What Is the Future of Video Game Journalism?

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What Is the Future of Video Game Journalism?

Shamus addresses the state of video game journalism, while trying to decide if he is a journalist or not.

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That broad appeal line, I'm sure such a future would be met with heavy disdain from many people. But it's an inevitability I suppose, and I thank you for the rest of the interesting article, you kind-of-but-not-really game journalist, whatever they may be.

I really, really hope that Broad Appeal doesn't end up translating into Clickbait. Other than that I think you've just written some pretty good analysis on the subject. I really hope I get to read more on this from you in the future.

I think 10 years for site-based gaming journalism to reach the point you describe (huge, broadly-reaching networks) might be over-estimating just a bit. We're already on the verge of seeing that right now as this very website is a potential example. Joystiq has popped and their cream will filter into the remaining, bigger sites. This will probably happen several more times this year to other news sites and the remaining strong contenders will take in a few of the star players from each closure. And as these remaining websites weather the changes to their industry, they will themselves change, finding new angles that work and draw in readers/watchers or not and fading into the background (or closing).

Ten years is a looooooong time on the relative scale of modern business, so I'd say that a safer estimate is more likely 3 to 6 years, but you're definitely right that it's going to happen (save for some new media form or technological shift upheaving everything). At the very least it gives us a lot to ponder, at least those interested in the history of the medium.

Great article, Shamus!

the reviews "issue"...was always a red herring...lept on by some and forced into the narrative because they know review contents have been and will forever be a bone of contention...in terms of recent events the problem that people were actually concerned about can be solved in a single word: disclosure.

i don't care if you went to "J-school" or not but this industry has some serious growing up to do as, journalism aside, there is barely a white collar profession in existence that carries no allusions towards professional ethics (and a great many of your customers work in jobs that also expect them).

that aside i'd take some niggles at the later paragraphs. i don't think small sites ever really went away. sure they have reduced from the early days when every ISP gave you webspace and FrontPage was included with IE reuslting in half the web seemingly consisting of green text on a black background but you can still find a stack of sites dedicated to even the most obscure games/gaming genres.

i think your interpretation of what has happened to newspapers is perhaps americentric (?) because it doesn't chime with what i see in my own country .

i do think that ultimately the mainstream media (outside newspapers) is aimed at the mainstream and as such it leans towards "the centre" and "the moderate" (something you seemingly allude to quite heavily).

the idea perpetrated by some that certain forms of critique are somehow the norm in the mainstream...is imo completely false...because the simple fact is that form of critique has never been "mainstream" but rather is actually the reserve of stuff that is "off to the side" and notably lightly trafficked.

to use a UK analogy there is a HUGE difference between say the BBC1 flagship film review program (the "Film *insert year*" series) and the likes of a late night arts show conducting in depth intellectual/social critique and usually shown late night on BBC2 or BBC4...

one is "mainstream", the other is not.

as for whether "youtube" can kill gaming sites...some people like to read (but as i mentioned there are still many small tightly focused sites around)...im pretty old and to my mind gaming "magazine" websites like one are in themselves a fairly new thing on the scene (indeed this site itself went through a change to become wider focused and one of them only a few years ago) and i hate to say this but a great deal of what people are actually looking for from a site like this one could, imo, quite easily be replaced with a selection of channel feeds and visiting a third party forum.

"the community" is perhaps the one thing that could not be replicated...everything and everyone under one roof and bouncing off each other and so on...and most of the big gaming magazine sites have quite clearly shown they really don't value "the community" and it's even been indirectly revealed that's basically why they don't have proper forums themselves.

anyways...

i suspect the hard truth of video game reviewing is not that it's "subjective" and thus contentious but rather that it's root function is "should i buy this game?" and that's a question that can actually often be answered far more immediately just by watching someone else play it....as opposed to say...waffling on about how supposedly phallic lighthouses are...

madigan:
I think 10 years for site-based gaming journalism to reach the point you describe (huge, broadly-reaching networks) might be over-estimating just a bit. We're already on the verge of seeing that right now as this very website is a potential example. Joystiq has popped and their cream will filter into the remaining, bigger sites. This will probably happen several more times this year to other news sites and the remaining strong contenders will take in a few of the star players from each closure. And as these remaining websites weather the changes to their industry, they will themselves change, finding new angles that work and draw in readers/watchers or not and fading into the background (or closing).

