Sponsored Quests on Giant Bomb

EDIT: Since this seems to be lost in the message, let me be clear that I'm all for Giant Bomb being an ad-supported site. Without a subscription system, there's really no other way for them to make money. And relying purely on a subscription system would mean locking out a lot of content to a lot of people, which isn't ideal and would hurt the site. So, yes, please, let there be ads on Giant Bomb. But there are different kinds of ads, and not all of them are OK. I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.
 
Let me throw this out here first: Giant Bomb is not hurting for money. Or, at the very least, parent company Whiskey Media is not hurting for money. I don't know this for certain, but I'll surmise that it's the case based on the fact that they just moved into a new office because of constant expansion, and they just launched their fifth site (sixth, actually, but does PoliticalBase really even count?) in May. Since they are continuing to expand, one has to assume that their initial sites, at the very least Comic Vine and probably Giant Bomb, are profitable. Otherwise, they'd be taking a dramatic risk that could turn a bad situation into a catastrophic one. So, until I'm given any reason to think differently, I'm going to continue to assume that Giant Bomb is doing all right (as Jeff, Ryan, Brad, and Vinny have always insisted they are) and this was more of an experiment than necessary deal for desperately needed cash.
 
With that understood, I don't have much of a problem with this quest set, or future sponsored quests like it. It was a little jarring to see the Best Buy color scheme used for the quest graphics, and it's not ideal to be seeing their logosplashed up everywhere, but I want Giant Bomb to have money, whether they need it or not, and this isn't a horribly intrusive way to get that added income.
 
Except for the quest where they wanted me to view an advertisement to get experience points.
 
Now, you can look at my quest list and see that, when presented with the option to view an advertisement to complete the quest set, I did it. I confess. I did it mostly out of reflex, without really thinking about what I was doing. Now that I've had some time to think about it, though, it rather seems like something of a betrayal of the principles that the site was founded on two and a half years ago. Now, I'm not calling anyone a hypocrite - people make mistakes, and I think quests of this type are indeed a mistake. And we don't know exactly how, and by whom, this decision was made.
 
But Jeff and Ryan especially have always been stalwart opponents of Marketing interfering with Editorial. Now, strictly speaking, that's not what's going on here - Giant Bomb isn't rendering an opinion on the products Best Buy is advertising. But this is a clear example of Marketing interfering with, or at least influencing, Content. Giant Bomb is more than just an Editorial site, a portal for Jeff and Ryan and Vinny and Brad to spit game about games. There's the Wiki. There are the Forums. And there are the Quests. All of which should be driven by the creative minds at Whiskey Media, and not anyone who has a fat enough stack of cash.
 
On the April 15, 2008 Giant Bombcast, Jeff blew up at the idea of an achievement in a Call of Duty game for watching a trailer for the next Call of Duty game. He said that it was bad enough that sponsored achievements existed, but this was an example of marketing teams co-opting everything that's good about games and ruining it. This feels like the same thing to me, and I would hope that Jeff would feel an even greater sense of outrage that this is happening on the site he helped found.
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My Favorite Bombcast Quotes

...because I stopped doing the Quotes of the Indeterminate Time Period and I need to post a blog for a quest.
 
