Rutabaga Rising

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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.

You don't even need to see them being polite and toning down, they've outright admitted it on their podcast multiple times. They know so many developpers on a personal level that they don't feel comfortable trashing anybody's work, and for the most part if they don't like something, they'd rather just not talk about it at all instead of badmouthing it. There are some exceptions, usually on their The Patch podcast, where they're more willing to talk about things they just don't like, but for the most part they actively avoid trashing anything. And if you find that they ARE trashing something, then that means you know that thing REALLY pissed them off.

Man, I miss Susan.

I hope she gets to read that blurb. I'm guessing she'll like that nickname.

'I had Susan Arendt as my editor. As anyone who's worked with Susan will tell you, she's basically the editorial equivalent of Batman.'

Seconded. Hell, Thirded if necessary. She was brilliant to work with.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
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.

In other words, "yeah well, they just, like, have the wrong opinions, man". You ask why don't people with humanities degree don't cover games. They do, and when they do people bash them for holding opinions and say stuff like "they hate games" or "they're not even gamers". There's plenty of things worth criticizing them over, and you went for the "they hate games" angle. Kind of proves the point.

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.

Journalistic qualifictions are not on a piece of paper. A well qualified journalist is witty, experienced, good at networking, and a willingness to investigate throughly. None of that comes with a degree. Nor is it profitible in the digital age, by the way. People aren't going to do it when they can make more money with an actual full-time job.

The Wooster:

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.

Well, I don't know about you.

Also, now I miss having Susan around here again. :c

Anyway, thought provoking and funny comic. =w= b

MarsAtlas:

Sigmund Av Volsung:
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.

In other words, "yeah well, they just, like, have the wrong opinions, man". You ask why don't people with humanities degree don't cover games. They do, and when they do people bash them for holding opinions and say stuff like "they hate games" or "they're not even gamers". There's plenty of things worth criticizing them over, and you went for the "they hate games" angle. Kind of proves the point.

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.

Journalistic qualifictions are not on a piece of paper. A well qualified journalist is witty, experienced, good at networking, and a willingness to investigate throughly. None of that comes with a degree. Nor is it profitible in the digital age, by the way. People aren't going to do it when they can make more money with an actual full-time job.

Offhandedly mentioning problems with gender depiction in a game whilst pretending that there won't be people who will target a review for said feature is just bad. It makes assumptions and is dismissive and single minded.

Polygon has been doing this for a long while as well. Doesn't mean that I don't appreciate some of their work or think that their opinions are bad. Opinions are meaningless, arguments are worth a damn, and if they're badly formed, then that reflects carelessness in execution. This happens often with both of the sites you mentioned.

Don't know why you assume I'm attacking them. I just don't like them. I liked some of their articles, particularly Russ Pitt's coverage of Spec Ops The Line, but that Rock Band 4 article is absolutely terrible.

And education isn't just a piece of paper either. It's learning, it's picking up techniques and applying what was taught in real life. I'm not talking about stuff printed on the back of takeout menus. Education can help inspire those said qualities, because they sure as hell aren't going to be tempered by what's on the table in games journalism today.

Besides, all degrees outside of ones with high employment rates like Engineering are a waste of time anyway. Few land people the jobs they want.

The Wooster:

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.

No, as in, when you see a private criticism you can tell it's coming from that persons personal view point, and actual Journalism makes the claim that they are unbiased reporters of the news.

There is a certain level of respect granted, fairly or unfairly, to News organizations. If DinkySharkFighter32 says Sarkeesian is a scam artist, people will shrug it off as personal bias regardless of the number of followers. If the New York times says Sarkeesian is a scam artist, it's a much different mater.

Where Private Criticism focuses on the person doing the Criticism, People tend not to pay attention to the Journalist doing the writing and attribute the report to the organization they are reporting for. Anything posted here, for example, by any of the staff relies on the credibility of the sight more than the journalist themselves. As a result, it's important for editors of the sight to hold to a standard so as to not let individuals tarnish the groups reputation. Without the ethics, what separates legitimate news organization from a trash gossip mills like Gawker or TMZ?

