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#1 Posted by 9cupsoftea (676 posts) -

I always see a lot of people complain about games journalism (especially recently) but I was wondering what service people actually want games writing to perform.

Do you want reviews that are in line with your own tastes? Do you want writers to bring to your attention games and projects you might be interested in? And if so, does that mean AAA press releases, or interesting indies? Do you want to read what developers have to say? Do you want tip offs and rumours about what's going on behind the scenes?

Personally I would like a bit of the last one. I worked for a games developer for a while a few years ago, and I was genuinely surprised at how little most games media actually knew about what was going on with a lot of projects. In some cases, there were huge problems or incidents within certain companies that were open secrets to anyone in the industry, and which journalists seemed to have no clue about. In other cases, games were scrapped or almost completed and it still seemed that guys like Giantbomb, Gamespot, and others, had it completely wrong. Now that I'm out, I'd like to be reading about what's happening inside closed doors; things like what happened with Half-Life 3, or The Last Guardian, or the current state of Shenmue. It wouldn't be that hard to dig up with some legwork and anonymous sources.

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#2 Edited by erhard (493 posts) -

Original and interesting articles by talented writers with good taste who don't write news stories, don't do developer interviews, write human interest drivel, write about their politics, write about themselves, or call themselves "journalists."

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#3 Posted by Wemibelle (2628 posts) -

What I want from games journalism in particular? People who go out there and do investigation, getting hard-hitting interviews and breaking news before anyone else--such as what Patrick has done several times in the past. Anything else, from reviews of products to in-depth looks at how games make us feel in a variety of ways, doesn't really feel like it should be called journalism to me; I would instead call these people game critics or just the more general "games writer." For me, the word journalism immediately sets some expectations of what that individual should be like, even though modern journalism is something of a joke in all fields. However, I much prefer the latter type of writer, the one who looks at the games themselves instead of the people around them. I am much more interested in how someone interprets a game than receiving breaking news of a product that hasn't been announced yet.

Online
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#4 Posted by Giantstalker (2401 posts) -

Journalism is a bad way to describe what most of these commentators actually do anyway. Calling themselves something else would be a great start for some much-needed change in the field.

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#5 Posted by Anwar (994 posts) -

'There's a book in this'

for example, Duke Nukem Forever, LA Noire and apparently a shitton of other games, but nobody does any actual investigative journalism and is just a glorified copy-paster of announcements from video game companies.

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#6 Posted by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

Journalism is a bad way to describe what most of these commentators actually do anyway. Calling themselves something else would be a great start for some much-needed change in the field.

This. Plus for those sites that actually do report news, I'd like to see a much more visible ombudsman presence. I really can't think of a gaming website that actually uses one. Or if they do, the ability to identify and contact that person is so buried that it may as well not exists. An ombudsman could help two big problems I see with gaming journalism nowadays.

1. The author starts factually and then feels the need to editorialize without clearly separating the two. This leads to the following cycle:

Author writes article containing valid facts --> Author writes article that splices facts and opinion without clearly saying which is which --> Reader reads article --> Reader sees valid facts --> Reader sees author's opinion of facts --> Reader disagrees with author's opinion --> Reader dismisses valid facts as part of author's opinion --> Factual distortion.

There's nothing wrong with a good opinion piece, but too often authors write in such a way that their opinions are indistinguishable from the facts they're reporting on, or worse, they are clearly separable, but the author doesn't acknowledge it and claims everything as fact.

2. The author fails to disclose their relationship with one of the subjects of the article, which is then discovered by a reader, leading to accusations of bias and corruption, even if none actually existed.

A good active ombudsman could help both of these issues by keeping the reporter of the straight and narrow about disclosing things and reporting news rather than opinion. On the flip side, they also can expose when the reporter did a good job and stop some of the /reddit conspiracy theory crap that tends to happen.

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#7 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3229 posts) -

Less bias. Less shitting on fans of certain series every time a trailer comes out just because you don't like those kind of games- preferably none, even! Less editorializing, less opinion, more facts and actual news and less "This is how I feel about things". Otherwise, don't call yourself a journalist. I don't need someone to tell me how I should feel about a story, or to decide a certain story isn't worth reporting, I just want someone to tell me what happened in as simple a manner as possible and let me make my own calls. Reviewers, for the records, are not journalists. The people here at Giant Bomb definitely aren't. They need to stop referring to themselves as such, and stop hiding behind "Well the definition of journalism is so vague these days".

