Wherein we discuss digital pixels and polygons, directed by handheld input devices.

What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Rydog » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:26am

Ryan Scott
Editorial Director/Executive Producer, Geekbox.net
Rydog
User avatar
Hell Yeah!
 
Posts: 672
Joined: Mar 5th, 2009 @ 8:46pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby geronimo » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 11:58am

I think the majority of the audience is stuck in their childhood, in which they want their games to grow up with them but they don't want discuss their games in the same vein. I also think that gamers feel that no one will ever treat games as something that an insightful, mature audience can enjoy, unlike other mediums such as film, music, and literature. It'll happen eventually and there's always going to be a group of people that are going to be hostile towards the idea.

Maybe it has something to do with the subject matter. N'gai wrote the article with the realism of games as a thought process. But what if he did a story about the politics of games, such as Jack Thompson's crusade against video games or what Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo can do to get the sales of their consoles at a high level? Message board folk seem to respond well to those types of subjects, especially the ones about Jack Thompson.

Maybe it's just the familiarity of what the article is talking about or maybe they just hate N'gai for some reasons that don't have to do with his journalist occupation. But all I know is that he's a writer, he went to school for it and it seems like he's doing pretty well for himself. To be a critic of his writing (or anyone's writing) and not back it up with constructive criticism is like challenging someone to a duel without preparation. It's pretty ass-backwards to behave like that.

EDIT: Oh, and it's NeoGAF, so that should be enough evidence of incredibility.
geronimo
User avatar
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 8th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby shadyjohnson » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:10pm

I think that question, "What do you want from your games journalists?" is a odd question in the sense that it does not consider two things: time and space. You have to consider these things when you write articles. When I was fifteen I was not mature enough to understand video games as art , but I was on the internet or BBS's and still read a lot. I don't think I would enjoyed articles by N'gai Croal at 15, but I do at 30. Also, The view of video gaming as a mature adult activity is still a relatively new one and many of the people who engage in video games are immature. One only has to play any online game to know that. You also have to consider the politics of the internet. There are anti-intellectuals. Smart is describe as "intellectual elitism" and I don't think that view is limited to some political pundits. Lastly, the internet is a harsh place. Don't take it personally. You have to know your audience, which I think is probably less mature and less intelligent than you believe.
Pro Lurker
shadyjohnson
User avatar
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 17th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

I would love it if GJ's could try to approach their reviews from the perspective of actual gamers more than industry insiders. I care much less about the inside baseball than how effective the actual game mechanics are, how sound the story is, and how new and different this is from other games of similar type.

Not saying we shouldnt get the industry analysis at all, but remember that gamers are your first audience and we are looking to you to both inform us about the game, and to tell us why we should be excited to play it or why we should avoid it.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Sokkratez » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

I want less NeoGAF interaction and validation from our games journalists.
Sokkratez
User avatar
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 7th, 2009 @ 9:22pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Ender » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

I don't really understand why people got up in arms about Croal's article. I'll agree with the poster on GAF who called other posters out for being hypocritical.. and I'll raise him a who-the-hell-cares?

It's Croal's opinion, and his personal experience with the games, so why should we care, supposing that we disagree? I don't entirely agree with him, but when I read that article I was interested to see what he had to say, and I looked up the meaning of the word verisimilitude. +1 to my vocabulary.

What I want from gaming journalism is a happy medium between top 10 lists and insightful, thoughtful articles. I just can't absorb ten in-depth articles in a day. Sometimes I only want to see what games a writer is into.
Ender
User avatar
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 13th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

Pele Merengue wrote:
mtcantor wrote:I would love it if GJ's could try to approach their reviews from the perspective of actual gamers more than industry insiders. I care much less about the inside baseball than how effective the actual game mechanics are, how sound the story is, and how new and different this is from other games of similar type.

Not saying we shouldnt get the industry analysis at all, but remember that gamers are your first audience and we are looking to you to both inform us about the game, and to tell us why we should be excited to play it or why we should avoid it.


Fuck this. I'm tired of the "review as buyer's guide" state of criticism.

