Friday, March 9, 2012

Games "Journalism" is a Joke. Here's Why.

EDIT: The entire tale can be viewed in a single post on NeoGAF along with an apology by the Kotaku writer in question.

The SPC faithful know how I feel about games "journalism." The quotes around the journalism part should be a dead giveaway to those who don't. It is a sham. Speaking of shams, we have yet another embarrassing episode from everyone's favorite enthusiast press.

Meme-maker and Internet hotspot (aka proud seamy underbelly of the net) 4chan had a member who forged a retail marking showing multiple new Vita titles such as a new Monster Hunter, a new Grand Theft Auto, and localizations for Final Fantasy Type-0 and Tales of Innocence R. Great news for Vita fans! The announcement of these games... not the actual forgery. Vita fans were finally happy and finally had some good news.

Vita owners have an excellent launch lineup, but the
future is bleak. These games could have been glorious.

Unfortunately they soon found out that they were lied to. Guess who took the bait?

Oops! You caught us with our pants down! Better retract that!

Yep. IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku (more on these goons later), Eurogamer, Joystiq, etc. (I didn't want to give them clicks, but the evidence is there in the links.) Who needs fact-checking when you can be the first to post something? You see what happens when you rush something? The one review on SuperPhillip Central I quickly threw out the door was Rhythm Heaven Fever for Wii. I said that there was no way to skip mini-games, but you actually can. This was a tip by an anonymous commenter. The difference between myself and actual games "journalists" is that I'm not paid to get things right. And considering out of 295 reviews I have made ONE mistake when the enthusiast press makes several on a GOOD week, that isn't that bad. It's still shameful and I should NOT have allowed that error to happen. I apologize for that, and I will fix that when I am far less lazy (aha!).

Now let me focus on Kotaku who also ran the story. Jason Schreier posted the news after another site got a tip from someone who later revealed the retailer picture of Play was false, yet Mr. Schreier continues to believe it is real and demands proof it is a shop. In fact, right now he is banning people on a message board for bringing it up and calling him out. He even had this to say about NeoGAF, the site who also called him out:

Okay, so I liked that Anderson nailed NeoFAQs like that.

Now while Frank Anderson has a point about NeoGAF (I am a 5 year lurker), Schreier stays classy about the whole thing (the aforementioned comment was sarcasm). Instead of admitting he was wrong (gasp), he remains vigilant, bans people who out him as the low-level "journalist" he is, and refuses to accept facts. You were duped, game industry enthusiast press. Get over it.

Now why do these people without degrees (if Schreier had a degree in journalism, which he might, this would be even more hilarious) get jobs and get paid for such shoddy work? Story first, facts later? C'mon now. We have blogs like SuperPhillip Central, Digitally, Coffee With Games, 8-Bit Girl, among other affiliates of mine that produce content that is actually respectable (well, maybe not mine) and they get little fame and glory. They actually DO fact-check, and if they are wrong they ADMIT it. This is yet another sorry and sordid tale of the paltry and pathetic enthusiast press. Get over yourself, Schreier, you hack.


Reggie White Jr. said...

Wow, that's sad. When someone that works in the game press and can't admit that they made a mistake, that's very sad. But mistakes happen. Heck, I've made them on my own blog. When you own up to your errors, people will respect you more. Schreier on the other hand, won't be getting any new fans with his attitude. Well, no fans with reasonable IQ, anyway.

Matt Sainsbury said...

Yeah, I agree with everything you've said here.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that journalists don't get paid well at the best of times, and games journalists get paid even less. As a result, on those professional websites, the people writing for them, or even running them, are often still at university, have somehow lucked into a job without going to university, or never been good enough to get a better job in journalism.

That's a generalisation, of course. There's a few genuinely good games journalists out there (I personally rate the folks that write for Edge), but they're few and far between. They write about the games businesses without understanding business, they write without the ethics and morals of trained journalists and so on. It's a huge pity.

Which is why I spend most of my time reading our little blog group than the "professional" sites :)