106: Play, Live, Learn

Pat M.

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Jul 11, 2006
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Play, Live, Learn

"It's been four years since I got turned on to interesting game writing, which means it has been eight years since I started in this business, and the question on everyone's lips right now is 'Are we there yet?' Well, we're somewhere."

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Pat M.

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Jul 11, 2006
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So I guess I should be glad NMA [http://www.nma-fallout.com/] isn't getting anything from Bethesda and thus risks nothing in pissing them off?

Interesting perspective. I'm not hugely experienced on fansites, but I have noted a difference on working for NMA, which never cared much whether Interplay/Bethesda hated or like them and sometimes made only lip service to keeping interaction polite, and Drakensang.info, which relies on developers for exclusives.

But I think the more important thing here is not the pull, not the developers' opinion, but the people backing it up. A lot of fansites simply don't have to deal with developers directly, especially not older ones that are integrated into their own circle, like NMA. The people you talk to "every day," so to speak, are your readers.

I agree with you both influences are there, but while as an NMA admin I'm not too worried about pissing off Bethesda's PR people much, I do have to keep the opinions of our readers in the back of my mind when posting. I could tell myself it doesn't influence my opinion, but it does.

Good post, Pat.
 

turkmenistan

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Jul 9, 2007
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If I had to vote for a great piece of writing on games last year, John Seabrook's feature on Will Wright in the New Yorker trounced all of the "game journalists" by a wide mile. And while Seabrook is a tech writer, he is not a hardcore gamer or close student of the industry. The New Yorker can't be eating the games press's lunch. I mean, they don't even have pictures.

Nice piece, but the ratio of talking about new games journalism to writing it is still about 1000:1. What's everyone waiting for? Permission?
 

Joe

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Jul 7, 2006
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Hey man, food > art. Ask anyone who's been relatively successful in any artform.

Also, new games journalism is reeeeallly prone to wankery and hard to pull off (and that's coming from me), which is probably the real reason you don't see too much of it.
 

turkmenistan

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Jul 9, 2007
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I didn't mean wanky first-person stuff so much as kick-ass thoughtful stuff. That would be "new."

Non-gamers are writing better stories about gaming than game journos. Like this: http://www.westword.com/2007-03-08/news/the-legend-of-leeroy-jenkins/full

Yeah, a couple game mags have interviewed the guy, but this writer (who doesn't even play WOW) just ate everyone's lunch.
 

Joe

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Jul 7, 2006
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Oh, so you mean actual articles on things rather than reviews. That's not NGJ, it's just journalism. But that's semantics, really, and I agree with you. We need more of it. So does sports writing, too.