I AM DESCRIBING WHAT THE GAME IS LIKE
GRAPHICS SOUND DESIGN STORY DIFFICULTY FRAMERATE MULTIPLAYER
I LIKE THIS STUFF: BLAH BLAH
I DON'T LIKE THIS STUFF: BLAH BLAH
HEY IT'S OKAY I GUESS I MIGHT BUY IT MAYBE
GET IT IF YOU'RE A FAN OF THE GENRE
7.5/10

There has to be a more interesting way to go about reviewing games.

EDIT: Uh, maybe this was actually the point you were trying to make. Sorry, but the last line of your post sort of set me off.



I am in no way advocating a "Consumer Reports" style of game reviews. Games are a subjective form of entertainment and should be reviewed in a similar vein to other subjective forms of entertainment, not lawmowers.

That being said, the more "inside" the review gets the smaller the audience for said review gets. Not saying you need to cater to the unwashed masses, but I attribute this increasing snobbery of the GJ culture to some of the failings of game criticism as seen in recent closings and layoffs. People are content to get their info about games from their peers and friends, people who share a perspective, not someone who is going to wax about how Shadow of the Colossus is the greatest thing ever. FYI I liked the game and appreciate it, but nearly everyone I know in person stopped playing it freaking fast because the controls were so wonky.

I'm just saying if game journalists want to actually write to Joe Xbox then tone down the snobbery a bit, and perhaps stop shitting on games that sell well but don't meet your subjective ideal for games as art (e.g. dynasty warriors. Those games sell because LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE THEM. Appreciate that!)

Thats just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby exfate » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

I can understand people calling N'Gai Croal pretentious. Honestly, I get the same impression from a lot of what the guy writes and says. The problem, I think, is that he can come across as a professional writer first, and gamer second. I don't know the guy, so I can only judge him based on the articles he writes.

New games journalism, as coined by Kieron Gillen, is a great thing. I enjoy subjective writing about an individuals (or groups) experiences and thoughts relating to a particular game or gaming topic. I want to see more of this, and not just in written form. Podcasts are a vocal representation of the same principles, and in many ways are better because conversations are naturally subjective.

Reviews should strive to provide a subjective view of a game. However, they should also present objective arguments to create a balance. I want to be told how the reviewer reacted to the experience, but I also want the reviewer to try and break down the game and give me an objective view of who the game is aimed at. A great recent example is Kieron Gillen's review of The Path on Eurogamer (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/the-path-review).

Previews tend to focus on reiterating PR hype rather than discussing games. This is probably inevitable though, as it's PR that controls the information the journalists have to work with. News is ruled by the blogs. Some blogs suck and are simply trying to stir up controversy to get clicks, but not all. The best example, in my opinion, of a news blog done right is Joystiq.

Beyond the standard types of article, I'd like more subjective pieces about any and every topic around gaming there is. We already get a lot of this from various sources, but not enough. Lists are annoying and need to go away for good. Coverage and discussion of a wider spectrum of games would be good too -- adventure games never died, games journalists just stopped writing about them.
exfate
User avatar
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Apr 12th, 2009 @ 8:06pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

Pele Merengue wrote:
exfate wrote:The problem, I think, is that he can come across as a professional writer first, and gamer second.

Why is this a problem, exactly?


Because any writer (journalist, rather) needs to take their audience into consideration otherwise they are just masturbating with pen and paper.

This isn't performance art, its journalism. Your audience is gamers? Write for gamers.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:44pm

msaeger wrote:I think the issue is the audience for the same game can consist of 14 and 40 year olds. If they write an article for the 14's the 40's say it's immature and if they target the 40's the 14's say it's pretentious. Plus video game sites seem to attract 40 year olds that act like 14 year olds :)



I think any game site that targets 18-30's is on the right track. (I would say 18-25 but the gaming population is getting older).

The ESRB would suggest that the over 18's buy and PLAY the majority of games, so thats probably the appropriate audience.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

How about this: was the game fun? What was fun about it? How did it hold up after extended play? Did you get bored a few hours in? Was there anything new and interesting in the game? Did the game do anything exceptionally well or poorly?

