It's interesting, the reaction to Tom McShea's recent Gamespot article about Nintendo's Wii U woes. It's interesting, because it highlights the opposing wills that grip this hallowed hobby of ours.
On the one hand, people always complain about an unwillingness by the media to ever speak negatively about a game or game company, regardless of what they may or may not have done.
On the other hand, whenever someone dares criticize an industry figure, especially one of the industry's sacred cows, the feedback received in response is almost always a solid block of blind defense by those incensed by the mere idea that their idols might be imperfect.
It's an interesting spot for games journalists to be in. The audience has made its desires clear, but the desire itself is confusing: Be critical, but only of things that we have already decided to hate. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but that just sounds bloody boring. I always wanted people to challenge my preconcieved notion, not out of a desire for controversy at all cost, and certainly not out of a blind allegance to ideology. I believe that looking at facts in an objective manner and coming to a point of view, even debating it (in a polite and constructive manner) is critical to creating interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking content.
Now I'm not going to deny that gaming media is sometimes shady as all hell (notice I said sometimes). We all have witnessed the worst of it, even if the details would only emerge years later. However, I have to wonder, does the gaming public help? Do we send mixed signals?
I honestly think we do. Any time someone says something that gamers may not agree with, they're almost certain to be overrun with enraged replies, no matter how well-thought and tempered the commentary may be. At the same time, accusations of favoritism run rampant, with many convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the industry is bought out.
However, what if it's not the game companies that the media is afraid of, but the fans? Games journalists need an audience as bad as they need games access, and it's just easier to be positive than negative.
Personally, I welcome Tom McShea's content and his insight, and not just because I agree with him in this case. The man has things to say, and he's not a snarky tool like Alex Navarro about it. There's NOTHING wrong with having an editorial opinion, as long as it's clearly marked and doesn't insult the user. I hope more people learn to tolerate opposing viewpoints that are presented in a constructive manner. Lord knows debate is lost.