When it comes to Video Game Journalism...

I always wanted to get into journalism and I'm working on getting my foot in. I figured if I wanted to do journalism, it would be writing about video games (Here is my Youtube channel where I'm focusing some of my time by the way). I don't care much for music, television series or movies but I do enjoy books. One media where text on a page gets your imagination to paint what could never happen in real life. Seeing somebody's creation in a video game is probably as close as we can get to seeing somebody's imagination. I may not be the most talented at writing as I have let it lapse while I was trying to support my family and had to get a job but it definitely is something that pops up that I need to get back into the habit. So onward to how I feel about games and journalism.

What do I not care for about today's games? It is simple. The world is tempted by money. Those with huge amounts of money are looking at selling you something so they can make even more money. Are they really doing it to make your life better? It might be a great product but they advertise so you can buy their goods instead of their competition therefor making even more money. Simple market economics.

And it is everywhere! Show a child a picture of the McDonald's logo and that little kid probably knows exactly what it is. It is the place with the yummy food, toy and indoor playground and the big men up top see it as another buck they are going to generate. So why is marketing such a bad thing in journalism?

Did Geoff Keighley have to do the video with the Halo 4 cardboard cut out and the Mountain Dew/Doritos? Not at all but somebody thought it was needed and has created an image that every consumer in this segment of the market needs to realize. He is a good looking guy that broadcasts to millions. They need a face to generate hype and let the masses know this is the game you have to run out and get. He is no longer a journalist but a marketing tool.

Now, you are a smart guy/gal right? You aren't swayed by Geoff Keighly telling you to go out there and buy Halo 4 right? You are going to go out and grab the game because you make your own decisions. So why is he even needed? In no way am I saying fire the guy but for some people out there, they need him. They need Keighly to justify they are making a purchase. We feel good when there is another voice telling us we are make a good choice and I imagine Keighly feels good for being in that position. A person who can sway what others should do and think. That is a powerful position.

Plus the paycheck from those corn base products must be nice. Wonder what he thinks about the picture...

The Eurogamer article probably shouldn't have named names but it definitely got the word out that the video game market is in a place where money will buy what should be an independent opinion. I can understand why we have publishers and why they do the things they do. Without them, we wouldn't have the amazing AAA games because they fund developers amazing creations. But they want to generate revenue and need to get the word out. They need more Geoff Keighlys. They are going to try and sway journalism sites with free products that only those in the industry can get. Exotic trips to see their game that could have been done at the developer's location instead.

It isn't going to end and I'm curious to see how much crazier publishers and public relations are willing to go to convince journalists to join their cause to generate more hype and money. The guys in suits that fly around in personal jets, you are not a person. You are their future. Their way to fund everything they do, from renting out stadiums, hiring musical artists, fund their 10th house on the hills of some vineyard and not fund developers who did all the hard work to create a game only to close down the studio. I'm glad that we have indie development growing and kickstarters to get great games out there without the need for publishers. I'm glad there are good people who have to brave the shit that is public relations while still making good friends in the business to let you, the reader and consumer, know what is worth your hard earned dollar.

Find those who share your ideas. Those who can stay above what the world pushes on them and leave a lasting memory that helped a person. Let those who are easily swayed to flashy and free things look back on their career and ask did they do something worthy and realize, no, their career only earned them things that they will leave behind when they pass on.

You need to find that voice that you trust.

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Bioware Bazaar, what a joke.

Currently at this very moment, Bioware is holding a celebration! To reflect on 15 years of creating awesome games, they teased their social website that something was coming. People pondered what could it be but the was excitement. Days past and finally, Bioware announce to their loyal fans: the Bioware Bazaar! Compete for tokens and win awesome prizes! STUFF! 
 
Well, the fans thought it was okay. Some were happy, others were disappointed and frowned at it. I was slightly excited because it sounded fun and hey, you are reading a blog from a guy who won a Xbox 360 before anybody else could buy one from Mountain Dew using only 20 caps! I promptly turned it around and sold it for $600 bucks but anyways... I was excited to see what I could get. The list of prizes looked good and I awaited the day things could start happening. 
 
I received the points for having a social account, for having Mass Effect 2, doing the questionnaires and even completed the social link. I was completing Twitter challenges and this is where things smashed into the ground. It has been several days and I have not been compensated for my points. Currently at this moment, I sit at 6400 points, give or take some and I should have more on my account yet despite e-mails, posting on their forums where people have had problems getting points and even sending direct tweets back... nothing. Oh well, I will wait for the bazaar to start and see what I can try to win. 
 
