Rutabaga Rising

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Rutabaga Rising

In the dead of night.

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I would take the quite competence of Susan Arendt over that of the polemic, of how shall we say, a former editor with name in common with a Yugoslav dictator.

I wonder if I could get away with stealing the punchline and using it in the "come up with the most flamewar-causing thread title" thread...

In terms of the post-comic blurb, I think what a lot of people are worried about is that for every Batman there's a bevy of Jokers teaching young writers how to follow the rules the corps lay down so the institution they are working for can get free stuff and access to private events (to say what the company wants you to say). I agree that it's easy for lone journalists to be corrupted, but it's a lot harder for, say, EA to find and pay off 150 different reviewers and bloggers to give a positive review to the new Battlefront than it would be for them to call up the top 10 gaming websites, talk to the editor that they've known for years, and subtly push for a better score.

It's definitely not impossible for those lone journalists to be corrupted, and there's other pitfalls specific to going it alone, but it diffuses the ability of a company to do something quickly and make it appear unanimous.

Is Furious Rutabaga a reference to something, other than to evoke the feel of a youtube personality's potential username?

Bedinsis:
Is Furious Rutabaga a reference to something, other than to evoke the feel of a youtube personality's potential username?

I was eating a rutabaga at the time.

Bedinsis:
Is Furious Rutabaga a reference to something, other than to evoke the feel of a youtube personality's potential username?

Furious Rutabaga is a verity of what is know in the UK as the vegetable Swede.

The Wooster:

Bedinsis:
Is Furious Rutabaga a reference to something, other than to evoke the feel of a youtube personality's potential username?

I was eating a rutabaga at the time.

Grey you've gone native, you should know that a rutabaga is really a swede!

Huh, rutabaga is what we'd commonly call the turnip. TIL.

Get out of here with that common sense jibba-jabba in the blurb. No room for that in these sorts of discussions. Although, I did like the way you slid that bit of Susanostalgia in there - well played.

Thunderous Cacophony:
In terms of the post-comic blurb, I think what a lot of people are worried about is that for every Batman there's a bevy of Jokers teaching young writers how to follow the rules the corps lay down so the institution they are working for can get free stuff and access to private events (to say what the company wants you to say). I agree that it's easy for lone journalists to be corrupted, but it's a lot harder for, say, EA to find and pay off 150 different reviewers and bloggers to give a positive review to the new Battlefront than it would be for them to call up the top 10 gaming websites, talk to the editor that they've known for years, and subtly push for a better score.

You're likely to take this with a grain of salt, but I'm pretty much certain that shit doesn't happen outside a few isolated cases. Very few sites actually have the raw readership to be worth that kind of pressure and for most journos working in the business, proof of a publisher pushing for a better score is BIGGER NEWS than the review itself. Based on my own experience and the reviewers in my social circle, I think pressure from readers is a far bigger factor when it comes to inflated scores. Look at the responses to even slightly negative reviews of big titles. Scary stuff.

albino boo:

Furious Rutabaga is a verity of what is know in the UK as the vegetable Swede.

I'm aware of the fact that rutabaga is another word for the vegetable swede. Since Swede can also refer to someone from Sweden it stood to reason that the user name was a thin reference to a real channel ("The Angry Swede" or whatever).

I quote you since I'm uncertain if I've understood correctly: is there a species of rutabaga called the "furious rutabaga"?

I love the blurb. Essentially, yes there is going to have to be an ethics shake up for many people who do youtube reviews. Fortunately people like TotalBiscuit seem to be leading the way by divulging conflicts of interests. I think that will become more common among the big youtubers in the days to come.

You mentioned that you worry about the new comers not having editors to guide them and help mold them. I actually view not having editors as a strength of this new media rather than a weakness. Those who provide content are able to put forth whatever thoughts they want without others managing their words or telling them what they can or can not write. I believe this will lead to more accountability since ones work is ultimately their own responsibility. Also without a filter I hope this leads to a whole range of new and diverse views that we might not have gotten with certain editors dictating what can and cannot be reported on.