Despite not being I've seen non-journalists hold themselves to an ethical standard better than many News outlets, and whom I tend to trust more because they are upfront and honest about their biases.

Does Ardent still accept apprentices, by chance? A few batarangs ought to contuse some of my worse writing out rather quickly.

Having someone that can reign you in when you're galloping in the entirely wrong direction can be just as useful as having the freedom to do it. Having an editor or a producer doesn't have to be a noose around your creativity, if they're doing what they're supposed to do, they're the oven that bakes it into something better than it was.

Bedinsis:

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"?

Heh, I think I remember there being a few 'Angry Swede'-sketches in the Sheep in the Big City cartoon. Can't for my life find them, though. Can't be long until we'll get one on Youtube, though. Being an Angry X seems to be a common practice.

"Dis game SUCKS! DON'T BUY IT! Jävla horungar!! plz like n subscribe!"

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Offhandedly mentioning problems with gender depiction in a game whilst pretending that there won't be people who will target a review for said feature is just bad. It makes assumptions and is dismissive and single minded.

They don't pretend that there's people who care about different things that they do. They just don't cater to those people. They cover Thing A and Thing B in their reviews. That means that people who care about Thing A but not Thing B, or vice versa, aren't their concern. They're concerned about writing something for people who are interested about Thing A and Thing B in a game.

As for being "single-minded", why do you act like its surprising or unexpected that somebody who took a degree in humanities would, when writing. be concerned about, you know, the humanities?

Polygon has been doing this for a long while as well. Doesn't mean that I don't appreciate some of their work or think that their opinions are bad. Opinions are meaningless, arguments are worth a damn, and if they're badly formed, then that reflects carelessness in execution. This happens often with both of the sites you mentioned.

Oh yes, their articles are usually crap, but people don't bitch about them because they're crap, they bitch about them because they have the "wrong" opinions. Well, thats the overwhelming majority of it nowadays. Hell, Grey Carter, who usually writes these comics, said on Twitter before that he feels that he can't in good conscience bash Kotaku anymore because most of it nowadays is anger over the "wrong" opinions being presented.

And education isn't just a piece of paper either. It's learning, it's picking up techniques and applying what was taught in real life. I'm not talking about stuff printed on the back of takeout menus. Education can help inspire those said qualities, because they sure as hell aren't going to be tempered by what's on the table in games journalism today.

Skills used in journalism aren't things you can learn in the classroom. The most a person might get out of it is having to read literature about history, procedure, even ethics, but thats hardly content exclusive to people in those classes.

Ukomba:
No, as in, when you see a private criticism you can tell it's coming from that persons personal view point, and actual Journalism makes the claim that they are unbiased reporters of the news... Without the ethics

You're conflating being objective with being ethical. Problem is, some things are inherently subjective. You know, like game reviews. They're not merely a presentation of content, you can get that from screenshots, recorded footage, and even information wikis. Reviews are a comment on what is included. A review of Borderlands isn't being helpful if it says "there's millions of possible combinations of guns". Yeah, we understand that, its on the box of the game. What we want to know is if these millions of combinations are in any way substantial, that we actually get guns that feel different or if we'll be plinking away through the long game with increasingly tedious gameplay.

Zachary Amaranth:

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.

I have to agree with that. The guy here that reviewed the Dragon Age games is another example. It is OK if he thinks the game is 10, but he simply failed to point out any possible issues people would have with the games - the whole articles felt amateurish and poorly researched.

I do not think he was bought, I do not think he was going the "easy way" (specially because he knew he was going to get flack for the Dragon Age Inquisition review), I even think he was insightful sometimes in other reviews, he was just being more a fan than a journalist, which is not what most people expect from a news site.