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#9 Posted by Turambar (8251 posts) -

The people here at Giant Bomb definitely aren't. They need to stop referring to themselves as such, and stop hiding behind "Well the definition of journalism is so vague these days".

To be clear, the GB staff have already said, on multiple occasions, that they are not journalists, and should not be considered as such.

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#10 Posted by dr_mantas (2558 posts) -

I've realised over the years I don't really need actual journalism. Call me an idiot, but what I like is game news, and game related entertainment. Finding out what's going on, and seeing some Quick Looks. I don't feel this industry can support many journalists. Mostly drivel writers and hangers on waiting for an opportunity. I'm generalising and being a bit crude of course.

What I need is maybe some Vinny playing Dark Souls.

(black Knight music) I'm out!

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#11 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3229 posts) -

@turambar said:
@make_me_mad said:

The people here at Giant Bomb definitely aren't. They need to stop referring to themselves as such, and stop hiding behind "Well the definition of journalism is so vague these days".

To be clear, the GB staff have already said, on multiple occasions, that they are not journalists, and should not be considered as such.

That gets a bit muddled when they're involved in the "Games Journalism Hunger Games" panel, and when pretty much all of their contemporaries refer to themselves as such.

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#12 Edited by Brodehouse (10812 posts) -

"Funny but insightful commentary on video games."

Jeff said it. It's why I stick around. It's why I resubbed last month. It's what motivated me to be a part of the whole Whiskey experiment. It isn't using the flimsiest of reasons to call an entire group of people shitlords.

You know the way the staff talks about wrestling? They used to talk about video games like that. Where the great stuff was great and the bad stuff was hilarious and Jeff goes on some hateful/hysterical tangent about Nights. Now that's wrestling and Bo Dallas is wrestling's version of Nights.

You just don't GET IT, Jeff! You have to Bolieve and do the looptyloops!

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#13 Posted by Marokai (3711 posts) -

I want those who claim to hold themselves to a higher standard to actually do so. I don't get that upset when Dan Ryckert says something silly because he's fucking Dan Ryckert. He plays with pogs and thought egg shells were actually egg whites. He's a goofy entertainer and will play and review games for my viewing pleasure.

But other people like to lecture. To lecture me about the "seriousness" of the industry, but use the word "journalist" so liberally it has nearly lost all meaning. To lecture me about being a good person on the internet while getting into regular stupid spats and associating with people who say and do terrible things. To lecture me about standing up to people who do bad things and have "important conversations" with my peers, but seldom ever openly contradict people in their professional lives.

If you're going to talk the talk, walk the walk.

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#14 Edited by Icemael (6876 posts) -

Things I want:

  • Quality news reporting.
  • Quality interviews with questions that are actually interesting.
  • Reviews with meaningful analysis by people who know what they are talking about. For example, I don't want to read a review of an arcade game (or a game in that style) by some credit feeder who doesn't even understand the basic concepts of arcade design, and I don't want to read a review of a 3D beat 'em up by someone whose experience with the genre is limited to playing the God of War series and quitting Ninja Gaiden after 30 minutes. I cannot count how many reviews I've seen that read something like "Well, I don't know anything about this genre, and I don't really understand the mechanics of the game, but here is my vague feeling on it based on what little I can grasp and what I've heard other people who know more than me saying." If you don't know what you're talking about then you shouldn't be writing a review in the first place.

Things I don't want:

  • Homilies. Please keep your shitty political opinions to yourself and stop preaching about justice this, equality that. Or at least keep that shit separate from the news reporting, the interviewing, the reviewing etc.
  • Reporting on gaming "culture." A fan-made video you found on Youtube is not news. Some guy playing Battletoads with his nose is not news. Pictures of people cosplaying as video game character are not news.
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#15 Posted by Milkman (19262 posts) -

Games journalism (or gaming press or gaming enthusiasts or whatever the hell you want to call it) can (and should) be all things. It doesn't have be silly nonsense (which can be great) all the time and it doesn't have to be super serious discussions of gender/ethics/whatever (which can be great) all the time either. Anyone saying "games journalism should be THIS and ONLY THIS" is misguided. It's fully capable of being everything for everyone.

