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What happened to Gamespot? (Gaming Journalism)

JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total GooberRegistered User regular
edited March 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, I picked up a filthy habit when I was young. I used Gamespot as my source of gaming news. I was young and naive! I've tried to kick the habit, but i still found myself going there weekly to read up on new games and such. However, lately something has been catching my eye. They actually have opinion pieces! Whether about on-disc dlc or the ending to a recent sci-fi series (please no spoilers here), the employees at gamespot have been putting their views out there for their readers to see.

Now the really strange thing is, the're actually critical of the gaming industry at times! What happened to the days of firing employees for poor reviews of games who bought add space on their website? So, I ask you Penny Arcaders, is this perhaps the start of gaming journalism that is critical of the medium it reports on instead of being a mostly useless hype machine?

The Articles (I didn't see any spoilers in the Mass Effect Articles, but no promises)

http://www.gamespot.com/features/permanently-unplugged-6367314/ EA ends online services for more than a dozen games

http://www.gamespot.com/features/why-bioware-shouldnt-change-mass-effect-3s-ending-6366066/ Why Bioware shouldn't change the ending of ME3

http://www.gamespot.com/features/who-the-hell-is-james-vega-6366008/ Who is James Vega? (why games shouldn't use other mediums to deliver critical plot points)

http://www.gamespot.com/features/on-disc-dlc-outrage-is-off-the-mark-6366340/ Why gamers should be upset about on disc dlc

http://www.gamespot.com/features/mainstream-media-gets-its-act-together-6367312/ How games are represented in the mainstream media

Also, if you now any other trashy websites that are now trying to offer opinion pieces, please share them.

I'm curious to see where this trend goes...

JusticeforPluto on

Posts

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    It grew up and started caring about the bottom line? Also with the competition from other sites or even mainstream press they've had to up their game to keep their share.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • One Thousand CablesOne Thousand Cables An absence of thought Registered User regular
    What happened to the days of firing employees for poor reviews of games who bought add space on their website?

    The management team responsible for this left the company since then, according to Jeff Gerstmann's recent comments on the matter.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    Huh, I had no idea.

    Between this and the PA report, things are looking up for interesting video game journalism.

  • CadeCade Eppur si muove.Registered User regular
    Video game journalism?

    You realize most of the people who write this stuff are just fans like you and me who managed to get a job due to writing reviews or what not right? They really don't have any credentials aside from that. They are the same people who will rave and glow about the new big thing giving it almost a perfect score or a point away saying how it's the greatest and then when any backlash or time has people looking at it again in a different light suddenly singing another tune. Most of the time the reviews, previews and all might as well be the PR, the so called video game journalist is in bed with the companies so greatly they pretty much buckle any time anything happens, they know what's expected of them and don't want to be "blacklisted" least they stop receiving their free goodies and trips etc. Not to mention ad dollars for their sites.

    As for opinion pieces hey one of the greatest things they do these days is write such pieces on a hot topic issue, especially on a much hyped game for a single reason. Hits. Some times they'll take a stance that they know will make people angry and come read it because again, hits. It gets them attention, gets them viewers and that means more money for them. Again these are not people of any particular high standing, they are like anyone else on a message board. Only difference is some give them far too much credit.

    In other words so called video game journalism has been a joke for years.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    I can't name any game journalists I trust.

    I like Adam Sessler and Matt Cassamaasssisama but I don't trust them or their peers to be objective.

    http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/final-fantasy-xiii

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Adam Sessler has the same barely constrained hatred of gamers as most other game reviewers. He believes gamers don't have the right to be upset about any game, no matter what, because we all have infinite time and money to invest.

    Meanwhile he probably throws a fit if his latte isn't perfect.

  • YogoYogo Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Maybe it is because I am from Europe, or maybe it is because I am video game journalist myself, but I consider the outlet I write to, to be one of the most objective outlets within the video game journalism sphere. I cannot speak for its sister sites, but my editor is very strict about NOT letting his reviewers be in direct contact with the game publishers for the sole reason that he doesn't want their sticky paws to interfere with our judgement. What we write is entirely our own opinion and while that may be influenced by our frothy masturbatory desire to play the game, it is still our sole opinion which our viewers are welcome to disagree with. As long as the reviewer has the journalistic skills to support his argument.

    Sadly, Cade is correct about a lot of things. Technically I cannot call myself a journalist as that privilege comes with a certain education and membership with the journalist union. While I strive to educate myself as much as possible by taking journalistic courses, I know ultimately that I am only one of few freelancer writers who actually have credentials to back up my opinion. There are too many fans who want to write about their favorite game without being able to hold an objective opinion at least half of the time.

    Yogo on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Cade wrote: »
    Video game journalism?

    You realize most of the people who write this stuff are just fans like you and me who managed to get a job due to writing reviews or what not right? They really don't have any credentials aside from that.

    Joseph Pulitzer was an unemployed layabout who spent his days reading in a public library before he became a journalist.