Susan's always been my favourite editor of the ones we had here, I liked Russ too but she was the best, I hope she knows how much people actually respect her work.

MarsAtlas:

Ukomba:
No, as in, when you see a private criticism you can tell it's coming from that persons personal view point, and actual Journalism makes the claim that they are unbiased reporters of the news... Without the ethics

You're conflating being objective with being ethical. Problem is, some things are inherently subjective. You know, like game reviews. They're not merely a presentation of content, you can get that from screenshots, recorded footage, and even information wikis. Reviews are a comment on what is included. A review of Borderlands isn't being helpful if it says "there's millions of possible combinations of guns". Yeah, we understand that, its on the box of the game. What we want to know is if these millions of combinations are in any way substantial, that we actually get guns that feel different or if we'll be plinking away through the long game with increasingly tedious gameplay.

Not really. Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news, any code of ethics needs to take objectivity into account otherwise what is be disseminated can easily shift away from news and to propaganda or advertising. If CNET is getting a million dollars from Samsung, then there is an conflict of interests set up and could result in a violation of ethics. That Jim Sterling episode is complete BS. I've seen Total Biscuit do an excellent job of giving informative objective information about a game. It's helped by his format of doing a sort of Mini-LetsPlay of it while reviewing it to show specific mechanics and graphics. He's also open about his own likes and dislikes about a particular genre of game and has recommended games he doesn't personally like. He also makes it clear when it's a promotional video. I'm not saying all bias needs to be eliminated, but transparency is important.

Ukomba:

MarsAtlas:

Ukomba:
No, as in, when you see a private criticism you can tell it's coming from that persons personal view point, and actual Journalism makes the claim that they are unbiased reporters of the news... Without the ethics

You're conflating being objective with being ethical. Problem is, some things are inherently subjective. You know, like game reviews. They're not merely a presentation of content, you can get that from screenshots, recorded footage, and even information wikis. Reviews are a comment on what is included. A review of Borderlands isn't being helpful if it says "there's millions of possible combinations of guns". Yeah, we understand that, its on the box of the game. What we want to know is if these millions of combinations are in any way substantial, that we actually get guns that feel different or if we'll be plinking away through the long game with increasingly tedious gameplay.

Not really. Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news, any code of ethics needs to take objectivity into account otherwise what is be disseminated can easily shift away from news and to propaganda or advertising. If CNET is getting a million dollars from Samsung, then there is an conflict of interests set up and could result in a violation of ethics. That Jim Sterling episode is complete BS. I've seen Total Biscuit do an excellent job of giving informative objective information about a game. It's helped by his format of doing a sort of Mini-LetsPlay of it while reviewing it to show specific mechanics and graphics. He's also open about his own likes and dislikes about a particular genre of game and has recommended games he doesn't personally like. He also makes it clear when it's a promotional video. I'm not saying all bias needs to be eliminated, but transparency is important.

Conflict of interest has nothing to do with the fact that reviews are subjective. Conflicts of interest are important whether the subject matter is an objective report or a subjective editorial.

Anywho, the problem is people saying that saying anything subjective about a game in a game review, where the whole point is to give your opinion as to the game's qualities or lack thereof, is unethical. You cannot give objective information about a game that cannot be gathered simply be reading the back of the box or watching the gameplay. People don't go to a review to find "how many guns are in the game?", they can get that one of a dozen different ways. That doesn't give them an idea as to whether the gunplay is any good or not. TB is always subjective. The very nature of saying "its not for me, but I think people who like 'x' and 'y' might like it" is subjective. If I play Game A, and I don't like it while some people do, and then down the line I play Game B, which plays similarly to Game A, and I don't like it, I'm using my own subjective feelings about my experience with both games to make a stab in the dark as to if somebody might like it or not. I could just as easily be wrong as I am right when I make a recommendation because my judgment is being entirely informed by the fact that I had similar feelings when playing both games. Feelings, which are by their nature subjective. There are no objective markers for the quality of a game. Its entirely subjective, and recommendations are entirely subjective. Nobody goes "Halo has gun shooting gameplay. Ride to Hell also has gun shooting gameplay. Therefore, if you like Halo, you'll like Ride to Hell."