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#16 Edited by Humanity (18581 posts) -

I've grown increasingly disinterested in reading drawn out articles about so and such in favor of simply watching video. Maybe it's sad or maybe it's just progress but I don't even bother reading reviews anymore and simply skim through looking for the bullets like gameplay and length. Likewise for articles that more often than not are here say and speculation combined with a top ten list.

So I dunno what game journalism could do for me. It apparently won't do the leg work as even on GB we get unverified stories posted as fact because no one bothered to make some phone calls and straighten out the facts. It won't do hard hitting stories either because this is a very insular industry and it doesn't benefit anyone to "expose" anything.

So I guess it can keep doing what it's been doing for a while now - informing me of release dates and writing skittish previews under embargo Basically taking turns at copy and pasting Twitter or press kits.

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#18 Posted by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

I want to be introduced to the new games in the most informative and entertaining way possible. When there aren't many new games, I like learning about old games. When there are informative or entertaining stories to be told about development I enjoy hearing them. Pretty simple really, generally I can find what I'm looking for.

Things I like to avoid include: opinion pieces that don't have very much to do with games at all (sometimes these opinion pieces pretend to be about games, but I am not fooled), extreme negativity and cynicism, stories about the press, and pseudo philosophical questions about games (Are games art? What is the definition of a video game?)

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#19 Edited by PenguinDust (13082 posts) -

More reporting, less lecturing. Modern games journalism has fallen in step with the likes of FOX News in that any dissent or denial makes you the worst person imaginable. If you disagree with their conclusions then you're part of the "problem" and if you don't see that you are also a moron. There are far too many self righteous egotists writing today for high profile game sites who take every release and twist it into a statement validating their own agenda.

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#20 Posted by hermes (2589 posts) -

@make_me_mad said:

@turambar said:
@make_me_mad said:

The people here at Giant Bomb definitely aren't. They need to stop referring to themselves as such, and stop hiding behind "Well the definition of journalism is so vague these days".

To be clear, the GB staff have already said, on multiple occasions, that they are not journalists, and should not be considered as such.

That gets a bit muddled when they're involved in the "Games Journalism Hunger Games" panel, and when pretty much all of their contemporaries refer to themselves as such.

To be fair, I think many of the articles that Patrick writes are closer to the idea of journalism that people have in mind, and there are very few people out there consistently writing like him (besides the occasional gaming blog piece). The rest of the crew has stated multiple times that they don't consider themselves journalists in the traditional sense, but the term is the closest they get to a traditional job description.

To answer the OP question, I want journalism about the people and the stories behind the games. Pieces like this or this. I believe there are fascinating stories to be told about almost every game, released or not... Real interviews, not scheduled or filtered through the PR department of big companies.

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#21 Posted by Aegon (7301 posts) -
  1. I want to get excited.

  2. This might not have to do as much with journalists as it does developers. I would like to see "how the sausage is made". The Amnesia Fortnight documentaries are fascinating. Having a bunch of video updates throughout the development process of a game, wrapped up into a documentary, is something I'd enjoy watching greatly. Of course, there would be an onus on the part of the documentarians to not leak any info until after the game releases. Other than that problem, I'm sure many devs would look at the process as a distraction that would slow things down.

    Just think what it would be like, if the Last Guardian came out (hehe, talk about fantasies), it ends up being awesome, and there are lengthy docs on the production process; The art team, the animation team, the programming team, the music, the designers / directors, the meetings, etc.

I want to see that.

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#22 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

I was going to make write some long-winded call to arms about being better journalists, but @brodehouse@marokai and even @icemael have covered pretty much everything.

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#23 Posted by exfate (466 posts) -

Ethics.

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#24 Edited by Uppercaseccc (245 posts) -

I think games "journalism" should be like outher forms of entertainment "journalism" stories about how the entertainment was made, and how that may impact games. But they should also talk about the state of the games industry because that is important towards their jobs as well. But the reason I love Giantbomb is because for better or worse is because they do all of that and they say what they think is bullshit and well comment when something is bullshit because at the end of the day part of understanding entertainment is to have your own though on the entertainment and I think that is important to all entertainment type journalism which is what "games journalism" is.

