How much would you pay for better games journalism?

Albino Boo

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Pogilrup said:
Look there was a screenshot of how various gaming news sites got a 15 out of 100 in their evaluation to become Reuters quality.

Of the reasons cited for the low score is, as I will paraphrase: having economic ties to the industry.
Reuters makes its money by selling stories to other news outlets. TV and Papers can't afford to have staff everywhere in the world especially when dealing with places like Sierra Leone. You might get story about Sierra Leone every 5 to 10 years, thats a long time to pay someone with using their content. Thats where Reuters comes in, they have a world wide network of stringers feeding them stories which the sell on.
 

carnex

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I don't really think journalism can be better unless there is change of human mentality and even than there is need for fundamental change is whole industry/journalism system.

First part is that people love reading dirty thing and sensationalistic content. I can't present better example then once duo of perhaps first long format gaming podcast, Warzone. It consisted of two poeple, Torrence Davis and Gerard Williams aka HipHopGamer. Torrence took the journalist path, working only with confirmed stories and objective reviews, been respectful but hard ass with industry people etc and burned his two modern sites even if he was pioneer in independent internet video game writing. On other hand, HipHopGamer went full force into yellow territory with sensationalism, rumors and bending over whenever it was needed. he exploded until few years ago he was proclaimed ambassador of gaming.

And the second part is that indie devs and journalists are friends already or become friends. Often since people switch between internet gaming journalism and indie game development now and then. While bit publishers control message to the point that they control rumors and leaks!
 

Olas

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I pay $20 a year ($1.66 a month) to keep the Escapist free of advertising, at least for me, of course that doesn't mean much if other users don't.

Baffle said:
I would not give you the most tiny of tiny pennies. I do not enjoy paying for things that would otherwise be free. Every time I open my wallet, a little bit of my soul dies with a tiny gasp, nay, a whisper - 'It used to be free' it says, 'Why are you paying for it?' And then it's gone.
There's no such thing as a free lunch, either you were paying for it before (directly or indirectly) or you were stealing it and thus harming the industry.

If the idea of spending money on something brings you so much woe you might as well leave society entirely and try to live off the land as a hermit. Even then you won't get anything for free, you'll still have to work to get food.
 

L. Declis

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I would happily pay £5 per month for Jim, Yahtzee, Totalbiscuit, Critical Miss, Rabbit's Respawn, Susan Ardent and Bro Team to come together and make an awesome website.

However, if all it does is remove ads, and they're still relying on good will from publishers, then what's the point in paying?
 

Olas

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Baffle said:
Olas said:
There's no such thing as a free lunch, either you were paying for it before (directly or indirectly) or you were stealing it and thus harming the industry.

If the idea of spending money on something brings you so much woe you might as well leave society entirely and try to live off the land as a hermit. Even then you won't get anything for free, you'll still have to work to get food.
If you mean I was paying for it by ignoring some adverts then... well, /shrug I guess. Not bothered.
It may not bother you, but I'm sure it bothers the companies that pay money for those adverts, money which is the only thing making the content you're watching possible. It may seem too indirect or abstract for you to appreciate, but ignoring adverts is effectively the same thing as stealing content. You are effectively a leach who's harming the very business model you seem to advocate.

If everybody ignored adverts sites would HAVE to charge money for content, or seek money through donations of some kind.

I spend money on plenty - Christ, do I. Real stuff mostly. Things like new windows for my house, tools I want to own, games I want to play, food I enjoy eating. Real stuff I can do real useful things with. But no, I won't pay to read someone's opinion on something - it isn't exactly in short supply.
You think that journalism isn't real? You think that people don't have to spend time and resources creating it? Are you saying that people who study journalism and go into the field don't have real jobs?

The quality of journalism has gone down the shitter in the last decade or so, and people like you are a large part of the reason why. I guess it's fair though, you get what you pay for.

Re: living off the land. Doing things for yourself rather than paying someone else has its own pleasure, at least for me.
Good, at least then you can't be a leach on anyone else.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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Pogilrup said:
Freedom of information.
"Freedom of information" is a term that generally applies to governments in this context, not people. Are you suggesting their personal finances be available so that we can audit them? I think if that's the case, you wouldn't get better games journalism, just less of it. Speaking personally, if someone made a law where I had to lay bare my finances to prove to the public I wasn't biased (and this is already an absurd premise, given the standards required for a game journalist to be accused of TEH BIAS), I'd rather pack up.
Look there was a screenshot of how various gaming news sites got a 15 out of 100 in their evaluation to become Reuters quality.

Of the reasons cited for the low score is, as I will paraphrase: having economic ties to the industry.
Reuters didn't let that stop them with tobacco.

Also, I'm inclined to ask so what? They're selling toys.

