There are many things within my life that I am by no means ashamed of. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I love Jesus. I’m a devout Christian and will never apologize for it. I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m an honest person. The truth hurts, but the truth has more value. I’m also not ashamed about my opinions on video game journalism. I’ve been an outspoken critic of such things, and will continue to do so.
After I was forced to leave Blistered Thumbs, I took the time and energy to focus on new things. I started exercising more, started focusing more on my work at the hotel, and began studying theology again on a daily basis. I took time to see family, handle business, and even start a new relationship. After all that time, I took a look around at gaming sites, and I did not like what I found.
Though most of the older sites I used to read (Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer, Blistered Thumbs, EpicBattleAxe) were still solid, the most popular sites were still garbage. Even the solid sites I mentioned had some issues, which I’ve already called out over the past few weeks. As it stands, I felt the need to re-insert myself into the proverbial game, and I’m happy that I have so far.
I guess I should go over a list of issues that I have thus far with folks who actually do this sort of thing. So, I’ll likely be ticking people off with everything I have to say. Here goes.
Newsposts are not meant to be controversial.
This is an element of journalism that every single journalist outside video gaming seems to understand. Controversy, as it stands, will come naturally is news given to a crowd is either shocking or capable of dividing the populous. The two main sports sites that I read (MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow) both keep the news articles as such. Jim Sterling is a master at screwing this up, feeling the need to spout a bunch of nonsense about an opinion on the news than actually talking about the news, thus screwing the readers out of any information that they’re looking for. “But it’s only a blog!” No. Screw that and screw you. Screw anyone that uses that excuse. Screw the people who allow such things to go on. It’s garbage journalism, and people need to be held accountable. The point of a news post is to inform the reader. Write an editorial on it if you’re so hot about it.
Don’t review something you know nothing about.
Part of my issue with people who call themselves critics is that they do not know what words mean. The job is to criticize. It is to judge. It is an examination of what a product is and is not. Reviews are not opinion pieces in the world of journalism. If you are reviewing something, you are stating what someone who is going to invest in it is getting themselves into. Thus, research is imperative. If you don’t know the history of a video game series, or have never played the prior games, then there is no point talking about it. Everything you say can be picked apart. Give the review to someone who knows what they are discussing. I can think of two screw-ups in this. First is the Blistered Thumbs review of Max Payne 3. The second is Yahtzee Crowshaw’s review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Neither “critic” took the time to dig into the history of what they were reviewing, or even play what they were going to talk about. Rather, they came across as garbage armchair experts speaking straight from their colons.
Stop playing favorites
Some people are fanboys. However, when it comes to said fanboyism, it should be factored into what they are reviewing and reporting on. In fact, some writers should be self-aware of these issues, and know that they won’t be able to stay neutral. Also, it is not humanly impossible to be neutral on something, especially when it comes to media. Neutrality and impartiality are states of mind. You have to desire not to take sides, and make it a concentrated effort to stay out of the opinions and ideas of your peers so you can report from a perspective that stays clean. “No cheering in the press box.” We all have tastes, but it’s the mark of a mature person to be able to put said tastes to the side and do his job, or at least identify when he can’t, and let another capable person do said job in his stead.
For better or worse, those are the three biggest issues that I can think of in games journalism. They all boil down to one thing though: professionalism. “Bloggers” are anti-professionalism. They deserve to be called out for their idiocy when it comes to their lack of professionalism. No one wants to do business with someone who comes into a business meeting with an Affliction t-shirt and wearing shorts. These so called writers need to get their act together, or just stop writing.
Please and Thank You,
Side Note: You can now check out my work at New Gamer Nation. It’s going to become my main base of operations for the foreseeable future, so feel free to comment on my newest article, and give me some feedback. Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you stick around!