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#25 Posted by csl316 (14946 posts) -

People talking about games.

I was interested in the behind-the-scenes industry stuff, but things get negative so fast nowadays. Just wanna hear people talk about the games themselves (with the occasional making-of documentary).

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#26 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15666 posts) -

I honestly don't expect a lot anymore, but I could do with less smug condescension towards the audience these people are supposedly writing for. Giant Bomb is relatively free of such, but I could do with less sermonizing from writers who only have their job because they "knew a guy" 10 years ago and not because they are actually good writers (or even like a lot of video games, it seems like).

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#27 Edited by Mikemcn (8565 posts) -

@exfate said:

Ethics.

Oh Comeon... no media has ethics anymore. Its 2014 man! And coming up next here's us pointing a row of cameras at the funeral of this murdered man from missouri.

I would say from game writers, I want content that goes in depth with the games i've loved and more coverage of a wider array of games, not just the latest triple A or Indie platformer where you play as the ghost of a lighthouse keeper's dog. Go check out Euro Truck sim! Or Verdun, a WW1 shooter! Or King Arthur's Gold, a neat retro styled class based multiplayer game where you build a fort while trying to break down other forts! There are so many games out there, and coverage skews from the stupidly obscure to the wildly popular, but rarely lands in the middle. I don't care about industry drama. Period.

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#28 Posted by TheHT (15797 posts) -

I was going to make write some long-winded call to arms about being better journalists, but @brodehouse@marokai and even @icemael have covered pretty much everything.

I was just going to post a silly gif, but I agree with these people.

Also, games journalism:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/79d10e66ef604fb7df63d302fa9c83ba/tumblr_n4euz36hrA1r5xpw1o1_400.gif

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#29 Posted by exfate (466 posts) -

@mikemcn said:

@exfate said:

Ethics.

Oh Comeon... no media has ethics anymore. Its 2014 man! And coming up next here's us pointing a row of cameras at the funeral of this murdered man from missouri.

There are plenty of ethical media outlets around the world, both in general current affairs and specialized niches. Just because others are behaving improperly, it is not an excuse to lower your own standards of conduct.

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#30 Posted by planetfunksquad (1543 posts) -

I neither want nor expect anything. I let people to make content, any content they desire, and then I decide if I'm into it or not. If someone writes/makes something I don't enjoy/don't trust I don't give a fuck. I just don't consume it.

"The State of Games Journalism" is totally irrelevant to me because I've never been all that interested in it anyway.

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#31 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

To keep their politics and shit to their own private life , no more stupid drama , hard facts (release dates etc.) and a real dissection of games in terms of story gameplay ect... why a game works or does not in its own context , never generalizing or saying it is sexist because this time around it didnt do x or y and so on. Them being real critics , not activists.

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#32 Edited by jakers (39 posts) -

I want the following:

  • Quality news, breaking stories with a rush to get it out before other outlets.
  • If they are gonna call themself a journalist, have some integrity. Stand behind the words they published.
  • Original pieces that the authors are excited about! You can tell instantly when a writer has 100% of themselves behind what they are writing or doing.

Things I don't want:

  • An agenda behind ANY story about anything. If there is an agenda or opinion, let it be known. Say it is an opinion piece and that you have an opinion in the matter.
  • Just the same rehashed info from developers that is on every other site, over and over
  • Biased reporting
  • Hype before a game is even playable
  • Discrediting whole groups of people based on their opinions. This would be a non-issue if personal and politic ideologies weren't fuelling their writing

Mostly I think integrity is the highest on my list.

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#33 Posted by Shivoa (1588 posts) -

I want:

  • Media Criticism
  • Computer & Video Game Related Entertainment
  • Narrated Quick Looks/Let's Plays

The first can be in review form but generally isn't. A range of lenses (specific angles/schools of thought) applied to the medium is probably where I'm going to go first so this is sometimes niche writing, sometimes from academics, but I'd like more of this to be integrated into content on the larger sites (stuff like Campster, Mr B Tongue, and Super Bunnyhop shows this stuff does generate tens of thousands of viewers but hundreds of thousands of views like FemFreq currently looks to be outliers).

