(Lame picture for emphasis)
I want to apologize beforehand, I haven’t written in a loooooong while, and there’s many a reason for that. Over the past year, my work has taken a large amount of my time, and I’ve had little extra time (and desire) to really write much about games. Instead of ranting about the latest nonsense going on in the gaming world (others have done a far better job than I ever could on it), I was content to just unwind and play whatever game I felt like playing at the time. Recent events however, have compelled me to speak my mind.
Also note, I was writing this before the whole Zoe Quinn scandal, and I’m not going to go into detail on Quinn’s ethics, because really, I don’t care what she does in her personal life, and I’m not interested in her dirty laundry, I don’t like the idea of her censoring people that are talking about her ethics (note: NOT HER RELATIONSHIP ISSUES), and if the things stated that she’s done are true, then she is not someone to look to as a good example of a female developer. What I care about is the implications (if however true/false), of the press being involved on a more personal level than is acceptable to journalistic standards, not that the gaming press today has much of that.
Two years ago, I wrote a post about the Mass Effect 3 debacle, in which the gaming community and the gaming press made starkly different stances on the game’s ending, and Bioware making an extra ending to try to please the outcry of the fan base. But my post was not about the game itself, instead it was about the way the press treated the gaming community. The gaming press went on a tirade of fancy prose, words such as “entitled, whiny, petulant, selfish”; they used every word they could find in that Thesaurus that was dustier than their unused Wii.
While my blog post had a modicum of hope for the press to improve its relationship with readers, fast forward to present day, and that hope has fizzled out. Kotaku (Gawker media), like a false prophet, has continued to show the way to the holy land of page clicks: turn against your audience, make witch hunts, do the very things they speak against on critics/game makers. And so the games press (heck maybe the industry as well) runs a message like a gestapo record: We hate you, you must conform to our thinking, you aren’t worthy. And it repeats, and repeats, and repeats.
It’s really no wonder that numerous sites have been cutting staff as they begin losing page views. Why is that? The press will tell you it’s all adblock’s fault and that basically you’re worse than Hitler if you use it. While they may run pieces on the potential lack of trustworthiness of YouTube personalities and their reviews, it still reeks of, “They’re taking our money!!”. No, it’s not our fault that your revenue model is failing games press, IT’S YOURS.
We’re tired of being called the villain all the time when we disagree, we’re tired of seeing poorly written reviews, we’re tired of seeing you try to spin current events into games, we’re tired of your rants about being “harassed” on social media (and your stupid arguments from them), we’re tired of you telling us how old games were never good, that the nostalgia we have for them is a bad thing. We’re tired of the “Nintenbaiting” articles you write up every week, We’re tired of seeing the most ridiculous, unrelated things to games being posted on your front page. And with more means of communication than ever, we don’t need you to give us your 8/10’s to determine if a game is good or not. We don’ t need you, and you’ve made it clear, you don’t think you need us.
There is a severe lack of transparency in the press, and the only thing they tell us is, "trust us". Past blunders on their end have made us think and feel otherwise. And that will continue, and it’ll get worse. I don’t think any gamers, or myself have issues with people wanting equal representation, it’s not that big of a deal. And I don’t take issue if game journalists have friends in game development, but if that friendship blurs critical judgement and investigation, then that’s definite reason to be suspect.
The gaming community is more splintered and broken up than I’ve ever seen. It’s sad really, you have two sides that refuse to have legitimate discussion, and allow even playing fields on gaming, and what games should be made. The extremists on both sides make this a black and white issue, when the world operates on a far grander color scheme of opinion. I don’t deny that there are some vile things said and done to people on the internet, and more diversity in the field of game design is not a bad thing, it sorely needs it.
As I said, there are so many more ways to find out about games, and really, I don’t think I need the gaming press to direct me. And I don’t think the community needs them as much as the press thinks they do.
The last thing I want to say on these matters is this, if you’re tired of the way the gaming press operates today:
DON’T GO TO KOTAKU
DON’T GO TO DESTRUCTOID
DON’T GO TO IGN
DON’T GO TO POLYGON
DON’T GO TO ESCAPIST
DON’T GO TO ROCK PAPER SHOTGUN
DON’T GO TO NEOGAF
DON’T SUPPORT BAD WRITING, BAD YOUTUBE CHANNELS.
USE ADBLOCK AND DO NOT LINK
TALK IN FORUMS THAT HAVE LEVEL HEADED DISCUSSION ON GAMING EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE ON THINGS
SUPPORT THE JOURNALISTS THAT CARE ABOUT THEIR READERSHIP/VIEWERSHIP
PLAY GAMES, AND TREASURE THE ONES YOU LOVE, WHO CARES WHAT OTHERS THINK OF THEM?
I really can’t say much more on it.
(PHOTO LINKS ARE SOURCED FROM LOLTAKU)