But okay, fine. How many music or movie sites meet their criteria? It's incredibly common to see financial ties there, too. Weirdly enough, I bet you don't have those numbers. People tend not to care because even the most histrionic movie goers don't spend a lot of time complaining about how film critics are TEH BIAS and PAID OFF.

shrekfan246 said:
A lot of video game reviewers, at least on sites smaller than IGN, don't make enough money that purchasing the games themselves is a viable option.
But neither should they have to. Other media reviewers get review copies. Hell, I've been offered review copies of books and CDs (or MP3 versions of the album) based solely on my AMAZON.COM[footnote]for the record, I'm not talking Vine program or whatever, as I'm not part of Vine[/footnote] reviews, where these people are unaware of anything else I've done. Never got offered a movie free, though. You don't even need to review for a major publication. Hell, my father gets review copies for things he writes on his free website. Sometimes, even unsolicited.

I think it's really absurd that reviewers of a more expensive media (barring the inclusion of box sets or possibly collector's editions) should feel inclined to be treated like they can't be trusted because its fanbase can't deal with the concept that they might like other things (which is where like, 90% of the bias claims come from). And worse, the idea that it could go on routinely with nobody being aware. Hell, the mere hint of impropriety with Zoe Quinn caused an internet shitstorm. Yeah, I know a lot of it comes down to her being a woman, and her being a feminist, and her making a game people had issues with, but seriously.

A bigger problem is that unlike other media, embargoes are quite common (to my understanding, as I am not a games reviewer). Jim Sterling on this very site talks about being blacklisted by publishers, and he's not the only one making that claim (nor even remotely so). There's no money exhanging hands that we can prove, no shady backroom deals, no. Just the silent understanding that they will try and crush your livelihood.

Speaking of Jim, I think it was he who suggested simply not covering certain devs and pubs when they behave this way. While it's probably the only realistic way to stop publisher blacklisting, I wonder how many of the people angry with TEH BIAS in gaming would have a fit when there were suddenly no reviews for their next big purchase.
 

Simonism451

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I currently send two dollars a month in Richard Cobbett's ( http://www.patreon.com/probablyrichard ) direction, although that is because I want to support a pretty funny, clever, insightful and all-around cool writer enough so he might buy himself a coke once a month or so, rather than to keep him from becoming a soulless company shill.
Edit: Now that I wrote it, I also went ahead and donated some money to Quarter To Three.
 

Mikeybb

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Aug 19, 2014
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I originally used to pay about eight dollars a month to my magazine of choice.

That eventually went the way of most printed media and shuffled off the mortal coil.

That's about what I'd consider paying for something that was as trusted as the magazine in question.
They always stated in a review or preview when they were flown out to somewhere or herded about with the junket cattle.
They would always state when they'd been blacklisted or threatened with blacklisting and warn against purchase until the review was out, even if it meant waiting.

That would be about as far as I'd go price wise for another trusted source of that quality and upfront attitude whichever medium they were part of.
 

shrekfan246

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Zachary Amaranth said:
A bigger problem is that unlike other media, embargoes are quite common (to my understanding, as I am not a games reviewer). Jim Sterling on this very site talks about being blacklisted by publishers, and he's not the only one making that claim (nor even remotely so). There's no money exhanging hands that we can prove, no shady backroom deals, no. Just the silent understanding that they will try and crush your livelihood.
Yeah, the hilarity of the accusations leveled at reviewers that they're all-too-willing to get into bed with publishers isn't lost on me when there's historically far more evidence that points towards publishers trying to shut out reviewers they perceive to be "not on their side" (such as with Jim and Konami) out of spite. EDIT: To clarify since those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive in the way I've worded it, I mean the accusations that reviewers are going to be biased towards a game because a publisher is trying to bribe them.

And to be honest, I've had an issue with the idea of NDAs and review embargoes in gaming ever since I heard about them in the first place. I understand them on a fundamental level, but this is video gaming, not the CIA. But unfortunately there's not really much the journalists themselves can do about that. Refusing to play ball with a publisher just means that in the future their competition will be more likely to get their viewership on products by that publisher, and it puts a black mark on the reviewer/website in general as being "unreliable" (hilariously enough; even publishers don't trust games journalists, you'd think that would be reason enough for the gaming community to have a little faith).
 

kasperbbs

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I wouldn't, it's just not worth it, i get most the information that i need from youtube or forums where people are more than willing to share their opinions on things for free.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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tippy2k2 said:
Pogilrup said:
tippy2k2 said:
Pogilrup said:
Well in that case perhaps we might need some legislation.
Legislation? Legislation for what? You're going to have to be a bit more clear on what you are asking for here...
Freedom of information.
Alright, that's what I thought you meant but I wanted to be sure I knew what you actually meant before I squish it.

