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Submitted by CGMagazine 1025d ago | opinion piece

David Jaffe Tries To Rescue Game Journalism

An editorial about David Jaffe’s response to the difficulties experienced by game journalism outlets. (David Jaffe, Industry, PS3, Xbox 360)

dedicatedtogamers  +   1025d ago | Well said
Stop trying, Jaffe. It cannot be saved.

Real journalists report the news and investigate interesting topics. Game journalists are paid shills for gaming companies at worst, and misguided fanboys at best.
Majin-vegeta  +   1025d ago
Well said here's a bub.

@Galactic empire.Just download ad blocker problem solved :P.
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nix  +   1025d ago
most of the "journalists" are nothing but rabid fanboys. it's so sickening. reviews like the one for GeOW by Dan Hsu are the prime example why reviews and journalists can't be trusted. not to forget the overwhelming 10 out of 10 GTAIV got. that game was crap and boring.

let's not forget this gen and the special hate for Sony and PS3. this gen was sad when it comes to game journalism.

EDIT: and i've always maintained that journalist are killing the industry that they are living off from. if you keep overrating crap games people are gonna buy crap games and then soon realise it's not worth investing so much. if you keep underrating great games no one is going to buy great games and the whole developers are gonna churn out average games. in the end we will end up with nothing but crap and average games.

i like games that's why i crib about these stuffs because i like gaming and i want to play great games. but am i living off gaming industry? no. but these "journalists" are. the rate at which we are going we will end up with nothing but boring game and slowly the industry will die. and i'm pretty sure i won't be the one out of job.
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ThanatosDMC  +   1025d ago
The only reviewers i like are Angry Joe, who's somewhat of a rabid xbox fanboy from the start but finally realized that he's paying for crap, and Yahtzee because he reveals the flaws of the games he plays.
MikeMyers  +   1025d ago
Nix, a lot of people who call journalists fanboys are often fanboys themselves. People keep going on and on about how badly Sony was treated this gen yet there's been nothing but praise for the PS4. The reality is when your biased things look differently. We see Wii U doom articles now, are they now Nintendo haters? Sony has realized the mistakes they made with the PS3, that's why the PS4 sounds so promising. They listened, they didn't whine and tell everyone that journalists were just being fanboys.
cleft5  +   1025d ago
The reality is that most gamers agree with you. If game journalist aren't respected by those who are most invested into gaming than they have no true credibility.

I may like certain personalities, but the fact that my opinion or the opinion of any other gamer is just as valid as a "game journalist" is exactly why they have no credibility. I have opinions on World news, but I would never think for a second that my opinion was as valid as a journalist that works for the BBC.
matgrowcott  +   1025d ago
Your presumption is that the opinion of any other gamer is as valid as that of a GOOD journalist.

I've played some 400 games over the last 12 months, across dozens of genres and platforms. How many have you played? 50? As much as that? 25? How many of those were from your favourite genre? How many did you finish?

If a game sucked, I had to keep playing, sometimes for tens of hours.

Presumably, a lot of the other GOOD writers are doing much the same thing.

Having that depth of experience might not mean we're necessarily more knowledgeable than the average gamer - just like watching thousands of films doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to enjoy Scary Movie 5 - but we sure as hell have more to base our opinions on.

Whether you respect that depth of experience and whether you put any effort into finding writers with that depth of experience is entirely up to you though.
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The_Klank  +   1025d ago

So because you play many worse games then the average gamer your opinion has more weight to it? Is that really what you're saying?
matgrowcott  +   1025d ago

And what exactly is inaccurate there? Aside from the "worse" games thing you've put into my mouth. My point was that any critic worth their salt plays a lot more titles than the average gamer, and so their opinion is based on a much more solid foundation. And I can't believe you could even attempt to say that that isn't as it should be. If you found out an IGN critic only played 10 games a year, you'd be disgusted, and rightly so.

Why the hell should you trust a critic who only plays the top 5 games a year? Why should you trust a critic who can only write about their favourite genre?

Remember, we're not talking about quality here, but of the notion that a journalist is just the same as any other gamer. When talking about the people of this industry that are good or even average at their jobs, that's simply not true.
Natso  +   1025d ago

You're coming off as pretentious with these types of comments. There's no need to be condescending with comments such as "I've played x many games! How many have YOU played?!".

It just seems childish and self-righteous; Another issue with many "game journalists" today.

Notice how you inject the word "GOOD" into cleft's statement. He never said the word "GOOD", and used parenthesis around the word "game journalist" as to imply that the people he was referring to were in fact NOT "GOOD" journalists, or even game journalists at all!

