. We never ask for swag. As I mentioned previously, if we get some, we give it away or just throw it out. Occasionally I'll mention some of it on the site, but any time we do that it's obviously falling for the PR ploy of giving the game extra publicity. I ran a video of the Street Fighter chess set because I figured readers would like to see it and it's an item that Capcom sells, so readers could get a better sense of whether it was worth buying for themselves. Now I have no idea what to do with it. I'd never just take it home and use it as my personal chess set because that'd be crossing the line. So it sits in its box in the office. Our company does charity giveaways, so I often just pile up excess swag for that.

We're also sent consoles (like that Halo one in the unboxing video). We use them or just let them sit in boxes. I think some outlets send this stuff back, which is a valid approach if you want to pay for shipping stuff back that you didn't ask for.

The basic rule of thumb is just to use stuff for playing games and covering them but not for any non-work-related personal gain. For example, I sometimes trade in games at GameStop for other games I want to check out, in lieu of asking for the publisher to send me said game. But here too there's an obvious line not to cross: I'd never trade the games for cash.

What's your stance on review events?
If they require travel, we don't do them because they're not worth our budget and we do not accept travel money. And if they don't require travel, I'm still leery of the time it takes out of the work day, since our staff plays games for review mostly outside what are ostensibly work hours. (One exception on the travel money: during the pre-E3 judges' tour, publishers pool money together to pay for reporters/critics to see a week's worth of E3 games from a consortium of a dozen or more publishers. Since the publishers pay at random--they don't pick which reporter/critic they're paying for and that reporter then winds up covering games from all the publishers. I disclose this on the site, as we did in previous years before I was EiC.)

Do you think all the freebies, wining and dining, and closer relationships with PR people could affect a writer's impressions of the associated products, perhaps even on a subconscious level?
Yeah, of course. Some of the things that seem off in what I've seen people here saying include this fixation on PR people. A reporter could get close to anyone on the beat they cover. It could be a developer, an executive... anyone... and even if there was zero wining and dining... the desire to have access or to not offend or to be cordial or whatever can defang a reporter or critic's best instincts to do good reporting and criticism. Some of the dismissiveness and eye-rolling that you probably detect from some in the media when this kind of message board thread flares up is because the charges against the press become almost cartoonish. Keeping oneself honest and making sure oneself is not being too soft on anything for any reason is any good reporter's daily obligation. Many of us are mindful of this in more ways than you can imagine and agonize over these issues all the time. It's this way for any reporter on any beat. It's not specific to the games press and it's not usually something as black and white as whether someone did undisclosed paid consulting on the same game they wrote for or took a gift from a PR person and didn't disclose it.

I've shared all of this publicly before in various places, but I hope it's useful for it to be here in reply to your questions.
 
It's not the end of the world, and I pay my share some of the time, but if you're looking for a lapse, here you go. I always offer to pay my share but will be willing to be talked out of it sometimes. I should be more consistent in paying. (I can afford it; so don't make the impoverished-games-journalist excuse for me). You didn't ask, but I think I've gone to dinner with PR people three or four times this year. Maybe they paid twice or three times? I can't remember. I don't make PR dinners a habit. I prefer to have non-work dinners!
.
Thanks for your answers. Just out of curiousity, what the heck is a PR dinner anyway? I mean, what would any game journalist need to talk about business-wise with a PR person over dinner? Call me naive but my idea of PR is "here is our stuff, have any questions"? Or is this just friends who happen to be working in PR?

I am not trying to be coy. Other than playing Videogame Santa Claus, I really have no idea what PR people even do.
 
Figured I'd share this: http://checkthis.com/82qo. Wrote it earlier this morning. Grabbing some sleep but will check the thread in the morning.
Requoting for new page because it's an awesome read.

As far as I can tell the only people who are alluding to cartoonish acts of villainy, apart from some fringe elements partaking in this whole ordeal, are certain members of the press doing so on twitter in a mocking fashion, while ignoring what the entire discussion is actually about.

So, thanks for the implication that this is all nothing but hysterics.
 
Nope. Nothing published for Kotaku.
...
I've shared all of this publicly before in various places, but I hope it's useful for it to be here in reply to your questions.
Maybe instead of posting your ethics guidelines in a Neogaf thread you should post them on your site since that's kind of a hot topic these days. (Though to be fair, less a hot topic than Cheech/Chong confusion)

Some of the dismissiveness and eye-rolling that you probably detect from some in the media when this kind of message board thread flares up is because the charges against the press become almost cartoonish.
The people making the cartoonish claims are people like you, your employee, N'Gai, etc.

