I’ve been a bit busy with grading and writing and job applying so I haven’t gotten around to writing about the whole Bulletstorm thing.
For those out of the loop, the while “deal” started when John Brandon wrote a story with the pithy title, “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” It isn’t of course the quality of the game that is at question but rather the morality of the game. Perhaps unsurprisingly the answer to the titular question was apparently, “yes.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun covered the entire situation much more thoroughly than I ever could. They contacted the sources quoted by Brandon and found that nearly all of them had been quoted out of context.
While all of the sources quoted by Brandon responded to Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s requests for comments and interviews, there was one person who was curiously silent: John Brandon himself. For someone who has many articles that have been given questions for titles, he doesn’t seem to be eager to actually answer any questions himself. For a while he even protected his twitter account so that you couldn’t read it if you weren’t his friend.
I find John Brandon’s lack of comment on the issue to be really disappointing because I really would like to hear his side of the story. Why were the comments of so many of the people quoted in the article so twisted and taken out of context? Was it his doing or the editors? Why did he write the article in the first place? Why is he resistant to talking about the Bulletstorm column?
While he probably won’t ever answer any of those questions, he has unprotected his twitter account and looking back at the tweets he made immediately after the column came out but apparently before he protected his account make for interesting reading.
It looks like it begins on February 4 with his soliciting for people to comment on videogame violence:
So when called out for seemingly shoddy journalism he falls back on the old, “gamers live in their parent’s basement” line. That may be “journalism” but it certainly isn’t good journalism…