It seems that Grimwell is back home.
Good because I never migrated to Gamergod, so he never “sold” that idea to me. What he says about the gaming media is far from surprising, one wonder what else he expected to find.
A couple of years ago I was also writing news and some comments for an italian site and left without an inch of drama as they told me to just report the news as they arrived without commenting them or dig the truth behind. I think I did a good service for the site for the time I was there (about a year) and simply left when it wasn’t anymore a possibility.
Anyone can post a press release and regurgiate PR material, but very few people in gaming can tell it like it is.
It’s not a news that game journalism is not possible. The game companies have the full control over what is released. It’s not public domain, it’s their private property and they can even menace you if you happen to find unauthorized screenshots as it happened to me with WoW’s exp. If you want to be able to write previews and join betas you are forced to be their tool. Or have friends and infiltrates in the company. Everything else is useless, there’s nothing to report if not what is already under everyone’s eyes. You are the game journalist of your socks.
(and so what matters is not anymore the “news” itself, but an opinion. The subjectivity. That particular point of view of who writes.)
Even here I believe who is losing more are the game companies themselves, not the players. It’s the games that are going to suffer because the quality always stands out. You can hide the dirt under the carpet but you are going to have it come out somewhere else and hurting you even more. The problems are better discovered as soon as possible and promptly addressed instead of hidden. This is why if I was at the head of a big project I would push to go fully open and honest. I would go HUNT the beta testers I need between those who know the genre and I believe will give me honest, unbiased opinions and ideas, and beg them to join. The community and the feedback are a precious resource for the game itself, to narrow down, discuss those problems before it’s too late to solve them. Hyping things and repeating “it’s beta” doesn’t work, it’s not useful. Those are the people who should be left out. The criticism can help to move forward. The more direct and honest is the relationship, the best is for the whole project.
My point is that the companies themselves should go hunt that type of relationship instead of favoring the asslickers. If they don’t want, their loss.
I think a lot of why community dialogue in these games suck is actually because there isn’t a mature media that holds game companies to account. That’s what helps keep governments honest in the real world, and it’s a balance that doesn’t exist in the virtual one. So you see the effects instead of community relations subverted by public relations efforts.
Grimwell lists various types of “game journalists”. Between those I’m the one who writes to have a taste of that part of game development that is inaccessible to me. “The ladder to see the stars”. Even if I cannot understand why one couldn’t desire to develop games without being interested in celebrity. For sure I don’t consider myself a journalist, nor I’m interested in becoming one.
The total, unrestrained freedom I have is a strength, because I’m not influenced in any way. The point of view is subjective and completely honest. There are no filters and I naturally escape every form of control because I’m always on my own personal search.
I leave the political battles to someone else. I’m just one who believes that honesty and unbiased journalism are a need of the industry first and the community after.
For reference, give a look at this as well.