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Indie game dev, Videogame writer, Game enthusiast, Guitarist,

zerocrossing

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The farce that is current video game journalism

Hello everyone, I just want to get something out of the way first before diving into the topic at hand. Unfortunately I won't be contributing to N4Gs user blogs or reviews section quite as frequently as I have been. This is due to me recently having been taken on to write articles and reviews professionally, I won't announce where that is here but if you're interested in following my recent work please feel free to PM me and I'll provide you the link.

I will however still be posting comments and submitting articles, as well as joining in with conversations when I'm able. N4G is after all, the place I first discovered my passion for writing about video games, so this site will always hold a special place in my heart.

Now that all the mushy stuff is out of the way, let's get on with the topic at hand.

A lot of you may have noticed a few "video game journalists" (Adam Sessler being one of them) acting rather un-professional lately, by either constantly contradicting themselves, making ludicrous, biased statements and generally just being pretty crappy at their jobs, whilst at the same time making the whole profession look bad.

Not that this is anything new in the world of video game journalism, in truth the bar has been pretty low for some time now, due to petty console wars and fanboyism being rampant in the industry. Choosing to take one side and blindly defending it at the cost ones reputation and credibility, is a practice many video game journalists eventually seem to succumb to (To be fair though, the unwritten rule does seem to be to choose a side or take heat from both) This may be due to the fact that no matter which side of the fence you choose to stand on, you'll always have an army of fanboys eating out of the palm of your hand, so long as you're whispering sweet nothings to them about their beloved and chosen preference. Not only does this practice bolster a persons ranks, it also insights flame wars due to the anger and uproar coming from the other side.

There's usually two possibilities when a video game journalists starts talking nonsense, they are either a fanboy who wants only to look for the best in whatever they are defending or attempting to put on a pedestal. Or they have an agenda, and are willing to use misinformation and even lie through there teeth in order to further whatever goal they have in sight. There's always the third possibility that they've gone stark raving mad, but more often than not it's one of the other two.

Now obviously there are people with legitimate "non biased" personal opinions, right? Well, in reality it's simply impossible for anyone to truly draw their opinion from a well of pure thoughts, because "opinions" no matter what you may think will always be objective, containing personal and biased ideas, formulated through pre-conceived notions and preference. For example, I'm not a fan of sports games so my opinions about them will always be negative in comparison to those who enjoy them, even if I try to look at them objectively it's impossible for me to formulate an opinion with nothing to draw from, I could try to be subjective and look for what others may like about them, however it would still be a biased opinion based on personal assumptions and pre-conceived notions.

A person is not able to formulate an opinion without personal and biased viewpoints inevitably effecting their final conclusion. However the difference with fanboys and those with a personal agenda, is that fanboys tend to avoid even looking at what they like in anything but a positive light, where as those with an agenda choose to spread lies and misinformation knowing full well that what they say is nonsense. My point being? There are far too many fanboys and those looking to further their career at the cost of their credibility currently calling themselves "video game journalists"

Flame wars are the bane of genuine journalism, they make it incredibly difficult to talk openly and intelligently about current, pressing matters due to the close minded people who flock to them, in order to either troll, defend or denounce whatever the articles chosen topic happens to be. However they are incredibly handy at directing traffic toward particular websites especially those with an agenda, remember that many of these "video game websites" aren't interested in publishing facts, news or even intelligent opinion pieces, they simply want "hits" and flame-bait, in the form of reviews or articles is the perfect means to get them.

That being the case, is there really any wonder as to why there is so much blind, fanboy driven nonsense being posted on numerous video game news and information websites all over the Internet? With so much misinformation, blatant lies and biased opinions disguised as facts coming from supposed video game journalists, you'd think we'd all be more inclined to take what we hear with a pinch of salt. But no, gamers, or better yet people, are fickle. If we have a preference for something (which we all do) we naturally like hearing that it's doing well, we also like knowing when it's ahead of the competition. Further more, we like to imagine that the success of whatever we may happen to be a fan of is somehow also our own success, but in these delusions we allow ourselves to be lied to, all so that we can brag about being better than those who support "the losers" all while the exact same nonsense is happening on the other side of the fence.

The console war is not the sole problem, the console war provides competition, it also prevents any one company from gaining a monopoly and forces the console manufacturers to try to out-do one another. But it also breeds contempt, not solely due to people believing their chosen allegiance is superior, but because people begin to deliberately ignore where their favourite companies are going wrong, too preoccupied with hating on the competition and all too willing to lap up whatever nonsensical drivel people in the industry, or even video game journalists are spouting.

So what can be done? Well, my advice to all of you is to stop fanning the flames. It's simple really, as soon as you stop paying attention to flame bait articles, journalists screaming for attention or just talking nonsense, then all the genuine video game journalism will be pushed to the front. I'm not saying everything will be fixed over night, but trying to fight fire with fire has proven time and time again to be futile. As for the fanboys, well there's always going to be fanboys, but the more legitimate journalism we have available to us the more easily we'll be able to call them out and put a stop to their misinformed claims or outright lies.