Every time this subject comes up the "defense" the usual suspects come up with is to leap to twitter and create a straw man about brown paper packages full of money and the illuminati. Very rarely are these cartoonish claims and conspiracy theories quoted - probably because for the most part they don't exist. You cannot defend against actual criticism so instead you defend against a caricature of that criticism.

Nobody in this thread is seriously talking about vast conspiracies, how PR people run every facet of your lives, how review scores are bought via a direct exchange of cash.

What they are talking about is an event where PR people give journalists awards, presumably for acting as good PR. At the event journalists agree to help market a game in exchange for goods. They are talking about a guy who gives an interview and apropos of nothing surrounds himself with advertising, including advertising for an upcoming game.

Are those "cartoonish accusations?" Or are they accusation that *should* be cartoonish but sadly are not?
 
Thanks for your answers. Just out of curiousity, what the heck is a PR dinner anyway? I mean, what would any game journalist need to talk about business-wise with a PR person over dinner? Call me naive but my idea of PR is "here is our stuff, have any questions"? Or is this just friends who happen to be working in PR?

I am not trying to be coy. Other than playing Santa Claus, I really have no idea what PR people do.
What i assume it means--what it means when I'm mentioning it--is simply having dinner with PR people. I work in New York City. Most publishers aren't in New York, so they'll fly a team of PR people, along with their games, some producers, maybe some developers, rent out a hotel suite or nightclub space or something and book appointments for the press to come see their new games, do interviews, etc. The visiting PR people, looking for something to do (and maybe looking to butter up the reporters!) might invite some reporters to dinner, maybe bring some of those developers or producers along. Now some people do become friendly, so there's that part of it, but it's also a more relaxed forum to poke and prod and maybe sniff out a story. It's not that different from a reporter having an off-the-record drink with a source, though the ethics of who is paying can turn it into something else. Your worst-case-scenario would be a reporter who just gets fat on a PR person's dime, is so much of a pushover and so afraid of not getting the next freebie dinner that all they do is write the most positive things possible and try to never offend. The better reporters get some good intel.
 
Nope. It wasn't because we were worried about upsetting fellow reporters. It came down entirely to what our decision to do any story that requires a decent amount or reporting entails: a sense of how many people will find the story interesting vs. the amount of time and effort it will take to report it well vs. other demands on our time. I can't speak for others, but that's how it came down at Kotaku.

Folks here are clearly extremely interested in the topic. If Kotaku was the NeoGAF Times and I was EiC of it, I'd be negligent in my job if I didn't have us cover this whole affair. But stories about the media, while interesting to those who care about the media, are often rather small-fry and just not that compelling to a lot of people. I fully admit that the interest in the story here is intense, so I'm sure it seems strange that we didn't cover it. But given the aforementioned formulation and my sense that there wasn't a whole lot of new revelations to be gleaned from reporting the story, we held off. As I've said before, the nice thing about journalism is you can look into something just about any given day and do something new at any moment. So, given the passion about this topic I'm seeing here, I'm reconsidering whether maybe we should revisit the old "problems with games journalism" story. If we do, it seems to me that it should include the seemingly unshakable disdain and suspicion that some gamers, including some folks here, have for and of the gaming press.

I've appreciated the back and forth and glad some of my zingers hit the mark! I gotta go, though.

Last June, Jim Redner, the PR guy for Duke Nukem Forever, said on Twitter "Too many went too far with their reviews... we r reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn't based on today's venom."

The thread on GAF was huge. Kotaku covered the indicent, and even bothered to follow up with Redner's Wired interview after he was dropped by 2K Games.

So, what were the "whole lot of new revelations to be gleaned from reporting the story", during that incident? Why wasn't that "rather small-fry and just not that compelling to a lot of people"?
 
Headline:

NeoGAF has the exclusive interview with the head of Kotaku on that site's professional ethics rules in wake of the 'Eurogamer' controversy.
Ridiculous. The dude wants to tell us "this is not worth discussing". Yet Gaf apparently can get under his skin about a topic that is "insignificant". Clearly what we Gaffers are discussing must have some merit for the head of Kotaku and the rest of these "journalist" to come and here to pretend to be so civil and above the issue. Clearly NeoGaf is just populated by pure savages.

