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Submitted by KenAdamsNSA 1511d ago | opinion piece

Why Video Game Journalism is Failing

Mainstream society has yet to accept video games as a serious form of artistic expression, and video game journalism is somewhat responsible for this fact. Safety's Off examines why journalistic tendencies for video games often fail to uphold the level of respect and critical exploration they demand and deserve. (BioShock, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Industry, PC, PS3, Resident Evil 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)

disturbing_flame  +   1511d ago
Because what you call journalists are just people under-educated or blog holders that just writes random thoughts.

When we talk about journalism we talk about people that have studied to work in the press, we talk about people that have been trained to writes articles or write in a decent way about something.

Not this trend coming with internet, with lame articles, those silly titles just to have some clicks on their sites or those news to maintain the console war because it's just what is meant to make your news read.

The video game journalism is failing because everyone has access to this and even the big sites or webzines are doing more and more trash articles.

This society reminds me more and more the one you see in the movie Idiocracy. Stupid media for stupid people (who play stupid games)

happy christmas to all the people that understand me me.
Agent Smith  +   1511d ago
Sadly, even the people who have studied to work in the press make some pretty poor articles.
armycore  +   1511d ago
THIS is very true. Anyone that complains that game journalism doesn't go deep enough or simply designed to be flamebait, I jut link them to the Fox News site to see how some REAL journalists act.
LordMe  +   1511d ago
Main problem with "journalism" they are to worried about what the readers will think if they review something low. Look at Dragon Age II. A game which was not up to standards, but those who reviewed it low prior to release where called stupid.

When in fact they just told the truth, major websites have a huge issue of being bullied by the fanboys and in such, they have lost all ability to give a game a low score, even if it's bad.

And sometimes it's not a low score, Uncharted gets an 8 and that site is bias, Batman gets a 7 it's a stupid website when in fact they are good scores, but since they are not perfect scores the site is dumb.

So the big problem in the fact that journalist lack a backbone and gamers whine even if they get a good score.
Soldierone  +   1511d ago
It's not the fact these people don't exist, I know many. Their are plenty of actual "journalists" and plenty of awesomely good writers for video game websites (even smaller ones). However a lot of them are torn apart because of the lower IQ people that don't know what a journalist is. When a journalist looks into a problem, exploits a problem, voices his opinion, or simply tells the truth he gets gang raped by a bunch of clueless corporate drones that sit on the opposite side of the fence.

Facing facts unless you do this to the lesser known titles, it WILL happen. Which sucks because that means these people take aim at rather decent games, and destroy it for no apparent reason simply to get away with it.

I don't think this is only an issue with video game journalists though, it happens A LOT with politics....However I think the issue video game journalists have is that while these people get destroyed, you have readily available corporate drones with access to a website to stand by the low iq idiots that know how to quickly gather hits with no effort. What makes it even more sad is a lot of big wig sites (IGN for the perfect example) are hiring these writers and making matters worse.

In other words, some people need to stop blaming the "journalists" for "not existing" and blame the fact "gamers" don't let them exist. I mean we are at the point a friggin 8 is a bad score? After we get passed that issue we can go back to fighting the "corporate drones" AKA Big wig sites that get their paychecks from the biased side they support.
omi25p  +   1511d ago
"Journalists" like Jim Sterling are the reason i cannot stand video game Journalism.
Voxelman  +   1511d ago
I will never understand why people keep calling him a journalist even tho he constantly says that he isn't and doesn't want to be be one. I mean if people insist on calling self professed bloggers journalists how will we ever get real journalists?

I guess we will just have to wait until there are enough gamers smart enough to not expect journalism from bloggers before we can get some more proper videogame journalism.
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omi25p  +   1511d ago
He works for a gaming new website. That website not only has exclusive information about games.

They go to all the Gaming events to get information. All of these traits make you a Video Games Journalist weather he like it or not.
#2.1.1 (Edited 1511d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(2) | Report
Voxelman  +   1511d ago
He works as a reviews editor for a gaming blog, and posts opinion pieces, he occasionally also posts "news" stories which are usually just based on press releases reported by other sites but if that makes him a journalist then everyone that posts stories on N4G is one, as that is not really his job just something he does for the site. He goes to events to preview games, you know for his job as a videogame reviewer. That doesn't make him a journalist it makes him a a processional game reviewer hence his job title.
floetry101  +   1511d ago
Jim Sterling is one of the few gaming journalists that actually has the balls to give any title an honest score based on his OPINION. The man can be an asshat, of that there is no doubt, but to say he lacks credibility, smarts or gaming passion is undermining his vast knowledge and love for games. Watch The Jimquisition or read his Twitter feed. The man offers scathing commentaries on the state of gaming and game-players. Whilst everybody is being feed the same vanilla garbage that Greg Miller and IGN churn out, Sterling isn't afraid to speak his mind, regardless of whether the majority agree or not.

Gaming journalism is at fault because the gaming community is by all accounts, very stupid. Any website or publication that scores a game an 8 or below is seen as "fishing for hits" or "untrustworthy", when in fact, 8 is still a very good score. The only problem is, it doesn't meet the metacritic requirements. That is, people think that a website is deliberately bringing the meta-score down. Between listening to these "gamers" and cutting my own head off with a pencil, I'd choose the latter.

