Without a doubt, the biggest story of the past week has been the extensive leaking of highly spoiler-ish and relevant story and level details from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by the popular gaming site Kotaku. Modern Warfare 3 is easily the most anticipated game of the year, in terms of popularity and, of course, financially, so a story like this would naturally attract tons of attention. It’s easy to see why: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest game of all time at its launch, now surpassed only by Call of Duty: Black Ops and likely to be surpassed again by Modern Warfare 3. It’s not exactly a mystery why this leak generated such a huge response.
But something bothers me a great deal about this. I think this is a huge story, but not for the reasons that most others do. I think Kotaku erred in leaking these details. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Kotaku commited a very great wrong, one that not only damages Activision and the Call of Duty brand, but also the entire video game industry and its myriad partners, including the world of video game journalism. And the fact that only a select few have even noticed this bothers me even more.
You see, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I truly believe that journalism, even video game and entertainment journalism, is a noble profession with a set of ethics that all who practice it should adhere to. Journalism is there to protect people by exposing lies and keeping the powers that be honest. Reporters take the time to check the facts because we the people don’t have the time and resources to do so ourselves. They are a vital part of this world and one that should be embraced instead of marginalized. Continue reading Why Kotaku Did A Bad Thing