Where is the logic in this though? It is the equivalent of a person who plays exclusively PS3 games, claims that Xbox 360 games are "a worthless waste of time". Yet that person invades a Xbox 360 thread to explain why the game is a waste of time. If its a waste the time what the hell are you doing in the thread? Your mere presence contradicts your own statement. Its a non-sequitur.

It is obvious that NeoGaf hit a nerve and the presence of all these "journalist" prove it. If the matter was not worth discussing the thread would have died 4600 post ago.
 
Maybe instead of posting your ethics guidelines in a Neogaf thread you should post them on your site since that's kind of a hot topic these days. (Though to be fair, less a hot topic than Cheech/Chong confusion)



The people making the cartoonish claims are people like you, your employee, N'Gai, etc.

Every time this subject comes up the "defense" the usual suspects come up with is to leap to twitter and create a straw man about brown paper packages full of money and the illuminati. Very rarely are these cartoonish claims and conspiracy theories quoted - probably because for the most part they don't exist. You cannot defend against actual criticism so instead you defend against a caricature of that criticism.

Nobody in this thread is seriously talking about vast conspiracies, how PR people run every facet of your lives, how review scores are bought via a direct exchange of cash.

What they are talking about is an event where PR people give journalists awards, presumably for acting as good PR. At the event journalists agree to help market a game in exchange for goods. They are talking about a guy who gives an interview and apropos of nothing surrounds himself with advertising, including advertising for an upcoming game.

Are those "cartoonish accusations?" Or are they accusation that *should* be cartoonish but sadly are not?
Ok. Fair enough. Cartoonish.. whatever. I don't even know what people said. I never read back beyond when people were posting fun images of my unboxing.

Yes, the origin of this is the GMAs which I still haven't done proper reporting on so I can't comment on the elements about it that raise my eyebrows and certainly am not able to run a story on it. More recently in this thread it's been implied that I'm a liar and incompetent because I chose not to have my team report this story last week and prioritized other reporting efforts instead.

I'm mainly here at this point to clear up concerns about my outlet. I have ideas about how to report a story on this, but it's not something I'm spending my Saturday doing, nor is it likely to result in a story early next week. For better or worse, the overall "problems with games journalism" story isn't going away, so there's no huge rush. This thread did at one point turn into someone saying that I was denying climate change while the jungles were burning. I hope that was a metaphor!
 
What i assume it means--what it means when I'm mentioning it--is simply having dinner with PR people. I work in New York City. Most publishers aren't in New York, so they'll fly a team of PR people, along with their games, some producers, maybe some developers, rent out a hotel suite or nightclub space or something and book appointments for the press to come see their new games, do interviews, etc. The visiting PR people, looking for something to do (and maybe looking to butter up the reporters!) might invite some reporters to dinner, maybe bring some of those developers or producers along. Now some people do become friendly, so there's that part of it, but it's also a more relaxed forum to poke and prod and maybe sniff out a story. It's not that different from a reporter having an off-the-record drink with a source, though the ethics of who is paying can turn it into something else. Your worst-case-scenario would be a reporter who just gets fat on a PR person's dime, is so much of a pushover and so afraid of not getting the next freebie dinner that all they do is write the most positive things possible and try to never offend. The better reporters get some good intel.
Are you ever worried about this scenario with your own writers? Do you trust writers at Kotaku to know what the boundaries are? Does Kotaku do anything to create barriers so that scenario doesn't happen?
 
Are you ever worried about this scenario with your own writers? Do you trust writers at Kotaku to know what the boundaries are? Does Kotaku do anything to create barriers so that scenario doesn't happen?
Yes, I trust my writers. I'm not sure what barriers you think can be created. I hold my team to the standards I hold myself, which I articulated above.
 
So which innocent folly of yours absolves you of responsibility for this dreck?
Why isn't the thread about our Silicon Knights story this long, NeoGAF? Sweeping that one under the rug?

Imagine a world where good games journalism doesn't generate really long threads on NeoGAF, but threads about games journalism and the alleged lack of good games journalism does. I guess everyone, not just Nick Denton, loves the whiff of scandal.
 