Day one, first auction... a five pack t-shirt bundle and immediately, somebody bids and wins with 10,000 points. Next challenge, books or something.. 10k points. One of the custom Mass Effect 2 computers...11k. Every auction has been completely out of my reach.  Although I am upset with Bioware's lack of help posting my points that I had won, I thought about the rules. The social link is a way to earn 500 points when clicked, after the initial amount, each additional click earns another 1 points till it resets and you can earn the full amount the following day. Basically, Bioware turned it into a marketing campaign that they didn't even have to work, the fans did. Brilliant but broken.
 
So Facebook pages and Myspace friends and twitter accounts were spammed with a link that led to a Dragon Age advertisement. I have friends but I didn't feel like spamming them with a message asking that they click a link. I don't want to be like the ones who spam the pages with Farmville posts.... (If you read this honey, I love you and your cute farm that you work on everyday.) I don't want to become a spammer. But this is what the Bazaar has turned into. People tricking others to click their social link so they can earn points or creating forums posts on Bioware where lists of social links are posted so that you can click their links with promises to click your link in some weird snake eating its own tail loop of spam. 
 
Bioware... I love your games but as of yesterday, I stopped visiting the auction and no longer follow you on Twitter. What a waste of my time.

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That's it! No more buying video games!

    Now, I am not going to rant about prices or my hatred for publishers and my mission to pirate everything. Nope, I'm going to stop buying video games. Why? My video game library is too big. Okay, maybe not that huge but I need to end it. I'm stating this right now as my mission because I have games that sit on my shelf that I never completed. When I was a kid, my parents would purchase very few games. I could expect one for my birthday, another for Christmas and maybe one or two here or there depending on how I performed in school so I never had many titles. Instead, if anything came out that I was interested in, I would camp the local Blockbuster down the street and try to snag the latest title from anybody else on weekends. This also meant long gaming marathons which I love and miss. Imagine grabbing Super Mario RPG and playing every living moment during the weekend to beat it. Yup, I should have purchased that game but when I beat the game in under 3 days, talk about a bargain price. 
 
    Okay, going off topic but the games that I owned were the games that I dedicated the most time to and I could say I beat them. I'll generate a list but they were the games you were proud to have. As I grew up, I was introduced to PC gaming and never got into the Playstation/Dreamcast era of consoles. I did play Final Fantasy 7 on the PC, a decent port but it was things like Quake and Unreal that had my attention. That and Blizzard Entertainments Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. Although I believe this is where things started to go bad for me. 
 
    Cast your stones at me now. I never finished Deus Ex. I knew it was a great game and I actually enjoyed it but for some reason I lost interest in it and moved on. I did finish other games like Mechwarrior 4 but as I got older, my disposable income grew and I got pretty bad about buying games that I was interested in and were considered awesome additions by the gaming sites and I now have my pile of shame. What is worse and I'm sure everybody agrees? Steam weekend sales, especially the holiday sale. I would also take part in grabbing games used if I happened to miss them.  
 
   A general idea of games that I need to finish first before I move on is Metal Gear Solid 3, I picked Metal Gear Solid VR missions for a buck, Splinter Cell for a buck, couple of XBLA titles and last, the horrible RPGS. But wait, Teaspoon... didn't you say you bought games that generally are considered good? Yup, I did. I have Morrowind, Oblivion with the expansions and Fallout 3, not one of the DLC packs but I'm loving the game that I'm sure I'm going to get them. So really, I'm screwed out of getting into a lot of the latest titles for quit some time.
 
   With everything that is coming out this year, especially those that just came out, it is heartbreaking that I can't run out to grab it. The last two that I really would like to grab is Mass Effect 2 and Bad Company 2. I'm tempted to but it is for the best that I wait. That being said, I am enjoying the games I stopped playing for who knows what reason. I can only hope that PC games of yore will still work with Windows 7. Guess there is always DOSbox. Oh and let me finish with this, stay away from thrift stores! Although they may not have much when it comes to great games, there are those few moments where you actually find something that is actually good for the price of $1-$3 dollars. 
 
   So I ask you guys, do you have any experiences you want to share about games you never finished? I'll update this on my blog from time to time if anybody ever feels like seeing my progress. If you catch me on Live, throw me a message. You'll find all the details on my profile or you can visit my blog at www.teaspoon83.com 
  
My Pile of Shame:
http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/teaspoon83/pile-of-shame-games-that-i-need-to-complete/46-26223/

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