Weekend Confirmed Episode Whimsy | Let's All Love Loving Things

Aug 5, 2010
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I finally finished the episode.

It's funny how Andrea claims to be a huge Nintendo fan and how she "used to play racing games until [her] thumbs bleed."
But has nothing to say about either of those topics.

But the new Need for Speed is sooooooo awesome. So is Marvel!

I can't wait to hear about what other awesome upcoming game I should pre-order.




I look forward to hearing what Garnett thinks of Resident Evil 6, playing co-op. I played the entire game co-op. I have about 65 hours in it and it is one of the top 5 games of the year for me. It's weird to hear Jeff and Andrew (?) Yoon call it unplayable. I don't discount their opinions on it. They're just the complete opposite of mine.

Garnett liked Yakuza and enjoyed FFXIII (I think?). I think his opinions on some games are a little closer to mine. So I'm interested to hear what he thinks.
 

Borgnine

MBA in pussy licensing and rights management
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Remarkably tone deaf conversation about PR. I think it basically comes down to: what is it exactly that you're offering by inserting yourself between the publishers and the audience? If you're just a cog in the marketing machine, why am I bothering with you? Why wouldn't I just go to a games official website and be marketed to directly? What are you other than press release aggregators?
 
Jul 5, 2010
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Garnett has indeed saying just that for quite some time. I'm not one of the ones believing it to be a "cop out" on his part. I believe Garnett and respected his transparency. Now I could be foolish for believing him but in this case...I don't think my trust is misplaced.

Andrea's responses however...she really, truly has no clue.

It's a shame that in a few more years, individuals such as Garnett will be gone entirely with people like Andrea to fill his shoes.
I agree. Personally don't have any issues taking Garnett's opinions into account.

As for Andrea. I've said many times in this thread before that I genuinely like her a lot. I think she's a fun guest and does a good job with the guys whenever she's on. That being said, I do feel some of her comments this week were....odd, to say the least. Off putting even.

The same goes for Jeff. I think he's great on the show and on TRS and that his heart's usually in the right place, but I wasn't really digging some of his comments here. The jealousy thing in particular came off badly.
 
Aug 4, 2006
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Remarkably tone deaf conversation about PR. I think it basically comes down to: what is it exactly that you're offering by inserting yourself between the publishers and the audience? If you're just a cog in the marketing machine, why am I bothering with you? Why wouldn't I just go to a games official website and be marketed to directly? What are you other than press release aggregators?
it's pretty much exactly what I expected from them. They didn't even mention the girl who was reviewing SE games while working with SE, Andrea was flippant and dismissive, Cannata missed the point. Garnett was the only one who gave the issue any thought whatsoever.
 
Garnett, the way you talk about us on the show and in the thread (although I'm glad you've upped involvment recently) is a bit... how much do you like your listeners currently?
Honestly I find it a bit hard to tell how annoyed you are at some of the comments you talk about during the show.
Remarkably tone deaf conversation about PR. I think it basically comes down to: what is it exactly that you're offering by inserting yourself between the publishers and the audience? If you're just a cog in the marketing machine, why am I bothering with you? Why wouldn't I just go to a games official website and be marketed to directly? What are you other than press release aggregators?
I don't understand this. They stated they were critics, not journalists.
They inform and offer a judgement on the quality of something, informing you why they think it might or might not be worth your time and money.

Interested to see how Garnett reacts to Halo 4. From what I recall, he respects the series, but hasn't ever been really grabbed by it. Does Ellis being at 343 and being on the Spartan Ops team increase his interest in it?
 
Nov 5, 2004
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If I've come off as generally an asshat Zeouterlimits, it wasn't my intent and I apologize.

Yeah. Halo 4 is another one of those games where I know folks working on it. I have some criticism but on the whole I'm pretty floored by what I've been playing and the sheer scope of the package they've put together.

FWIW, same thing as with All-Stars, it would be cool for projects worked on by people I know and like to be be great but I don't think they're going to suddenly change our personal relationship if I call a duck a duck. Or maybe if they would then that's a whole other subject about what sort of relationship we have.