I was hoping for seven.
I want a website EiC who shows an understanding and embracing of the standard journalistic ethics they were no doubt taught in school. Unfortunately, the only person so far who has seemed to actually display as much has left the field to go help make ridiculously addictive games starring animal heads, pegs, and bouncing silver balls.

As a man once said, "It's nice to want things."
 
Ridiculous. The dude wants to tell us "this is not worth discussing". Yet Gaf apparently can get under his skin about a topic that is "insignificant". Clearly what we Gaffers are discussing must have some merit for the head of Kotaku and the rest of these "journalist" to come and here to pretend to be so civil and above the issue. Clearly NeoGaf is just populated by pure savages.
I never said it wasn't worth discussing, but then again, if you really did read things closely, you'd have seen that my mind has been changed a little about this topic. Most of what I've discussed in this thread, though, isn't about the original story, which I'm still not well-informed enough to comment on, since I haven't reported it out. I've been replying to questions about Kotaku's work.
 
What i assume it means--what it means when I'm mentioning it--is simply having dinner with PR people. I work in New York City. Most publishers aren't in New York, so they'll fly a team of PR people, along with their games, some producers, maybe some developers, rent out a hotel suite or nightclub space or something and book appointments for the press to come see their new games, do interviews, etc. The visiting PR people, looking for something to do (and maybe looking to butter up the reporters!) might invite some reporters to dinner, maybe bring some of those developers or producers along. Now some people do become friendly, so there's that part of it, but it's also a more relaxed forum to poke and prod and maybe sniff out a story. It's not that different from a reporter having an off-the-record drink with a source, though the ethics of who is paying can turn it into something else. Your worst-case-scenario would be a reporter who just gets fat on a PR person's dime, is so much of a pushover and so afraid of not getting the next freebie dinner that all they do is write the most positive things possible and try to never offend. The better reporters get some good intel.
Ok, that makes more sense. When you called it a "business dinner" I was just a bit confused. You apparently just mean that you hang out with PR for fun and entertain them since they arent local.

That still seems pretty weird to me but I'm not here to grill anyone.
 
Ok. Fair enough. Cartoonish.. whatever. I don't even know what people said. I never read back beyond when people were posting fun images of my unboxing.
Shocking.

I accused you and people like you of making up straw man arguments because you can't deal with the real ones, and your comeback is to point out that you don't even know what the real argument are.

You are embarrassing yourself now.

This does kind of explain why legitimate criticism of the press is almost dismissed in the same lazy way. I guess it's kind of hard to engage with criticism you can't be bothered to read.
 
I never mocked Florence's position on Twitter. Please don't put words in my mouth or levy accusations based on your misinterpretations of things I've said.

In fact, I agree with much of what Florence wrote. (as I've said more than a few times in this thread.)
I said this before in this thread but this is your colleague and you know he's hurting.

@ncroal hmmm how should I respond to this brb e-mailing my publicist
@kobunheat yes yes yes but more importantly how will this lead to me winning a PS3
@BarackObama do you think it's ok for game journalists to advertise games as part of contests to win free PS3s get back to me asap please
I'm curious as to what the joke in these could be if it wasn't "Oh look, better ask the President about this because it's soooooooooo important".

Reaffirmingly joking with a guy who marginalized his views, the thing Florence lost his job for, as "conspiracy theories", is mocking him. I know you like N'Gai and all, but it would perhaps be better to distance yourself from him when he's being classless because otherwise your name appears in a cliquish Twitter conversation image featuring prominent PR and press members.
 
I never said it wasn't worth discussing, but then again, if you really did read things closely, you'd have seen that my mind has been changed a little about this topic. Most of what I've discussed in this thread, though, isn't about the original story, which I'm still not well-informed enough to comment on, since I haven't reported it out. I've been replying to questions about Kotaku's work.
Honestly read links in the OP. There is really great stuff there. Especially FartofWar's three posts and links he gave. There is great conversation throughout this thread, but I think he brought to light a lot of the underlying concerns.
 
Shocking.

I accused you and people like you of making up straw man arguments because you can't deal with the real ones, and your comeback is to point out that you don't even know what the real argument are.

You are embarrassing yourself now.
Thanks for the bolding. It helps you come off as entirely reasonable. Clearly the posts I've made in this thread show that I don't take journalism and ethics seriously.
 