I feel like every review should answer these basic questions, and maybe many of them do, but not clearly enough.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby KindGalaxy » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 3:54pm

Sokkratez wrote:I want less NeoGAF interaction and validation from our games journalists.


Agree with this. Honestly, I'd take more notice of a Yiffy forum than NeoGAF. Then again, NeoGAF is about the only site where games journalists are treated like celebrities, or scorned as anti-Christs, like that entire time when Shawn Elliot and Luke Smith drummed up Shane Bettenhausen's NeoGAF account name, it's not like the games journalists aren't feeding the sharks, they are making GAF feel important. Much rather Tom Chick's QT3 forums for any kind of game journo for developer interaction or discussion.
As for the original question, I want games journalists to stop going to NeoGAF, I want websites to disable their comments systems on article postings and review postings. Then we wouldn't have an argument over whether N'gai Croal had to consult a thesaurus for the word verisimilitude, or if there was then no games journalists would know or care about it.
Never start a beef with a butcher
KindGalaxy
User avatar
 
Posts: 3753
Joined: Mar 7th, 2009 @ 11:01pm
Location: Australia

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 8:09pm

Whining? Really? We are going ad hominem because you disagree with what I am saying?

In any case, I wasn't speaking about "writers" as a whole group, I was speaking about games journalists, and more specifically reviewers. A review is a very specific thing, and it is meant to convey very specific information to a very specific audience. I'm not saying reviews should be formulaic, and in fact I'm sure we both agree that this is a undesirable outcome. What I am saying is simply that many games reviewers are missing the forest for the trees these days with the games they are reviewing. It is not uncommon to read a review and never once see if the reviewer actually had a good time with the game, and what about the game specifically he liked so much.

You say that a writer should not have to appeal to every gamer. I agree. However, I am trying to say that the average gamer is being left out in the cold with the recent trend in games journalism. I am not arguing for a radical shift in everyone's writing, just a little more consideration for the basic tenants of what makes a game desirable and fun to play. And yes, we can cut critics slack and let them write in whatever style they choose, but honestly if I critic is going to write a review about a game and does not "arrive naturally" at whether it is fun or not, or if they enjoyed the experience or not, then I think they are missing the point.

There is plenty of room for N'Gai's out there, but I am trying to communicate that they are limiting their audience to the ultra-hardcore and inside-baseball crowd. The thread's question was "What do (I) want from (my) games journalists?" and that was my answer. I would like to see more focus on the aforementioned elements.

If that was "whiny" then so be it.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:01pm

Pele Merengue wrote:Oh dear. Time for me to break out a numbered list.

1) I wasn't referring to you when I made the whining comment -- I had the NeoGAF kids in mind who were apparently calling N'Gai out for being pretentious.

2) "A review is a very specific thing, and it is meant to convey very specific information to a very specific audience." In case I wasn't clear, I'm trying to say that I think this is bullshit.

3) Maybe it's because I'm not really keeping up with the trends of game journalism, but I'm not aware of average gamers being "left out in the cold".

4) I know it's crazy to say this, but I'm not sure I agree that the point of game reviews (or games, for that matter) is to determine if one enjoys a game or not. Sure, that's inevitably part of it, but there's certainly more to think and say than that.

5) There is plenty of room for the N'Gais, I agree. And answering the same thread question, I was just pointing out that I don't want what you want. Because I'm a dick like that.

LET'S BE FRANDS


Sounds good. Don't actually care about any of this.
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby mtcantor » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:05pm

Pele Merengue wrote:Whatever rocks your yacht.


Damned gaming elitists and their yachts....
Currently Playing: Heavy Rain, Dragon Age: Origins, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Saints Row 2
Recently finished: Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2,No More Heroes 2, Bayonetta, Darksiders
mtcantor
User avatar
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Mar 16th, 2009 @ 11:34pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby exfate » Apr 17th, 2009 @ 9:45pm

Pele Merengue wrote:
exfate wrote:The problem, I think, is that he can come across as a professional writer first, and gamer second.

Why is this a problem, exactly?


