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Making the Case for Games Journalism

Illustration for article titled Making the Case for Games Journalism

Game journalism is a pretty maligned corner of the journalism world as a whole — sometimes for good reason, but as Gus Mastrapa argues, we're not really deserving of the broad brush we get painted with. Why, he even points to Kotaku as a 'sure sign that we've arrived'! Games journalism doesn't lag behind many other enthusiast presses, he says, despite their advantage of age:

When I browse my RSS reader everyday, I'm consistently impressed by the quality and originality of the reporting being done by the video game press. I say this not only as a member of the gaming press but as a fan. In addition to all the games reporting I read as part of my job (and to sate my love of games as a hobby) I also read tons of news about movies, music and television. I can honestly say that games are covered just as well, if not better, than other forms of entertainment. Don't go thinking that those guys writing about movies are that much more serious about journalism just because their medium has been around fifty years longer. My RSS feed was rife with rumors and speculation about the casting and plot of the next Batman movie, despite the fact that not a single iota of work has been done on the sequel. Rumors that Johnny Depp would play the Riddler were carried by respectable newspapers around the world. Games aren't the only medium that feed this kind of reporting. If anything, the fact that we have an organization as capable and agile as Kotaku to keep tabs on this kind of thing is a sure sign that we've arrived.

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Of course, the first comment on the article heartily disagrees (surprise!); I think it's healthy and necessary to do some self-criticism of where we do go wrong, but it's always nice to read well-reasoned pieces on what we do right, as well. The Case For Games Journalism [GameDaily via GameSetWatch]

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DISCUSSION

yeahwritelight
yeah_write

I can't speak for every game site, but I know the one I work for has very high journalistic standards—it's what drew me to them in the first place. Though they can be a pain at times, sticking to the (sometimes)stodgy standards and limitations of AP style and other newsroom rule books is what gives a publication its integrity and credibility. I wanted to get into game journalism, but I didn't want to leave those behind.

It was to my great surprise then, when I started writing for the site I work with, that many of the rules from my newspaper and magazine days were still in place. Greg Kasavin (former editor-in-chief and one of the best game journalists) left his mark on that site, and you can tell by the way the staff handles each and every story. As a traditional journalist, I feel more at home at GameSpot than I thought I would have.

But this is Kotaku, so I'll stop tooting another sites horn. For what it's worth, I think this site is awesome, and that it deserves the praise it is due. Crecente is a great journalist, as are many of the other hardworking bloggers that keep this place running (Maggie Greene's editorials are awesome by the way—the industry needs more of those).

As for being un-biased, that's a fantasy. There is no true objectivity, and even if there was, would you want it in your video game news? These are games after all, they're supposed to be fun, and reading about them should be too. An objective bare-bones news story might be the trick when you're looking for information on the stock market, but when it comes to Prince of Persia, or GTAIV, or any other game, I want more than just the facts; I want to hear how cool it is. As long as game journalists don't go overboard with that, I think we're heading in the right direciton.