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Old 10-27-2012, 12:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Everyone read this! Lost Humanity: A Table of Doritos aka corrupt journalism

aka How Eurogamer Fired One Of their Writers For Speaking Truthfully About Video Game Journalism

This could be bigger than the Jeff Gerstman incident (remember, he was honest about how Kane & Lynch was fucking awful and he got fired for it because Gamespot got paid waaaay too much money to give them a AAA score).

First the story of what happened, then after the original article from Eurogamer (now it has been edited, reposted on Neogaf)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinemablend

Eurogamer Writer Loses Job For Pointing Out How Much Video Game Journalism Fails
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-10-25 14:48:22



Oh boy, talk about a massive fallout. Apparently Eurogamer isn't on the side of right and might, as writer Robert Florence's last article for the mega-site was also his most riveting and eye-opening. After posting about the inconsistent, advertorial approach some sites use – including a frightening image of an ad-bombarded Geoff Keighley – Robert, also known as Rab, was given his walking papers from Eurogamer.

On Twitter, Robert Florence makes it known that his piece entitled Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos was his last article for Eurogamer. What appears on Eurogamer's site right now is an amended or “advertorial friendly” version of the original piece that he wrote, which can be viewed in its entirety over at Neogaf. Florence writes on twitter...

Yesterday was my last piece for Eurogamer. Here it is in amended form. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ble-of-doritos … I stand by every word of the original piece.


I guess I was a little quick to jump the gun, thinking Eurogamer was one of the good guys in all of this. Oh well, bad judgment call on my part.

Apparently things got ugly when Florence referenced a Tweet by a writer from MCV, stating the obvious in his article...

One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: "Urm... Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that's a bad thing?"

Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: "Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ"

And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist's apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she's in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?


I would be suspicious, too. Who in their right mind wouldn't?

This comment caught the ire from editor-in-chief at MCV, Michael French, who went on the defense for his writer and apparently on the defense of being lambasted for legal threats sent the way of Eurogamer for Florence's comment. French simply states...

Some clarity: There was no legal action taken from Intent. We asked Eurogamer to remove cruel content about a staff member. They obliged.



That wasn't all they removed. They got rid of a staff member, too.

Heck, I'm with Florence...but not just in his comment about Wainwright, but about how the whole industry works.

One of the most reputable journalists in the video game circle, John Walker, writes extensively on his blog about the ins and outs of video game journalism, the whole being persuaded with trips, swag and the in-betweens to feel good about a game (something an anonymous publisher also admitted to recently), and how it can all end up being perceived as a way to goad writers into advertising products to readers, as opposed to bringing readers news about products and the people who make them.

What's worse is that Florence took a bullet for being honest. He wrote sincerely and wholeheartedly about issues that we, as gamers, feel should be addressed in this corrupt and oftentimes laughable industry. I'll be the first to say that I don't trust reviews from major sites or magazines for as far as I can spit, and I've never relied on them to buy a game. You know where I go instead? Amazon's user review section, dedicated forum communities and comment sections from major review sites...because people who paid money for a product are less likely to lie.

Now I know the word around the block will eventually devolve into “Robert Florence amicably stepped down over inappropriate comments that allegedly painted other journalists in a bad light” but did you guys see that picture of Keighley? Really?! Does anything else need to be said?

It's obvious Florence was given the boot simply because on his Twitter he states that he stands by everything he said in the original article. Someone leaving on their own volition over shame and misappropriation would never adhere to standing firm to the very belief that caused them to get sacked.

It's just sad that major sites seem to be prohibited from being honest about this stuff, heck Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann had his balls tied in a knot and his mouth gagged when it came to that Kane & Lynch fiasco. He wasn't able to talk freely until after some corporate ties were settled. That just goes to show you how much of a joke this industry has become.

In a few years we'll also refer to video game journalism fails in the form of both the Gertsmann incident and the Florence fallout. Good job gaming industry.

Thankfully, there are still some sites out there that aren't afraid to step over the red tape. Hopefully after this incident with Eurogamer there will be more writers willing to step away from the advertorial religion that the gaming industry currently adheres to like some kind of deluded fundamentalist.

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/eur...ils-48600.html
Original article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rab Florence

There is an image doing the rounds on the internet this week. It is an image of Geoff Keighley, a Canadian games journalist, sitting dead-eyed beside a garish Halo 4 poster and a table of Mountain Dew and Doritos. It is a tragic, vulgar image. But I think that it is the most important image in games journalism today. I think we should all find it and study it. It is important.



Geoff Keighley is often described as an industry leader. A games expert. He is one of the most prominent games journalists in the world. And there he sits, right there, beside a table of snacks. He will be sitting there forever, in our minds. That's what he is now. And in a sense, it is what he always was. As Executive Producer of the mindless, horrifying spectacle that is the Spike TV Video Game Awards he oversees the delivery of a televisual table full of junk, an entire festival of cultural Doritos.

How many games journalists are sitting beside that table?

