Friday, 2 November 2012

What Now?

Perhaps the one and only decent thing to take from this entire mess.

Yesterday I talked a little about how a games journalist basically lost his job over the fact that he had the gall to actually wonder whether a fellow writer was a little too chummy with a company that she would likely review a future release for. After the outlet he published the article in, Eurogamer, was threatened with a libel suit -- at this point I feel it necessary to mention that the person potentially doing the suing, one Lauren Wainwright, at first denied that such a threat was levelled, but this has since been proven false -- the article was edited to remove the mention of her activities, and the person who wrote it, Rob Florence, ultimately stepped down from his position.

That in and of itself is bad enough. What arguably made it worse though, is how many people didn't care, or how many were angry that the article got published in the first place. You can read some of the reactions in the article that I linked above, but for just one example here's what Kotaku editor and chief Stephen Totilo had to say about this. Basically dismissing it and saying that there's more important things to cover, like for example unboxing their shiny Halo 4 crap. Totilo has since said that he does plan to give this thing coverage, and that he didn't mean to come off as flippant. Whether or not people actually believe him is another matter.

Now, not all outlets have shown this surprising and frankly disgusting level of apathy towards this event. I've already linked multiple articles from Forbes, and there's also a Destructoid article from Jim Sterling on the topic, as well as work that he did for GameFront, and some Penny Arcade articles weighing in on this entire thing. It's good to see that there are some in the journalism business that actually want to discuss this for what it is, not dismiss it or sweep it under the rug.

Perhaps the most important thing though, is that the people that ultimately matter the most, the actual gamers themselves, are proving that they care. Upon hearing this news NeoGAF went appropriately ballistic, and did a lot of work sorting stuff out and finding good information and also keeping the discussion regarding this thing ongoing.

That still leaves me with questions though.

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm only a bedroom blogger. It's my dream to get into the industry, to be a games journalist. But seeing stuff like this really does give me pause. It's great to see that some actually do care, but it's also incredibly frightening to me to see that so many don't or even further than that, are actually opposed to stuff like this getting to the light of day.

I know that it's not against the law to like certain games, franchises, publishers, or whoever. But I'd also like to think that if someone is accused of being soft, or worse, of being on the payroll, that it would lead to discussion, not lawsuits. Is this amount of sycophancy really something that a person has to become accustomed to, or even embrace, in order to play in the big leagues? Relationships with developers are one thing, but are even those going too far?

I'm honestly not sure, and that scares the living hell out of me.

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