Like most everyone here, I enjoy playing video games and I honestly care about the video games industry. If this blog has opened anyone's eyes to the many issues currently plaguing video game journalism, or even just made you think twice about clicking on a blatant flame bait article, then I consider that a small victory for us all.

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FogLight966d ago

That is true. I used to like Adam Sessler and liked his reviews but now thanks to his behavior about the next-gen, I am losing a portion of my trust to him.

Also, gaming journalism hasn't been that great these days, especially with some flame bait articles like some infamous reviews from Gamespot. I really can't tell if it is from the reviewer's genuine opinion, or just to try to get more clicks, I honestly have no idea.

But not everyone are like that but sadly they are few. I am awaiting for the moment where the great game reporters would join in the big sites and at the same time, they have genuine and believable perspectives and reviews, even if their opinions would be disagreed by the majority, at least he/she isn't trying to get more clicks.

Thanks for the blog :)

zerocrossing966d ago

Couldn't agree more.

We desperately need more video game journalists who aren't afraid to give their honest opinion no matter the backlash. Far too many of them now view the profession as a popularity contest and tailor their posts for maximum clicks.

MRMagoo123966d ago

Well i am not gonna defend them because i hate that they dont tell the truth and just cover stuff up, but its all about the popularity and the clicks cos thats the pay really isnt it ? especially ones mainly on youtube where views no matter if positive or negative = cash, im not entirely sure but i thought thats how it worked.

Any journalist and dev that comes out and just says "yeh ok guys heres the facts, the ps4 is more powerful and its gonna perform better" i will sub, the truth i think is more important than making me feel better about a purchase.

Dunban67962d ago

Ironically, IMO a video game journalist who was not afraid to be disliked strongly by people from all sides of the populace and even relished in it a bit would prob be pretty successful as far as traffic, hits etc.

Think wrestling- sometime the "bad guys" would be more popular (for the wrong reasons of course)
than the "good guys".

It would be much easier to find and maintain an audience that blasted you all the time than one that was complimentary- seeing how easy it is to draw fire for the smallest issues is surprising at times-

To become the "most hated video game journalist" all one would need to do (in addition to being a talented intelligent person/ writer, knowledgeable about the video game industry etc) is tell the truth- good and bad re games, consoles, companies etc.

Unfortunately- it is like politics- negativity sells

cyguration966d ago

The sad part is when the big, influential sites pad the flame wars with what looks like marketing bias. I expect small sites trying to pay the bills to resort to that sort of thing, but I guess we've all come to expect more from the bigger sites.

MidnytRain966d ago

"I used to like Adam Sessler and liked his reviews but now thanks to his behavior about the next-gen, I am losing a portion of my trust to him."

That's funny of you to say seeing as the quality of his reviews themselves hasn't slipped at all.

oscarmike965d ago (Edited 965d ago )

I lost all respect after he blatantly lied about the "bros before hos" trophy in GOW: Ascension. and to make it worse Sony caved in and renamed the trophy because of him.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 962d ago
SmokeyMcBear966d ago

its succum to.. not circum to.

zerocrossing966d ago

Actualy, it's "succumb to" but thanks anyway.

zeroskie966d ago

that was not the 'sole' error in article

zerocrossing966d ago

Anyone else who feels the need to point out the errors in my blog, just PM me. Otherwise do try to stay on topic.

SmokeyMcBear963d ago

quick, lets point out all the other errors.

TransientDreamer966d ago

"stop fanning the flames. It's simple really, as soon as you stop paying attention to flame bait articles, journalists screaming for attention or just talking nonsense, then all the genuine video game journalism will be pushed to the front."
Truer words have never been spoken on this site.

MidnytRain966d ago

Which will never happen while fanboys are running the site.

MidnytRain966d ago

It's worth questioning if gaming journalism is bad overall, or if it's just fanboys dragging the worst drivel they can find and regurgitating it on this website.

Pintheshadows966d ago

I think it is pretty bad overall. Even the larger publications have slipped. The issue is many that write these days have no qualifications so they are unaware of what a legitimate critique should be and they do not know how to remain objective. Rarely do they deal with facts either.

zerocrossing965d ago

I really don't think it's "bad overall"

I still have a few video game journalists I respect, even if I might not agree with everything they say or there methods.

It's just that it's too easy to bait gamers for hits these days, if people want to change video game journalism for the better then they need to start following those who provide real journalism as apposed to fanboy rants and flame bait.

ravinash964d ago

Easier said than done.
It's a bit hard to find those who do provide a good service.
You might start folowing one only to find they turn on you.

Nicaragua966d ago

What you are saying makes perfect sense but its also completely pointless.

True fanboys want to be fanboys, they want bullshit cheap articles so they can argue over it, they enjoy it. No amount of rational explanation is going to make them sit up and go "wow, this guy is right. we are all feeding these crappy sites and wasting our time arguing over nonsense"

Congratulations on your new role btw. Drop me a message with the link to your site.

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