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

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Jul 7, 2009
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Interesting read.

edit: Also there is a REASON that the SK thread is not as big as this.

THIS thread requires far more discussion and that is what it is getting. From the original discussion of the unedited article, to the whole legal thing with the amended article to discussion ethics in game journalism including citing specific examples and pointing out some of the hypocrisy.

What else is there to say about the SK piece besides that it was a good piece and saying kudos to Kotaku for it? Can you get a 94 page thread out of that? Probably not because there isn't that much discussion to be had compared to this thread which requires a lot of discussion.
Kotaku needs to be patted on the back for doing what they are supposed to be doing. Want a cookie?

GAF have done a great job sniffing out the meat on this story and finding relevant quotes from the people involved etc. Yay, Detective GAF.


This is good.
 
Jun 29, 2010
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in among people dismissing this story and the broader ideas around it i've seen a few people talk about trying to learn from it which is nice

eurogamer's simon parkin tweeted this "Week's lesson: perception is almost as important as truth. Time to make some changes."

and christian donlan this - "Long way to go, but the message of Rob's piece -before and after edits- has really made me want to change way I do things."
Yes, extremely good and shows that not every journalist is mocking this or acting like it's a laughing matter (or dismissing it completely). Good on those guys.
 
Mar 9, 2012
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Shawn Elliot - 1 (aegies is Arthur Gies of polygon.com) 2 3 4 5 6 on the psychology of PR etc
I just want to say how much I miss having Shawn writing from our side of the fence. I'm happy that he's happy and fulfilled right now but I miss it.

I also do this so I can keep it around whenever I read some other intellectual titan brag about how impervious he is to PR and ads. Yes, corporations and political parties have spent decades of research and trillions of dollars on techniques that you can just decide to ignore. Because they're dumb and underestimated your Bene Gesserit control of your mind.
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
Nov 26, 2008
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Indeed, this is good, because it blows anything the guys from Kotaku here have said out of the water. The whole "we can police ourselves" and "that stuff really doesn't affect me" is getting old. You can't police yourselves, and it does affect you. Unless of course you're not human.
 
Jul 5, 2010
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The "First review of Hitman" thread reminded me about how tired I am of all the review bullshit. On good days I can manage the complete lack of critical thinking when I am reading these almost sycophant, fanboy-like rants on "best game ever 9/10!", but what irks me the most right now is the fact that I as a reader has to wade through all the bullshit PR talk and superlatives in order to actually get an understanding of the actual game they're reviewing.

I'm so sick and tired of reading a review and I have to spend so much energy on looking for actual information on the game, because every score, every adjective, and every value statement have been rendered completely meaningless by this enthusiast press. I mean, I cannot possibly take this seriously in any way whatsoever:

Reviews are basically just a wall of platitudes these days.
Yeah, many reviews these days read pretty poorly.

The unfortunate thing is just how much they matter to a ton of people. I've heard writers from sites talk about how reviews get an insane amount of hits, as much as just about anything else (not saying this is a fact for every site, just heard it before from places like Giant Bomb and others) and even some review threads on NeoGAF end up getting pretty big. Then there's the massive amount of outcry and "preorder canceled" I see on forums like GameFAQs when a game is "only" getting 7's and 8's. It gets a little crazy sometimes. It's the same thing on the actual sites like IGN and whatnot. Reviews always seem to be generating just as many comments as anything else on the site. If not more.

I'll be honest, it used to happen to me. Not in a major way, but where I'd be getting ready for work and would excitedly check Metacritic really quickly to see what sort of scores a game was getting if the embargo had gone up when I was asleep or whatever. Luckily that's waned over the past few years. If I'm unsure about a game I rent it or wait for a Steam sale and don't pay much attention to reviews. But this thread really has me thinking back and wondering why I ever gave a damn. Clearly I was in a somewhat similar mindset to all those people on IGN and GameFAQs that are constantly cheering/getting angry over some recent review.