Who knows what technological and social changes will bring about the next decade either? No-one really saw the whole mobile and tablet thing coming despite them being around for a long time and the internet went from a limited business and nerd thing to being in the majority of homes in less than a decade, Atheismo only knows what will blow up next.

There is a simple answer to this, but I guess simple answers don't make for articles. A journalist would shy away from opinions where a reviewer is essentially giving his. A "Gaming journalist" would stick to getting stories that rely upon facts that could be verified and wouldn't "print news" until he had verifiable sources (normally at least 2 and don't confuse "verifiable" with "on the record") and wouldn't accept some of the BS answers given by publishers/developers and print them as fact. e.g. when the "gaming journalists" let developers talk about how well a game did without giving any numbers to back up their claims and then print those claims and portray them as fact.

The game reviewers are the "opinion" side of "gaming journalism", they are giving their opinion about the game, and opinions always vary. They don't have to cite "facts" as to why a game is good or bad, as there are no "facts" that support a claim either way to be honest, everyone has different tastes.

Why have I made sure "journalist/journalism" is always in quotes in my response here? Simple, because "gaming journalism" doesn't exist today, because the "journalists" always print supposition as fact. Writing an article doesn't make one a "journalist", any schlub can do that as evidenced by the plethora of blogs out there today. What makes one a "journalist" is asking tough questions and getting answers and doing the research required to ensure those answers are verifiable facts before they are printed. If such a "journalist" exists in the gaming scene today, please point me to him/her, as I haven't seen one yet.

Shamus Young:
But just like the internet didn't kill the newspaper, I'm sure that YouTube isn't going to kill traditional gaming news sites. In 10 years, we'll probably have fewer sites, and the survivors will be really big ones with lots of broad appeal.

Right now, the biggest things killing gaming sites, IMO, are:
1) A very turbulent time in mainstream gaming

SHORT VERSION: As AAA (mainstream gaming) flounders, it hurts everyone, both those directly involved and secondary figures (like game enthusiast sites) alike. The growing distrust and increasing reliance on "less-for-more" tactics by AAA are only making the situation worse.

2) Youtube, and Clickbait (part 1)
SHORT VERSION: I haven't really trusted game site or "professional" reviews with good reason, but have made due in lieu of more reliable methods...until Youtube and Lets Plays that is. Also, lead-in for the following part, since they are related.

3) Clickbait Returns (part 2)
SHORT VERSION: Stooping to political controversy to retain viewership and changing the focus of your site towards one that blames/lectures your audience isn't a good strategy for a publication reliant on viewership. (read: all of them)

I always considered you more of an analyst or philosopher. Journalism these days is mostly just regurgitating something someone else wrote - you can see this very clearly in the games website industry - you've got a very few people who actually generate original content, then 30 sites rephrase and repost it, hoping to cannibalize the work. Often even the initial content generator isn't even a journalist - they just posted a cool thing to youtube, someone noticed and shared it on twitter, then gaming sites regurgitate it.

I guess analyst sounds like you're cranking sales figures, and philosopher no longer has the meanings it used to ('would you like fries with that?') but in the age of Buzzfeed, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and HuffPo the term 'journalist' is so debased it almost seems an insult.

See, people keep comparing gaming journalism to more mainstream journalism, like newspapers or broadcast. But here's the problem, gaming journalism is journalism on a specific industry, and that industry is entertainment. Therefore there's very little in terms of substantial stories. A more apt comparison would be gaming journalists are like People magazine journalists or Variety journalists.

If I may offer my perspective: These places are closing up shop because they have been focused on issues that are divisive and have been taking the side of a small, loud minority of people and the vast majority of people are either tired of hearing about it, or think that their points of view are completely misguided.