ALL HAIL GEOFF KEIGHLEY

ALL HAIL THE EMM ELL GEE

OT: Once games journos will stop being randoms from the street who played games that one time and people with relevant qualifications, maybe then we'd have less problems.

That, or some sort of internal policing.

The Wooster:
You're likely to take this with a grain of salt, but I'm pretty much certain that shit doesn't happen outside a few isolated cases. Very few sites actually have the raw readership to be worth that kind of pressure and for most journos working in the business, proof of a publisher pushing for a better score is BIGGER NEWS than the review itself. Based on my own experience and the reviewers in my social circle, I think pressure from readers is a far bigger factor when it comes to inflated scores. Look at the responses to even slightly negative reviews of big titles. Scary stuff.

Naturally you know more about the actual workings than I do.

When I wrote that I was thinking of Roosterteeth and how they've changed over their career. Some of the guys started as Drunk Gamers and wrote whatever they felt like because no one really noticed or cared about them. Flash forward 15 years, and they're hosting the Youtube coverage of E3 and have The Know, which sometimes feels like it exists to reprint stories from PR firms. There can be (and often is) dissenting opinion, and they openly talk about how they are fans rather than an objective source of news and reviews, but it still puts me on notice. Maybe it's just the Canadian in me talking, but I can see where people are being polite and toning down what they might want to say for the sake of what they should say.

Blazing Hero:
You mentioned that you worry about the new comers not having editors to guide them and help mold them. I actually view not having editors as a strength of this new media rather than a weakness. Those who provide content are able to put forth whatever thoughts they want without others managing their words or telling them what they can or can not write. I believe this will lead to more accountability since ones work is ultimately their own responsibility. Also without a filter I hope this leads to a whole range of new and diverse views that we might not have gotten with certain editors dictating what can and cannot be reported on.

I don't think editors are inherently negative; for one, they are great for telling you when your opinion is trash and that you need to work it over again to actually find the worthwhile points to talk about. I've been on both sides of that equation, though not in a news/video game setting, and I know that a lot of times what seems like unfiltered opinion has gone through rigorous drafting. I do agree that poor editors can have an throttling influence on the writers, though.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
ALL HAIL GEOFF KEIGHLEY

ALL HAIL THE EMM ELL GEE

OT: Once games journos will stop being randoms from the street who played games that one time and people with relevant qualifications, maybe then we'd have less problems.

That, or some sort of internal policing.

For that to work the job would have to not pay like shit and have some degree of real-world prestige. I don't' see that happening any time soon.

The Wooster:

Thunderous Cacophony:
In terms of the post-comic blurb, I think what a lot of people are worried about is that for every Batman there's a bevy of Jokers teaching young writers how to follow the rules the corps lay down so the institution they are working for can get free stuff and access to private events (to say what the company wants you to say). I agree that it's easy for lone journalists to be corrupted, but it's a lot harder for, say, EA to find and pay off 150 different reviewers and bloggers to give a positive review to the new Battlefront than it would be for them to call up the top 10 gaming websites, talk to the editor that they've known for years, and subtly push for a better score.

You're likely to take this with a grain of salt, but I'm pretty much certain that shit doesn't happen outside a few isolated cases. Very few sites actually have the raw readership to be worth that kind of pressure and for most journos working in the business, proof of a publisher pushing for a better score is BIGGER NEWS than the review itself. Based on my own experience and the reviewers in my social circle, I think pressure from readers is a far bigger factor when it comes to inflated scores. Look at the responses to even slightly negative reviews of big titles. Scary stuff.

Also, that's totally not what the Joker would do.

Bedinsis:

I quote you since I'm uncertain if I've understood correctly: is there a species of rutabaga called the "furious rutabaga"?

There is a variety of Swede called furious. Its a heritage vertiy and not much grown these days, must Swedes that are grown are of the hunter vertiy.

The Wooster:

Sigmund Av Volsung:
ALL HAIL GEOFF KEIGHLEY

ALL HAIL THE EMM ELL GEE

OT: Once games journos will stop being randoms from the street who played games that one time and people with relevant qualifications, maybe then we'd have less problems.

That, or some sort of internal policing.

For that to work the job would have to not pay like shit and have some degree of real-world prestige. I don't' see that happening any time soon.