I think one thing that could be behind it all is the high price tag for new games. Or at least high in comparison to other entertainment. A $10 movie every once in a while is a pretty easy spend for most people I think. Same goes for $9.99 on iTunes for an album (where you can preview every single song). Or hell, you could go to YouTube and listen to a couple songs for free before you buy. Even TV is becoming more accessible these days. I've lost count of the number of good shows I've watched over the last few years on Netflix for less than $10 a month. With games, I wonder if it's that $50-$60 gate that people are a little apprehensive to go through without some confirmation from critics that they're making the right choice. Or that their favourite series isn't disappointing people. Confirmation bias and whatnot.

And then you have it coming from the publisher side as well when you hear about bonuses and stuff being dependent on Metacritic scores. So at the end of the day, with all of that weight on the backs of reviews, you end up with what we have now. Video game writers that need swift and early access to games so they can get reviews out lickity split, and major developers who realize that glowing reviews are usually an integral part of creating a hit game.

Sorry to get slightly off topic here, I know I'm not exactly saying anything new or profound (and doubly sorry that I don't have some sort of solution to it all). This whole mess is just bringing to light for me just how important reviews are for video games compared to other forms of entertainment. Definitely wish that could become less of a thing.
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
Nov 26, 2008
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Sometimes I still can't believe gaffers go to metacritic and shit like that. You'd think we were the club of special leaves that know how dumb that shit is. Though people here still do shit like preorder stuff at gamestop so I don't even know how different gaf is than anywhere else.
 
May 5, 2007
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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.
That's a FANTASTIC idea! In fact, feel free to use this quote from me in it:

"Based on these recent events, I've decided to adopt the position that the 'gaming press' is ethically challenged and guilty until proven innocent as far as I'm concerned. In fact, it is the 'gaming press' and its seeming role as 'professional enthusiasts' rather than actual critical analysts that's responsible for the continued retardation of the medium from evolving into a true art form."

I'll even give you my real name if that works better for you!
 
Oct 27, 2011
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Sorry to get slightly off topic here, I know I'm not exactly saying anything new or profound (and doubly sorry that I don't have some sort of solution to it all). This whole mess is just bringing to light for me just how important reviews are for video games compared to other forms of entertainment. Definitely wish that could become less of a thing.
It's not just the reviews, though. Reviews are, for many, a form of confirmation, like you said. It's the preview hype building that's the bigger issue as I see it. Which is why publishers spend insane amounts on marketing building that hype.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Sometimes I still can't believe gaffers go to metacritic and shit like that. You'd think we were the club of special leaves that know how dumb that shit is. Though people here still do shit like preorder stuff at gamestop so I don't even know how different gaf is than anywhere else.
I never preorder games (Kickstarter doesn't count).

I never care what the Metacritic score is.

I think I earned a cookie.
 
Jul 5, 2010
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It's not just the reviews, though. Reviews are, for many, a form of confirmation, like you said. It's the preview hype building that's the bigger issue as I see it. Which is why publishers spend insane amounts on marketing building that hype.
Definitely think you're right.

My bad there, I don't mean to shift the focus or anything. Just something that's been nagging at me this morning :p
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
Nov 26, 2008
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I never preorder games (Kickstarter doesn't count).

I never care what the Metacritic score is.

I think I earned a cookie.
Ugh..kickstarters..forgot about that. New thread every day about this crazy retro indie style game by the assistant artist and second sound guy from that AAA title in the 90s! This HAS to be good! /donates $200 with no guarantee whatsoever of anything.

At least when the big companies like Schafer's do it there's some accountability.
 

RedFalcon

Neo Member
Oct 27, 2008
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Indeed, this is good, because it blows anything the guys from Kotaku here have said out of the water. The whole "we can police ourselves" and "that stuff really doesn't affect me" is getting old. You can't police yourselves, and it does affect you. Unless of course you're not human.
Most of these folks cannot police themselves because they've already justified in their minds that they're doing nothing wrong. Hope people continue to keep track of some of these "journalists" responses, as they're very telling.
 
Jul 25, 2005
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Ugh..kickstarters..forgot about that. New thread every day about this crazy retro indie style game by the assistant artist and second sound guy from that AAA title in the 90s! This HAS to be good! /donates $200 with no guarantee whatsoever of anything.

