Industry Or Out?
Posted on Wednesday, January 4 @ 16:51:18 Eastern by Joe_DodsonToday I stumbled across a funny and telling exchange between a developer and a journalist on Grumpy Gamer. The developer, David Jaffe (God of War's director), rants about the need for greater distinction between the video game industry and the video game journalism industry. He argues that game journalists refer to the industry as "ours," when our industry is actually publication, and he has a point. There is supposed to be distance between journalists and their subjects, but in gaming that distance is too close for comfort.
On this track, he calls for fewer previews and more coverage "to challenge (game developers) and tear our shit apart and analyze it and - when we do a good job - champion it and bring the message to the masses." He says he understands that part of the business is writing what people want to read, that people seem to prefer hype to criticism, and that writing articles both popular and meaningful is a hell of a challenge. He would know - he directed God of War, possibly the most popular and meaningful game of the year.
Embarrassingly, Gamespot Editor Bob Colayco responds with an obtuse editorial that proves Jaffe's point both by completely missing it, and being almost impossible to read. But such shoddy work is a far cry from the saccharine bilge our journalist-ish industry pumps into inter-space every day.
Indeed, his name wasn't even mentioned in Something Awful.com's "The Five Worst Gaming Articles of 2005." This intense nut-stomping is a two-part article so painful it gives us a stomach ache just by association. But there's one thing Something Awful and Gamespot Bob forget - the moronic masses who insist on buying awful crap like Fantastic Four. Whether out of some frothing, dog-like loyalty or the mindless purchasing reflex so many display upon recognizing the name of a movie they saw once, they, and by they I mean you, make something awful something lucrative.
While Jaffe knows you're out there, he overlooks the fact that you read our articles, then go out and buy his games. We agree that game journalists certainly need to start acting more like bloodthirsty critics and less like cash-hungry PR flunkies, but we'd like to remind him that he and we are bound by you into this big, stinking industry together.
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