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Old 06-15-2005, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: dar al-harb
Is there such a thing as a videogame journalist?

while reading some poor IGN coverage this evening, it struck me that there are so few actual videogame journalists out there.

so much "coverage" from these sights boils down to simply parroting information. the major news outlets for this industry spend so much energy trying to court favor with developers/console manufacturers and do what they can to stay in their good graces.

some points of frustration...

-when execs give one cliche'd answer after another, the interviewer rarely calls them on it or tries more pointed questions

-major outlets sign non-disclosure agreements on nearly every "story". the news is disclosed how the manufacturers want, when they want, and by who they want.

-the bulk of updates usually boil down to posting screenshots or paraphrasing carefully worded press releases, something any junior high student could do.

-fluff pieces like "top ten" lists or "game of the month"... just recycling the corporate drivel that it started from.

hard-hitting interviews, candor, investigative reporting and anonymous tips (outside of the hackneyed net hoaxers) are all so rare. of course, it is a business... and the videogame developers have every right to protect their projects how they see fit. it just seems that the media has allowed the manufacturers to dominate the conversation more than in other sectors. those commenting on the industry seem content to devour the scraps the companies decide to drop from their table.


are there any good examples of serious trade journalists out there? i've seen some who do a decent job, but cover it from a purely business angle. what about coverage that includes a gamer's perspective?

sometimes 1up.com does a decent job, that's about all the positive appraisal i can muster at the moment.
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Old 06-15-2005, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are jobs out there but the magazines go in and out like .com buisnesses so its really hard to find a stable one.
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Old 06-15-2005, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: New Zealand
I run NZGamer.com and I see what you're saying, the trouble is that to receive support from Publishers (ie free games to review and advertising/random product support) you've got to be a little nice. We're not HUGE so to get their we do have to suck a bit of dick. We don't do it because we're asked to, but because we know it'll affect the life and future of the website as a whole.

Places like IGN and Gamespot are big enough to be able to slag wherever they want, they choose not to because they get paid copious amounts of money from publishers, so why tarnish your relationship when it means you could lose potential dollars?

Penny-Arcade have hit it in quite a nice place, they don't give a shit about anything, but people keep going to their site, their hits are high therefore advertising there is very much sought after. It's not easy to get to a point where PA is and I doubt very much that we'll see any others come to it either.
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Old 06-15-2005, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My friend's husband writes game reviews part time. I just can't remember where he writes them for off the top of my head. Sorry
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Old 06-16-2005, 04:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Rhode Island biatches!
Very insightful Mr. Deflok. I do read through game magazines somtimes and see bad reviews for games, then on the next page I see an add for that very game and wonder why the people who made the game would advertise for a magazine that gives it a poor review.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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God. I hate video game magazines, for the most part. They're come off as fluff: hyping up whatever new system/game that comes out in the next year [and ends being delayed for quite some time]
[I could give countless examples, but I just give out 'the movies,' 'halo 2' and 'half life 2.]

Also, they all seem to be targeting the core demographic of immature and sex-crazed teenagers, who want to play whatever looks sexy with the best graphics. Fanboys were also the only ones who ever wrote in on the 'letters to the editor' and some of the staff were ones as well.

The only magazine that I ever really enjoyed was GMR [RIP]. For some quality video gaming journalism that is much more refined than the other stuff out there, try http://www.gamersquarter.com/
It's the closest thing for video games as the NY Times for book reviews.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: new york
i prefer to read gaming magazines that are independent (EGM) as oppose to OXM or Playstation Mag. Because they sometimes review the games in a way that will be like its the best game since [inset fav game here]. There have been a few instances where the OXM actually gave bad games a bad rating....which it deserved.

As for video game journalism it is there but most of the content from the magazines and websites all seem the same. majority of the people behind the writing are like most of their core audience (either teenagers or adults who act like teens )
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