At least when the big companies like Schafer's do it there's some accountability.
Please let's keep this on topic.
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
Nov 26, 2008
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Not a scolding, and I agree with you, but I just think it's rare to have such a good thread and wanted to keep it going.
It'll keep going no matter how dumb I am, trust me. This is the gaming story of the year. Because it's the only story of the year. Because we never get any stories in gaming. Where was the exclusive interview with Cliffy B about what he was doing (actually I wouldn't give a shit about that)? How about the exposé on the Onlive debacle? ..not on some terrible developer that hasn't made a good game since Legacy of Kain in the 90's. Or Curt Schilling and Amalur?! How did not one gaming site get an actual story there other than reporting the obvious that anyone with an internet connection could do?
 
Oct 27, 2011
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Definitely think you're right.

My bad there, I don't mean to shift the focus or anything. Just something that's been nagging at me this morning :p
No, it's not shifting focus, it is part of it. I think that a journalist/outlet who writes dozens of glowing previews is likely to write a favourable review. That may just be coincidental, but in light of all this, I'm not sure.
 
Dec 6, 2008
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Thanks for emphasizing that quote. Like I said in my editorial, folks are clearly engaging in cognitive dissonance. They know what they're doing violates standard journalism ethics but hide behind the fact with sayings like "that's how the business works."

A great thing to come out of this collection of commentary (articles, editorials, this thread, etc.) is that a lot of fans are seeing that many so-called "journalists" are refusing to comment or write about the issue and simply claiming it's not a big enough deal to warrant their attention. That's why I pushed back at N'Gai on Twitter.

Very, very few of us are "clean" in the sense that we've never done anything that didn't violate tenets of something like the SPJ Ethics Code. At this point, journalists (former and current) can either say, "Yes, this is how things work. I freely admit to violating journalistic ethics and here's my chance to be honest," or they can go, "Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now. All you forum folks are jealous, conspiracy theorists (insert more red herrings)."
Do you acknowledge that there is a difference between a salaried staff member for a major publication like Kotaku and someone who writes a volunteer/community blog for 1up or a freelancer who is paid with "free" games?
 
Apr 13, 2012
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No, it's not shifting focus, it is part of it. I think that a journalist/outlet who writes dozens of glowing previews is likely to write a favourable review. That may just be coincidental, but in light of all this, I'm not sure.
This "not sure" thing is the whole problem. These recurring incidents throw doubt on everything, and instead of speaking up and dispelling the doubt, major gaming sites are creating more by dismissing it.
 

Htown

STOP SHITTING ON MY MOTHER'S HEADSTONE
Feb 19, 2008
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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.
So, for those of you keeping score:

Video game writers "going to war" . . . against Medal of Honor by writing bad reviews for it: worth the time and effort.

Video game writers having their articles about ethics and appearance in game writing censored and resigning for it: NOT worth the time and effort.

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.
Cowardice is a hell of a drug.

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.
Sure. Go ahead and turn this story about the ethical implications of the PR-writer relationship and the appearance of impropriety into a sob story about why us mean old gamers hate you nice little game journalists so much. Looking forward to it.

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

Now that we're done with that distraction, what do you guys think is the solution to this?
 

RedFalcon

Neo Member
Oct 27, 2008
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Do you acknowledge that there is a difference between a salaried staff member for a major publication like Kotaku and someone who writes a volunteer/community blog for 1up or a freelancer who is paid with "free" games?
There is obviously a difference in pay as well as reach. Some freelancers get paid in just free goodies, while others get paid on a per-article basis (often below minimum wage). A lot of folks will try to get out of ethics arguments by saying, "I'm not a journalist. I'm a blogger or an enthusiast."

While I don't think it does ones relationship with their reader base any good to accept stuff of any value, regardless of your self-imposed title, I think bare minimum (whatever your title) you should disclose as much as possible to your readers. So, for example, if you're doing a review, you should state at the top something like, "We received a copy of the game one week prior to this review. The review copy was subsequently returned to our PR contact at X game company. We received the following review guide with the game." Or if you went to a press junket: "We had our airfare to this event paid for by X company. We accepted no additional gifts of any kind during the junket and were there only to preview the game and not personally network."