Let's use your logic for a second: Game journalists play "many" more games than the average gamer, making their opinion hold much more weight, right? Well then what does that make a game journalist to a developer? Considering the fact that a developer has actually MADE a game, and a journalist has not, should you be able to critique their work at all?

The point is, an opinion is an opinion, regardless of someone's title. You may have played 400 games this year, but I guarantee you, there IS a gamer somewhere who has played more. Does that make him more important than you?
The_Klank  +   1025d ago

So I put the worse games in your mouth now?
Tell me this of the 400 games you have played in the last 12 months how many scored were considered a good rating?

'If a game sucked, I had to keep playing, sometimes for tens of hours.'

I actually seek out critics with my taste in genres, why would I want a critic who doesn't enjoy that genres opinion? The very same way I would expect gamers of a certain genre to give me the best possible advice on it.

So whose opinion is more valid?
The guy who plays all but is master of none
The guy that sits and plays and devotes his spare time to one specific genre.

'If you found out an IGN critic only played 10 games a year, you'd be disgusted, and rightly so.'
Now whose putting words in whose mouth. If that critic was say an expert on MMOs, and that was all he played, say 10 a year, then yes I would be very much interested in his opinion
Just the same way as if I was to talk to a Gamer with similar experience.

Just because you play 400 games a year doesn't make your opinion anymore or less valid then a Gamer who selectively picks what he wants to play.
joab777  +   1025d ago
Maybe if the money is paid to someone by gamers then they won't be beholden to anyone. Problem is that u will need various ppl to cover everything and opinions will always be opinions. But the idea is legit.

The problem is that with the dawn of the internet and youtube etc., everyone wants to be a singer, rapper, video game journalist or anything that you love and can make money doing. Personally, I read big sites for news but not for gaming content. The gaming industry is so great with everything else because fans everywhere contribute to the hobby that they love. It has worked thus far and will continue to work until too many decide they want to quit their job and make money. As soon as that happens the motive becomes hits, and hit pieces are generated to produce revenue.
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GalacticEmpire  +   1025d ago
It won't change until websites work some other way than ad driven revenue. A lot of sites care more about getting you to click through page after page (full of ads) than they do about the actual content they offer.

There's also too much pressure from publishers when it comes to reviews. With certain websites, which won't be named... I G N, getting exclusive dibs on review embargos and other shady practices.
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Kenshin_BATT0USAI  +   1025d ago
You know I honestly feel there are VERY few proper game journalists now. By that I don't mean the outlet entirely such as IGN or gamespot or whatever. I mean the actual people.

Take Greg Millier from IGN, the guy is an actual enthusiast about the industry. We need more people like that, who actually have an invested interest in the industry, and not just looking for a job because they have a journalism degree.
HiddenMission  +   1025d ago
I think their are people who are enthusiastic but that doesn't mean they don't let their personal biased affect their better judgement.

Greg Miller is hit or miss and I'm not talking about if I agree with him or not I'm talking about making his reviews into opinion pieces. One of the biggest issues is that gamers and press alike can be very stubborn and stupid...perfect example a review is not an opinion it's a fact finding mission...when false facts are in a review they no longer exist as reviews. If facts are intentionally dropped from a review a clear image of biased comes into play.

These are some of the biggest issues and then you have hype/flame bait yeah right now trust me the gaming press industry is beyond broken...the shit is destroyed.
MoveTheGlow  +   1025d ago
@Vashlion, Giant Bomb's a pretty realistic example of what you're proposing. Yes, they're owned by CBS, and yes, there are some ads on the site, but they're also partially funded by supporters, who are avid fans who usually came to the site via their podcast (and don't have to deal with the ads due to their support, along with premium content). The reviewers and writers typically identify themselves as not in the same job as game journalists, they're part of the "enthusiast press." On the back-end, a ton of reference material they host is crowd-generated content, like a Wikipedia of games, characters, developers, etc.

That's not to say that it's a sustainable model. They work their butts off where other outlets might not have to in order to keep stuff running. They're enthusiasts, so they keep it going. It's not for everyone, but it's a burgeoning part of the games press. My favorites are definitely them, RockPaperShotgun, and Rev3, all of which deliver *personal* and honest reviews. That doesn't mean they're right, but they're personal. That's as "true" as you can get with games, I think.

I'd much rather hear about what Jeff Gerstmann has to say about his experience with a game than some hypothetically super-objective robot. Subjectivity comes with the enthusiast press. So does personal bias. But I like their brand of bias; they like games, and they like them from the perspective of an adult. They review what they can, and they leave the other stuff for the "journalism" outlets. They'll also follow an interesting game's development the whole way through with a partnership (as they did with Bastion), but they won't review that game on principle.
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CGMagazine  +   1024d ago
Thanks for the read!
Roccetarius  +   1025d ago
More often than not, i've seen gaming journalists that aren't very credible. I've been at the point of entirely lost trust for quite some time, and i don't see that changing.