Whether he is or isn't is not the problem, it's that some people hold that opinion that is the root of the debate. Personally, I feel he sometimes tries too hard to make a point out of insignificant issues. A prime example are his infamous views on the Resident Evil 5 trailer, as first expressed in an interview with MTV Multiplayer:

There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery. What was not funny, but sort of interesting, was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn't see it. So how could you have a conversation with people who don't understand what you're talking about and think that you're sort of seeing race where nothing exists.


That is a very pretentious view point. He is making an assumption that he is seeing something that others are not, as though he has some special insight. The imagery in the trailer and the parallels to the racist imagery he is describing was plainly obvious to everyone. Most people came to the conclusion that there was nothing wrong with it, but N'Gai chose to claim his view as authoritative -- textbook pretentious attitude.
exfate
User avatar
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Apr 12th, 2009 @ 8:06pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Mr_eX » Apr 18th, 2009 @ 7:42am

I want actual journalists that are separate from the game critics. I don't just want reworded press releases, I want journalists that will go out looking for news that the game companies might not want people to know. This doesn't really happen now because all the big sites have to worry about their relationship with developers/publishers but there should be some sites that don't care about that and their only purpose is to get news.
Mr_eX
User avatar
Geekbox VIP
 
Posts: 15654
Joined: Apr 8th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby cmpLtNOOb » Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

Being a new journalism major, you really see the major difference gaming websites and other news sites. This is probably one of the reasons games journalism is looked down upon by other mediums. That being said, I think the community that plays video games on each respective website is much more tight-knit and involved with the editors than other mediums and the more personal nature of news reporting fits well for such a new medium trying to find its place among everything else.

Although news blogs are a different story. In many cases, blogs are a very lazy way to report news. You just can't get all the details in there if you are just trying to break the news as fast as possible. A well written proofread news article is the way to go, even if it does use a radically different format than the standard. What I would like to know is where podcasts can fall into in the realm of journalism. Is there even a place yet?

I think it would be nice if Top 5 lists could go away, but they are sort of the feature story of video games. I think a well-written really original top 5 list (meaning not about top 5 characters wearing lots of zippers or top 5 boss fights) about things that are important and related to social or industry trends would actually be interesting. But really it would be better to just have much more actual article feature stories, like articles or editorials such as the one that N'Gai Croal wrote that started all of this discussion. Its perfectly fine for N'Gai to write whatever he wants and fine for us to criticize all we want, but we need a lot more people doing what he is doing. If you think he's being too pretentious, then go write something and use whatever words you want, as long as you are making a good statement about something.

I'm really very torn about what to think about games and journalism. On one hand, it would be nice for games journalism to gain more credibility by fitting more of the accepted standard of news writing, maybe even leading to content related to gaming in other entertainment outlets. But what does that do to the deep community that has grown around the site/magazine and the people who created it? I think we don't really know how all of it will go yet.
cmpLtNOOb
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 8th, 2009 @ 12:39am

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Klendathu » Apr 18th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

My Guidelines Manifesto

(1) Get rid of scores. Numbers only fuel the eternal fanboy flamewars. In a best case scenario you pamper the ego of game creators for petty favors. Worst case, you score yourself a slot on the "persona non grata" list of a publisher. In no case does a number tell an uniformed buyer whether he should buy a game or the game is really to his liking. 10/10 games are often the LEAST mainstream compatible! On top of that, only people who already know too much and already have an opinion will gouge the score and then act on it. This is not 1988 anymore, people will have trainloads of information on the game. So reducing it to a number does no longer serve the purpose it once had when all you got was one magazine and a retail box to base your buying decision on. Too many tastes, too many games, too many opinions, in this day and age.

(2) Deconstruct the game. What is Flower? In basic terms it is a flight simulator. What is Spore? In basic terms that game is a combination of other games that do not escape description. Every game can be described in a way people will understand. it would be foolish to think people are challenged by being told that game X was a variety of tower defense or two stick shooting. As unfair as that might seem to the developer, but at the core the games are simple and then support complicated complimentary structures. Describe them!