Clearly the posts I've made in this thread show that I don't take journalism and ethics seriously.
"I've been replying to questions about Kotaku's work."

in light of

"Imagine a world where good games journalism doesn't generate really long threads on NeoGAF, but threads about games journalism and the alleged lack of good games journalism does. I guess everyone, not just Nick Denton, loves the whiff of scandal."
 
Ok, that makes more sense. When you called it a "business dinner" I was just a bit confused.
The business of PR is to control the flow of information in a way that leads to positive coverage.

So it's business for the publisher at least.

PR dinners are part of an overall deliberate strategy. PR people don't do them because they are bored, they do them because IT'S THEIR JOB. The idea that they are just hangin' out is absurd.
 
Some of the things that seem off in what I've seen people here saying include this fixation on PR people. A reporter could get close to anyone on the beat they cover. It could be a developer, an executive... anyone... and even if there was zero wining and dining... the desire to have access or to not offend or to be cordial or whatever can defang a reporter or critic's best instincts to do good reporting and criticism.
Somewhere on a scale between "possibly getting close to anyone" and "being directly influenced by someone" lies something approximating the truth.

Most folks here are not saying you're on the take. But there's a special quality to those relationships between the press and the people they cover (developers and publisher execs), or between the press and those providing information (PR folks). It would seem to me that there should be some incredibly strict guidelines in place there, not unlike lawyer-juror or teacher-student guidelines. It's good that you're aware of that. It's bad that you assume we just have to "trust you." Why not make your ethics guidelines public on Kotaku? Do they not apply to all of your writers and contributors? Do you need the flexibility to be able to break those unwritten rules when it suits you?

And filing this away for some vague article in the future is also missing the point. Cultural change depends on transformative moments. This is the gaming press's moment.
 
It seems to me like some fairly serious stuff went down, specifically within the UK game journalism scene, that was definitely shady. The GMAs, the PS3 hashtags, the editing of Florence's Eurogamer article and his stepping down, the reveal of Wainwright's conflicts of interest with SquareEnix and the defense of all of those things by some people in the industry. That's a lot of meaty stuff to talk about, not just generalities about the state of the industry. Although these things having happened definitely raise questions about said state of the industry that might be worth looking at.

What a lot of game journalists saw, probably non-UK ones especially, was just people on Twitter/NeoGAF accusing the games press of being in the pocket of PR and so they got defensive. They saw it as just another personal attack that wasn't grounded in their reality, so they mocked it/fought against it, accused it of being a non-story. A generalized attack on what they do.

I don't know if they just hadn't read all the stuff about what happened in the UK scene or just didn't care and ignored it. But there definitely seems to be a split between people who are aware of all that went down and those just defending how they personally do business on their website.

That seems the most likely explanation to me that isn't accusing them of trying to purposefully hide their "corruption."
 
http://checkthis.com/82qo

Must read for everyone. Some quotes:

I covered the video game industry from 2008 to 2011, doing things like volunteer blogging at 1UP, freelancing for mainstream sites and launching my own dot com (CriticalPixels.com, no longer up) dedicated to video game criticism. In that short time I witnessed one of the most insular, nepotistic and ethically obtuse communities I’ve come across.
I come from a traditional journalism background. I have a bachelors in journalism, completed graduate-level program work at Georgetown’s Institute for Political Journalism and worked at several print newspapers, to name a few CV-related criteria. The majority of what you see on video game websites and in magazines would never pass for journalism.

Why? There's two components to this. One is that most game "journalists" either don’t have a journalism degree or any kind of journalism experience prior to being hired at a website or magazine. The industry is so flooded (and has been for a while) with those of aspirations of covering video games, that the cheapest and most ethically-malleable labor wins out.
Don’t worry: I didn't forget about the second component. Sure, a big problem is that most video game journalists aren’t actual journalists, but the greater problem is that of ethics.

In nearly every undergraduate journalism program, students are taught about ethics codes, such as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, which under its "Act Independently" section says journalists should:
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment … if they compromise journalistic integrity.
Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist the pressure to influence news coverage.
It is common for that bulleted list of ethics points to be routinely violated by writers, editors and so on up the food chain at video game websites and magazines.
 
That seems the most likely explanation to me that isn't accusing them of trying to purposefully hide their "corruption."
Not many are necessarily being accused of purposefully trying to hide things due to "corruption". That seems to really only be isolated towards the despicable display shown by Lauren Wainwright after Rab's article was originally published.