However, like I noted in my editorial, saying, "Yeah, I got freebies but they don't affect me in any way," is practicing cognitive dissonance.

I think that moving forward, folks at sites need to be crystal clear and transparent in how they cover things. People want honest criticism and real journalism -- on both sides of the aisle, from fans to developers/publishers.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
 
Jun 29, 2010
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So, for those of you keeping score:

Video game writers "going to war" . . . against Medal of Honor by writing bad reviews for it: worth the time and effort.

Video game writers having their articles about ethics and appearance in game writing censored and resigning for it: NOT worth the time and effort.
Well... that's certainly something.
 
Nov 5, 2008
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
Damn. This thread keeps on getting better.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
 
Sep 16, 2009
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Well... that's certainly something.
it's a feature they do quite often, aggregating reviews for newly released games. there is nothing wrong with doing it.

if you're looking for conspiracies... i guess the idea of "going to war" symbolizes an aggressive last resort tactic, when scoring a game low should not be a big deal at all.

i don't think there is anything wrong with this feature, and the editorial headline and lead in is perhaps leading this time but it's still okay and is not the issue of this thread.

i think it's time to move off of kotaku bashing, personally.
 
Mar 27, 2008
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
Now you've done it, you've piqued my interest in this thread yet again.

To me this is an incredibly important story and if I was a "games journalist" I'd be all over it.
 
Apr 13, 2012
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
Now that would just be unethical. Journalists are the only ones allowed to write journalism, silly!
 

stephentotilo

Behind The Games
Jun 17, 2005
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
Haven't you done enough???

Just kidding.

I haven't had time to read through this thread to absorb the full sweep of issues you guys are discussing. Yesterday, I was focused on our own readers' questions about why we hadn't covered the Florence story and on this thread's discussion of Kotaku. Chatting here helped me understand how much broader the concerns were, which is what I'll be looking into, hopefully without just rehashing the same-old, same-old from other stories about games journalism I and others have done over the years. I've already done pieces about issues with reviews and I've never been compelled strongly about suspicions about reporters and critics being on the take probably in part because I've had the benefit of working at and for outlets (MTV, Kotaku, the NY Times) which are far better insulated from many of the compromising pitfalls (to mix metaphors) than most. Still, it seems there must be new ground to cover here after all, despite my initial skepticism, otherwise this thread wouldn't have gone on so long.

So, thanks for the offer, but I think I'll be able to handle it.
 
Nov 8, 2011
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I've never been compelled strongly about suspicions about reporters and critics being on the take probably in part because I've had the benefit of working at and for outlets (MTV, Kotaku, the NY Times) which are far better insulated from many of the compromising pitfalls (to mix metaphors) than most.
"Microsoft PR literally bought that article: if they hadn't sent that to Kotaku the unboxing would have never happened. This piece is an infomercial.

This whole ordeal has revealed that the PR/journalist symbiosis is worse than we thought--the press doesn't even realize they are being manipulated. If Microsoft came to Totilo and said "Make a video advertising Halo 4" he would have been incensed. Instead they give him freebies knowing how he's going to react."
 

mattiewheels

And then the LORD David Bowie saith to his Son, Jonny Depp: 'Go, and spread my image amongst the cosmos. For every living thing is in anguish and only the LIGHT shall give them reprieve.'
Dec 1, 2004
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The irony is that with all the posts the two guys made in here about a story they're just not interested in writing about, you might be able to stitch together a full-length article about. Follow the money.
 
Mar 25, 2007
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
Answer: "only Kotaku staff can write Kotaku articles". Not really realistic to expect a "yes" to that.

edit: Oh, I missed his reply. Hopefully something good can come out of this.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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Still, it seems there must be new ground to cover here after all, despite my initial skepticism, otherwise this thread wouldn't have gone on so long.

