Gaming News

Ethics in games journalism is pretty awful, but Gamer gate has made it so no civil discussion can happen.

I'm sorry, but having worked in the industry, I know enough shady ass shit that goes on that there's a real problem with reviewers. In the last year I started reviewing games, and while I haven't gotten on the gravy train and I don't expect to ever be offered it, there's enough stories about it. A military shooter once invited press to play their game. But before they got to play the game, they got flights on a military style helicopter, taken over to a gun range and fire REALLY awesome guns, and then went to the office to play games under the watchful eyes of the publisher, not even in their natural environments, but ridiculously nice optimal experience locations.

Sorry all of that is problematic and it's done all the time. Top reviewers get tons of swag, they get personalized gifts, and many don't disclose this. It's a major problem.

But there's more problems. The Media often give inflated reviews because you CAN be blackballed in this industry. Publishers and developers WILL contact publications trying to bump a score up, or get more coverage. I know of at least one situation where a publisher pulled all advertisements from a gaming magazine, because a writer misrepresented a PREVIEW of a game and instead wrote a piece about something else entirely. It wasn't even the review.

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With Review copy, Review access, Review perks, advertising money coming from game developers and publishers, the cutthroat need to release reviews at launch, metacritic scores mattering at launch, and more. The entire gaming journalism ecosystem at least at the largest sites is thoroughly fucked, and now with Copyright Strikes, and DMCA takedowns, the industry has even more dangerous weapons. And all of this IS an issue.

I can go into other rather big problems. Many reviewers hide how much of the game they've played, A number of reviewers don't even finish the game (And hide that information) and more. Reviewers are even pressured internally for higher scores and more. But … we can't talk about that, because it once was the subject of Gamergate. And now journalists are unimpeachable, because this is always a sexist topic.


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