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Gaming Journalism Needs To Grow Up

GamePro has a great article that gets to the heart of an issue that I have been stewing about for quite some time: the quality of games journalism. Oftentimes, it seems that it consists of previews, reviews and industry news. There is very little investigative reporting, unless you count interviewing a voice actor as investigating and almost no follow-up once a game has been released, unless it is a buggy mess.

Publishers use journalists to get the story they want out there and if you don’t cooperate, they will just limit your access and all of sudden you will find yourself being the only website in the world not having a preview or early review of the latest and hottest game.

This article goes into details about a few issues facing reporters these days and I think it is worth reading. Reporters are not there to cheer or advocate for their favorite games or consoles, that should be clear.

What do you think can be done to improve the state of gaming journalism? Do you even think there is a problem?

Source: GamePro

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Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

12 thoughts on “Gaming Journalism Needs To Grow Up”

  1. I totally agree. I have noticed all the makor Gaming News Magazine are all filled with teasers. previews and more commercails. There is no hardcore news. One of the smaller gaming news show I watch onlline doesn’t have all the early previews and stuff is because they actually belittle the games sore points. Say Nitendo Magazine. Almost all the game in there are always rated like say 4/5 or better.
    It just doesn’t make sense to me but To each man His own choice. If you want to read those gaming magazines. Go Ahead. but note what you are really getting is a bunch of commercials. telling you to buy their games.

  2. I do see where your coming from Anthony, but at the same time I’m not sure what could change.

    A lot of what could come under the banner of investigative reporting, I imagine the developers wouldn’t want to happen because they are trying to keep the nuts and bolts of their games secret until its ready for release. It would be very easy for an early build of a game to get leaked, and then completely redone before release, and if consumers are expecting the leaked version of a game then sales could potentially suffer because of it. I think Zelda Windwaker is a good example of that. Everyone was expecting the adult link game that Nintendo showed at E3 2001 (I think) but when the final version came out with a new art style, it didn’t sell nearly as well as Nintendo were hoping, simply due to gamers expectations.

    And in regards to the follow up of a game – with the exception of a major round of DLC, I imagine that once one game is done most studios quickly move on to the next one in the development pipeline. It would be hard to follow up on a game when the dev team is already focusing on another project.

    Like I said, I do see where your coming from, previews and reviews do tend to dominate most gaming media, but I guess it sells for a reason, that’s what the customer buys.

  3. This is very true but I suppose gaming journalism is still relatively young, hopefully as it matures more journalists will branch out and be more bold, much like the guys here at gamersushi.

  4. I agree completely. Its ridiculous that I get more information from YouTube than I do from GamerInformer. If journalist were less lazy and went out to go get the news (which is their job), then I’d actually have reasons for subscribing to more gaming mags.

  5. [quote comment=”12702″]I agree completely. Its ridiculous that I get more information from YouTube than I do from GamerInformer. If journalist were less lazy and went out to go get the news (which is their job), then I’d actually have reasons for subscribing to more gaming mags.[/quote]
    I think GameInformer has probably the best collection of professional journalists, I have been subscribed to GI since 2001 and I’m still happy with them today.

  6. [quote comment=”12703″][quote comment=”12702″]I agree completely. Its ridiculous that I get more information from YouTube than I do from GamerInformer. If journalist were less lazy and went out to go get the news (which is their job), then I’d actually have reasons for subscribing to more gaming mags.[/quote]
    I think GameInformer has probably the best collection of professional journalists, I have been subscribed to GI since 2001 and I’m still happy with them today.[/quote]

    Electronic Gaming Monthly.

    They did a preview of Assassin’s Creed and really didn’t like it and Ubisoft gave them their review copy later than everyone else.

    Also, they once refused to give a game a cover in exchange for early access and the publisher pulled some ads from the magazine.

    They are true journalists, as far as I can see.

  7. A lot of gaming websites just re-publish press releases or things the PR companies give them and treat it as news.

    There’s very little incentive for them to go out and find stories because gaming is a very insular industry. Just like Anthony mentioned, giving Assassin’s Creed a bad preview caused EGM to have a late review. Ubisoft could get away with that because there’s a dozen other magazines clamoring for their information. Everyone’s afraid of biting the hand that feeds.

  8. [quote comment=”12732″]A lot of gaming websites just re-publish press releases or things the PR companies give them and treat it as news.

    There’s very little incentive for them to go out and find stories because gaming is a very insular industry. Just like Anthony mentioned, giving Assassin’s Creed a bad preview caused EGM to have a late review. Ubisoft could get away with that because there’s a dozen other magazines clamoring for their information. Everyone’s afraid of biting the hand that feeds.[/quote]

    Exactly. If you are going to reprint the press release, give us some analysis as well, don’t just be a Mouth of Sauron for these companies.

  9. I disagree. I rarely see an article inside of GI that hasn’t already been brodacasted to the public. They’re not unprofessional, but they could try to delve deeper and investigate a little more.

  10. I dislike GI for the very reason that in previews, they never (or very rarely) say anything but good for a game.Or if they do, it’s usually a sentence in the final paragraph that’s followed up by something to the effect of “the developer assures us that this will be fixed”

  11. I wish you could get things like Sessler’s soapbox outside of the soapbox setting and in the previews. so far the only real investigative reporting/journalism is through podcasts, soapbox’s, and other lesser read/listened to forms.

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