And flip that around too. When I say something stupid I hope my friends will set me straight. If anything it's better, though maybe harder, hearing it from them if that makes any sense.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Garnett, the way you talk about us on the show and in the thread (although I'm glad you've upped involvment recently) is a bit... how much do you like your listeners currently?
Honestly I find it a bit hard to tell how annoyed you are at some of the comments you talk about during the show.
I can understand Garnett's frustration with internet boards at times. We're discussing comments that were recorded almost 5 days ago, and even though the discussion has evolved there are people like me who didn't even get to listen to the show until about 30 minutes ago. A message board doesn't always flow well due to this fact. Plus the anonymity of the internet combined with toneless text would be enough to drive a person insane. I appreciated the willingness of the cast to come onto GAF and discuss the show, not everyone would engage the audience the way Garnett does.

Review aggregation sites influence developers and (maybe?) PR's bonuses, and metacritic can have an effect of overall sales (Penny Arcade did an article on the findings of a consulting firm on the correlation of review scores and overall sales). Considering the cost of producing games, I can see a publisher using methods to try and positively influence reviews and coverage.

People can't be naive enough to trust every review on the internet; and honest reviewers need to understand that perception can be everything and they need to be careful about the relationship they maintain with developers and publishers.

Thats my two cents on game reviewers, "games journalists" are another discussion that I don't want to touch right now. And since I'm LTTP if this has already been covered, I didn't mean to beat a dead horse.
 
May 23, 2010
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Garnett, the way you talk about us on the show and in the thread (although I'm glad you've upped involvment recently) is a bit... how much do you like your listeners currently?
Honestly I find it a bit hard to tell how annoyed you are at some of the comments you talk about during the show.

I don't understand this. They stated they were critics, not journalists.
They inform and offer a judgement on the quality of something, informing you why they think it might or might not be worth your time and money.

Interested to see how Garnett reacts to Halo 4. From what I recall, he respects the series, but hasn't ever been really grabbed by it. Does Ellis being at 343 and being on the Spartan Ops team increase his interest in it?
I don't know why people keep saying this. Journalists aren't the only people in the world who abide by a code of ethics. Stating, "well I'm not a journalist, I'm a critic" doesn't change the audience's expectation of impartiality and honesty. It's a cop out. They all came off as unwilling to look their profession in the mirror. Arguments like "what do these people actually expect", "if only these people cared this much about something important", and "you're jealous" are embarrassing.
 
Jul 6, 2011
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In the shacknews comments Garnett said they talked only about the doritos thing, not about the eurogamer article. But this is not the impression they passed in the podcast.

By: Garnett Lee x
REPLY
On the subject of the PR-media editorial on Eurogamer, we used the image from that story as a starting off point for our discussion.

The editorial subsequently caused even greater fallout as events unfolded over its core content about the participation by media members in a twitter contest to give away a PS3.

That wasn't what we talked about, and I'm reluctant to get back into the subject this week though we can.
I don´t care about Andrea, but was a very sad position (or lack of) from Garnett and Jeff. I have fond memories from Garnett and John Davison in the 1UP podcast. They seemed uprightly guys. I'm not so sure now. End of innocence. :)
 
Feb 26, 2009
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At the same time, I don't want any of the disagreements with Garnett and company to be misconstrued as a questioning of their character or integrity. At least for me. I may disagree with them a lot, but they seem pretty above board and trustworthy.

And in all fairness, they may not have had the complete story when they addressed this stuff on their podcast. And their discussion did seem fairly off the cuff. This has become a pretty complex story and I hope they do revisit it at some point.
 
Nov 29, 2007
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The combination of aggressively attacking the media and then accusing the media of having and us vs them mentality doesn't help matters.

I hope most readers here know that I've always thought of it as being a group together that I've been fortunate enough to be in the campfire ring talking with. How on earth would I think of the audience as some sort of enemy?
When one of the two main hosts of the show labels the people discussing the Geoff debacle as 'jealous,' then yes, it does create a divide with your audience. Honestly, I don't know how you can't see that more clearly from a fan's POV after doing this for so many years.

If you guys owned even just a little bit more of the criticism, instead of acting like most of us are 'aggressively attacking the media' just for the hell of it, it would probably do wonders. But shutting it off as 'these people hate all game's media' is childish and immature, and stunts the discussion going forward instead of growing it. It's a cheap tactic.