Recently, the Games Media Awards rolled around again, and games journos turned up to a thing to party with their friends in games PR. Games PR people and games journos voted for their favourite friends, and friends gave awards to friends, and everyone had a good night out. Eurogamer won an award. Kieron Gillen was named an industry legend (and if anyone is a legend in games writing, he is) but he deserves a better platform for recognition than those GMAs. The GMAs shouldn't exist. By rights, that room should be full of people who feel uncomfortable in each other's company. PR people should be looking at games journos and thinking, "That person makes my job very challenging." Why are they all best buddies? What the hell is going on?

Whenever you criticise the GMAs, as I've done in the past, you face the accusation of being "bitter". I've removed myself from those accusations somewhat by consistently making it clear that I'm not a games journalist. I'm a writer who regularly writes about games, that's all. And I've been happy for people who have been nominated for GMAs in the past, because I've known how much they wanted to be accepted by that circle. There is nothing wrong with wanting to belong, or wanting to be recognised by your peers. But it's important to ask yourself who your peers are, and exactly what it is you feel a need to belong to.
2

Just today, as I sat down to write this piece, I saw that there were games journalists winning PS3s on Twitter. There was a competition at those GMAs - tweet about our game and win a PS3. One of those stupid, crass things. And some games journos took part. All piling in, opening a sharing bag of Doritos, tweeting the hashtag as instructed. And today the winners were announced. Then a whole big argument happened, and other people who claim to be journalists claimed to see nothing wrong with what those so-called journalists had done. I think the winners are now giving away their PS3s, but it's too late. It's too late. Let me show you an example.

One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: "Urm... Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that's a bad thing?"

Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: "Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ"

And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist's apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she's in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I'm sure she isn't, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?

Another journalist, one of the winners of the PS3 competition, tweeted this at disgusted RPS writer John Walker: "It was a hashtag, not an advert. Get off the pedestal." Now, this was Dave Cook, a guy I've met before. A good guy, as far as I could tell. But I don't believe for one second that Dave doesn't understand that in this time of social media madness a hashtag is just as powerful as an advert. Either he's on the defensive or he doesn't get what being a journalist is actually about.


I want to make a confession. I stalk games journalists. It's something I've always done. I keep an eye on people. I have a mental list of games journos who are the very worst of the bunch. The ones who are at every PR launch event, the ones who tweet about all the freebies they get. I am fascinated by them. I won't name them here, because it's a horrible thing to do, but I'm sure some of you will know who they are. I'm fascinated by these creatures because they are living one of the most strange existences - they are playing at being a thing that they don't understand. And if they don't understand it, how can they love it? And if they don't love it, why are they playing at being it?
3

This club, this weird club of pals and buddies that make up a fair proportion of games media, needs to be broken up somehow. They have a powerful bond, though - held together by the pressures of playing to the same audience. Games publishers and games press sources are all trying to keep you happy, and it's much easier to do that if they work together. Publishers are well aware that some of you go crazy if a new AAA title gets a crappy review score on a website, and they use that knowledge to keep the boat from rocking. Everyone has a nice easy ride if the review scores stay decent and the content of the games are never challenged. Websites get their exclusives. Ad revenue keeps rolling in. The information is controlled. Everyone stays friendly. It's a steady flow of Mountain Dew pouring from the hills of the money men, down through the fingers of the weary journos, down into your mouths. At some point you will have to stop drinking that stuff and demand something better.

Standards are important. They are hard to live up to, sure, but that's the point of them. The trouble with games journalism is that there are no standards. We expect to see Geoff Keighley sitting beside a table of s***. We expect to see the flurry of excitement when the GMAs get announced, instead of a chuckle and a roll of the eyes. We expect to see our games journos failing to get what journalistic integrity means. The brilliant writers, like John Walker for example, don't get the credit they deserve simply because they don't play the game. Indeed, John Walker gets told to get off his pedestal because he has high standards and is pointing out a worrying problem.

Geoff Keighley, meanwhile, is sitting beside a table of snacks. A table of delicious Doritos and refreshing Mountain Dew. He is, as you'll see on Wikipedia, "only one of two journalists, the other being 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, profiled in the Harvard Business School press book 'Geeks and Geezers' by noted leadership expert Warren Bennis." Geoff Keighley is important. He is a leader in his field. He once said, "There's such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish I had more time to do more, sort of, investigation." And yet there he sits, glassy-eyed, beside a table heaving with sickly Doritos and Mountain Dew.

It's an important image. Study it.
So Freeloader, ready to bitch some more about scores and reviews?
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Everyone read this! Lost Humanity: A Table of Doritos aka corrupt journalism

"Lost Humanity" ... I was kinda hoping this thread is about Dark Souls.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Everyone read this! Lost Humanity: A Table of Doritos aka corrupt journalism

It's nice for him to confirm what most of us already knew, I guess. Must suck for smaller developers that can't afford to buy good reviews.

I wonder if they intentionally lower the scores of certain games that are in competition with the so-called "AAA" titles.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Everyone read this! Lost Humanity: A Table of Doritos aka corrupt journalism

People are surprised that this happens? No doubt this happens in most places. People will deny obviously but it clearly happens
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Everyone read this! Lost Humanity: A Table of Doritos aka corrupt journalism

This became pretty evident after every COD since MW1 got perfect scores.
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