Worth Reading: 02/13/2012

There’s a reason Giant Bomb’s news section doesn’t have many posts each day. If you want updates every few minutes, exhaustively covering every corner of the industry, there are other places to suit your needs.

That said, I do read many of those places while browsing around, and I’ve been wondering if there was a way to incorporate some of the pieces I’ve been reading into a discussion for the community. In addition to news that’s not worthy of its own spot on Giant Bomb, I’m usually linking to insightful critical pieces that deserve to be read by a wider audience exclusively through the madness of Twitter.

I’m not confident this is something I could file every day, as too much crazy shit happens spontaneously at Giant Bomb, like a two-hour Vita livestream that somehow goes on for five hours. There could be an argument for one of these on Mondays and Fridays, or Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays--or just Fridays, as a way to transition into the weekend. Or every day! I don't know! Stop yelling!

Maybe this will just live in this blog post and never appear on the main page after this. Who knows? You tell me.

Hey, You Should Read This:

  • “Easy Does it Harder,” a piece by Michael Abbott of Brainy Gamer, in which Abbott mulls the layers of complexity in modern games, and whether even the simplest of games have now been affected.
  • "Your Story Sucks," an essay by Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier, arguing the idea of judging video game stories in terms of whether they are “good” or “bad” misses the point of their potental impact.

Newsworthy and Noteworthy :

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Posted by patrickklepek

There’s a reason Giant Bomb’s news section doesn’t have many posts each day. If you want updates every few minutes, exhaustively covering every corner of the industry, there are other places to suit your needs.

That said, I do read many of those places while browsing around, and I’ve been wondering if there was a way to incorporate some of the pieces I’ve been reading into a discussion for the community. In addition to news that’s not worthy of its own spot on Giant Bomb, I’m usually linking to insightful critical pieces that deserve to be read by a wider audience exclusively through the madness of Twitter.

I’m not confident this is something I could file every day, as too much crazy shit happens spontaneously at Giant Bomb, like a two-hour Vita livestream that somehow goes on for five hours. There could be an argument for one of these on Mondays and Fridays, or Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays--or just Fridays, as a way to transition into the weekend. Or every day! I don't know! Stop yelling!

Maybe this will just live in this blog post and never appear on the main page after this. Who knows? You tell me.

Hey, You Should Read This:

  • “Easy Does it Harder,” a piece by Michael Abbott of Brainy Gamer, in which Abbott mulls the layers of complexity in modern games, and whether even the simplest of games have now been affected.
  • "Your Story Sucks," an essay by Kotaku reporter Jason Schreier, arguing the idea of judging video game stories in terms of whether they are “good” or “bad” misses the point of their potental impact.

Newsworthy and Noteworthy :

Staff
Edited by MooseyMcMan

This seems like a great idea! I think once or twice a week should be sufficient.

Also, as always, keep up the great work Patrick.

Edit: The fact that Sony still owns the Demon's Souls name blew my mind. I literally didn't know that, and never even thought about it that way. I thought the Dark Souls name was just a clever way of naming the sequel without slapping a 2 on it.

Posted by Hot_Karl

Really dug Michael Abbott's article. It's cool to see a smart essay about the evolution of game design in a way that's not totally verbose or overly wordy.

Edited by buzz_clik

@patrickklepek: Mmm... tasty bite-sized news morsels. I dig this idea, Patrick. They could only be more delicious if I added some lime to them.

Moderator
Posted by CzarChrisulus

Yeah if you just did a weekly wrap up of the top stories I think that would be awesome.

Edited by Mento

I can imagine how maddening it must be to have so much news flowing in and so little time to write up and pursue only the better stories, or at least the ones of most interest to everyone. This seems like a good way of getting it all out of the system in time for the following week, so I'm very much behind a (possibly intermittent, depending on how much news there is) Friday feature similar to what you've done here. Definitely seems like a good companion to the Community Spotlight (now also on Fridays) for weekend reading material.

edit: Forgot to comment on the stories! Wasn't that the purpose of this blog?

Despite the site having that unfortunate font transparency issue that plagues so many other sites (like Escapist and Joystiq), the Brainy Gamer article has an interesting parallel to what I was going to say about Skyward Sword in my next blog: Namely, how the game is overly hand-holdy with its tutorials (including that notoriously long prologue) but comparatively far more difficult than any Zelda game I've played since the NES ones. Some of those swordfights are downright brutal, especially the first temple's "let us introduce the antagonist" boss battle and the various Stalfos encounters. Watching Ryckert Sr., clearly an intelligent and funny individual more used to gaming's simpler times, flail around aimlessly in Dead Space 2 or Bioshock goes a long way towards proving that controls have indeed evolved beyond the grasp of many. That's probably where this big push for motion control is coming from: The dual analogs and four shoulder buttons stuff is just becoming alienatingly complex for newcomers.