Why did she have to go to Youtube to make something like this? Clickbait headline, product placement? obviously bought for coverage? Erin could EASILY get a job at Kotaku, Polygon or IGN with that sense of ethics.

MarsAtlas:

Sigmund Av Volsung:
Offhandedly mentioning problems with gender depiction in a game whilst pretending that there won't be people who will target a review for said feature is just bad. It makes assumptions and is dismissive and single minded.

They don't pretend that there's people who care about different things that they do. They just don't cater to those people. They cover Thing A and Thing B in their reviews. That means that people who care about Thing A but not Thing B, or vice versa, aren't their concern. They're concerned about writing something for people who are interested about Thing A and Thing B in a game.

As for being "single-minded", why do you act like its surprising or unexpected that somebody who took a degree in humanities would, when writing. be concerned about, you know, the humanities?

Polygon has been doing this for a long while as well. Doesn't mean that I don't appreciate some of their work or think that their opinions are bad. Opinions are meaningless, arguments are worth a damn, and if they're badly formed, then that reflects carelessness in execution. This happens often with both of the sites you mentioned.

Oh yes, their articles are usually crap, but people don't bitch about them because they're crap, they bitch about them because they have the "wrong" opinions. Well, thats the overwhelming majority of it nowadays. Hell, Grey Carter, who usually writes these comics, said on Twitter before that he feels that he can't in good conscience bash Kotaku anymore because most of it nowadays is anger over the "wrong" opinions being presented.

And education isn't just a piece of paper either. It's learning, it's picking up techniques and applying what was taught in real life. I'm not talking about stuff printed on the back of takeout menus. Education can help inspire those said qualities, because they sure as hell aren't going to be tempered by what's on the table in games journalism today.

Skills used in journalism aren't things you can learn in the classroom. The most a person might get out of it is having to read literature about history, procedure, even ethics, but thats hardly content exclusive to people in those classes.

It's not about catering to an audience, it's brazenly entering a sensitive and relevant discussion without properly exploring it. It's sloppy writing and reflects a lack of respect for their viewership. If something like gender will get brought up in a review and how it relates to the game in question, then they need to cover their bases and enter an actual discussion. If it doesn't work with the word count, then excise other elements as it is just otherwise poor writing. Not taking alternatives into account when brining up topics is presumptuous.

It isn't content exclusive, but games journalism sure as hell doesn't teach people how to learn "on the job". The vast majority of self-professed critics are pundits, and when your job is just to pronounce opinions to your audience, you're sure as hell not going to learn much either.

At least in a classroom the idea of professionalism will be hammered home as a necessity not as an option, and that is valuable learning in of itself.

Im sorry what? "Guys dont beware of the youtubers! They are much more vulnerable to corruption then the completly corrupt game journo scene! Honestly i swear!"

I have yet to see someone getting fired from polaris because he gave Kane and Linch a low score.. nor have i seen angry joe, totalbiscuit or any of the others being "sponsored" by mountain dew and doritos...

Whats more is so far the "private" youtubers have uncovered more dirty laundry of the games industry in the last two years or so then the entire game journo scene together wich is more concerned about BS gender politics then actually whats going on in the gaming world, most of them are CONSTANTLY worried about themselves breaking any work ethics and rather NOT do work for gaming companies then to go against their own standards (see TBs latest vid about that) and so far have allways been upfront when they did paid vids for companies/dev studios.

Not only that but i have yet to see ONE of those guys shill for any company like the "professionals" have been doing for YEARS

To stand here and wag the finger at the youtubers who so far have had NO scandals whatsoever when it comes to being outright bought by corporate entities? Someones awfully proud of his high horse here.