Get humanities and arts students then.

Not like the majority of them will have many good job opportunities after they finish higher education :P

At least here they'd do something at least a bit relevant to their qualifications.

Erin Stout has the best ethics.

The Wooster:
Look at the responses to even slightly negative reviews of big titles. Scary stuff.

comparing 9s with the Holocaust and demanding firings over 8s? What could possibly be scary there, man?

Blazing Hero:
Those who provide content are able to put forth whatever thoughts they want without others managing their words or telling them what they can or can not write. I believe this will lead to more accountability since ones work is ultimately their own responsibility.

Weirdly enough, neither of these things are happening. And that appears to be the joke. For all this concept of a new and different media, we're seeing the same old story, same old song and dance.

Sigmund Av Volsung:

OT: Once games journos will stop being randoms from the street who played games that one time and people with relevant qualifications, maybe then we'd have less problems.

I'm curious as to what relevant qualifications are here.

That, or some sort of internal policing.

That would mean less click-bait and ad revenue. I'm not even sure you can expect that from modern journalism, let alone "games journalism."

Zachary Amaranth:

Sigmund Av Volsung:

OT: Once games journos will stop being randoms from the street who played games that one time and people with relevant qualifications, maybe then we'd have less problems.

I'm curious as to what relevant qualifications are here.

That, or some sort of internal policing.

That would mean less click-bait and ad revenue. I'm not even sure you can expect that from modern journalism, let alone "games journalism."

Anything that prepares people for criticism and cross-reference really. Journalism would be good for the law side of things, but even stuff like History can give a person perspective into objective evaluations, collaboration and scrutiny.

And a man can dream, can't he? ;_;

I do not trust youtubers over journalists by default, quite the opposite. However it is easier for houtubers to earn my trust since I can hear their voice or see their face, as well as following them and learning their faults.

With jounalists I expect a standard, but it's far more impersonal and you have no idea how what they write is reflected compared to who they are, or what place they work at.
Despite journalists supposed higher standards, isn't more curious how exceptionally low they are, compared to the fact that some people are more willing to listen to youtubers instead?

The whole ethics thing about gamergate wasn't a joke you know.

Sigmund Av Volsung:

Anything that prepares people for criticism and cross-reference really. Journalism would be good for the law side of things, but even stuff like History can give a person perspective into objective evaluations, collaboration and scrutiny.

And a man can dream, can't he? ;_;

I don't see that happening for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being there isn't much in the way of a legitimate gaming press to begin with. "Games journalism" has grown up alongside the industry as more a hype man than any sort of actual critical or investigative work. Nintendo Power was one of the big influences on the rise of "games journalism," and I think you're still seeing that influence today. And mostly, that's what the community seems to want.

Until it doesn't go their way.

But what do you mean the "law" side of things? All portions of a publication have to deal with legal issues, and being a journalist doesn't specifically make you a legal authority.

in any case, I can't see actual journalism or criticism going over well in gaming circles. I won't even touch the elephant in the room, but when people flip out because the game they like got a 9, imagine how they'd feel when it got a 6. Jimmies would be rustled, tables would be flipped, and jobs would be threatened.

Simonism451:
Also, that's totally not what the Joker would do.

I just grabbed the first Batman villain that came into my head for the obvious counterpoint to Susan-as-Batman; I don't know his rogue's gallery well enough to say who would be more appropriate, but hopefully the intent was clear.

Zachary Amaranth:

Sigmund Av Volsung:

Anything that prepares people for criticism and cross-reference really. Journalism would be good for the law side of things, but even stuff like History can give a person perspective into objective evaluations, collaboration and scrutiny.

And a man can dream, can't he? ;_;

I don't see that happening for a number of reasons. Not the least of which being there isn't much in the way of a legitimate gaming press to begin with. "Games journalism" has grown up alongside the industry as more a hype man than any sort of actual critical or investigative work. Nintendo Power was one of the big influences on the rise of "games journalism," and I think you're still seeing that influence today. And mostly, that's what the community seems to want.

Until it doesn't go their way.