Moderator
Posted by MisterSamMan

I honestly don't mind seeing a weekly wrap-up of the top stories on the front page of GiantBomb. I SUPPORT!

Posted by RE_Player1

@MisterSamMan said:

I honestly don't mind seeing a weekly wrap-up of the top stories on the front page of GiantBomb. I SUPPORT!

Word.

Posted by LackLuster

Yeah I like the idea of a weekly wrap-up

Posted by aidros

Yes, definitely this. Would love some "Hey Read This" articles from around the industry. News bits are good, but linking to stuff is what I would personally prefer. I would say three times a week would be sufficient.

Posted by wumbo3000

Yeah this would be like The Last Word on GameSpot back when Tor, Tim, and Brendan used to do it. I think every Friday is the best for this kind of thing. This idea sounds awesome!

Posted by helfmyselp

I like this idea quite a bit. More news is always good, and giving some "smaller" pieces their own spotlight cannot possibly be a bad thing.

Although I am aware this suggestion may create some sort of front page template/layout nightmare, I wouldn't mind seeing offsite news tidbits in their own sidebar. Maybe set it up like a semi-realtime ticker where all the staff members can post a link and brief description like you have with the 5-6 most recent showing and a link to an archive of some sort.

Posted by pikamookie

love this idea! throw it to the front page, please.

Edited by bhhawks78

@patrickklepek said:

Honestly I'm really glad giantbomb hasn't turned the news section into spam city. Never enjoyed stuff like that, and if I want it I'm going to gaf for it since they will weed out all the HEY MARIO CAKE! style nonsense.

When news stories pop up on here I almost always read them, a giant increase in volume would leave me ignoring 95% of it.

In the spirit of this thread, am I alone in thinking a sequel to LA Noire is uneeded?

The bad press about the working conditions

The fact that the third act is a giant clusterfuck,

At least personally it's by far their least favorite game of their's this generation (Loved GTA4/Bully/RDR, actually really enjoyed multiplayer table tennis)

Honestly a bully sequel, or a RDR "sequel" (not same character, play the game if you need to know why), or really anything from them would make me more excited.

Posted by wemibelec90

I really enjoy weekly roundups (particularly Critical Distance) and use it to find articles or blog posts I missed during the week. I agree that we don't really need daily news posts of everything that happens because I use my RSS feed for that.

At the very least, keep up the great work with your articles, Patrick. You have been a great addition to a site that I thought didn't need anyone else.

Posted by Falconer

Since Giant Bomb has been literally the only game site I've gone to for a few years now, and the fact that I rarely read the general forum, I approve of semi-regular posts like this.

Online
Posted by FLStyle

@patrickklepek: Great idea, I'm normally retweeting your posts in any case, I'll join in on the chat here.

Posted by PatVB

I think this is a great idea! I don't check other game sites all that often, so it would be awesome if you did some kind of weekly roundup!

Posted by Sidfiou

You could go half-way and make a news post containing links to various other stories of interest. It would appease the people who'd these stories interest, help to bolster your presence in the community with other sites, and the format would keep those who'd have the whole "not news" mentality from getting too angered by this.

Posted by MethodMan008

I dig it Patrick.

Posted by natetodamax

I like this idea! Hopefully you can make it into a regular thing.

Posted by UnrealDP

Dude, I'll read this every time I see it. It's a ton like PCG's "And in other PC gaming news...", eh?

Posted by Kosikutioner

+1 to this idea. If you could even attract some of these writers to republish on GB, that would be fantastic. Specifically the two 'feature'(?) pieces, not the news stuff.

Just a thought though, if not, this also works. I often am browsing GB on my iPad, watching videos. Having a good article to sit down to is great. (Your stuff included, but you're only one man!)

Posted by benspyda

I think this is a great idea. Especially because I would never stumble across those interesting game design articles myself.

Posted by PacManFevaa

I love the idea. I would prefer it on the front page so I don't need to dig for it. I've been reading Abbot's blog for a couple years now. He always does great stuff.