Telling your audience that they are "dead" certainly didn't help. Gamasutra, you're next.

That said, nice column. Hope the Escapist will still be around.

misogynerd:
If I may offer my perspective: These places are closing up shop because they have been focused on issues that are divisive and have been taking the side of a small, loud minority of people and the vast majority of people are either tired of hearing about it, or think that their points of view are completely misguided.

Hasn't lowered Kotaku's or Polygon's traffic.

Joystiq is shutting down because the were owned by AOL who can run diddly squat.

cpukill:
Telling your audience that they are "dead" certainly didn't help. Gamasutra, you're next.

Gamasutra is aimed at developers, not gamers.

A few random and vaguely connected thoughts:

I wonder if part of the problem is that we're all talking past each other on what the word "journalism" even means. It's one of those arguments over definition that goes in circles[1].

I'm not sure the traditional definitions of "journalism" can even really apply to the field of covering artistic mediums (other than the inevitable low-hanging fruit of behind-the-scenes tabloid gossip). Even "consumer reporting" seems a bit dry, since the very purpose of the products being reviewed is so subjective. Maybe the solution is to just stop pretending that it's an industry in which objectivity can be applied?

The rise of YouTube has supplanted traditional reviews for a lot of people, but the thing about "broad appeal" is that a number of the people who flock there don't take part in that sector of games media, they barely even know that YouTube playthroughs and indie gimmicky reviewers exist. And then there are people who just prefer text reviews, for completely arbitrary aesthetic reasons. Of course, one fun feature of capitalism is that, if not enough other people like the same things you like, you are forced to either change your tastes or do a whole lot of extra legwork, so text reviews are slowly fading out in these big high-profile aggregators and being relegated to niche blogs and that most dreaded of website features: reader-submitted columns.

I do think it's ridiculous that "games journalism" gets blamed for that Metacritic thing, rather than the rich assholes who hold the spectre of Metacritic over their serfs as an excuse to not be held accountable for their actions (but, as we all know, the people who claim to be angry about media corruption will always do everything in their power to allow the people screwing them to continue screwing them as freely and easily as possible, while tossing safer targets to the dogs).

[1] Of course, there's also the whole "Many people are just twisting the term to mean whatever they currently want it to mean to justify their own bullying and harassment of others, so it's a waste of time trying to argue the meaning with them" thing.

Surviving by broad appeal is an interesting paradox: yes, you're publishing, but you really aren't publishing what you wanted to anymore. Didn't we see this with TV networks like G4 and SyFy, or just about any former music channel now running reality TV, or even the history channel slipping in Indiana Jones movies and pawn stars into the lineup.

News outlets are capitalistic endeavors and survive of supplying the audience a desired product. Gaming journalism had issues well before a certain controversy lit a fire under everything. The news parroted press releases, the reviews were full of people that thought that since objectivity is impossible, subjectivity shouldn't be minimized, and the opinion pieces, well, let's just say they weren't being put out there by people with a relative level of background or fair mindedness of Paul Krugman. (Rush Limbaugh maybe) Mostly it's all became piecemeal and incomplete based on publisher coverage expectations and favoritism and bias on what gets the coverage. I mean, I don't come here for gaming coverage because most of the news I see here I've seen elsewhere first, and it isn't worth my time to sift through the TV show reviews and marvel movie rumors to find anyway. Reviews of games are rare, and never stood out aside from Yahtzee. It's no surprise I get more from gameplay footage off youtube, and more information on upcoming games of the gamefaqs future releases list.

Online game news sites may never die out, but if they don't step up their game they may be seen as a relic like the few remaining print magazines.

I wonder what the content of this site will look like in the next decade... I'll probably still be around, collecting all the dust but its hard to ignore that gaming journalism is shifting.

cpukill:
Telling your audience that they are "dead" certainly didn't help.

Especially when that stupid, drooling audience took a simple metaphor to mean they were literally too unimportant to care about anymore- despite being catered to by everybody constantly- then created a call to arms toward a battle nobody asked for and fewer understood.