But what do you mean the "law" side of things? All portions of a publication have to deal with legal issues, and being a journalist doesn't specifically make you a legal authority.

in any case, I can't see actual journalism or criticism going over well in gaming circles. I won't even touch the elephant in the room, but when people flip out because the game they like got a 9, imagine how they'd feel when it got a 6. Jimmies would be rustled, tables would be flipped, and jobs would be threatened.

In regards to copyright law, disclosure, legal practices available to journalists etc.

And that last part is why review scores should go the way of the Dodo. Up to $60 is on the table in a review, and people just skip over all the evaluation to a shiny number at the end >_>

Susan Arendt was the editor we needed, but not the one we deserved. So we'll keep searching for one as strong as her, settling for ethically questionable ones who somehow indirectly convinced "Movie"Bob Chipman and Jim Sterling to leave our at-least-once-humble community.

Sigmund Av Volsung:

In regards to copyright law, disclosure, legal practices available to journalists etc.

Copyright law and legal practices aren't a "journalism" thing. Disclosure is set by ethics standards, which are not legal. They're set by the publication, parent company, or said group agrees to join a standards group. These standards are opt-in, often have low entry bars, and are not enforceable.

More to the point, I find this somewhat unreasonable as a journalistic burden. Even smaller publications have legal departments or consult on legality externally, because it's unrealistic to expect a journalist to be that informed on laws. Similarly, while a journalist can agree to ethical standards, disclosure is (in my experience and that of people I know) generally an editorial call. And there's disclosure without public disclosure, ie disclosing to an editor.

And that last part is why review scores should go the way of the Dodo. Up to $60 is on the table in a review, and people just skip over all the evaluation to a shiny number at the end >_>

Review scores aren't the problem. You don't have similar problems with other media. Games might be up to 60 dollars, or you can be risking hundreds of dollars on a box set for movies/music/TV. Metacritic is still a thing for other media.

And if you think that it's the scores that are the issue, remember that people don't bring up Carolyn Petit's score when they bitch about her GTA review. They bring up that she "hated" it for sexism and that she's "a man." Only one of those things relates to the article, and it's not particularly true. The other one isn't, either, but gender identity arguments on gaming sites are slowly killing my soul. The point being, the score doesn't even come up most of the time. Though, as a 9/10, I'm sure it was "literal Hitlers."

People called for her job over this, even though it was a small portion of the review.

Xman490:
Susan Arendt was the editor we needed, but not the one we deserved. So we'll keep searching for one as strong as her, settling for ethically questionable ones who somehow indirectly convinced "Movie"Bob Chipman and Jim Sterling to leave our at-least-once-humble community.

Does that mean she's going to have to fight some weird dude in a mask and then fake her own death?

Because that's a rough life. She deserves better.

Interesting image reversal for someone who previously showed up on a billboard saying "All men are rapists". I wonder if that's going to come up later in this arc.

Zachary Amaranth:

Sigmund Av Volsung:

In regards to copyright law, disclosure, legal practices available to journalists etc.

Copyright law and legal practices aren't a "journalism" thing. Disclosure is set by ethics standards, which are not legal. They're set by the publication, parent company, or said group agrees to join a standards group. These standards are opt-in, often have low entry bars, and are not enforceable.

More to the point, I find this somewhat unreasonable as a journalistic burden. Even smaller publications have legal departments or consult on legality externally, because it's unrealistic to expect a journalist to be that informed on laws. Similarly, while a journalist can agree to ethical standards, disclosure is (in my experience and that of people I know) generally an editorial call. And there's disclosure without public disclosure, ie disclosing to an editor.

And that last part is why review scores should go the way of the Dodo. Up to $60 is on the table in a review, and people just skip over all the evaluation to a shiny number at the end >_>

Review scores aren't the problem. You don't have similar problems with other media. Games might be up to 60 dollars, or you can be risking hundreds of dollars on a box set for movies/music/TV. Metacritic is still a thing for other media.

And if you think that it's the scores that are the issue, remember that people don't bring up Carolyn Petit's score when they bitch about her GTA review. They bring up that she "hated" it for sexism and that she's "a man." Only one of those things relates to the article, and it's not particularly true. The other one isn't, either, but gender identity arguments on gaming sites are slowly killing my soul. The point being, the score doesn't even come up most of the time. Though, as a 9/10, I'm sure it was "literal Hitlers."