Also calling them "youtube kids" when they nowadays reach more people then any traditional gaming website/outlet? Sounds more like jealousy honestly.

NinjaDeathSlap:
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.

My opinion about it changes with the weather. On the one hand, there's nothing wrong with being fans, or doing fan publications. As Gizen pointed out, Burnie has been vocal about it in the past that they don't see themselves as an objective source. I can accept that, and I sometimes appreciate that they are just people who want to talk about games they enjoy without any critical baggage. God knows that after a dip into some of the threads here a good rinse off with The Patch does wonders for my mood.

On the other, here's the blurb for The Know on Youtube: "Video game news. Movie news. TV news. Tech news. Science News. And a whole lot of opinions. The folks at Rooster Teeth have everything you need to stay in The Know."

That doesn't give any hint about them being fans, and it's not uncommon for The Know not to mention when Roosterteeth is working with a company to make commercials. There are more than 644,000 subscribers and almost 100 million views of their videos, and if you watched one without prior knowledge you'd have no way of differentiating it's quality from something put out by SourceFed or any other group that proudly says that they not only provide news, but are journalists while doing so. It seems to be having the cake and eating it too, like the cable 'news' shows where they insinuate every claim they make so that they can't be held legally accountable if it's wrong.

Zachary Amaranth:

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.

No, she wasn't our "Batman". She was our "Harvey Dent", who left a strong impression but left before we could become free of our cruel impulses. And so, aggressive SJWs (led by Sarkeesian as "Bane" I guess) and outsiders in general threaten to destroy our whole "gamer" society (or at least the most corrupted parts of it; the analogy kinda falls apart there), because some of us didn't listen. We are still corrupt.

~I'll make a joke about how I knew she was stealing kids all along, joking obviously, I havn't even seen her work~

I knew i-

~Notices the comments about games journalism/ethics~

Sigmund Av Volsung:
It's not about catering to an audience, it's brazenly entering a sensitive and relevant discussion without properly exploring it. It's sloppy writing and reflects a lack of respect for their viewership.

Well really I think it reflects more a lack of professionalism and that they think of it as a personal blog. Which it kinda is, to be honest.

If something like gender will get brought up in a review and how it relates to the game in question, then they need to cover their bases and enter an actual discussion.

But its not a discussion, its a review. Its not a forum thread, its a declarative article. Its not a conversation, its a speech. Thats the whole point of the review - they state their thoughts, and if you value their thoughts, you take their thoughts into consideration. You read their opinion, you value their opinion or you don't, and then you move on. If somebody does a shoe review and then they state that the shoes in question were made using child labour, you don't need to have an open forum about the use of child labour in industry. What they consider important is made obvious by what they cite in the review. If you don't think the use of child labour in the contstruction of your shoes is important then the review isn't relevant to your sensibilities and you move on. You don't go on about "how dare they mention that they used child labour without having a debate as to whether its good or not". The people reading the reviews are adults with their own opinions who have their own values in what is important when spending their own money. They seek a review not to engage in philosophical discourse, but to see the merits of the product in question. If the reviewer values different things than the person reading the review, the reviewer didn't do anything wrong, they just value different things and thats that.

It isn't content exclusive, but games journalism sure as hell doesn't teach people how to learn "on the job". The vast majority of self-professed critics are pundits, and when your job is just to pronounce opinions to your audience, you're sure as hell not going to learn much either.

True, but there really isn't much in the realm of journalism in the first place. Its an entertainment industry, so there's not really much to investigate unless you enter the realm of TMZ with tabloid coverage. The rest is covering an entertainment product, the people who make that, and possibly giving your own opinion in the form of editorials.

At least in a classroom the idea of professionalism will be hammered home as a necessity not as an option, and that is valuable learning in of itself.