Posted by TheGorilla

A Friday round up of small but still interesting news items and strong articles from other sites would be amazing. I go to few game sites other than Giant Bomb because they tend to be overloaded with poor articles and the writers seem to have the mindset of people being paid per post whether or not they are.

Posted by munocard

Really dig this idea. One thing I'm really curious is whether or not the iCade guys are going to have a problem with Nintendo on that d-pad. Big N still has a patent that's been keeping Microsoft and Sony from having good d-pads for years now, right?

Edited by Brackynews

Patrick as our own personal aggregator? (Klepegator?) I'm down with that. Even reading your sentence summaries is enough information just to stay in the loop, without all the extra cruft on my twitter feed.

Yes a bloggy/forum format like this seems fine, then tie it to the front page somehow. Don't feel obligated for a witty caption on a goofy image. (Unless you feel like trolling us with a Mario cake for the lulz.)

I personally do not care about timetables for written pieces. If one week was Thursday, one Friday, and one week skipped entirely for other priorities, it makes no nevermind. I know that if I check on the weekend, ZombiePie will have the weekly Spotlight posted... Even though you can almost set your watch to it on Thursday nights. :)

Posted by Mews

I love this idea regardless of how many times per week it's done (thrice would get my vote, however), and would love to see it on the main page, even if it's just a link or something to the latest edition.

Posted by michaelfossbakk

This sounds like a good idea. My only worry is that it won't be focused enough. I could elaborate on what I mean, but I am so damn tired right now.

Posted by Claude

You should report on what's going on at Giant Bomb too. I bet there's some tasty tidbits that's worthy of News.

Posted by Mendelson9

I like this idea. Some news just does not deserve its own post. Take this story for example. http://www.joystiq.com/2012/01/16/mass-effect-3-isnt-launching-on-steam-requires-origin/ I'm glad to know where Mass Effect 3 is being sold digitally but that story does not deserve 3 paragraphs. I doesn't even deserve one paragraph. The headline tells me everything I need to know. Maybe some kind of ticker on the front page or on the news page could be nice to have. It could slowly fade in different stories and clicking on each on sends you to the PR release or fourm post.

Something like this?

As for long articles you could always do a version of The Sunday Paper from Rock Paper Shotgun. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/12/the-sunday-papers-205/ You could post your favorite stories of the last week or so whenever you have a slow news day.

Posted by Molenator85

This seems like a swell idea. Patrick, I trust you enough to have confidence that you won't lead my news hungry eyes astray.

Posted by Phatmac

Great idea Patrick, I'm all in!

Posted by starrjack1

@patrickklepek:I would love something like this, and I don't need it to be formal, in a "ever Monday" sort of thing. Make individual posts for big things, and these types of posts for other things. Just do, like, whatever feels right, man.

Posted by SlightConfuse

yes, critical distance does a great job culling stuff like this, more is always good

Posted by Aetheldod

@ShaggyChu said:

Since Giant Bomb has been literally the only game site I've gone to for a few years now, and the fact that I rarely read the general forum, I approve of semi-regular posts like this.

This

Posted by M3rlin

Before the weekend would be perfect in my opinion. Most sites I read are - understandably? - completely dry on Saturdays and Sundays, but that's when I have the most time available. I would certainly browse through the articles you post and see if the headlines spark my interest.

Posted by Tesla

Good stuff Klepek.

Online
Posted by Deathpooky

Would love the long form recommendations to toss on instapaper - never have time during the week to read anything of length and usually miss good stuff.

The news sum up I could take or leave, but would be nice to see if there's any other news worth reading that I missed. I can't keep up with the news super aggregators most of the time, and the wheat to chaff ratio is far too low to even try.

Posted by Stepside

@patrickklepek: Great idea. And as a J-School grad myself, I'd say that's mighty big of you to link other sites there Klepek :)

Posted by Bobdamicus

Awesome, I like the idea of a kind of news wrap up without having to clutter up the front page.

Posted by LiquidSwords

@msavo said:

@MisterSamMan said:

I honestly don't mind seeing a weekly wrap-up of the top stories on the front page of GiantBomb. I SUPPORT!

Word.

Porpa!

Online
Edited by Branthog

Yeah, the thing I appreciate about GiantBomb is that it isn't a mad rush to just duplicate every other news update from every other site no matter how miniscule and unimportant. Websites, news-sites, and blogs are so fucking incestuous that the same stuff shows up 50 times in my RSS feeds. More, there's only so much space on the front page and it really sucks when an interesting topic is blasted into oblivion because it has been twenty minutes and the next fifteen stories (all japanese cosplay, for certain gaming sites) have replaced them. Hard to have anything more than very temporary and very meaningless conversations.