The second is mainly why I'm here on GiantBomb. The shows are related to games and enjoying the hobby and the different sides of it but it's personality driven entertainment that can also be informative. Top Gear isn't about cars, that's just the setting for the semi-scripted entertainment. Same with games, they offer a great setting for entertainment. You've even got the machinima side exploded via (not really actually) Let's Play content on YouTube (Rooster Teeth, Yogscast, and so on) which uses games as worlds in which to run semi-scripted shows and also ends up with live-action entertainment programming often coming from the same team so closer to GB content.

And the final one is because demos are either many, many GB to grab or don't show the final performance of the game (because they're a small download without the high quality assets), and that's if you can even get a demo. It's easier to get some look at someone playing the game and providing their view on how it feels and their experiences so far. GB has also been great for this sort of coverage, which generally provides a higher quality of narration than most of the Let's Play content I get exposed to (but maybe I'm just not finding the golden stuff - there are certainly a few groups who do work that's more detailed than a GB QL, if not as entertaining).

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#34 Posted by Mortuss_Zero (744 posts) -

Hmmm, less Journalists that think they're smarter than everyone else and act like their audience are pieces of garbage that deserve mockery. Not that there aren't people in the audience who are, but I'm tired of being lumped in with them.

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#35 Posted by Wolfgame (1168 posts) -

A little bit of joy, happiness and passion would be nice. It hurts seeing the journalist vs gamer mentality. Gaming continues to be much too serious.

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#36 Edited by Milkman (19262 posts) -

@aetheldod said:

To keep their politics and shit to their own private life , no more stupid drama , hard facts (release dates etc.) and a real dissection of games in terms of story gameplay ect... why a game works or does not in its own context , never generalizing or saying it is sexist because this time around it didnt do x or y and so on. Them being real critics , not activists.

I think you are misinformed of what a "real critic" actually does. Being a critic goes way beyond analysis of story, gameplay, etc.

I don't know, these kind of threads always make me look down on the games journalism audience, more than actual games journalists. You're actively stymieing games writing if you just want people to tell you if a game is good or bad or if you just want someone to turn on a webcam and act like a moron. That stuff is fine but I could do that. You could do that. Game criticism can be so much more but it's hard for anyone to want to help it grow into something more when every attempt to look at games in a deeper, more meaningful way is met with "stop lecturing me!" Not that all these attempts are successful or hell, even good but I see a whole lot of "be better" and not a whole lot of "this is how you should be better."

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#37 Posted by Giefcookie (667 posts) -

Mostly just news. I don't really need "journalism", I'd rather have what GB does. Entertainment loosely based on video games.

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#38 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7472 posts) -

First of all you cannot lump everyone who works for a site, magazine, etc - a journalist. Nor should you because the job at a video game site is three areas: criticism, editorial/opinion, and lastly news...with just a tiny smattering of story creation or investigative journalism as the last 1%

So video game writing is 99% of the following criticism (review/preview), opinion (editorial), and a small amount of news reporting. Anyone saying, "I don't want opinion, I don't want stories about society, I don't want opinion pieces on big topics like sexism, racism, classism, or basically all social-studie-isms" is in the wrong place. Criticism is the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of artistic work. And to discuss those merits the analysis of other games, pop culture, and the broader socila culture in context are needed.

If you are not here (or any other game site, magazine or vlogg) for the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of artistic work and or how that art fits into the larger culture - than save some time by leaving. Or, stay and listen to social critism. Your choice.

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#39 Posted by MC_Hify (389 posts) -

It'd be great if it stopped calling itself "journalism". Maybe try and hide their disdain for the audience more.

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#40 Posted by PandaBear (1484 posts) -

@erhard said:

Original and interesting articles by talented writers with good taste who don't write news stories, don't do developer interviews, write human interest drivel, write about their politics, write about themselves, or call themselves "journalists."

Speaking as someone who has worked at a newspaper for over a decade you just ruled out nearly every topic they can write about.

I want impartial journalists who write stories about what's happening without the need for commentary. The recent Zoe Quinn shit was so poorly covered by the games media I've lost a lot of faith in it. Pathetic Twitter rants and complaints that "we're not gonna talk about the trolls!!" is stupid. 80% of the people were told 50% of the story and instead of researching and presenting unbiased facts we were given nothing but a few public statements to deny any culpability. I had to search forums and small blogs to get ANY of the story.