People called for her job over this, even though it was a small portion of the review.

They are essential practices, but Journalism courses and degrees familiarise and help students internalise those principles. SuperBunnyHop is a fantastic example, and it shines through all of his work and I believe it's precisely because of said qualification.

It's not asking them to practice law or memorise it a la Law degrees, but to have a tangible understanding of it beyond what we already have, such as relationships to sources. Maybe not necessarily law then in retrospect, but even a smidgen of comprehension of copyright law would help clear up a lot of problems, especially in new media like YouTube. It's not about practising it, but having respect for and understanding of what you're dealing with. Journalistic practices and law go hand in hand:

In almost every circumstance, a journalist will need to:

Work long hours
Carry an unpredictable schedule
Be able to ask difficult questions, often in an emotionally charged situation
Follow current events, always looking for a story opportunity
Be able to develop a source
Pitch story ideas to editors and producers
Attend news conferences
Stay up to date with privacy, contempt and defamation laws

source: http://www.journalismdegree.com/journalist-job-description/

And whilst review scores aren't the main problem, they're a pretty large part of the problem. Movies don't cost nearly as much as games do; you don't have to buy a machine dedicated to gaming upfront nor do you have to accept $60 as a standard. They are also way shorter, so if you wasted time and money on a bad movie, it doesn't sting nearly as bad as say, spending $60 on a bad game that you played for umpteen hours. Also piracy of other platforms is much more commonplace, so if a movie doesn't grab your interest or you don't want to spend money on it, you could just pirate it later. This is especially endemic for music.

Therefore that sort of accessibility works well with said media. It's quicker, and less demanding than video games. Review scores work there.

And yes, the sense of investment that a lot of gamers have towards their games is problematic, but that brings things back to what I said initially: there's a lack of professionalism in games journalism. There's no respect for journos, and that's because they literally are just other gamers. Gamers who may have spent more time thinking and writing about games than other people, but still on the same tier. There's no real qualifications separating them from everyone else, so scrutinising them is a lot easier, especially when we have Let's Plays where literally anyone can have a platform to talk about games.

Then there's also the fact that GTA V reviews were followed by ravenous hordes of maniacal fanboys and you get the perfect shitstorm. Especially with the extra spice of discussing gender. However, that last part I believe is just growing pains.

albino boo:
I would take the quite competence of Susan Arendt over that of the polemic, of how shall we say, a former editor with name in common with a Yugoslav dictator.

Um, is it Rudi? Maybe Novak? Oh, I bet it's Walter.

private criticism in general, is far more vulnerable to what are considered the core problems with traditional games journalism: bias, pandering, clickbait, full blown journalistic ethical violations.

This line is funnier than the comic. Tell me, how can Private Criticism violate journalistic ethics? As private criticism, there is an innate understanding that it's the opinion of one person and therefor obviously biased to that one persons beliefs. There's nothing wrong with an private person having a bias, especially since it's usually obvious what that bias is. Also, anyone who's got a large following probably did it by having a set gimmick, and would be unlikely to change that gimmick to pander.

I've never seen any Youtube video with more clickbaity than actual news sights like AOL (huffingtonpost).

Thunderous Cacophony:
I wonder if I could get away with stealing the punchline and using it in the "come up with the most flamewar-causing thread title" thread...

In terms of the post-comic blurb, I think what a lot of people are worried about is that for every Batman there's a bevy of Jokers teaching young writers how to follow the rules the corps lay down so the institution they are working for can get free stuff and access to private events (to say what the company wants you to say). I agree that it's easy for lone journalists to be corrupted, but it's a lot harder for, say, EA to find and pay off 150 different reviewers and bloggers to give a positive review to the new Battlefront than it would be for them to call up the top 10 gaming websites, talk to the editor that they've known for years, and subtly push for a better score.

It's definitely not impossible for those lone journalists to be corrupted, and there's other pitfalls specific to going it alone, but it diffuses the ability of a company to do something quickly and make it appear unanimous.