Easily the stupidest thing to happen in years that didn't start with "Florida man."

Video Game journalism started as extensions of PR departments - gaming magazines were owned by gaming publishers.

Today its clickbait and drama-llamas VS dimishing returns on spending hours researching the truth behind internet drama.

I recall reading an article talking about how a well researched - but not sensational or clickbaity - article would ultimately NOT generate as much revenue as an article that read "HOMG Justin Bieber pukes on a puppy" featuring a poorly photoshoped picture or two.

To this end I can see why some gaming news and review sites appear to buckle to youtubers: A single (good) youtuber with a patreon can these days expect a more stable stream of revenue than a site that relies on ads, due to the prevalence of things like AdBlock for Chrome and Firefox.

Some of these sites survive by having sugar-daddies: Giant Bomb, GameFAQs, OnGamers, Gamespot and Metacritic are all owned by CBS Interactive (and the fact that Gamespot and Giant Bomb is owned by the same company that pays for Metacritic isn't shady all, no sir)

I have yet to see a 'big' review site go the patreon route - I'm not even sure that Patreon allows it - but that would only require a separate service being set up.

The solution for some sites is sponsored content - and that's not a popular solution among the gamers, since its a dishonest practice - but in turn it pays well, and some sites value economy over integrity for some strange reason. How long a business model like that remains viable is unknown. As pointed out in the article, then the gaming journo business is still evolving, with youtube reviewers blossoming up and using services like Patreon simply being the latest iteration.

There are claims that gaming sites are no longer trustworthy but that doesn't mean YouTube is better. Unfortunately, some people are relying on Let's Plays to inform their buying decisions. Let's Plays are not unfiltered looks at video games. Just like reality TV, editing decisions will direct viewers into a particular interpretation whether or not it was intentional. As a result, many Let's Players have been approached by publishers to do sponsored content. These brand deals end up being thinly-veiled infomercials.

cpukill:
Telling your audience that they are "dead" certainly didn't help. Gamasutra, you're next.

Except, I couldn't find a Gamasutra article that calls gamers "dead". The only one I was able to find was one where they call the stereotypical 'gamer' demographic "over". And the word "dead" isn't used in that article at all, not once.

You used the word "dead" in double quotes, which means you're directly quoting it from somewhere. Can I have a source to this quote, please?

The "game reviews are inherently subjective" line is fast becoming something critics trot out whenever gamers explain to them exactly why their professional opinion is utter dogshit. Those who can't maintain a proper balance between "is this a good game" from a mechanics and fun standpoint vs "what politically incorrect trivialities can i dredge up" to stir controversy will continue to be called out.

Some critics want so desperately to be viewed as progressive philosophers that they just can't help themselves. Is there any room for politics in video game reviews? Maybe a little, but it requires a heck of a lot more finesse than the hacks at Kotaku and Polygon are capable of.

Shamus Young:
But in games that line just doesn't exist. The centerpiece of games journalism - the reviewing of games for consumers - is unavoidably subjective. You can't very well review a game without giving your opinion.

But you can separate your opinion from the facts.
The first job of the game reviewer is to determine what the developer was trying to achieve and then assess whether or not they achieved it. These are pretty objective things. Do the mechanics work? Is the game polished? Is this something the intended audience would enjoy?

The core of any professional review, and this is true when reviewing anything from microwaves to movies, is a simple matter of "Does this product do what it is supposed to do?"

The problem we've been getting into with reviews lately is that instead of determining if the product does what it's supposed to do, they're making a judgment on what the product is supposed to be doing. That's a subjective review.

The only time subjectivity should really enter a game review is when the intended audience is there for the reviewer, not the game. Zero Punctuation is pretty much the epitome of this. He has things he likes and doesn't like, but he generally is able to separate the things he doesn't like in a game from the things that the game simply does wrong.

Shamus Young:
This makes gaming journalism inherently weird. There's no clear line between factual reporting and opinion reporting.