It's more that several act almost as if they are deliberately being ignorant and obtuse, handwaving away any kind of criticism as the cartoonish conspiracy theories of forum lunatics.

Take us to dinner, thats how it works.
Haha, ice cold.
 
Not many are necessarily being accused of purposefully trying to hide things due to "corruption". That seems to really only be isolated towards the despicable display shown by Lauren Wainwright after Rab's article was originally published.

It's more that several act almost as if they are deliberately being ignorant and obtuse, handwaving away any kind of criticism as the cartoonish conspiracy theories of forum lunatics.
I agree, I was just trying to work out why they were doing that while giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they weren't aware of all the stuff that happened surrounding Florence's article and were only aware of people questioning their ethics, then I could see why they'd respond in an exaggerated, defensive way like you describe. They'd think they're being attacked unfairly, as opposed to it being questions that make sense to raise in light of everything that happened in the UK scene.

It doesn't excuse them, of course, and maybe I'm giving too much benefit of the doubt, but like I said, was just trying to figure out the reason for their behavior that wasn't them hiding an ulterior motive.
 
Stephen,

Just throwing this out there. But if the sweet allure of nifty swag bags start to be too much of a pull on you. I'm both willing and able to take those on for you. Just sent them to me and I'll handle all the guilt and baggage that come along with them. Even Frodo needed Sam to help him bear the ring from time to time. I promise you that I can handle it. Games, flags, figurines, collectors editions I'll take them all on (no love pillows though please).
 
According to the scale of influence outlined by former Rockstar PR's in that Gamasutra article, that would probably only be good for half a page at best.
They could throw in a $2000 flag. Don't worry, I'll donate it, its such a hassle to lug something that heavy around.

edit
Thats unnecessary and I apologize for the snarkiness. But some poor fucker lost his job over this, Miss Wainwright is in hiding and the people who are supposed to be reporting this shit are ignoring it and coming up with bullshit excuses while they feature complete non-stories about Cheech and Chong. Its a joke.
 
That's another one of those articles that needs to be in the OP. He lays out exactly why this is a big deal and why people are concerned about it.

Here are some examples of how I saw ethics routinely violated during my time covering the industry:
- Journalists accepting free airfare, free cab fare, free hotel rooms, free meals and drinks.
-Editors telling journalists to rate a game a certain score so the publication or website doesn’t get blacklisted and punished by having its ties to a game company severed.
-Journalists selling review copies of games.
-Journalists using events like press junkets to network for potential jobs at game companies instead of doing the job they're paid for, i.e., reporting on the event, gathering info on a game, etc.

A lot in the industry will say doing things like accepting free airfare or advance copies of games is no big deal and there’s no way of working with game companies without doing these things. However, this is a cop out. At the end of the day you can always not accept that free dinner. You can not accept the advance copy of the game that comes with a bunch of special goodies.

For example, do you really need to fly to an exotic locale and have everything paid for (transportation, food, drinks, etc.), to play a game and share your thoughts? No. Public relations and marketing will do everything they can to influence you in every way they can. That’s their job. Your job as a journalist is to say, "No."
Not only do we have the problem of ethics and Internet personalities masquerading as journalists, but the common-know, but rarely-acknowledged fact that many video game journalists ultimately see their job as a stepping stone to a position at a game company.

It’s a common sight to see a journalist spend sometimes as little as a year or two at a video game website or magazine and then get hired at a video game company for a position in marketing or PR like a community manager.
I witnessed plenty of "journalists" using events like press junkets as just glorified networking opportunities and joking that they’ll do a sloppy job covering the event (often turning in their copy late), as the real goal is to exchange business cards, make friends and get those LinkedIn connections flowing.
When I worked on my own, volunteer blogging at places like 1UP and for my own dot com, I stuck to my own standard, journalistic ethics. I never accepted a single product or favor as I was my own boss.

Confession time: When I was freelancing, I followed the policies of my editors and the higher ups. That is, I engaged in cognitive dissonance. Yes, I accepted airfare paid for by game companies. Yes, I accepted advance copies of games. I was told, "That's business as usual. It’s how everyone operates and we can’t afford to do it any other way. You want to write for us, you play by those rules."

Did it compromise how I covered things? Absolutely. Anyone that says it doesn't is lying to themselves. Sure, I can claim it didn't, but just the mere perception from readers that anything was accepted in exchange for coverage, can never look good, no matter how you frame it.
Trust is a fragile concept. It's one that's always assumed between readers and publications like websites and magazines. However, that trust has always been just that, an assumption. It’s something that needs to be earned from your readers, proven by your actions and defended as your most precious attribute.
 
