I'll know what I want from games journalism/press/coverage/criticism/slam poetry/writing when I see it, and can only hope my tastes remain impeccable until then.
Dark_Lord_Spam's forum posts
This is going to sound denigrating no matter how I phrase it, but... try caring. If you see that shit, instead of throwing your hands up: call it out. People do listen, and they can change, but it takes consistent and temperate voices to get them to broaden their view. When too many reasonable bystanders are content to do/say nothing, there's no course for the negativity to stop. Ignoring the problems, ironically, is the least effective means of combating the noise.
And the immediate reaction upon the explanation of there being a camera in the room is to shut the camera off, of course. Why the hell has police training become so much about covering the department's ass?
@branthog: Well, I'm not sure how familiar you are with MMOs as a whole, but I've found it to be one of the best in terms of popping in for an hour or so several times a week (about 90% of the game is soloable). That said, you sound like you're probably looking to fill even shorter interims, in which case I'd have trouble recommending MapleStory since the quest objectives start getting a little nuts after a while. It'd be difficult to get that sense of minor RPG accomplishment each time you played.
If it's a party member, leave the default. When creating multiple characters, I try to come up with something thematically- or lore-appropriate for each. Same for single-player protagonists, only I stick a "J" at the front.
Bare-minimum answer: yes, it is ultimately better for everyone involved (maybe not conspiracy-lovers, but they'll find a way to freak out no matter what) for these type of donations to be disclosed as plainly as possible.
What I think is important, though, is to reiterate the difference between correlation and causation within these circumstances. We can assume that a person does not contribute funding unless they hope to see a result, but what exactly can that mean? It could be that
- there is some necessity for professional use (I believe Patrick has stated that he doesn't contribute to game Kickstarters unless it's the only way to receive a copy for review)
- they like the concept/presentation behind the project's pitch, especially if they have enjoyed similar products in the past
- they are familiar with and/or enjoy the work of one or more of the project creatives, and want to see continued output from that person
Now, I don't think I've seen an argument that the first possibility would color the opinions of such a contributor, so let's examine the more biasing options. First, let's get it out that reporting on and drawing attention to a Kickstarter that has not yet met its funding goal is very much a gray area, and doing so without disclosing a contribution you've made to the project can probably just be called outright unethical. At that point, you're affecting your own benefit by increasing the likelihood that you'll receive a thing you may not otherwise have. Straight-up cause and effect.
On the other hand, let's assume a journalist decides to do a piece on the independent development studio formed as a result of a Kickstarter, one month after its completion. This journalist also contributed some sum of money to the Kickstarter while it was still in progress. Do we call that a conflict of interest? Consider that the type of game being developed is of a genre that hasn't been prevalent in over a decade, but that some of their absolute favorite childhood games belonged to. Or, perhaps, one of the developers is a person who this writer shared a flat with for a couple years after college, and who befriended them while getting their start in the industry. Would the journalist have been less likely to write about the studio in either case had they not made a contribution? Or can we reasonably assume that both the reporting and the money donated both stemmed from their inherent appreciation for the project?
Here's what I don't trust: a critic who assigns more or less credit to a piece of media than they think it rightfully deserves based on their own measure of appreciation. People are not, broadly speaking, dispassionate in their analysis, and to ask that of a writer is to ask them to be dishonest with you. If you don't truly value their opinion, why seek out the writing?