Yeah there is. It's a very clear line. One is professional journalism. The other is hack writing by fanboys playing pretend.

Shamus Young:
It's all one big soup of information, all mixed together. The same people do both jobs, at the same time, and often in the same space.

As somebody who has spent the bulk of his adult life working at one of those vanishing newspapers, I promise you that I wear more hats than anybody on your staff. That doesn't change the fact that news is news and opinion is opinion.

A while back my city's mayor started a debate over whether or not to continue adding fluoride to the water supply. I wrote a story explaining the facts of how the city's water system works, how fluoride is distributed, what the local dentists had to say, what the city council members had to say, and what the mayor had to say. Objective reporting.

In my column that week, I laid out my personal opinion on the matter.

News on one page. Opinion on the other. It really is that simple.

Shamus Young:
More importantly, gaming journalism is more intimate and connected with the audience. In the newspaper, it's rare to care or even notice who wrote any particular article. They seem to come from some unfeeling computer at the heart of the printing press.

That's called being a professional and doing your job right.

Shamus Young:
But in gaming, it's completely normal to see bits of personality injected into an otherwise straightforward news items. An author might end an article on a studio closing by saying, "Hopefully these developers land on their feet. Best of luck to everyone who lost their jobs, and let's hope the layoffs end here." That would sound crazy in a newspaper, but in gaming it's more or less expected.

It's expected because of the already low expectations. Not because it's right.

The biggest issue in Gaming Journalism is that the journalists have very rapidly had to grow up. We are long past the days where it's acceptable to give the games media a pass because they're just writing about video games for ten year olds.

Games journalism didn't originate with professional reporters. It originated with fanboys that could string together a coherent paragraph or two. None of these guys knew better when they started injecting opinion into regular news coverage.

And that was fine when the editor-in-chief of your publication went by "Scary Larry" or you pretended to have a ninja on your writing staff, but those days are gone. Gaming is now the world's largest entertainment market. It's a multi-billion dollar industry. It's time for the games media to grow up because this isn't a joke anymore.

Starker:

IceForce:
You used the word "dead" in double quotes, which means you're directly quoting it from somewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

For the google impaired

Considering all the "quotes" used in most of those articles, I figured it was all good. Obviously all you aGGro's get all pissy at that.

This comparison only works in the US. For instance, in the UK papers are still big business, and more partisan than ever. We still have faced the same changes - the internet, for instance - but the papers adapted by heading in a more obviously political direction. I believe it's just as likely that games sites that openly fly their respective flags are able to attract a meaningful audience - people like to have their opinions echoed towards them.

In Scotland, a pro-independence paper is being launched. Given that a key complaint of the independence campaign was media bias, surely embracing anything other than totally impartial news source would be the definition of hypocrisy? But it doesn't actually matter, because their complaint wasn't that the news isn't dealing with reporting in a fair manner, it was that the news wasn't showing their side of the story.

The same goes for gamergate (I know, I know, groan). The calls for impartiality come from the side of the community that want objectivity in their reporting, but what that really means is that they don't want to hear about social issues and the cultural impact of games in their news media. Personally I think that's a head-in-the-sand kind of attitude, but if there's an audience for it, then someone should cater for that (capitalism!). Instead, games journalism, American sources in particular, have decided that they can no longer compete in a world where they can't have 100% of the audience and do things 100% their way. This is, frankly, a ridiculous attitude, and I have no sympathy for any site that chooses to simply give up rather than change.

I despise UK newspapers - they spread lies and misinformation, sewing seeds to hatred and bias in order to net their latest payday - but I have more respect for them than I do US mainstream media, because they're prepared to fly their own flag. There is no pretending that they are impartial, and there's no attempt to balance the discussion. You know what you're getting with these publications, and I wish that sites like The Escapist had the guts to fly their colours too.

Travis Fischer:
But you can separate your opinion from the facts.
The first job of the game reviewer is to determine what the developer was trying to achieve and then assess whether or not they achieved it. These are pretty objective things. Do the mechanics work? Is the game polished? Is this something the intended audience would enjoy?