And then that lesson is proven untrue by the current state of journalism. Labourous, investigative journalism is shrinking while bullshit like Fox News and MSNBC are growing. Newspapers are dying and blogs are replacing them. Because they have to pay off tons of debt for the cost of their education, it makes them need well-paying work even more.

Thunderous Cacophony:

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.

What you said in your earlier comment would be more like Ra's al-Ghul, Head of the League of Assassins.

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.

And the Loading Ready Run crew. So many great people left us all at once.

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.

I'd lean more towards "never" after the shitstorm last year.
Trying to shame an entire culture by smearing their most general identity tends to do that.

The current gaming press is living on borrowed time, including this site sadly.

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.

No seriously, what is it referring to?

MarsAtlas:

Sigmund Av Volsung:
It's not about catering to an audience, it's brazenly entering a sensitive and relevant discussion without properly exploring it. It's sloppy writing and reflects a lack of respect for their viewership.

Well really I think it reflects more a lack of professionalism and that they think of it as a personal blog. Which it kinda is, to be honest.

If something like gender will get brought up in a review and how it relates to the game in question, then they need to cover their bases and enter an actual discussion.

But its not a discussion, its a review. Its not a forum thread, its a declarative article. Its not a conversation, its a speech. Thats the whole point of the review - they state their thoughts, and if you value their thoughts, you take their thoughts into consideration. You read their opinion, you value their opinion or you don't, and then you move on. If somebody does a shoe review and then they state that the shoes in question were made using child labour, you don't need to have an open forum about the use of child labour in industry. What they consider important is made obvious by what they cite in the review. If you don't think the use of child labour in the contstruction of your shoes is important then the review isn't relevant to your sensibilities and you move on. You don't go on about "how dare they mention that they used child labour without having a debate as to whether its good or not". The people reading the reviews are adults with their own opinions who have their own values in what is important when spending their own money. They seek a review not to engage in philosophical discourse, but to see the merits of the product in question. If the reviewer values different things than the person reading the review, the reviewer didn't do anything wrong, they just value different things and thats that.

It isn't content exclusive, but games journalism sure as hell doesn't teach people how to learn "on the job". The vast majority of self-professed critics are pundits, and when your job is just to pronounce opinions to your audience, you're sure as hell not going to learn much either.

True, but there really isn't much in the realm of journalism in the first place. Its an entertainment industry, so there's not really much to investigate unless you enter the realm of TMZ with tabloid coverage. The rest is covering an entertainment product, the people who make that, and possibly giving your own opinion in the form of editorials.

At least in a classroom the idea of professionalism will be hammered home as a necessity not as an option, and that is valuable learning in of itself.

And then that lesson is proven untrue by the current state of journalism. Labourous, investigative journalism is shrinking while bullshit like Fox News and MSNBC are growing. Newspapers are dying and blogs are replacing them. Because they have to pay off tons of debt for the cost of their education, it makes them need well-paying work even more.

That brings me back to my earlier point about how they can get brazen. Off-handedly mention a theme in a game and pretend to ignore the context in which it is created. It's absent mindedness.

It'd be like talking about The Blacker The Berry, off-handedly saying that you disagree with the message because you think it encourages disdain between races and then just leaving it at that.

You just wouldn't do that. You'd either leave it as "the message can be interpreted as incendiary" or you go full in and discuss it. You shouldn't half-ass it.

And whilst it is the entertainment industry, it's fairly young. There's a lot to research and to investigate. Recent goings on at Konami are proof enough that there's value to be had for anonymous sources. A lot of money is at stake, and unlike TMZ which stalks people who are famous for being famous, there's a lot of money circulating games and the production thereof.

Fox News and MNSBC may be on the rise, but that goes for as long as they can perpetuate that same ball of hate and vitriol that fuels Twitter. And even that is tanking in revenue.

Besides, after Snowden and Wikileaks, I doubt that investigative journalism is dying. Limping maybe, but those events have inspired enough people to do some actual investigation in general Journalism.