Do we know more than you about the inside of this industry and how it works? No, we probably don't.

Do we know more than you, from a fan's perspective, about the APPEARANCE of this industry, looking at it from the outside in? Yeah, we probably do.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Not really sure I get what the 'critic vs journalist' difference is supposed to mean.

It feels like it may be this: critic, being a journalist when it suits you but without any of the normal ethical constraints that comes with being a journalist.


I'd like to hear Andrea's response to this:

http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=43764178

Considering she was so adamant about there being no payola system in her industry.

That is.....not good.
 
Jul 6, 2011
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Andrea is a show/event people. Go to parties etc. She is like someone that work with PR. Maybe it is not clear when she goes to the podcast. Your own site has the subtitle "online personality and content creator". Emphasizing the online personality part I would say.
 

Oxx

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Oct 9, 2005
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Not really sure I get what the 'critic vs journalist' difference is supposed to mean.

It feels like it may be this: critic, being a journalist when it suits you but without any of the normal ethical constraints that comes with being a journalist.
A 'critic' should be equally concerned about potential conflicts of interest, if not more-so.

A 'journalist' could at least claim that hob-nobbing with industry folks at parties could lead to admissions that could pass as research for some kind of article. Shouldn't a 'critic' keep the whole industry at arms-length?
 
Aug 5, 2010
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I consider critic vs journalist in other fields. When I read something from a movie critic, I totally expect a bias. This person got to see the movie for free early and attend parties and stuff. But I still value their opinion because they've seen a lot more movies than I have and it's just fun to read others' opinions. I will always be wary of the bias and treat their opinion as... opinion. Not as fact.

A journalist, to me, does investigative work. I expect what they write to be as neutral as humanly possible because it tells a story or teaches something.

Journalism and Criticism (and Reporting) are not the same thing.

This is journalism.
This is criticism.
This is reporting.

Some of the confusion comes from video game critics or reporters claiming to be journalists. But they're not. Garnett has it right. He is definitely not a journalist.

I'm not very good with English or expressing myself. So I hope those examples help to explain how I see the difference.

EDIT: I guess maybe I expect criticism to be about opinions and journalism to be about facts.
Though there are definitely arguments to be made about trying to keep as neutral an opinion as possible too. So I do understand why people are so angry about this. But I guess I don't agree with them about what is "possible".

EDIT2: Journalists can write about their opinions too. But then it is called an editorial and is clearly opinion not to be taken with the same weight as their other work.

EDIT3: The news about Andrea is unsurprising. All she ever does is talk about how awesome and amazing an upcoming game is and that I should pre-order it. Or check out this awesome "best miniseries ever" about Halo, "even if you're not a fan of the series". I value Garnett's and Jeff's and Andrew's opinions though I often disagree. Andrea is... PR. She is everything that people are truly angry about in this fight against games media. She comes in and pretends to be a neutral source but is really just reciting PR and trying to sell me the new greatest game ever.
If this is not true, then please explain clearly to me why Borderlands 2 is "perfect" and why Need for Speed is awesome and why the Halo miniseries is "the best" and "even though people say it has bad writing [you] think it's great" and what makes Marvel so special compared to all the other unsuccessful MMOs released. Or... anything! Say something other than "THIS UPCOMING GAME IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Stupid one liners like "I am a huge Nintendo fan" or "I play racing games until my thumbs bleed" isn't enough. If these statements are true, expand on them and prove it. Just saying it and then following with some PR speak is worthless.
All of her statements could be valid opinions but she doesn't support anything she says with anything. Which just makes it look like she doesn't know what she is talking about and is just telling me what PR wants her to tell me.
 
I don't know why people keep saying this. Journalists aren't the only people in the world who abide by a code of ethics. Stating, "well I'm not a journalist, I'm a critic" doesn't change the audience's expectation of impartiality and honesty. It's a cop out. They all came off as unwilling to look their profession in the mirror. Arguments like "what do these people actually expect", "if only these people cared this much about something important", and "you're jealous" are embarrassing.
I was responding to the idea that they were press release aggregators, not about abiding by a code of ethics.
So I agree with you basically.
 