(3) Analyze the Fun. Some people like repetitive grinding content, other people like adjusting numbers for hours. A good review should be able to convey which activity the gamer is going to do and which activity the gamer is required to draw fun from. Example: In Diablo you will left click on tons of monsters and manage your progressively growing non-reversible character sheet a lot. Example 2: In Guild Wars you will toy around with collectible skills a lot, combine them into builds and then execute them differently in different situations. Example 3: In Ninja Gaiden you will have to react to the attack of enemies and attack enemies in the style of a complex fighting games along the line of Soul Calibur. Example 4: Game X will have you mash buttons with no specific order and little reaction to the actions of enemies is ever required.

If a review can pinpoint the type of activity that is supposed to be fun and then describe it, people will know whether they like the game or not. They do not need a number, they will simply know from the description of gameplay. Other important fun questions: How many hours does the game last? How fun during hour 12 might differ from fun at hour 24 (or hour 2435 my dear WoW players). Games are entertainment, yet few reviews really tell me where the fun in a game lies. It is hard, but it has to be done for the review to be good.

(4) Waste not too much on GFX. A game can be a technical achievement (Crysis) or an achievement in art direction (Psychonauts). We only need to know if either of those almost polar opposites is enough to hold the thing together. Find good examples for either, then let the reader decide if he likes it 8/10 or 10/10. Worth mentioning is if the games has frame rate issues or glitches, but other than that, it is a taste thing.

(5) Waste a bit on sound. Does the game just loop a track over and over? Does the game tie the music to the experience? I am sure everybody knows the sound of Mario dying, of LeChuck approaching, or Darth Vader appearing. Nobody really knows the music loop for the third level of MGS2. Or the fifth stage music for Sonic 3. Those are the two types of quality music can have. "Memorable" or "Tune of the Moment". If the music is memorable it can be pointed out as to why. If the music just rages on in the background, it is only important which genre it is, or whether the music gets the job done of contributing to the general experience. (e.g. the techno music in the fantasy rpg was well executed, but did not fit the atmosphere")

(6) Controls. Do they work, we have to know.

(7) Demo. Where can you get your hands on the sucker to confirm the review or your own taste.

(8) Best Surroundings. If you don't get why Singstar is so good, you might miss a bunch of friends and a few beers. If you don't get Flower, you're probably overlooking the relaxing mood it wants to convey. Has your funny bone been amputated and you just can't access that type of humor a game relies on? Describing the surroundings in which a game works best, helps the player to get into the experience. Gaming rhythm is the magic word in the context of game surroundings. 10 minute pop, or 3h solitary confinement, the gamer needs to know how to access Peggle and MGS differently to get the most of it. A gamer who knows the right surrounding for the game will have a better experience. An 8/10 game might be a 9/10 simply if everything around it fits perfectly. Those are extrinsic factors you have to pinpoint and describe.

For the most part that guideline has helped me while freelancing. Every publication has its own flavor it deems sooooo important for your article. Don't worry, they will tell you, you just run with it. They want scores, you just talk scores. As a freelancer you will most likely always score between 7-9. 10/10 games are reserved for the internal staff, 6/10 games should be avoided, too much bad blood. Since your freelance score is limited, your review really has to speak to the audience in a way the regular magazine contributors can't compete with. Else you won't be hired again. For an online surrounding, I figure this should be true too. Every fanboy and their mother can hand out 10/10 rating while going over the bullet points of the press release. The art of speaking to the audience in a more meaningful way is to deviate from that.

Make the readers aware of design decision appealing to them. Make the reader aware what parts make up the game and might resonate well with them. Make the readers notice things about their gaming habit they did not know before. Many people have fun playing games not knowing why. If you can tell them why they do, you can really help them make purchasing decisions. That is what a good review boils down to. Not an advert, not a confirmation of an already established opinion, but a challenge for the reader to question his taste and compare it to what you serve him in your review. The reader can then compare and contrast his taste to your statements of the game and arrive at an informed decision that will hold up far better than anything out there. (and you might get hired for the next review). In the end, the developer will be very happy since you "got" their game and recommended it to the readers. The readers are happy, they knew why they were going to like the game before buying it. No numbers were ever harmed in the creation of that review. The reader will know how much he will like the game without you ever rating it. The degree he sees himself reflected in your review will determine his personal score that is unique to each reader.