 "Leaving the house, man... why bother?" - Jeff, February 18, 2008
"Coconuts are worth more than human life!" - Jeff, February 24, 2008
"Great. Handheld sex minigames." "Yeah, I bet you're real familiar with those, aren't you, Jeff? Hahahaha, BURNT!" - Jeff and Ryan, February 24, 2008
"I sure do dig Doug." "Me too, man, that guy can party. One time, man, we went out... Damn. Woke up in jail." - Ryan and Jeff, March 18, 2008
"You don't like his stupid face?" "I don't like his stupid face! It's weird, flat, I don't know, something. I just don't like dude's face... You don't like dude's face, right?" "His face sucks." "His face totally sucks. You heard it here." - Ryan, Jeff, Josh, and Jeff again, April 8, 2008
"Lasers are better than loincloths." - Jeff, April 8, 2008
"You phony cyberpunk Doug Copeland-looking motherfuckers." - Jeff, April 15, 2008
"Oops, the Internet!" - Vinny, June 17, 2008
"Son of a beesting!" - Ryan, July 14, 2008
"Lights all the way up the shaft, just like that operation I got." - Jeff, July 14, 2008
"I'm six foot three! Milk is okay!" - Jeff, August 5, 2008
"Better tip: Don't milk a hippie." - Ryan, August 5, 2008
"It's extremely... mind... enticing?" - Vinny, August 12, 2008
"You know what's not the new sweat? Hitler." - Ryan, August 12, 2008
"I was in Canada. You guys are assholes." - Vinny, October 12, 2008
"I couldn't concentrate because Ben Judd was naked." - Vinny, October 12, 2008
"It tastes like genocide!" - Jeff, October 12, 2008
"I'll bet, you know, whatever it is to dollars, apples to dollars, whatever the saying is." "That's the saying. Yep. That's the one." "Dollars to donuts?" "No, nope. Apples to dollars. That's the one." "But I like donuts." "I like donuts, too, so don't get them bogged down in this terrible phrase." "So I will bet apples to donuts, that..." "Apples to rupees!" "..that this is the middle game." "Zeny to cobras!" "Kool-Aid to lederhosen." - Vinny, Jeff, Brad, Jeff again, Brad again, more Jeff, Vinny once more, finally Ryan, yet more Vinny, Jeff again, aaaaaaaand Brad, November 4, 2008
"Well, that was a phenomenal waste of everyone's time." - Ryan, November 18, 2008
"B. Y. O. Tube" - Vinny, November 18, 2008
"The Wii Speak - or, as I like to call it, the Wiik..." - Jeff, November 18, 2008
"It's always such a love-in with you, Vinny." - Brad, December 9, 2008
"This tastes like every other fucking thing we've had on this podcast." - Vinny, December 16, 2008
"I want a witty sidekick." "You're not even talking about games anymore." - Dave and Jeff, January 6, 2009
"I'm not gonna lie... I feel kind of stoned." - Ryan, January 13, 2009
"I got class coming out of my butthole!" - Alex, March 26, 2009
"That's H1N1-derful!" "This podcast is over." - Jeff and Ryan, May 5, 2009
"Dude, are you dumb? Are you dumb in the face?" - Ryan, May 5, 2009
"It's like getting raped in the mouth by Hitler." - Ryan, May 26, 2009
"Like the Sun. Like if the Sun was a dick." - Ryan, June 30, 2009
"I'm gonna run up my block wearing nothing BUT the night-vision goggles!" - Jeff, July 21, 2009
"Express is actually Latin for 'bullshit'" - Jeff, August 18, 2009
"Seattle is actually Spanish for 'taco'." - Ryan, August 25, 2009

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GBQotITP VIII and IX

Since it's been over a month since the last one, here's a two-fer.
 
"Oops, the Internet!"
- Vinny, Giant Bombcast, June 17, 2008
 
"Son of a beesting!"
- Ryan, Giant Bombcast, July 14, 2008

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GBQotITP VII

 "You phony cyberpunk Doug Copeland-looking motherfuckers." 
- Jeff, Giant Bombcast,  April 15, 2008

3 Comments

GBQotITP V

 "You don't like his stupid face?" 
"I don't like his stupid face! It's weird, flat, I don't know, something. I just don't like dude's face... You don't like dude's face, right?" 
"His face sucks." 
"His face totally sucks. You heard it here." 
- Ryan, Jeff, Josh, and Jeff again, Giant Bombcast, April 8, 2008

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GBQotITP IV

"I sure do dig Doug."
"Me, too, man, that guy can party. One time we went out... Damn. Woke up in jail."
- Ryan and Jeff, Giant Bombcast, March 18, 2008

1 Comments

GBQotITP III

"Great, handheld sex minigames."
"Yeah, I'll bet you're real familiar with those, aren't you, Jeff? Hahahahahaha, BURNT!"
- Jeff and Ryan, Arrow Pointing Down Podcast, February 24, 2008

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