May 19, 2010
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Andrea is a show/event people. Go to parties etc. She is like someone that work with PR. Maybe it is not clear when she goes to the podcast. Your own site has the subtitle "online personality and content creator". Emphasizing the online personality part I would say.
There is no disclaimer saying she is paid monetary bonuses from the publishers who make the games she talks about on this podcast. There's a difference between getting copies of a game for free to cover and straight payola for coverage.
 
Aug 4, 2006
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There is no disclaimer saying she is paid monetary bonuses from the publishers who make the games she talks about on this podcast. There's a difference between getting copies of a game for free to cover and straight payola for coverage.
Yes. If this stuff is true, then I'm not interested in listening to Weekend Confirmed anymore. I don't need to listen to thinly veiled game adverts. The advertisements Garnett does are completely fine because he lets you know that he's taking a break to advertise things. Having a recurring guest on to just throw up PR speak for every game she describes is worthless and a waste of my time.
 
May 12, 2009
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I really don't understand this at all. You want Andrea Rene off the podcast because she tweeted for a t-shirt? I've never read an Andrea Rene review in my life. Does she even review games? Before someone posted a screengrab were you ever under the impression that she was being paid to speak about specific games? How miserable.
 
Aug 4, 2006
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I really don't understand this at all. You want Andrea Rene off the podcast because she tweeted for a t-shirt? I've never read an Andrea Rene review in my life. Does she even review games? Before someone posted a screengrab were you ever under the impression that she was being paid to speak about specific games? How miserable.
The T-Shirt tweet is just showing she did exactly what Rab Florence was talking about in the other thread (retweeting PR to get swag). The other stuff we're more bothered by is here:

http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=43764178

It's not proof but I'd like to see her deny any connection mentioned there.
 
May 19, 2010
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I really don't understand this at all. You want Andrea Rene off the podcast because she tweeted for a t-shirt? I've never read an Andrea Rene review in my life. Does she even review games? Before someone posted a screengrab were you ever under the impression that she was being paid to speak about specific games? How miserable.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=43764178&postcount=6174

There were also tweets about EA paying monetary bonuses and free games to Machinima for creating content like this.

https://twitter.com/andrearene/status/261869514629738498
 
I'd like to hear Andrea's response to this:

http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=43764178

Considering she was so adamant about there being no payola system in her industry.

That is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg.

Fuck Andrea's response. She's completely compromised.

What I'd like to hear is Garnett's response to this. It's his "goddamn podcast." Her inclusion in it casts a pretty big shadow on everything they're doing.
 
Dec 23, 2007
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Austin
There is no disclaimer saying she is paid monetary bonuses from the publishers who make the games she talks about on this podcast. There's a difference between getting copies of a game for free to cover and straight payola for coverage.
This is the major offense. As is reading PR points to represent her own "opinion", and dismissing the payola accusations when afterwards it comes to light she gets money and games for making and promoting EA videos.

I would not be shocked to find out Machinima pays/co-sponsors Shacknews in some capacity to have her on the show. Why is she even there in the first place? In light of recent events it's not unhealthy to be asking these questions.
 

lowrider007

Licorice-flavoured booze?
Aug 13, 2007
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This podcast is just a bit of entertainment to me to help me escape from the stresses of life, I think some people take this stuff way too seriously.

Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, should I care about this 'journalist integrity' stuff more?
 
May 12, 2009
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My opinion of her hasn't changed based on that alone. I've never even read a single piece of Andrea Rene writing in my life. Garnett seems to plays devil's advocate a lot on the show to foster discussion. I think we are all smart and intelligent people who can figure out whether or not that is the case. Andrea hasn't given me reason to believe that her taste lines up with my own which is why I'm not waiting on Andrea Rene to give her stamp of approval before I buy something. I suppose I'm not really a part of the food chain because I gamefly 95% of the games I play.

SHE'S COMPROMISED GUYS STOP LISTENING TO HER OPINION TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL BUY SOMETHING.
 
Jul 16, 2008
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This is the major offense. As is reading PR points to represent her own "opinion", and dismissing the payola accusations when afterwards it comes to light she gets money and games for making and promoting EA videos.