I think I just learned something today... Google's real name is not Susan...

Also, that Youtube name's acronym is soft on the keystrokes...

I miss Susan. She gave me a good talk to after I said something stupid and got suspended for the first time. Really cheered me up.

No matter who, no matter where, there's always going to be a healthy level of bullshit.

It's kind of a different problem between the two- much like you're likely to find a different problem between individuals and groups.

Journalists with oversight and an editor may have some standards. (And yeah, I'll throw with others who say that it seems Susan Arendt did a great job.) But if there's something wrong at an institution, it's not unlikely that it's been codified- 'x' is okay, and if you think otherwise, you will either be gradually swayed by the environment or find yourself quietly stifling your dissent. The wagons turn outward, and it's easier to drown out any sort of outside criticism.

Youtubers have standards that are more based on their audience- what draws them in and what gets them hate-mail. If there's more of the latter and less of the former, most independents tend to flame out pretty quickly. It's probably true that this encourages some click-baity behavior, but I think most people who aren't looking for something short-term shoot more for consistency- creating a comfortable "home" where people know what they're going to find.

And if a solo Youtuber makes a habit of lying or publicity stunts, there aren't any scapegoats to jettison.

I'm not trying to say conventional journalists are bad and Youtubers are good, or that one is corrupt and the other self-correcting. There are plenty of examples of very good journalists with high standards and Youtubers who are everything that people hate about the Internet. But I think they both have their own problems, parallel but not identical, and different ways of responding to those problems.

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.

Not necessarily the case, nor does pointing to a general job description mean you'll be held to that in the real world. I've written reviews and reported for money, and my father spent a decade or more as a reviewer.

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.

And if I wrote a review that mentioned GTA's sexism, do you honestly think it would be taken better?

I actually did, on a blog which has gone more in depth about my experience (Which I've gone out of my way to not link to my profile or activities), and I got a pretty nasty response from people who have issue with "social justice warriors," people who think I'm "not a real gamer" and people who were just upset that I criticised the game I hate so much I've played it for literally hundreds of hours (my play time on GTA Online can now be measured in months, actually). I have two YouTube channels which have featured GTA footage and one of them is exclusively GTA footage at this point, and this isn't enough demonstration of my cred as a "gamer." Which, for the record, I'm not, but that's another story.

For the record, I believe GTA V is my highest-reviewed game ever to be posted on said blog. It still wasn't enough. Because I gave some readers the sads by bringing up legitimate points that they just didn't like.

Thankfully, I don't have a large reader base, so I probably avoided most of the shitstorm that comes with daring to say honest things about video games.

Because I tried to talk to GamerGate about journalistic standards and practice from my (again, admittedly limited) experience with journalistic ethics, and they threatened to kill, rape, and out me.

Then there's also the fact that GTA V reviews were followed by ravenous hordes of maniacal fanboys and you get the perfect shitstorm.

Almost every high-profile game is like that. That's kind of the problem. You can't just say "it's GTA." It's any major game. Hell, I've seen it with Dynasty Warriors. Not the death threats and the mentions of sexism, but the outrage that Dynasty Warriors X only got a Y score. Relatively niche markets still have these fits. Hell, I've got crap for being "unfair" to niche games. Or being "too fair" to niche games. Or, basically, speaking about gaming.

zinho73:

I do not think he was bought, I do not think he was going the "easy way" (specially because he knew he was going to get flack for the Dragon Age Inquisition review), I even think he was insightful sometimes in other reviews, he was just being more a fan than a journalist, which is not what most people expect from a news site.

I honestly can't speak to that. I've never play past the first DA game, which I didn't not like. I don't know what the claims are about the game, or the validity of said claims.