The core of any professional review, and this is true when reviewing anything from microwaves to movies, is a simple matter of "Does this product do what it is supposed to do?"

But the answers to the questions you presented are opinions. One critic may think they achieved their goal and the mechanics are fine. another might think the mechanics are poor. There is no simple yes or no answer in a review.

The trick is not to find a "correct" reviewer. The trick is finding a reviewer who's opinions tend to run in a similar pattern to your own. This idea that a review should only present the facts is hogwash, because all of the "facts" are colored by the perception of the reviewer. These answers have no objective basis.

Travis Fischer:

Gaming is now the world's largest entertainment market.

Do you have something to support that statement? Or did you forget something called "movies"?

we all know that you can't trust game journalism these days because reviews are rigged, publishers lie and they even deny that this web of lies and deceit is even real. its totally real we're not stupid. i think "professional" game journalism has no future because of all this and like the AAA industry let it crash and be reborn.

Gerstmann and Company figured out that games journalism's hope was in entertainment even before the great Gamespottening of 2007 gave birth to Giant Bomb.

StreamerDarkly:
The "game reviews are inherently subjective" line is fast becoming something critics trot out whenever gamers explain to them exactly why their professional opinion is utter dogshit. Those who can't maintain a proper balance between "is this a good game" from a mechanics and fun standpoint vs "what politically incorrect trivialities can i dredge up" to stir controversy will continue to be called out.

Some critics want so desperately to be viewed as progressive philosophers that they just can't help themselves. Is there any room for politics in video game reviews? Maybe a little, but it requires a heck of a lot more finesse than the hacks at Kotaku and Polygon are capable of.

So, which critics should be supported? Do you have any names?

The problem with that discussion, in a nutshell, is that you are comparing games journalism with more "serious" journalism, and that is semantically poor. It is like comparing comics to "higher" art. It doesn't apply because it was never meant to apply. Games journalism is in the same category of other entertainment journalism, like movies journalism or music journalism. As such, people feel like they should be doing "real journalism" to earn the title(discovering Watergate or something like that), but that is a fallacy, like thinking only real MD are those that do "real medicine", like brain surgery or discovering the cure for something.

In the broadest term, a journalist is someone that works to keep other people in the community informed. In that sense, an article titled "new Borderlands game in the work" is a piece of journalism the same as something like "Robert Downey Jr signs for more Marvel movies". And if the people in Variety has no problem with being considered journalists, I don't see an issue with gamespot employees having the same title.

Morganan:
Why have I made sure "journalist/journalism" is always in quotes in my response here? Simple, because "gaming journalism" doesn't exist today, because the "journalists" always print supposition as fact. Writing an article doesn't make one a "journalist", any schlub can do that as evidenced by the plethora of blogs out there today. What makes one a "journalist" is asking tough questions and getting answers and doing the research required to ensure those answers are verifiable facts before they are printed. If such a "journalist" exists in the gaming scene today, please point me to him/her, as I haven't seen one yet.

One would argue that most people that work in newspapers and news stations don't qualify as journalists either, since 90% of the news are not the result of "tough questions", instead taking declarations of other people.
I think many people have a romantic idea of "journalists" as people that put their lives in the line to research and inform the public, the same as they have a romantic idea of "scientists" as people that work relentlessly to push the boundaries of human knowledge, when the fact is a relatively low percentage of them do, and a Watergate or a Big Bang theory only happens once in several years. The rest of the "real journalists" write things like "Graceland Is Taking Its Show on the Road" (NY Times) which, on my mind, is not much different in process than "Dark Souls II Patch Reveals New Secrets For An Old Game" (Kotaku), other than the subject. One could argue, which one is asking though questions? and which one is the real journalist?

hermes200:

Morganan:
Why have I made sure "journalist/journalism" is always in quotes in my response here? Simple, because "gaming journalism" doesn't exist today, because the "journalists" always print supposition as fact. Writing an article doesn't make one a "journalist", any schlub can do that as evidenced by the plethora of blogs out there today. What makes one a "journalist" is asking tough questions and getting answers and doing the research required to ensure those answers are verifiable facts before they are printed. If such a "journalist" exists in the gaming scene today, please point me to him/her, as I haven't seen one yet.