That is the short version of how to approach it, IMHO. How N'Gai does it I do not care. Sometimes I feel as if he tries to be the shiny knight trying to save gaming journalism by means of some arbitrarily established pseudo-scientific journalistic standard from the 90ies. As much he tries to make us look onto his "superior" writing quality, he is basically selling his name. First his Newsweek name, now his real personality. I wager that in an anonymous review showdown, in which 5 established gaming journalists review one and the same game, he would be dead last in terms of quality reviewing. Nobody would spend his money due to N'Gai's words. Due to his name, yes, his writing alone, no.
Klendathu
User avatar
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Mar 9th, 2009 @ 11:25am

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby DerBonk » Apr 18th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

exfate wrote:Reviews should strive to provide a subjective view of a game. However, they should also present objective arguments to create a balance. I want to be told how the reviewer reacted to the experience, but I also want the reviewer to try and break down the game and give me an objective view of who the game is aimed at. A great recent example is Kieron Gillen's review of The Path on Eurogamer (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/the-path-review).


That review is really cool. So, I agree completely, this is the kind of review I'd like to read. Though it would look very different, were it about some other game. Which exactly the point, I think. Interesting game too, wish I had a PC to play it on.

msaeger wrote:I think the issue is the audience for the same game can consist of 14 and 40 year olds. If they write an article for the 14's the 40's say it's immature and if they target the 40's the 14's say it's pretentious. Plus video game sites seem to attract 40 year olds that act like 14 year olds :)
Pele Merengue wrote:
Pele Merengue wrote:"Gamers" covers a pretty broad audience nowadays.


I think this is the problem at hand with the deep discussion vs. pretentiousness issue. And if you look at the comments on the EDGE site itself, you can see that there are people discussing the column seriously, it's just not the Gaffers. I love that gamers are so diverse and games journalism starts to become more diverse as well. Just look at energy drink testing, always joking, Wrestling featuring Giant Bomb and compare it with slow, serious (yet funny), "deep" ALWW or a Gamasutra article. I love both, actually, because they diverge from the muddy middle ground.

So, if you're asking what I want from games journalists, it's not previews or news (let the bloggers and podcasters take care of that [these journalists/bloggers etc. might be the same people, but in a different function, imo]), not even reviews really, I want critiques of some sort. I love EDGE column where they go back to an old title and critique, interpret and analyze it. Made me want to try games that I found out were horrible because I could not play them like they described it in the article (PN 03 is an example). I want long articles, filled with spoilers, taking the game apart. But I'm pretty alone on that front, I guess. When I suggested that in a thread on forum of the German GamesTM, the writers responded as if I had wished for something outrages against their professional ethics, saying that they would always try to stay as objective as possible.

As I've been getting into Game Studies lately, reading a few articles and a book, I'd really like to see (some) games journalists taking these theories and applying them in practice. There's so much good stuff in there, proper definitions and well formalized ideas, that would help clearing up a lot of the fuzzy terms that are so common in games journalism.
I like Sauerkraut and Wurst!
DerBonk
User avatar
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Mar 11th, 2009 @ 12:11am
Location: Northwestern Germany

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Ender » Apr 19th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

What makes you say they aren't being honest? A lot of games get low scores, like a 2 out of 10. What if those reviewers had actually paid for that game.. would they have given it a 1 out of 10?

I think a more pressing matter is the review score itself. I've been listening to several podcasts in which the members talk about how ridiculous review scores are, and I agree with them. I couldn't put an accurate number of how much I enjoyed a game on a review. For most games, the majority of what you actually do in the game is just.. running from point A to point B. That's not fun. When I do that, I can enjoy the art of the backgrounds.. but how would I score that? Do I judge the fun factor, or my perception of the quality of the art?