If i see something i feel is worth the purchase, then i will keep an eye on it. I usually pre-order closer to release, because something that changes my mind can be revealed.

With that said, and in many cases, games are not reviewed by gamers anymore. It used to be that way, but very few will do in depth reviews.
venom06  +   1025d ago
when the "copy and past job" that was MW3 can get a 9 from that fanboy site IGN and sell millions, but be regarded as one the WORST CoD games ever created by actual gamers, and then IGN turns around and tries to downtalk what is potentially BF4, without even know anything about it's changes.... that's when the phenonmenon that's "fanboy journalism" raises its ugly head.. and sadly, that monster is out the box and cant be put back in..
SpiralTear  +   1025d ago
"we get a bunch of names of people doing great work in game journalism"

And who decides who performs "great work in game journalism", Mr. Jaffe? You?

Okay, we get it. Game journalism is absurdly biased, but guess what? Every news story in history is biased. EVERY SINGLE ONE. What is reported is filtered through the lens of the creator. I'm really tired of this pursuit of objectivity in any kind of journalism. Objectivity does not exist. It never did.

Jaffe openly admitted that this idea is "half-baked," so he's obviously not pitching a real, applicable solution. He's just letting us know that there's bias in game journalism. "News" flash: there's bias in everything, especially journalism.
MoveTheGlow  +   1024d ago
Could we say that moving forward, we'd like to read more reviews from people who have the right kinds of bias, then? More often than not, I think we're condemning the Kane and Lynch-firing kind of bias; a dependence on ad revenue scaring managers of editorial staff into ordering them to score games within a certain range.

I hope my reviewers have bias, in that they love what they do, and they love the medium they play and criticize. They're credible to me if they're biased toward playing a ton of games, and if they're very articulate as to what they like.

More often than not, though, I think the "bad" or unacceptable reviews don't come from a payoff, they come from a bad assumption as to who their audience is. The reviews that go "Well, it's an awesome game, but if you've got the attention span of a 1-year-old goat on meth, it might not be your thing." Come on, review outlets; if we're reading a review, we're probably of the age where Dark Souls shouldn't seem impenetrable or inaccessible.

Not that I'm bitter about Dark Souls reviews or anything... :P
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LOL_WUT  +   1025d ago
It's a little too late Jaffe ;)
MilkMan  +   1025d ago
Well I like the idea, but if this model depends on "gamers" paying anything, it wont work.
What you have now is a bunch of trolls that don't have 2 pennies to rub together. Discussing and having opinions on games they don't own.

The low purchases of any game besides COD prove this.
DmC, Tomb raider, Max Payne, Darksiders 2, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, the list goes on and on...

They'll sight things like "real fans stick with stuff the way it is.." and whatever..My mom told me a long time ago. Do not speak about what you don't know.
Unless you have it, own it and use it - why speak at all. You sound silly.

But this is a hobby that requires money to be enjoyed.

If all you do is look at content on web sites and reviews of others and base your decisions on that. Then you really should look for something else to do. Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the ideas of another.

I like David's idea. It would be like paying Ebert to write reviews because you like his writing style and you trust his opinions and SINCE there is no corporate backing, you will trust that he is not being influenced in some particular way. What a novel idea.

But its dead in the water cause (here's a secret), these so called gamers...are broke and rabid fans of whatever the "cool" game of the day is.

Good luck with this. Sign me up if its a reality.
ZodTheRipper  +   1025d ago
I could live without game news, previews, reviews, etc ...back in the 90's, we hadn't anything like that (magazines excluded) and exactly this lack of information was, what made a lot of those old classics so special. Each new Zelda dungeon and each story twist in a Metal Gear game was surprising, we played games open minded and not by knowing half of the game before it even starts. Also, there were no reviews which could prevent us from enjoying a game by pointing out flaws we'd never notice by ourselves or simply by giving a good game a low score (I have never considered getting LotR:War of the North because of it's poor reception, but now that it's free on PS+ I'm really enjoying it and I'm curious what other great games I've probably missed because of those stupid metascores)

Of course game journalists should get paid fairly for what they do, but my opinion is that it would be better, without (or with lesser) game journalism - for us gamers. And still, I'm here everyday lurking for news ironic.
BoNeSaW23  +   1025d ago
How about shutting up and trying to rescue your game development career first Jaffe!
CGMagazine  +   1024d ago
Ouch, that's harsh! Thanks for the read.

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