Veteran game writer calls for more adversarial coverage

Originally published at: Veteran game writer calls for more adversarial coverage | Boing Boing


this reminds me of something i said in a different (maybe) context:

i feel like i need to watch another adam curtis documentary.


Last time we had a big public discourse about “ethics in game journalism” it kind of turned into a disaster for everyone.


This time, though, the author seems genuinely interested in the topic as more than just a (neck)beard for misogyny and harassment.

I’m glad someone is taking this on. Even by tech industry standards, AAA game culture is particularly rotten from the dev shops to the publishers to many of the end-users.


Indeed, he’s a regular target of the “ethics in game journalism” crowd. They think his journalism is unethical because it steals secrets from the game publishers, or some variation of that.

“game journalism is unethical” was the rallying cry, but they weren’t interested in the reality of access journalism, PR stenography, embargo trading and all that. They were interested in the unreality of “sex for game reviews” and culture war.


That was the thing that revealed Germergoat to be entirely disingenuous - “game media” had been, from the start, essentially just a marketing wing of the game industry. Game reviewers saw their job as boosterism, ultimately (even if they were sometimes slightly selective about what they promoted). There was always a cozy relationship between writers and publishers; the writers were unabashed fanboys who wanted to think of game developers as their friends (and maybe someday get a job making games), and publishers spent a lot of money bribing writers with access, parties, gifts, etc. By the time Gamertaint came along, things were actually starting to change, and ironically the game writing outlets that got the brunt of their ire were the ones that were the most vocal about challenging the way things had operated. If it was (it wasn’t) about “ethics in game journalism,” it would have been because Germergoat was against it.


Jason and his co-hosts on the Triple Play podcast talk about the book on this episode of the podcast.

It’s a good discussion.

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