If I were to return to GTA, however, I felt like Greg Tito's GTA V review told me more or less what I needed to know about the game. It informed me despite his opinions not matching mine (I didn't care if M,T, and F are terrible people or need a justification to kill things in a video game). A lot of people still took issue with his description of the game's story, characters, and what passes for "satire" (where Greg and I actually are of similar minds). A 3.5 is lower than I would have rated it (or did, since I did rate it) but it meets with the picture he paints: if these numerous things bother you, this is a deserved score. If you don't care, then it probably shouldn't bother you. Gaming reviews should assume a broad variety of players, not just people who want to explode everything in sight.

In fact, one of the good things about sites like Metacritic is that they ostensibly give you a broad range of views. I don't look at aggregate scores so much as why the people are saying what they are. Which, by the way, is why it's bullshit that so many people havce started blaming reviewers for low scores hurting a dev financially. We should be looking for honest reviews, not scores which are padded because "the developer has to eat."

Maybe he was under-critical of DA2, but I have no practical experience to answer that. The reality is I probably won't buy another Bioware game again, barring some radical shift in the company. So I can't talk to Greg's review on the subject. I do, however, know that this followed him through his entire run here.

Darth_Payn:

And the Loading Ready Run crew. So many great people left us all at once.

Eh, to be fair, about the only thing that had somewhat consistent quality while they were here was Unskippable(and even that was bad sometimes, only so many times you can pop the "WTF IS GOING ON" joke for two weeks with Asura's Wrath before it gets stale two minutes in).

They've stopped most sketches now and have mostly just become a podcast group that sometimes does WOTC sponsered content, has inconsistent schedules for streams, and does a poor man's Last Week Tonight once a week that varies in whether the time spent clicking on it is well-spent or not.(personally it's not worth watching if it's three of the girls, especially if Ash isn't one of them)

Zachary Amaranth:
Because I tried to talk to GamerGate about journalistic standards and practice from my (again, admittedly limited) experience with journalistic ethics, and they threatened to kill, rape, and out me.

Do you know for sure if these people were actually supporters of GG and not just some third-party trolls? Can you post screencaps so I can look at those threats myself? Thanks in advance.

Alternatively you could work at gawker where they don't give a shit about ethics either. I find that it's pretty easy to tell the difference between youtubers which have some kind of principles and the ones that don't. The ones that don't can be identified by unbelievably dishonest videos with disabled ratings and comments, and fail to disclose blatant conflicts of interest.

I think its ok. Those that research will find answers, I'm in for all manners of free speech especially and specifically on the internet. Since "internet is not serious business" and one shouldn't take it too seriously to the point of being offended by it, that has always been ridiculous.

Revolutionary:
Alternatively you could work at gawker where they don't give a shit about ethics either. I find that it's pretty easy to tell the difference between youtubers which have some kind of principles and the ones that don't. The ones that don't can be identified by unbelievably dishonest videos with disabled ratings and comments, and fail to disclose blatant conflicts of interest.

Agreed these are the people I'm talking about... Disabling, limiting, censoring stuff isn't necessary. I mean it's your channel do whatever the hell you want with it but don't be surprised if people see you as a person of bad taste. Learning to take it easy is extremely important but well some people just like being miserable I guess.

Glad to see at least one escapist content creator posts comments in their thread, and responds to questions and whatnot.

Nothing against Susan, but am I the only one here who actually liked and respected Tito (yes, including his refusal to blanket-ban GG discussion, despite me not being pro-GG)? Didn't realize I was so alone on this. Is there something else he did to piss people off, or is it really all about that damn controversy?

Thunderous Cacophony:

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.

Obviously, it would go something like this:
"Hey there, new guy, your review of Battlefront was pretty good already but I made some minor adjustments. Here, have a look:

Review: Star Wars Battlefront
Dear Batman,
I hope you are having a good night. I'm doing fine and I have taken the entire IGN staff as hostages and will drop them into the lion cage of the Gotham City Zoo unless you stop me.
Eternally yours,
The Joker.
Score: 9.5/10 The closest thing you will get to being in a Star Wars movie without risking a cease and desist letter from Disney."

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