Also people need to get off their high horse about what "journalism" is. It doesn't mean you have to work in a warzone... it just means you have to find facts and present them to your audience. There's room for features and opinion, but some fucking news reporting is sorely lacking.

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#41 Edited by bacongames (4008 posts) -

First, yes, there are issues with the term and like "gamer" the best of us tend to use it for lack of a better term in stunted conversation.

So, what I want from it is for the profession to be more financially flush and able to support more people comfortably. It's really hard to get paid to do this for a living and anyone who does and is able to do what they want are the exception. Many try to split their work between the meaningful stuff and the stuff that is stunted but generates bigger hits but overall that would be less of an issue if the financial pressure was lessened. This applies whether we want more diverse opinions in the industry (because a lot of critical voices, disagree or not, can have a considerably harder time making a living from their work) or simply more people or growth in production or deeper articles or whatever.

It's an underlying factor that if improved should benefit everyone doing it and invite more to join.

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#42 Posted by Marokai (3711 posts) -

@milkman said:

Here's an actual constructive desire for what I think would improve the coverage of serious topics around video games: More discussions between multiple people. More actual debates that we as an audience can listen to that challenges pre-conceived notions. The reason I used the word "lecture" so much is because there is a lot of talking at people in modern games coverage and very little talking with. That entire sector resembles a clique that just sneers at people on forums who disagree with them, and rarely, if ever, actually try to engage on the issues that are raised. It's a retweeting culture.

Loads of other aspects of our culture have debate settings except this one. Politics has them in spades, whole shows are dedicated around the concept of uncensored discussion between opposing sides. Science and religion are inundated with debates. Hell, TheAmazingAtheist recently hosted a (relatively) civil debate between a feminist and an MRA. Dan Savage had an hour-long discussion with the President of the National Association for Marriage at his dinner table a couple years back that was captivating. Where are the video game debates? Where's Anita Sarkeesian sitting down at a table to actually debate with someone who disagrees with her? When do you ever see Patrick or anyone else engage people who disagree with them on a topic and actually have at it? Bombin' in the AM was supposed to be an interesting talk show where they would bring on guests to share their views about the topics of the day, when has he ever invited someone who disagreed with him about any given current event?

There's very, very few examples of people actually having their views challenged about something and enriching the conversation with better counter-arguments. Instead, it's a lot of Polygon pieces where they have already come to a conclusion and the comments are highly moderated. A bog-standard Sarkeesian video retreading the same topics over and over again, never taking any feedback into account, or even acknowledging its existence. A Kotaku concern trolling piece that just ends up being misinformed. Panels dedicated to talking about nothing except how mean people are online.

I love seeing important social topics being discussed, but I crave a diversity of opinion that does not seem to exist. I want to see an actual conversation.

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#43 Posted by Nightriff (7193 posts) -

Honesty, Ethics and actual news. I really hate clickbait bullshit on sites that exist.

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#44 Edited by TruthTellah (9821 posts) -

For the most part, I like how it is now and the general direction it is going. A lot of the artifice and pretense is going away. Different outlets have their own style, and despite some complaints, I frankly haven't felt like too much has been lacking or I've somehow missed out on much that matters.

I like to look at Giant Bomb and Kotaku, and on occasion, I check Polygon and Destructoid. With just those sources, I see pretty much everything I'm interested in. They all have little issues, but none of them are inherently deficient. Destructoid is a bit old school, but they do have their own irreverent take on things. Kotaku covers most of the stories Destructoid covers along with more art, music, and silly things. They seem to understand that it's okay to be both silly and serious at times, because at the end of the day, we're talking about videogames. This is entertainment that we should be enjoying.

Giant Bomb is more of a video and personalities site, but Patrick and Alex do keep people up-to-date on big things. The whole staff also discuss what is going on in games on the Bombcast and many videos. As far as big stories go, I've seen enough of Patrick to know I trust his coverage, and I understand his particular quirks. Understanding outlets and those who report things is important when considering news and reviews they provide. Jeff's often-mentioned policy of greater trust and understanding through getting to know the people saying things on the site makes a big difference.

