Should video game journalists be good at video games?

The world of gaming is not cheap. Therefore gamers have always relied on reviews and gaming journalism in general to help them make good choices. You only need spend £50 on a few bad games before you realize it’s best to do some research first.

It should go without saying that this means gamers need journalists who can demonstrate they know what they are talking about in order to trust their judgement.

The answer to the question in the title is a very simple YES.

Now lets be clear, there is no once upon a time when gaming journalism was good. Gaming journalism has always been full of hacks. Back in the days before the internet was common and everyone relied on magazines, any discerning person, much like any person trying to find the right news paper to read, had to discover which spoke their language and which they felt they could trust the most.

While the Cuphead drama and Gamergate can make this issue feel like a rather new one brought on by the internet it really isn’t. Over the decades many people and outlets have been exposed and shamed for a variety of stunts, from over praising games the were bribed or threatened into, for fear of loosing ad revenue, to the other extreme of trashing games they clearly didn’t play or totally failed to understand. One of the common failings that sits somewhere in the middle, which personally speaking really annoys me, is when for example someone who has no interest in sports review’s sports games. It’s dumb. It’s like asking MTV to give a fair honest talk about Opera. You’re asking the wrong peron!

Yes. To gamers, good reviews matter. And lets be very clear, giving us important information is always a millions times more desired than your opinions. Opinions are the side salad. Which brings us onto the another issue which is always on display whenever gamers complain about a case of dreadful journalism. STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU.

Do gamers expect gaming journalists to be gaming masters? No. But how can you review a game you cannot complete? How can you inform gamers about anything on any meaningful level to them when you lack a true enthusiasm for gaming?

It’s not just that Dean fella, it really isn’t, consider the guy who jumped to his defense writing that once Cuphead was finished he expected to see more story and less game…..LESS GAME. Want’s a story and not a game…..What the fuck are you doing pretending to care about gaming?

Let’s be clear that gaming journalism shouldn’t be a dry a read this isn;t about demanding broadsheet or academic standards in writing. There’s a history of joke telling in games reviews and that’s fine. A bit of informality is welcomed, gamers just don’t want a dear Diary entry….Or a Dear John letter….Dear God, that happened more than once!

So back to Cuphead and that guy who wrote about a game 4 year olds have been proven to be able to play better. How can you trust this guy when A) He can’t play a game B) He was too busy talking about himself C) He gave us no real details on the game D) He gave us no Geekery and E) The answer to his debacle has been for his colleagues spend even less time playing games and rant about this?

It really is a farce. He cannot be trusted.

This is another case of the wrong person being in the wrong job. And if the shit house stinks so does the boardroom. No one at VentureBeat should be in the job they are in. They are bunch of Charlatans who probably took up a job in gaming journalism because they thought it would be easy.

Journalists get no free passes. If your work stinks people are no going to pretend otherwise to be polite, no less when you are masquerading as something you are not.

 

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