I know a lot of people don't want to get rid of the simple score systems, and since I don't like them I can just ignore them.. but I still feel that they don't give a very accurate idea of quality from person to person. Those people will have different ideas of what an 8/10 is. The people that start to learn the tastes of reviewers are those likely to read the reviews themselves, and not skip over them to get to the number at the end. Those people probably don't care about the number.
Ender
User avatar
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 13th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby nkarasch » Apr 21st, 2009 @ 1:00am

I don't understand why everybody gets worked up over this stuff. I LIKE IGN's 10 page reviews even though I know they only do it for advertising. If I'm thinking about buying a game I want as many details as I can get.
Steam Name - BacksideNoseblunt
XBL - BcksideNoseblnt
friend me, I have no friends
nkarasch
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Mar 8th, 2009 @ 10:37am
Location: Kalamazoo, MI

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Peatron » Apr 21st, 2009 @ 10:17pm

I think the best solution would be a site like screwattack.com, where the people who run the site will post up new videos each day, that are about games, and things that relate to games. Having a site like that will give you a variety of opinions on games, and game types. This seems like as much better solution than reading articles because of how many people use the internet. It has been mentioned on GFW Radio how some of the crew disliked sitting down and reading a long page about anything. I am also like this and cannot stand to sit down infront of a monitor and read a couple of pages about a game. Because of this, and the lack of any quality gaming magazines that aren't from the U.K., I would much rather prefer to watch or listen to something about games than read. This means going to GameTrailers for video reviews, and GameFaqs, for user reviews. The user reviews on GameFaqs are often much more reliable than any other source that I have found, because of the ability to get opinions from at least five or more people for any particular game. Not only does this system give me a fairly accurate depiction of gmaes, it will also give me news and keep me entertained.

That being said, I think that podcasting really is the future for games journalism. Podcasts let me listen to discussions about multiple gfames and systems in about an hour. Another advantage is one that Shawn Elliot has mentioned as one of his goals for both CGW and GFW, was to let the readers get an idea of what kinds of games each writer liked, and get a feel for their personality. While I never got to that point with the magazine, the podacsts they produced created that effect, and allowed me to trust what someone said about a game, or not to trust them if I thought they were crazy in their game tastes.

Podcasts will allow you to get an understanding of both what a game is like, and what the industry is like without taking any time to do something you wouldn't normally do. This is a much better way to discuss games, because when it is people talking they can more accuratley, without the hinderence of a word count.

Shawn Elliot pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with gaming journalism with one sentence: "At least Mr. Rodgers knew his audience was in diapers". He was obviously correct as you can see by the reaction of the NEOgafer's to N'gai Croal's article. The only for actual journalism to succeed and be worthwhile to everyone is for the journalists to keep their audience in mind. Until the gaming audience has been trained to use the toilet there isn't a way to truly cover more mature topics without making a commotion on the internet.

Hopefully this made sense.
Peatron
User avatar
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 7th, 2009 @ 12:58am
Location: Mountain View Ca

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby KindGalaxy » Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:04am

The constant references to NeoGAF... my God... that entire forum is a total child's playground. Honestly, I can not fathom why the games enthusiast press take such a high note in referencing their bullshit on that message board, purely due to the sheer numbers of their registered user base. Look at their avatars, every second avatar is an anime figure, the other half are anime figures with an eye patch in reverence to Solid Snake. How many virgins exist on NeoGAF, how many total dip shits with nothing better to do than discuss the thesaurus and N'gai or game rankings and female reviewers than those on NeoGAF. The entire site is a joke and I really do wish that the enthusiast press did not take such high volume of notice on this sad-ass website/message board. They're no better than a furry website or sonic passion message board. They argue over minute details on a game, not the actual game's details but whether or not the developer took a shit during production they're that anal-retentive. No sooner does Shawn or Shane make a disparaging tweet than do we see a shit ton of GAF banana riders following them off a cliff like lemmings. My God I wish they'd drink the tainted cool aid and induce a death mass. Why does the gaming press not mature? GAF is one indication on why the world does not take gaming as anything beyond a child's toy.
Perhaps it's because of the forum's status, they hold their breath in wait for a new Shawn Elliot, N'gai Croal, David Jaffe, Denis Dyack, Ken Levine update and when they receive it these gaming enthusiast 'celebrities' get 20-40 posts to read and gush over purely due to the fact some basement hunchback thinks they're awesome or the 21st century Antichrist. Gaming has never been that serious for me and I've been a gamer since 1986. GAF and the obsessive asperger game nerd need to die, the press should not, nor ever, cater to the 'hardcore' they're going to buy the shit no matter what the score/review says. Fuck GAF, fuck hardcore. That's what I'd love most from my games journalist.
Never start a beef with a butcher
KindGalaxy
User avatar
 