So, thanks for the offer, but I think I'll be able to handle it.
If this is such new ground, then why were the GFW Radio crew (who probably wouldn't even call themselves true journalists) practically shouting from the rooftops about it during their run of podcasting? Are ethics new ground too?

And how are you going to handle this? You've already said you are a games journalist, so I'd prefer not to see another string of cop-out excuses and dismissals of valid points like N'Gai and others have done during their endless circle-jerk with PR flacks.
 
Jan 24, 2011
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TOTILO, I'M CALLING YOU OUT

Let GAF write your article for you, if you don't feel it's worth the time and resources for your own team to do it. We'll do the leg work, write it up, and let you do your editor thing to it (cut out baseless speculation, snarkiness, etc). We have thread full of industry quotes and all kinds of well thought out reasoning already. We'll write it, all you have to do is publish it.

We'll let you keep all the page hits.
So when media outlets refer to the "GAF perspective" people get upset about the oversimplification of the viewpoints of a group of diverse users, but you have no problem volunteering singular action for the forum?
 
Mar 25, 2007
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Articles/videos
Wings over Sealand articles (second article has summary) 1 2
Rab Florence (the guy who started all this) criticizing games writing since 2008
John Walker's (Rock Paper Shotgun) blog (start with Games Journalists, And The Perception Of Corruption)
TotalBiscuit
Jim Sterling
Penny-Arcade
Gamasutra
Forbes
Worthplaying
GiantBomb
Old Gamasutra article on the influence of PR
Jason Lauritzen editorial and GAF post

Forum posts etc
Shawn Elliot - 1 (aegies is Arthur Gies of polygon.com) 2 3 4 5 6 on the psychology of PR etc
and some more Arthur Gies - 1 2 3 4 5 and some replies 1 2 3
Jeff Green on the way it actually works
ShockingAlberto on his view as a former games writer
Jason Schreier (Kotaku) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 reply
N'Gai Croal initial reaction on Twitter
Chris Schilling (freelance) likes both people involved and so doesn't want to write about it
Danny O'Dwyer (Gamespot UK) on why his site won't cover this (audience is not interested) - 1 2 3
Examples of various press kits
Letter sent to reviewers from UbiSoft along with their press copy of Assassin's Creed 3
The 3DS comes to GiantBomb
GillianSeed79 and firehawk12 on how journalist do criticize their peers
pastapadre on being shunned by the industry
An old episode of CGW Radio discussing Gerstmann-gate
Stephen Totilo (Kotaku) doesn't think this is an important story (has possibly changed his mind about that part, read post 9). Wants to focus on good games journalism, this prompted a pretty funny picture and a comment about it, then Stephen Totilo enters the thread 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Weekend Confirmed 1 2
Syriel on his experiences of PR
Jeff Gerstmann short comment on swag
Snowden's Secret comments on gaming press reactions
Christian Donlan and Simon Parkin of Eurogamer want to change how they do things
 
Oct 27, 2011
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So when media outlets refer to the "GAF perspective" people get upset about the oversimplification of the viewpoints of a group of diverse users, but you have no problem volunteering singular action for the forum?
Huh? He was not proposing to write his views as the representative of the forum.

Add to that he did not propose to write it alone. And the views and comments proposed to be included are not just from what's written on GAF.
 
"Microsoft PR literally bought that article: if they hadn't sent that to Kotaku the unboxing would have never happened. This piece is an infomercial.

This whole ordeal has revealed that the PR/journalist symbiosis is worse than we thought--the press doesn't even realize they are being manipulated. If Microsoft came to Totilo and said "Make a video advertising Halo 4" he would have been incensed. Instead they give him freebies knowing how he's going to react."
While personally I can't stand unboxings, speaking as somebody who has worked both on the writing side and the back end (building sites, looking at successful articles and things to figure out editorial paths), those things do have traction. For some reason, people watch them. People link them to friends. People love them. God knows why.