I know you have better things to do than read this thread. But I think you have a rather skewed perception of what goes on over here. It's no wonder folks in the press think of GAF as a bunch of hysterical, paranoid, and hostile freaks. Especially when in the course of two posts you can say folks over here just make a bunch of "cartoonish" claims, and then in the following post say you didn't even read those claims.
Well, actually, I said some cartoonish claims arose. I didn't say they were made throughout this thread or that I saw them on NeoGAF, though I can see why you inferred that. I don't know what everyone has said, which is what I was getting at. As I said, I'd read from where people were posting the pictures of me. I didn't discover this whole issue or this particular incident through today's thread. I'm aware of a lot of the accusations involved. As I've said, I've not reported them out, so I don't feel qualified to engage on the specifics. But on the general issues of reporting ethics and even why we haven't run anything on this in the past week, sure. Which is why I've focused on that.

Anyway, what are we left with here? A few folks left in this thread picking at anything I write to criticize it? Can't find anything to agree with?

I like NeoGAF. I'm fully aware of the good conversation and investigation that happens here. Communities like this are excellent at digging things up, pooling their intelligence and hashing out an issue. I'm not against NeoGAF, nor am I against answering questions, but while I'm trying to give honest answers, it sure seems like the folks left commenting are just looking for any negative take they can find in what I've written. So let's conclude that either I'm contemptible or that this discussion has broken down into a whirlpool of disagreement and leave it at that.

Sorry for derailing it for so long. Carry on. I enjoyed answering those ethics questions and hope those were useful.
 
Did it compromise how I covered things? Absolutely. Anyone that says it doesn't is lying to themselves. Sure, I can claim it didn't, but just the mere perception from readers that anything was accepted in exchange for coverage, can never look good, no matter how you frame it.
This right here is a money quote, and I wish you'd take it to heart, Stephen, for when the next free console is sent to you.
 
Well, actually, I said some cartoonish claims arose. I didn't say they were made throughout this thread or that I saw them on NeoGAF, though I can see why you inferred that. I don't know what everyone has said, which is what I was getting at. As I said, I'd read from where people were posting the pictures of me. I didn't discover this whole issue or this particular incident through today's thread. I'm aware of a lot of the accusations involved. As I've said, I've not reported them out, so I don't feel qualified to engage on the specifics. But on the general issues of reporting ethics and even why we haven't run anything on this in the past week, sure. Which is why I've focused on that.

Anyway, what are we left with here? A few folks left in this thread picking at anything I write to criticize it? Can't find anything to agree with?

I like NeoGAF. I'm fully aware of the good conversation and investigation that happens here. Communities like this are excellent at digging things up, pooling their intelligence and hashing out an issue. I'm not against NeoGAF, nor am I against answering questions, but while I'm trying to give honest answers, it sure seems like the folks left commenting are just looking for any negative take they can find in what I've written. So let's conclude that either I'm contemptible or that this discussion has broken down into a whirlpool of disagreement and leave it at that.

Sorry for derailing it for so long. Carry on. I enjoyed answering those ethics questions and hope those were useful.
Do you even bother to read your own posts?
Um, because I just had a drink? I don't know. It's almost as weird as people having amnesia about the good journalism done on Kotaku just so they can selectively bash us. People can be unpredictable and occasionally inconsistent.

Why isn't the thread about our Silicon Knights story this long, NeoGAF? Sweeping that one under the rug?

Imagine a world where good games journalism doesn't generate really long threads on NeoGAF, but threads about games journalism and the alleged lack of good games journalism does. I guess everyone, not just Nick Denton, loves the whiff of scandal.
 
They could throw in a $2000 flag. Don't worry, I'll donate it, its such a hassle to lug something that heavy around.

edit
Thats unnecessary and I apologize for the snarkiness. But some poor fucker lost his job over this, Miss Wainwright is in hiding and the people who are supposed to be reporting this shit are ignoring it and coming up with bullshit excuses while they feature complete non-stories about Cheech and Chong. Its a joke.
Yeah, i am certainly guilty of some snarkiness in this thread too. It is just sometimes hard to resist, but I realize how hostile it can seem.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.