These are video games. I want everyone to say that with me now: "Video Games".

This isn't government corruption. This isn't people getting abducted by a secret police force. This isn't mass genocide. This isn't people being forced into prison without trials.

These are entertainment products being made by private companies. They can release as much (or as little) information about their products as they want. There is no legislation that you could implement that wouldn't have way way waaaay worse complications.
I agree with your points, both previous and this one. It leads me to this whole culture of misunderstanding what legislation does and means, and how misinterpreted things like "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of Information" are. I could muse all day on the ignorance of people and give examples but I don't think I need to.
The last thing in the world we need is the government (any government) having too damn much control over private industry. Governments aren't good at running things because they're bureaucratic messes and adding more regulations that give them more control over the private industry creates more red-tape and bloat, causing massive issues. The point I'm making is that we don't need government to solve all our little problems, ethical or otherwise. The government (any government) needs only focus on criminal matters, civil rights, national defense (though that needs to be refined a bit), and infrastructure maintenance as well as foreign policy, aside from economic regulations that is. Anything else is beyond the scope of what they can do, and moreover beyond their ability to handle.
People run to government to do shit for them, and its the wrong thing to do. Government isn't there to fix every little issue and the more people start to rely on it, the more you'll hear dumbass things like people calling 911 and asking for Obama to do something about the local McDonalds running out of McNuggets (something like that happened, no shit).
It just shows how education has been largely ignored despite all the supposed money they dump into it.
This is the shit that happens when you educate people to rely on the Fed to take care of them and their families, it is not helpful nor is it right. People need to learn to stand on their own two feet, if they need assistance because of hardships I understand, but thats not the topic. Stop asking what the Government can do for you, ask what the hell you can do for yourself.
 

Charleston

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MysticSlayer said:
Besides, there's still no real evidence of widespread corruption. People like pointing to the Kane & Lynch fiasco or some review score of two games on IGN, but those seem to be isolated incidents, and that's assuming that they all were actually due to corruption. The occasional wide difference in review scores on Metacritic also isn't evidence of widespread corruption in game reviews, as it not only rarely gets as bad as games like Rome II, but it also could be more of a problem with the gaming community than the critics (e.g. Call of Duty).
Careful with this. There doesn't need to be any explicit or direct act of corruption for a magazine to lose legitimacy. Very often AAA publishers can use their money to indirectly pay for news in the form of, for example, launch events. A video coverage of a game's event is essentially paid publicity. By most other industry's standards, E3 is a travesty that wouldn't exist without some serious overhauls. And that's just one example.

shrekfan246 said:
Pogilrup said:
But this also means that they are susceptible to being manipulated by publishers.
They're not, really. It's actually been quite well-documented that publishers like EA tend to not really give a single care about what The Escapist or Destructoid has to say about their games, while the indie developers and individuals at a studio are the ones who take offense to being criticized or not receiving specific review scores.
They can say they don't care from a PR standpoint, but in reality, I wouldn't doubt that reviews drive a certain amount of sales. It's not just a matter of the score, if a site rates a game with a 2, they probably won't bother releasing news about some random patch or thingy related to the game itself, and viceversa.
 

shrekfan246

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Charleston said:
They can say they don't care from a PR standpoint, but in reality, I wouldn't doubt that reviews drive a certain amount of sales. It's not just a matter of the score, if a site rates a game with a 2, they probably won't bother releasing news about some random patch or thingy related to the game itself, and viceversa.
Oh yeah, there's no doubt in my mind that reviews impact sales.

But it's a very small selection of big publishers who have actually openly shown themselves to care about that. Guys like Ubisoft or Activison, they pump so much into advertising and perform so much PR that they hardly even need to rely on the reviews. Just look at Watch Dogs, you know?
 

Artaneius

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LOL, not my responsibility to make sure I get "accurate" information from any kind of journalism. There something called ethics and consequences from the government if shit like that happens. Not my responsibility to make sure people keep their jobs and eat another day in general. Do your job, do it good, and expect no one to thank you for it. That's life and it's not going to change anytime soon.
 

matrix3509

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Can we stop fucking calling game "journalism" journalism now? Its not journalism and it never has been. People need to start calling it what it is, "game industry hype machine". Taking a press release and reposting it in full with an added paragraph of verbal diarrhea is not journalism.
 

Shadow flame master

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Why the hell would I pay money, my own at that, to read reviews full of sarcasm and elitism. Yeah, I get it, you're better than me because you don't play some "Bro" game and I do. The only thing that I really like about game journalism now is that there is no pay wall for their sites and that I can choose to not to follow or listen to what they say.

Unless it's a gaming magazine that I get, then no money of mine is going to anybody.
 

Sarge034

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Not one cent. If they don't have the integrity to report the news factually on their own they should not be getting paid at all.