One would argue that most people that work in newspapers and news stations don't qualify as journalists either, since 90% of the news are not the result of "tough questions", instead taking declarations of other people.
I think many people have a romantic idea of "journalists" as people that put their lives in the line to research and inform the public, the same as they have a romantic idea of "scientists" as people that work relentlessly to push the boundaries of human knowledge, when the fact is a relatively low percentage of them do, and a Watergate or a Big Bang theory only happens once in several years. The rest of the "real journalists" write things like "Graceland Is Taking Its Show on the Road" (NY Times) which, on my mind, is not much different in process than "Dark Souls II Patch Reveals New Secrets For An Old Game" (Kotaku), other than the subject. One could argue, which one is asking though questions? and which one is the real journalist?

Fair point, but at least there we have 10% "journalists", here we have 0%.

>But in games that line just doesn't exist. The centerpiece of games journalism - the reviewing of games for consumers - is unavoidably subjective.
It's a shame that the line isn't there. Commenting on the news means you're an analyst, opinion-maker, expert, etc. and reporting the news means you're a journalist. A review isn't reporting the news, a man who reviews a game is doing so as a critic and is therefore expected to be subjective.

If he's reporting news about a game (it's gonna be a sandbox type deal instead of on-rails, for example) he should just report the facts in an objective manner and invite the reader to have his own opinion about them ("The game is now sandbox. Is that good? Is that bad? You tell us! Sound off in the comments below."). If he's giving his opinion then he is an analyst, opinion-maker, expert, pundit, so, following the report by the journalist, he'll tell us all about what he thinks of the news.

Problem is, many times in gaming websites those jobs mix up so it's even more important that the lines are clear both to the person writing the articles and to the audience. If necessary, mark your content as one or the other. Lead with the news and then follow with a clearly marked "In my opinion" addendum if need be. And for god's sake, keep your reviews well away from your purely factual reporting.

A gaming website can have a person who does a bit of everything (we can call him a journalist in broad sense here if we consider that the man who purely reports the news is a newsman, if you will) if he just makes sure to wear the right hat while he's doing each job as not to confuse the audience and, perhaps even more importantly, himself.

CaitSeith:
So, which critics should be supported? Do you have any names?

The ones that actually write about games. Not phallic lighthouses, being traumatized by Bayonetta, black women learning to drive in GTA, or why killing players in video games should be considered rape. It does not require much reading to figure out there's less SJW bullshit at say, Gamespot, Game Informer, Giant Bomb or even IGN than Kotaku and Polygon. Ars Technica is similarly awful because Orland and Machkovech, when they aren't acting as PR agents for Quinn and Sarkeesian, are dull writers that leave you wondering whether they even played beyond the first level. Erik Kain is decent and can at least be counted on to remain rational.

Here's a reasonable reality check for a video game journalist - if you think it's a major part of your duty to steer the industry in a certain direction, particularly with regards to social issues, sexism and gender portrayal, violence, etc., you're probably an arrogant fart sniffer who'd be better off finding a different career path trying to push your special moral code onto everyone else. It's amazing how many of these critics think the industry is far better off because of them, like they're doing God's work or something. That's right, they're trying to elevate gaming to a lofty art worthy of serious critique, and the filthy FPS neckbeards are holding it back. It's actually pretty frightening that people like Kuchera, Gies, Sarkeesian and Leigh Alexander have any influence over game developers at all. Best not to let that influence increase, I think.

FredTheUndead:
Gerstmann and Company figured out that games journalism's hope was in entertainment even before the great Gamespottening of 2007 gave birth to Giant Bomb.

Why is Gerstmann still celebrated because he showed a spine 7 years ago? He can currently be found letting Maya Kramer write top 10 lists for his website that contain games she is a paid PR agent for.

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