Video game journalism. Just reading that phrase will elicit different responses from different sets of people, that will run the gamut from very angry, to the complete opposite. Some love the moniker and don it regularly, while some avoid it at all costs. Let’s take a look at the problem with the “games journalism” industry and see one person’s quarrels with it.
I’ll start off by stating that here at Gaming Tech United, we don’t consider ourselves video game journalist. We’re a group of people who enjoy video games, so we put together a publication. If anything, we look at ourselves as part of game media, or content creators.
Personally, I am a journalist. Not a video game one, but a news journalist. I am currently enrolled at a university and just finished my fourth year in the journalism program. I think this gives me a very unique standpoint as I get to see both industries and can compare them on a more true scale.
In my eyes, it’s really apples to oranges. In real journalism, not broadcasting on the news, you investigate things, you tell people’s stories, and you put yourselves in harms way sometimes.
Journalism can put you in places like Iraq, it can sit you down for an interview with someone who is very dangerous, but whatever the case, it tells a story and gives you a human element to latch onto.
In video game “journalism”, there really isn’t any of that. There isn’t much investigating, there’s not many people telling the stories of others, you just get press releases and opinion editorials.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but the fact of the matter is that real life journalism is much more involved than dealing with covering video games. I don’t ant to come off as looking negatively on video games and the industry, because they’re a huge part of my life, but the personalities that call themselves “journalists”, kind of make me chuckle.
This leads me to my big point, the people that call themselves the journalists. I think we’re seeing something that happened with film critics, that’s happening to those in the games media.
We’re getting personalities that care more about flashing their own mental superiority and knowledge of vocabulary, than actual content and coverage of the product that they’re talking about.
Many film critics, use their platforms to glorify themselves and shit on the movie in the process, all while proving that they are intellectually superior to their audience.
I’ve started seeing that creep into the video game industry and it’s something that sickens me. I won’t mention names, but a short time ago I was browsing a large video game website and stumbled on this piece where a “journalist” covered a preview event.
The whole first half of the piece was just talking about how this individual wasn’t a fan of this game in the past and how he was the only one not having fun at the event. This is the sort of thing that I don’t want to see happen when it comes to these types of pieces.
When a gamer visits your website to read about a game, or a preview event, they want to hear about that game, and if you’re getting paid to do just that, you need to make the piece about the game itself and not your personal displeasure with how the evening went.
This isn’t about ethics or anything like that, for me it’s about egos. I think that some of these people get to these huge sites and see how big of a reach they have. This sudden success gets to their heads and they become a bit too big for their britches.
I love reading reviews, I love going to sites to watch content, listen to podcasts, and all of that geeky stuff, but when I see someone who is just carrying a monster ego, it really turns me off.
There may be other issues that you see in the industry, but these are just two that stand out to me. I invite you to the comments to share your thoughts and tell me what you think the issue is with the video game “journalists”.