That said, it would be nice to have a way to discuss other news in a sort of side-stream. More, GiantBomb is going to have to figure out how to allow for expanded content and information as time goes on. Again, there's only so much real-estate (and about a million forums and sub-forums). How do you maintain breadth and depth without pushing things off the radar and out of discussion very quickly? There's no reason these other side-stories should have to be relegated to a blog or something, but . . .

. . . how about another "news" option on the front page? That is, in the top of the news bar, you have an option to toggle from list or grid view for the news. Why not have a *news content* option that you can toggle, too on the left side? MAIN NEWS || SIDE NEWS (or whatever). Now you've doubled the utility of that same real-estate and offered anyone who cares a whole new feed of information and discussion every day?

Edited by Masha2932

This sounds like a nice idea.

A feature at the end of the week highlighting all the blogs and news you found interesting would be the best bet I think. A post on Friday evening is the best time IMO. This gives the users of the site some content to peruse over the weekend(when there is limited content on the site anyway) and also gives you a chance to find interesting blogs and stuff throughout the week to put on the article.

Also, I'd suggest having a brief paragraph on your thoughts on the news and blogs you are directing us to. Don't just dump a bunch of links on the page and call it an article, a short paragraph about your views on the piece(s) would be nice. This allows us as readers to get to know your opinions better. Finally if successful I hope you can incorporate videos and maybe some reader feedback in some way. You could maybe highlight one of the stories as the discussion point for the week?

Good luck with what you decide to do.

Posted by Little_Socrates

I like this idea, so long as there's some conversation about the links in the thread. Whatever format this chooses to take, I'll be reading it, so feel free to throw it wherever you deem fit.

While I liked Michael Abbot's essay on Easy Does It Harder, Jason Schreier's essay on stories is interesting and flawed. In every medium, there are simply bad stories. "Generic" does not mean "bad", mind you. However, there are stories that are incoherent, unintentionally contradictory, obnoxious or repetitive in ways that aren't necessary, or inexplicably convoluted, and they are all bad. The Phantom Menace, The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, Manos: The Hands of Fate, New Year's Eve, and Duke Nukem Forever amongst a slurry of even better examples go far beyond "missing their mark." While evaluating which stories are flat-out "good" is hard to do, there are stories that are flat-out bad, and that is because they are in some way broken.

That said, Easy Does It Harder is a well-written piece. It's telling that a few of my favorite games these last few years have been Ghost Trick, Tiny Wings, Super Meat Boy, and Rayman: Origins (even if they've been beaten out by Saints Row The Third and Deadly Premonition.)

Posted by PillClinton

I like this. Good idea.

Posted by MechaKirby

Since I've started visiting Giant Bomb exclusively, I don't get anymore of the little rumor mill stuff and the small semi-relevant stories that I would get when I would visit N4G (ugh) or Neogaf or whatever. Which I'm totally fine with because if any of that small stuff develops into real news, I see it here now thanks to you Patrick. But the rumor mill is still sometimes fun to watch. So without clogging up the News section, cram it all into one.

A weekly post in the news section where you can link us to some interesting articles by other writers, a small rumor mill section, a summary and a small opinion piece on something from that week by Patrick. This would be *perfect* for Saturday or Sunday because there's no content going up on those days.

Maybe you can even make it a new weekly 1-3 minute video. Giant Bomb Week in Review. Give us a summary of what this weeks post includes, preface some of the pieces, opinion piece in video instead of text?

Just my thoughts

Posted by yoshimitz707

@buzz_clik said:

@patrickklepek: Mmm... tasty bite-sized news morsels. I dig this idea, Patrick. They could only be more delicious if I added some lime to them.

But, where, oh where could we find such an abundant and self-replenishing source of lime!?

Posted by ReyGitano

@patrickklepek: I think it's a great idea to do this every week or so, not for the sake of news (the bombcast has that section covered for the big stories) but to further the worthy goal of well-written journalism. Giant Bomb does a lot of things right, and more importantly pushes a lot of boundaries that are more important than what I originally came to this site for, but that said, I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't originally attracted to Giant Bomb because of the quality of the writing. These are pieces that are well-written and well-thought out in an industry otherwise filled with quick summaries or unrelated content meant to attract hits to the site. It's worthwhile to point out articles outside of Whiskey Media that deserve attention as well.

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