I would not be shocked to find out Machinima pays/co-sponsors Shacknews in some capacity to have her on the show. Why is she even there in the first place? In light of recent events it's not unhealthy to be asking these questions.
Heh, I remember thinking that the first time she was on the show. Not saying that Shacknews was paid to have her on or anything like that. But the reason I asked was that while everyone else on the podcast had very intriguing and deep thoughts about games, their design and the industry, she always came off to me as superficial and shallow with her opinions. Despite her connections with publishers/PR, I never thought she was a good fit to the show.
 
Aug 4, 2006
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This podcast is just a bit of entertainment to me to help me escape from the stresses of life, I think some people take this stuff way too seriously.

Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, should I care about this 'journalist integrity' stuff more?
If you don't mind people getting paid to give you a PR selected opinion and parroting PR bulletpoints from press releases masquerading as their opinion, then I don't know what anyone could possibly say to make you care.
 
Aug 5, 2010
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My problem with Andrea being on the show is that she sounds like a constant advertisement. Garnett and Jeff and Andrew (or other regular guests) talk and I value what they say. It's a discussion I care for. But when Andrea is on, it's like every other sentence is an advertisement. And we get segments devoted to her trying to sell me on an upcoming release.

There is a place for people like Andrea (hype people). But I don't think it fits with this show. It's Garnett's show so he can do whatever but my opinion is that I do not like it. It is like constantly being interrupted with commercials.

Andrea interrupts discussions so she can advertise to me. This hurts the show for me.
 
This podcast is just a bit of entertainment to me to help me escape from the stresses of life, I think some people take this stuff way too seriously.

Perhaps I'm doing something wrong, should I care about this 'journalist integrity' stuff more?
Yeah...you should care the moment it stops becoming a podcast and instead becomes advertising under the guise of impartiality.
 
Jan 5, 2008
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I really don't understand this at all. You want Andrea Rene off the podcast because she tweeted for a t-shirt? I've never read an Andrea Rene review in my life. Does she even review games? Before someone posted a screengrab were you ever under the impression that she was being paid to speak about specific games? How miserable.
People were calling her out for being a PR schill long before this broke.

Read this page of the thread regarding some of the stuff she said about Borderlands 2.

My problem with Andrea being on the show is that she sounds like a constant advertisement. Garnett and Jeff and Andrew (or other regular guests) talk and I value what they say. It's a discussion I care for. But when Andrea is on, it's like every other sentence is an advertisement. And we get segments devoted to her trying to sell me on an upcoming release.

There is a place for people like Andrea (hype people). But I don't think it fits with this show. It's Garnett's show so he can do whatever but my opinion is that I do not like it. It is like constantly being interrupted with commercials.

Andrea interrupts discussions so she can advertise to me. This hurts the show for me.

Yet people like James and that Hey Ash dude don't come off that way.
 
May 12, 2009
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People were calling her out for being a PR schill long before this broke.

Read this page of the thread regarding some of the stuff she said about Borderlands 2.




Yet people like James and that Hey Ash dude don't come off that way.
I suppose I play the games I want to play regardless of whether I've been influenced subconsciously by podcasts. I despised RE6, but I didn't have an opinion until after playing the game for myself. I've never thought of Andrea Rene as anything but a female voice to provide a little sexual tension and humor to the show. I guess I have the same idea as the previous poster. I see more wrong with the industry as a whole with review scores (and even then I really don't care, I buy maybe 5 games a year). Someone spouting PR on a podcast is the least of my concerns.
 
Nov 5, 2004
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Wow, the witch hunt is really on then, is it?

I've staunchly advocated ethics throughout my editorial career. My point regarding journalist vs critic spoke specifically to the topic of investigative information gathering and reporting vs. subjective criticism based on a foundation of experience and analytic ability. Does it really need to be said that critics need to hold themselves to a high standard to maintain trust?

As for calling for Andrea's head, I'm following the thread back and we will look into it.

I can tell you that at no time has Machinima provided any form of compensation for having her on. If anything, I believe they'd prefer she didn't do a show on another outlet but it being audio keeps it below their threshold.

