Game review plagiarist surprisingly prolific

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This isn’t surprising in the least. Online publishers typically pay writers a misery, their schedule for producing material also tends to be short. Had a friend that attempted to get into doing articles for gaming sites and found it to be an exhausting grind that wasn’t worth it as a contractor.

I vaguely recall in the past writers making stuff up, plagiarizing, and more just to meet deadlines. Its likely that these kinds of shenanigans happen more than we realize.


This bit on Something Awful nailed it


YouTube generates pretty good transcripts for videos.


So this what the gamer-gate assholes were talking about, right?


From what i understand he was stealing material before he was doing this professionally. A lot of the plagiarized material is on his own private blogs and videos. And some of the examples identified early seem to be from before IGN hired him. It seems he was cribbing material all along while self publishing and freelancing. Raised his profile enough to get hired at a major publication. Where he was caught.


Ignoring the plagiarism, in what way is that game rouge-like?



" characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative"

It ticks all of those boxes with exception of it not being turn based. It’s a platformer rogue-like. Or a procedural Metroidvania if you prefer.


Or tile based.

Really, the proper term for a game like Dead Cells is roguelike-like or roguelite.


Its 2D. So it inherently uses tile sets and rules around said tiles to populate the dungeons so…

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It had struck me that YouTube’s little-known transcript feature made it easier to catch plagiarists, but on reflection I realized it just made the plagiarism easier in the first place.


Shenanigans like this are why my plan is to only review games that nobody even remembers anymore, much less cares about reading/listening to, or plagiarizing. Like… S.C.OUT or Walker.

Hmmm. I was kidding, but maybe I should do that.

As for this guy…

“The bottom line is that what happened with the Dead Cells review was not at all intentional,” he said.

How does that work, exactly? Or does he mean the getting caught part wasn’t intentional? Not to turn everything political, but does this guy happen to be a Republican? Is he interested in a cabinet position, now that he has been blooded?



They have an even lesser known API for retrieving the transcripts by software. (Or rather, a succession of APIs, the latest one requiring a Tower of Babel of credentials and requests.)

You could pull all the transcripts of review videos for a game, and then generate a Markov Chain review. :sunglasses:


I’m still scratching my head about the whole Metroidvania talk. What can that even mean?!

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Ethics in games journalism, amirite?


Refers to a (usually platformer) genre of adventure game with a focus on discovery of new areas and acquisition of new equipment/abilities; getting new abilities generally opens up new exploration paths. So called because it’s a typical gameplay pattern for Metroid games and later entries in the Castlevania series.


Thats the strictest definition. In practice “roguelike” tends to be a bit broader. The original diablo was commonly refered to as a roguelike until it became the reference point itself. Because it was essentially a technical advancement on the rogue format. Lets do rogue with modern (at the time) gamr stuff.

I like to think of “roguelike” as a catchall for a bunch of derived styles. And the further dicing it up into roguelite etc as figuring out which type or roguelike it is.

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I played the hell out of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

For more info about Metroidvania subgenre (one I really enjoy), check the Wikipedia article.


Just as importantly he was hired to a pretty front facing position. He hosted the Nintendo podcast since he came on so he appeared much more important than a freelance reviewer.

Tangentially related: Dead Cells is now on my GOG wishlist…