I can't speak to Kotaku's motivations, but I'd imagine that's why they happily did it after MS sent the machine. Their job, ultimately, is to attain and retain readers and their attention as much as possible. Like it or not, that's priority number one. In order to do that, they must produce content that readers appreciate - so of a decent quality, and of things their readers are interested in. Give the people what they want. Video content in particular is great - users seem to love it right now, and it's great for your ad revenue stream, as people stay on pages with video for longer and see ads longer. Banners and boxes are more likely to be clicked the longer a person is on a page, and you have the added bonus of potential pre/post roll video ads. This stuff is important. These publications are a business, after all.

If Microsoft should've sent the machine to a site where everybody clearly already has 360s is another question entirely. Full disclosure - my review copy of Halo 4 was one of the Limited Edition ones, but I actually viewed that as a bit of a help - as it meant I have the season pass from the get-go, so it means if I want to review or capture video of map packs further down the line I don't have to request codes for them. That's a help. That said - I didn't ask for it - that was just what MS sent by default.

The machine has no real purpose past the unboxing video to the Kotaku team, I'd guess. Considering it probably arrived unannounced, I can't really blame them for doing the unboxing video, considering how many impressions it's probably worth.

This drives to the very crux of the issue once again - which is that this is as much about PR and Marketing practices as it is the practices of critics and/or journalists.

Again, that's a big debate to be had - a critic isn't necessarily a journalist and visa versa. I think a lot of people who are branded or brand themselves a 'game journalist' aren't at all - most don't have the knowledge or the training to be a journalist. Many are fantastic critics, mind. There is a difference, and the moral expectations around each should probably be a little different, too. It's about figuring out where to draw that line. I personally actively swap - when I'm doing a review of a game, I put on my critic hat (I envision it as a light mauve) and my approach adjusts compared to when I'm doing an investigative article or an interview into something that doesn't directly relate to an upcoming game, as that's more of a journalism thing (this is probably a brown fedora). Some people don't switch - a lot of people do one thing or the other, and that's fine - but we as an audience need to acknowledge what they're trying to be. I don't for one second believe everybody is trying to be a journalist.
 
Oct 27, 2011
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I guess I'm just curious as to how "GAF" can write an article.
Well, I wouldn't be in favour actually writing an "article". If Totilo had accepted anything, I'd be in favour of data collection and editing to maintain focus which then can be sent to be made an article out of by Kotaku. Lesden's summary posts are not too far from that, to be honest.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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Haven't you done enough???

Just kidding.

I haven't had time to read through this thread to absorb the full sweep of issues you guys are discussing. Yesterday, I was focused on our own readers' questions about why we hadn't covered the Florence story and on this thread's discussion of Kotaku. Chatting here helped me understand how much broader the concerns were, which is what I'll be looking into, hopefully without just rehashing the same-old, same-old from other stories about games journalism I and others have done over the years. I've already done pieces about issues with reviews and I've never been compelled strongly about suspicions about reporters and critics being on the take probably in part because I've had the benefit of working at and for outlets (MTV, Kotaku, the NY Times) which are far better insulated from many of the compromising pitfalls (to mix metaphors) than most. Still, it seems there must be new ground to cover here after all, despite my initial skepticism, otherwise this thread wouldn't have gone on so long.

So, thanks for the offer, but I think I'll be able to handle it.
Well then, I eagerly await what voice Kotaku officially brings to this discussion, and would be seriously wowed (in a positive way) if Kotaku runs with this when no one else does.

Well, I wouldn't be in favour actually writing an "article". If Totilo had accepted anything, I'd be in favour of data collection and editing to maintain focus which then can be sent to be made an article out of by Kotaku. Lesden's summary posts are not too far from that, to be honest.
Yeah, I figured one of our wordsmiths could take his summary posts and arrange them into a coherent piece and BOOM article
 

Sixfortyfive

He who pursues two rabbits gets two rabbits.
Dec 19, 2006
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The irony is that with all the posts the two guys made in here about a story they're just not interested in writing about, you might be able to stitch together a full-length article about. Follow the money.
It's possible to be interested in the outrage without having any interest in what the outrage is about. It's kind of why I still drop in and out of this thread to lurk every once in a while.
 
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