Except Warner bros did exactly that for the Shadow of Morodor release, anyone that wouldn't agree was shut out.

Them skulls. It seems like skull is the mortal enemy of the Sarkeesian.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Get humanities and arts students then.

Not like the majority of them will have many good job opportunities after they finish higher education :P

At least here they'd do something at least a bit relevant to their qualifications.

Except when people do that it leads to bitching about Polygon and Kotaku. They post what they want, and while they're often criticised for being shit, they get more hate nowadays for having the "wrong" opinions.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
They are essential practices, but Journalism courses and degrees familiarise and help students internalise those principles. SuperBunnyHop is a fantastic example, and it shines through all of his work and I believe it's precisely because of said qualification.

Actually George pretty much stated that his qualifications are meaningless and that the only thing he got out of his education is connections with the people who had a hand in his education.

Thats not really a new thing by the way. I've met a number of folk personally whose education go back decades that say that a journalism degree is usually only worth the paper that its printed on, with the only common exception being when somebody with few scruples wants to hire you solely so that they can use your degree as a shield from criticism.

Thunderous Cacophony:
When I wrote that I was thinking of Roosterteeth and how they've changed over their career. Some of the guys started as Drunk Gamers and wrote whatever they felt like because no one really noticed or cared about them. Flash forward 15 years, and they're hosting the Youtube coverage of E3 and have The Know, which sometimes feels like it exists to reprint stories from PR firms. There can be (and often is) dissenting opinion, and they openly talk about how they are fans rather than an objective source of news and reviews, but it still puts me on notice. Maybe it's just the Canadian in me talking, but I can see where people are being polite and toning down what they might want to say for the sake of what they should say.

To be fair, I don't think RoosterTeeth have ever put on any pretensions of being a serious source of objective journalism. They're fans making fan content, and on its own merits there's nothing wrong with that.

OT: I definitely think some people are a little too enamoured with the youtube community. On both plains there are those with and without integrity, but I think we'd all do batter to keep in mind that the flip-side of something being 'indie' is also that it's usually completely unregulated.

Ukomba:

private criticism in general, is far more vulnerable to what are considered the core problems with traditional games journalism: bias, pandering, clickbait, full blown journalistic ethical violations.

This line is funnier than the comic. Tell me, how can Private Criticism violate journalistic ethics? As private criticism, there is an innate understanding that it's the opinion of one person and therefor obviously biased to that one persons beliefs.

As opposed to mainstream reviews which are written by teams of elves. Yes. I see your point.

MarsAtlas:
Them skulls. It seems like skull is the mortal enemy of the Sarkeesian.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Get humanities and arts students then.

Not like the majority of them will have many good job opportunities after they finish higher education :P

At least here they'd do something at least a bit relevant to their qualifications.

Except when people do that it leads to bitching about Polygon and Kotaku. They post what they want, and while they're often criticised for being shit, they get more hate nowadays for having the "wrong" opinions.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
They are essential practices, but Journalism courses and degrees familiarise and help students internalise those principles. SuperBunnyHop is a fantastic example, and it shines through all of his work and I believe it's precisely because of said qualification.

Actually George pretty much stated that his qualifications are meaningless and that the only thing he got out of his education is connections with the people who had a hand in his education.

Thats not really a new thing by the way. I've met a number of folk personally whose education go back decades that say that a journalism degree is usually only worth the paper that its printed on, with the only common exception being when somebody with few scruples wants to hire you solely so that they can use your degree as a shield from criticism.

Kotaku and Polygon's problems are an attitude of rejection towards games overall and single-mindedness whilst still working within the same systems as everyone else.

Not a fair comparison imo, especially not from people who talk about "politics in the Philippines" during a press event. They follow Vice's example of journalism, though without the camera to back up their politics.

So just like the Vice web articles then.

And the point still stands. Qualifications "like" journalism are useful, and would help make games journalism not a job people do when there's literally nothing else but make it something that they actually want to apply themselves to and work on. George says it doesn't make a difference, but his presentation is marginally different to anyone else, and the investigations he has run put big sites to shame.

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