I suspect the tweet that's causing such uproar was not her hoping to win said t-shirt but instead promoting a contest running on her outlet. Pretty much SOP if your outlet has some sort of giveaway to retweet that to get it out there. But again, I don't know.
 
Dec 23, 2007
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Austin
Wow, the witch hunt is really on then, is it?
If that's the way you want to phrase it, then yeah. It is.

Given all that's transpired we just want to know where the people we listen to every week stand on this issue. If she's being paid/compensated for the opinions she represents on the show, this is information that we need to know or you're just being disingenuous.

The fact that you refer to it as an SOP is exactly the point. journalist/critic/enthusiast press/promotional outlet/pr...the line is just too goddamn blurry anymore. Enough. I don't even know where to begin fixing it, but at least we can start by cutting out the people who are making this problem worse. If she really did that stuff and misrepresented herself on the show like that, you should be the first one to put an end to it, not us.
 
Wow, the witch hunt is really on then, is it?

You know what you should be writing instead of leading with something like "witch hunt"?

You should be leading with. "I'm sorry it's come to this. I'm on it. I'm looking into it."

This is currently where it is because enthusiast press has completely mismanaged things and yet the readers/listeners/viewers get likened to a ravaging hoard on a witch hunt when we start asking questions and start finding answers that look completely fucked.

I've staunchly advocated ethics throughout my editorial career. My point regarding journalist vs critic spoke specifically to the topic of investigative information gathering and reporting vs. subjective criticism based on a foundation of experience and analytic ability. Does it really need to be said that critics need to hold themselves to a high standard to maintain trust?
Apparently it does. Apparently your podcast would benefit from having that discussion with everyone that participates in it...just to be safe.


As for calling for Andrea's head, I'm following the thread back and we will look into it.

I can tell you that at no time has Machinima provided any form of compensation for having her on. If anything, I believe they'd prefer she didn't do a show on another outlet but it being audio keeps it below their threshold.
Which is a shame. It would have been nice if you at least got paid for her compromising the integrity of what you were trying to do.


I suspect the tweet that's causing such uproar was not her hoping to win said t-shirt but instead promoting a contest running on her outlet. Pretty much SOP if your outlet has some sort of giveaway to retweet that to get it out there. But again, I don't know.
Right now, she's looking like the North American version of Lauren Wainwright.
 
Aug 5, 2010
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"Witch hunt" is such a bad way to put it.

I always believed in the integrity of people I've seen over a long time. Unless your opinion was "bought" since the beginning (which I do not believe is true), you've always been consistent. I know I could trust you to say what you truly feel and it has nothing to do with money or whatever.
Even in this thread I was trying to defend where appropriate and believed journalism and criticism are different things so people were being too harsh. I even called it a "crusade against games media."

But I finally understand the "us vs them" thing you spoke of earlier (except that you are the one that creates this situation). People found some questionable things about one of the regular guests and it seems to match up with past appearances so naturally there are questions.

But because we don't just blindly believe and trust everything, it's a "witch hunt".

I feel insulted.
 
Jan 5, 2008
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Wow, the witch hunt is really on then, is it?

I've staunchly advocated ethics throughout my editorial career. My point regarding journalist vs critic spoke specifically to the topic of investigative information gathering and reporting vs. subjective criticism based on a foundation of experience and analytic ability. Does it really need to be said that critics need to hold themselves to a high standard to maintain trust?

As for calling for Andrea's head, I'm following the thread back and we will look into it.

I can tell you that at no time has Machinima provided any form of compensation for having her on. If anything, I believe they'd prefer she didn't do a show on another outlet but it being audio keeps it below their threshold.

I suspect the tweet that's causing such uproar was not her hoping to win said t-shirt but instead promoting a contest running on her outlet. Pretty much SOP if your outlet has some sort of giveaway to retweet that to get it out there. But again, I don't know.

The tweet is not what people are in an uproar over. It's the fact it appears as though she got paid for NFS coverage and talked about how awesome the game was on your show without disclosing that. That and the fact that several people were already mentioning she sounded like a paid PR mouthpeace a month ago during the Borderlands 2 talk.

That tweet just looks different now in light of the other stuff.