There are only a few truly great gaming journalists left. Gamespot's Kevin VanOrd and Chris Watters rarely put a foot wrong. Brandon Jones at Gametrailers absolutely nails it most of the time.
#2.2 (Edited 1511d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
D3mons0ul  +   1511d ago
Yeah, Jim's more of a gamer than that fucking windbag Yahtzee. That's for damn sure.
Sharingan_no_Kakashi  +   1511d ago
Because anyone with a keyboard can call themselves a journalist.
Hicken  +   1511d ago
There are no standards. That's really all it boils down to. Whether it's reviews or reports, there are no overarching standards that all journalists must adhere to; hell, in most instances, a "publication" has no standards for the journalists it employs, and the journalists themselves have no standards by which they create their own articles.

Making this worse are two things: the websites that use these poorly written articles- but articles which, nonetheless, manage to incite some group or another by being less than appropriately objective- to get hits (doing it for the money), and the people that use these articles as proof positive of whatever it is they want to support (especially through Metacritic). Both of these actions create an atmosphere in which crappy articles have a place and, naturally, articles are then written to continue to fill that spot.

It's nasty, almost as bad as online passes and on-disc DLC. But this, perhaps, is worse, because poor journalism takes an active part in misleading the consumer, perpetuating fallacies, and otherwise degrading the credibility of gaming and gaming journalism.
Wiiloveit  +   1511d ago
Definitely some valid points in here. Some of these points are actually things that I've felt for a long time. Great job. :)
Tru_Ray  +   1511d ago
Agreed. This article does an excellent job of highlighting the innumerable deficiencies of contemporary video game journalism. I cannot overstate the importance of voicing our opinions about the pathetic state of video game journalism. We need to let these clowns know that, for the most part, their paltry output is antithetical to anything resembling substance. It is just a steady diet of "Top Ten Dumb Lists I Came Up with in the Last Ten Minutes" or the proverbial "Head to Head Pixel Count between Indistinguishable Versions Across Rival Consoles" or my least favorite "5 Reasons Why I Need to Justify My Brand Loyalty this Week".

Quite frankly, I do not think the state of video game journalism is going to improve anytime soon. In spite of the astronomical commercial success that the industry has enjoyed over the last decade, gamers and industry luminaries are still struggling for mainstream acceptance outside of our virtual sphere. This perennial tension between the hobby that we love and the mainstream media that belittles and demonizes us has led to widespread insecurity and ineptitude among those that are charged with the task of reporting *gasp" "video game news".

I mean, doesn't it just sound juvenile and frivolous when you put it in quotations like that? I love to game, but if you believe that it has some kind of transcendent power to uplift individuals into a state of enlightenment then you are seriously deluded.

I like to see a follow-up to this piece entitled "Do Gaming Journalists Matter?" I for one am convinced that they do not. They gave up on reporting the news a long time ago.

/End Rant

KenAdamsNSA  +   1511d ago
If all the comments on N4G looked like this one, I might actually respect this site.

Thanks for your thoughts!
vortis  +   1509d ago
There's no need for a "Do Gaming Journalists Matter?" article because we all know -- everyone knows -- gaming journalists could go away and it wouldn't affect the industry in the slightest.

Review scores and sales seem to be mutually exclusive a lot of times (i.e,. Enslaved Odyssey to the West, Dark Souls, etc.,) and it's not like journalists influence the popularity of a game into mainstream one way or another.

The one thankless, pitiful job no one would want in the gaming industry is to be a video game journalists, mainly because not only is your job frivolous but if you get fired it's not like you'd need to be replaced or as if your replacement would even make a difference. In other words, video game journalists really serve no purpose for the industry.

I sometimes wonder why all publishers just don't auto-post press releases to their websites to cut out the middle-man blogs?
clearelite  +   1511d ago
to me, many "professional" journalists are just as bad.
KingPin  +   1511d ago
il tell you why its failing.

coz a lot of them are biased <we all know some sites prefer some console over the other>.
they type sh!t that gets fanboys fighting <TITLE: X360 keeping PS3 in last place - remember those> .
they negative 90% of the time <Why X product will fail - we get these like 10 times a day>.
they make up there own rumours claiming its from a "source" - <well if you need an example here you havent been on this site long enough>
they guessing half the time. <when is next gen coming>

wheres the actual facts? wheres the journalism that builds communities rather than diving them. wheres the positivity gone?

seriously, this is why i only go to cheatcc for anything game related. keep in mind, they do have crappy articles once in a while <no website is perfect> but at least their reviews are top notch and trustworthy.
D3mons0ul  +   1511d ago
Because they actually care (not good in this case) about the shit enough to have an "agenda."

All these fuckers do is feed the console war or whatever other red button issue. They leech off of negative emotions.

I think of them as paid trolls and trolls...should never be paid.
#8 (Edited 1511d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Squadron40Dive  +   1510d ago
Thank GOD someone actually knows how to write, I will be reading your reviews from now on, all these other cats are just in it to get hits on their sites, its bull shit writing!
Ness-Psi  +   1510d ago
the fact that the internet has opened up the "journalism" Motif to anyone with a keyboard and a willing crowd. I dont know what makes a journalist, i think it comes down to who you trust more with your opinions.

the question that should be asked now is we have seen gaming get dragged through the mud of late what are the journalists and game devs gonna do to back up this industry they strive for and that we love.I feel for every story that blames video games as a cause of death or violence the whole community hides its head back in its shell and just gets rolled over. it makes everyone who games look like an immature unsociable bunch of imbeciles.

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