Posts: 3753
Joined: Mar 7th, 2009 @ 11:01pm
Location: Australia

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby LiQuid » Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:26am

KindGalaxy wrote:Words, etc...

Soooo... How many months has it been that they still haven't processed your application? :lol:
LiQuid
User avatar
 
Posts: 28315
Joined: Mar 9th, 2009 @ 8:57pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby KindGalaxy » Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 2:29pm

LiQuid wrote:
KindGalaxy wrote:Words, etc...

Soooo... How many months has it been that they still haven't processed your application? :lol:


None, the mere fact that they require an application procedure yet have so many users who are shining examples of everything wrong on the internet in there is proof enough for me to never have a desire to register on there, make a GTA-related animated gif of Nico with the head of Elmo, a random NPD-related signature (something like 'PoS3 PWNED', or the Miyamoto "It prints money" Nintendo DS gif) and bitch about how there's too many girls on gaming podcasts. They are the lowest common denominator for the gaming community and proof why the games industry is perceived as having not matured; more so when games journalists pay attention to them.
Never start a beef with a butcher
KindGalaxy
User avatar
 
Posts: 3753
Joined: Mar 7th, 2009 @ 11:01pm
Location: Australia

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby LiQuid » Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 3:55pm

Why do you get bitter about that kind of stuff instead of laugh at it? I think GAF is hilarious.
LiQuid
User avatar
 
Posts: 28315
Joined: Mar 9th, 2009 @ 8:57pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby KindGalaxy » Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 1:32am

LiQuid wrote:Why do you get bitter about that kind of stuff instead of laugh at it? I think GAF is hilarious.


I am in regards to the subject of this thread, "what I want from games journalists", the games press spend way too much time focusing on GAF, what GAF said, what GAF thinks. I think it's a cycle that should stop, the folks on there with "Hell Yeah" avatars of Ryan Scott, the ones asking Zero Punctuation's Ben Croshaw to do a review video of a game they like/hate (and then Ben Croshaw doing it), the ones who bombard an article by Chris Plante with negative comments after Shawn Elliot tweets to Chris Plante how his writing is. And then the journalists reinforcing support to GAF through revealing Shane Bettenhausen's GAF name, or N'gai saying that a comment he's made is bound to end up on GAF. Gaming journalism would be a fair sight better without GAF being in the journalists' minds.
Never start a beef with a butcher
KindGalaxy
User avatar
 
Posts: 3753
Joined: Mar 7th, 2009 @ 11:01pm
Location: Australia

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby AJR » May 4th, 2009 @ 9:53am

Candy.
I do a podcast with some guy. Feel free to listen.
http://earth-2.net/podcasts/extralives/extralives
AJR
User avatar
 
Posts: 190
Joined: May 3rd, 2009 @ 10:48pm
Location: A MAGICAL LAND OF CANDY AND SUNSHINE!

Re: What do you want from your games journalists?

Postby Big Pick Zel » May 10th, 2009 @ 9:21am

Stop trying to be journalists. No one respects journalists outside of journalism circles. Game journalists from here on out should refer to themselves as "The Luckiest Gamers on Earth," because they get to, for better or worse, express to a large audience through the careful crafting of the written word their love for gaming.

Don't get me wrong, I love gaming and I love reading about games. I just don't think game writers should concern themselves with being "serious journalists."
Classic vampires are just zombies with more Satan in them.
http://www.cryptocartographer.com
Big Pick Zel
User avatar
 
Posts: 63
Joined: May 10th, 2009 @ 8:54am
Location: Maine

Next
Forum Statistics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests

Options

Return to Games

cron