(Strictly speaking this is actually last week in gaming news, but what can I say: I didn’t have a chance to read my RSS feeds for a few days.)
Steel yourself for a rant, readers. And yes, this is a rant. I make no pretence that this is a well-researched argument. It’s largely an under-developed response to some things that I’ve read on the Internet lately.
Recently I’ve found myself getting frustrated by games journalism (and, by inevitable proxy, those who read it). More frustrated than usual, I mean. Incidentally, this is not an attack on any particular venue or writers; I know that games journalism, like all games writing, is a rarely well-paying gig that demands a lot of personal investment, that many people working within it have little or no journalistic training, etcetera, etcetera. Similarly I’m not having a go at readers of same; I’m among them and I’m as much a part of the problem as anyone else, I’m sure. Having said all that, a lot of my links will be drawn from the same few sites, because they’re the ones I read most.
I have a longstanding opinion that the priorities of games journalism are off-kilter. And no, I’m not referring to the ludicrous idea that #gamergate, at root, was actually to do with “games journalism ethics”. I mean, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater or anything, there are some legitimate problems that were raised along the way, but the baby was left bobbing around in a tub full of piss, shit and bile. Ultimately, there are institutional problems with games journalism and it’s as much to do with readers and advertisers as writers and publishers. It’s the unwholly trinity of commercialism.
What I specifically want to comment on today is what games journalism focuses its coverage on. And this is why it’s also to do with its readers, by proxy.
Read the rest of this entry »