Daily Archives: January 16, 2006

Is It Just Me????

So once again, people are talking about videogame journalism and how horrible it is.

Reading these posts, however, it seems that people have very very different ideas of what “good” is. I know, I know, saying that taste is subjective is a pretty crazy idea! I’m not saying I’m some bastion of good taste. I liked the Doom movie after all…

Here was my comment on Slashdot:

Most of the comments here talk about horrible reviews, but is reviewing really journalism? Is Roger Ebert a journalist? Not to degrade reviewers. But do people really 100% trust one videogame review?

While I like reading reviews, I read videogame reviews the same way I read film reviews: with a grain of salt.

Maybe it is because of my research interests, but I’m a lot more interested in the non-review journalism such as articles that talk about trends in gaming or gaming culture. That is more of what I think of when I think about journalism instead of reviews.

What is most interesting is that one of the people Robin Hunicke mentioned as, “look[ing] beyond muzzle flashes, explosions and crisp sound” is also the same person that wrote what Something Awful called

…the most pretentious review ever written about anything…. You could write a gushing review of “Time Code” as a concrete poem shaped like a moebius strip and you would still be a galaxy away from Kieron’s review of Darwinia.

Then there’s everyone’s favorite Escapist Magazine. Am I the only one that couldn’t look bast the horrible pretentious layout? It may well be the best thing ever written about videogames, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been able to read a single article because– call me crazy — but I hate having to click next every three words.

The thing that most frustrates me is that all the complaining about the state of videogame journalism seems to imply that somewhere out there there is some field of journalism that doesn’t totally suck. Sure there are the exceptions and there are the rare good articles, but what are these people reading, listening to, or watching that they think that videogame journalism is some exception to the sad state of journalism? Complaining about horrible videogame journalism is like complaining about someone staining the couch cushion when the couch is sitting in the middle of a garbage dump. It may be accurate and a valid complaint, but it is kind of missing the point.