The site Polygon, though, still seems to be struggling to find what it wants to be, as their long form articles haven't gotten the reception they appear to have expected. So, they've been mixing things up with more video and less emphasis on those big articles. Which is a shame in a way, because so many people often shout that they want more of such articles. But people don't consume them nearly as much as random stories about the hottest games despite them taking far more effort. It's kind of like the classic game company dilemma of people asking for more of a niche thing and then it not really ending up being financially viable. This is still ultimately a business like any other.

I think gaming news in general is facing similar challenges as all kinds of news have had in recent years, and many have struggled to redefine what kind of news outlet they want to be. Giant Bomb is a newer kind of site that combines fun video and actual commentary on games and gaming. A site like Kotaku rattles off every story imaginable with their own personality added to the mix. Between them, I get both basic information on most things and more opinion and analysis. Talking to commenters at both places also frames stories in the context of the community that cares about them.

As far as recommendations go, I would continue to encourage greater connections to the community and those invested in the sites, and greater openness on people's personal styles and perspectives breeds helpful expectations for understanding what they say and do. We are no longer as disconnected as we were in the past, and personal connections to news sources will continue to be a bigger and bigger part of news. And in gaming news where people are inherently tied together within a fandom, the best avenue is in transparency and understanding of those sharing and commenting on what is going on in gaming, not distancing the people sharing news from what they are reporting.

A mix of simple reporting and opinionated analysis in an upfront and transparent way is what I'd love to continue to see more of in gaming news and commentary.

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#45 Posted by Andorski (5482 posts) -

Funny videos mixed with game suggestions. I like to keep it simple.

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#47 Edited by Milkman (19262 posts) -

@marokai: I don't disagree with anything you said there but I think again it comes back to the audience. I can understand why some games writers wouldn't want to actively engage with "the other side" when those people are constantly barraging them on Twitter and such with all sorts of harassment. (Though I think this is all the result of a larger "us vs. them" mentality that is a huge problem in my mind.) I saw someone tell Tim Schafer to kill himself on Twitter today because he posted one of Anita's videos. Tim Schafer! Pretty much one of the most likable and nicest guys in games. It's not crazy to me that some don't want to engage with these people. That's not to say there aren't perfectly sensible people on that side as well but when these loud, hateful children dominate the conversation, it ruins it for everyone.

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#48 Edited by Marokai (3711 posts) -

@milkman: Hadn't seen that, but that is indeed horrible.

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#49 Posted by Juno500 (497 posts) -

@marokai:

Has there been an honest attempt by anybody to have a legitimate debate with Patrick or Anita though? Somebody who has something to add beyond childish insults?

@pandabear said:

I want impartial journalists who write stories about what's happening without the need for commentary. The recent Zoe Quinn shit was so poorly covered by the games media I've lost a lot of faith in it. Pathetic Twitter rants and complaints that "we're not gonna talk about the trolls!!" is stupid. 80% of the people were told 50% of the story and instead of researching and presenting unbiased facts we were given nothing but a few public statements to deny any culpability. I had to search forums and small blogs to get ANY of the story.

Maybe they felt that deeply personal issues like an individual's sex life wasn't appropriate for that type of reporting, and that the original source of the claims (an angry rant from an ex-boyfriend with no real material proof of his accusations) were unreliable? This isn't TMZ.

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#50 Edited by FengShuiGod (1518 posts) -

Game journalism (or whatever you want to call it) is generally broken and worthless. I don't know exactly why, but there is a quality rift with other mediums when it comes to game criticism. Film, literature, photography, painting, whatever, have their inanities too, but they have smart voices that game culture really doesn't have. Maybe it is just because games are relatively new, I don't know, but people in the game crit/journo industry seem to have narrower backgrounds, experiences, and intellects. When does gaming get its Ebert, when do we get an essayist like Sontag, or Robert Hughes, or whatever? Or is video game culture always going to be relegated to the cultural status of guns magazines and car shows, wherein the "journalism" is little more than advertisements, top ten lists, and moribund social commentary that reads like freshman work? I mean, compare even relatively minor critical figures from the art world like Libby Lumpkin or Sinead Murphy to the drivel passed around as commentary on games. It's a joke.