    Seymour Hersh and Carl Bernstein were college dropouts.

    It doesn't take "credentials" to be a good journalist. It takes a talent for writing and a critical gaze that is just as penetrating when it is turned to your own work as when it is turned to current events.

    I think that Gamespot (as not just Gamespot, but other websites as well) have realized that what they traffic in is not "content," but trust and they can't maintain the trust of their readership if they're perceived as an industry mouthpiece.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    As long as the only thing they're trusted to do is answer the question "should I buy this game or not?" they'll be perceived as industry mouthpieces because that's what they are.

    Gamespot etc are not producing journalistic or critical material; at best they're a steb above user reviews on an Amazon product page.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Gamespot etc are not producing journalistic or critical material

    The examples in the OP suggest that they are.

    ...or, at least, they're trying to.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    John Davison took over a little over a year ago is what happened. He's one of the very few people in gaming media that has integrity and talent. With him in charge, things will continue to improve.

    deadonthestreet on
  • JelloJelloJelloJello Registered User
    edited March 2012
    I remember years ago when they introduced a paywall. There was outrage, of course. "I'll just go to the UK site!" was a common response. The UK site was still free. Anyway, this paywall experiment died a quick death but this was in the fairly early days of the internet. People were trying new things.

    Anyway, I thought it was at least ten years since Gamespot was considered a hip and/or reputable source for electronic gaming news. I never really got into their site but I'd read the occasional review that I'd find through Google. The scores always amused me.

    There was a time when I was communicating with some guy I know on a forum about a game. I said that it was crap and got bad reviews. He insisted that it was actually rather good and cited Gamespot's score of seven as proof. I just about pissed myself. Seven is like the lowest score that Gamespot gives.

    JelloJello on
  • LolkenLolken Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    Cade wrote: »
    Video game journalism?

    You realize most of the people who write this stuff are just fans like you and me who managed to get a job due to writing reviews or what not right? They really don't have any credentials aside from that.

    The question isn't about credentials. It's about whether they make good, intelligent reporting.

    The answer, so far, is no.

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - Lord Acton.

    "Money tends to corrupt, and lots of money corrupts lotsely" - Me.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    JelloJello wrote: »
    I remember years ago when they introduced a paywall. There was outrage, of course. "I'll just go to the UK site!" was a common response. The UK site was still free. Anyway, this paywall experiment died a quick death but this was in the fairly early days of the internet. People were trying new things.

    Anyway, I thought it was at least ten years since Gamespot was considered a hip and/or reputable source for electronic gaming news. I never really got into their site but I'd read the occasional review that I'd find through Google. The scores always amused me.

    There was a time when I was communicating with some guy I know on a forum about a game. I said that it was crap and got bad reviews. He insisted that it was actually rather good and cited Gamespot's score of seven as proof. I just about pissed myself. Seven is like the lowest score that Gamespot gives.

    Well.......

    But yeah, I know what you're saying.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    IGN has that problem, too. Instead of a 1-10, they use a 6-10 scale.

  • RitchmeisterRitchmeister Registered User regular
    Edge Magazine is one of the few UK magazines that is good and also uses a 1-10 scale, but this just leads to people shitting a brick when they give a game a 5 because they think it is average because on most sites a 5 would mean "unplayable mess".

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    One major disadvantage for gaming "journalism" is that it takes far longer to play a video game than to watch a movie. A lot of games might take 40 hours to finish, which means basically spending their entire work week playing just one game, and I assume they're required to review a lot more than that. So instead they just play the games for an hour and then write the review.

    The gaming industry has responded to that, of course, by just pouring all their money into the opening cinematic and tutorial mission, and then skimping on the rest of the game. And of course fine details like "balance" or "glitches" get totally ignored.

  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    One major disadvantage for gaming "journalism" is that it takes far longer to play a video game than to watch a movie. A lot of games might take 40 hours to finish, which means basically spending their entire work week playing just one game, and I assume they're required to review a lot more than that. So instead they just play the games for an hour and then write the review.

    The gaming industry has responded to that, of course, by just pouring all their money into the opening cinematic and tutorial mission, and then skimping on the rest of the game. And of course fine details like "balance" or "glitches" get totally ignored.

    Where the hell have you been?

    The majority of games nowadays can be finished in ten hours or less.

    dzuc2en672pw.jpg
  • finnithfinnith TorontoRegistered User regular
    What about games with multiplayer segments @UnbreakableVow? It takes hours to get good at some multiplayer games, let alone invest enough time to unlock everything.

    Bnet: CavilatRest#1874
    Steam: CavilatRest
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    haha the idea you need credentials or any talent whatsoever to be a journalist

    have any of you fuckers ever actually read a tabloid newspaper in the uk?

    it aint no protected term broskis

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    The idea that you need credentials to be a "journalist" or that the word has any special connotation is, in today's world, a ridiculous comedy. The currency of journalism has been utterly debased by old media journalists, and new media egalitarian audience access demolished the fetid remnants of it.

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