Feels good to have an i5 right about now


So by now, if you’re following it, you’ll know about Intel pulling advertisements from Gamasutra. Gah I won’t prattle on for ages this time, but just take a look at this spectacular display of mental retardation:

Hey y’know what, I think we might have a case of sensationalitis going on here Jim

Intel have not sided with anyone. They have made a business decision to remove advertising revenue from a publication which employs a vapid, hypocritical, meandering little troll to write for it. A denizen of the Hurt Feelings 24/7 YOLO Club who spouts unabashed opinion and vitriol so vile, it will FIGURATIVELY RAPE YOUR FACE. Don’t make any rape jokes around them though, or they will doxx you, your wife, and your kids, compare you to Hitler, shoot your dog, before finally leaving you a dried up husk at the side of the road.

“I’m a megaphone!” No, you’re just an asshole.

I’m down what Intel have done, but I know better than to declare it as some kind of victory by #gamergate, it’s just good business sense for them. #gg has brought issues to light, what people do with those issues is up to them. Hopefully more companies will start to look at the placement of their adverts on sites like Gamasutra, where the troll of our story resides, and realise that it might be better for their image to not side with lunatics.

A timeline of corruption

Reddit user sir_roflcopter has created a very good illustrative example of just what we are so pissed off about regarding #gamergate. A timeline of bullshit going back to 2001, that serves as a wonderful example to what we have been saying for a while now. This shit has been going on for a long time and it has to stop.

This timeline purposely avoids mentioning direct #gamergate issues so it can stand alone as a record that this type of shady behaviour has been going on for a very long time, not just since the Quinn/Sarkessian/GG debacle first reared it’s head.

Here’s the timeline. It shows interesting things that many of us in the gaming community already knew but might have forgotten about. For instance, when I was just getting started in the industry I remember being stoked for Driv3r, only to be disappointed with the game that was released. I had completely forgotten about the review controversy that surrounded this decidedly mediocre title 10 years ago. It’s no different from the Gamespot Kane & Lynch scandal from a few years ago (an event which caused the inception of Giant Bomb), it shows how publishers and their favoured journalists are too cozy with each other and too eager to scratch each other’s backs with gifts and generous reviews.

#gamergate has brought this problem to the surface, but the core has been rotten for some time now.

Screenshot_1Well that was money well spent

“But what’s wrong with professionals sharing ideas and opinions and stuff”

This. This is what’s wrong with it, you goddamn morons:

Look, a review is supposed to be a critical, objective blurb written about a product or service in order to better inform the consumer as to whether or not that product or service warrants a purchase. That’s all a review is, and all it should be. It shouldn’t have political bias, and it shouldn’t contain conflicts of interest. Shouldn’t. Contain. Conflicts. Of Interest.

Gone Home is an adventure/story driven “game” in the same vein as Dear Esther. I put game in quotes as it is really only an interactive book, which uses a first person game world as it’s vehicle. It has very few traditional gameplay elements other than wandering around, viewing objects and places and learning about the emergent story. It isn’t awful, but it isn’t a game and even as a piece of interactive media it isn’t anything to write home about. If I had to stick a grading number on there to share my opinion on the product (which I hate doing but for the sake or argument I will) I’d give it a 5/10. That’s my opinion and I’ll stick to it. I don’t stand to make a profit for stating my opinion, I have nothing invested in the product of the developer, it’s a relatively unbiased opinion from a dude who plays a lot of games.

Enter Polygon staff. You not only display a massive conflict of interest when looking at the product, and then try to downplay it in the comments, but you give a mediocre product that really isn’t a video game, a perfect fucking ten score. Think about that for a moment. It’s bad enough that they are allowing that staff member to do the review, but they then go on to tell you that it’s a PERFECT game.

You guys are a fucking joke.


Early Access Journalism

The title for this post came from an astute observation made by a user on the /r/KotakuInAction subreddit. He/She hit the figurative nail right on the head.

People complain about Steam’s Early Access programme. Without going too much in to it, it’s fair enough for some of the complaints. The system definitely could do with an overhaul in an attempt to mitigate the deluge of shit titles that can appear on there, take money, then disappear in to the ether. It’s got issues, for sure, but I still like that it exists, as it’s furnished my game collection with some real gems over the years. If you are willing to do your homework and be aware of what Early Access actually is, you won’t easily fall foul of it’s downsides, but I agree that they exist.

This shit, on the other hand, is something I do not agree with, and it’s coming from a website that used to have my admiration and respect. They don’t any more, and not just because of this, but because of the way they have conducted themselves in this whole hot mess that is #gamergate.

We need money pls

That right there is the gaming industry ‘journalism’ equivalent of Early Access, except it’s not about getting involved with in dev titles, it’s about playing in to the bullshit rhetoric that the big sites are currently engaged in. Rock, Paper, Shotgun is asking for your money to enable you to take part in an enhanced subscription programme to their website, that will let you read opined pieces about, whatever they fucking want. That’s right, allow the floodgates to open and throw objectivity to the wind completely. They aren’t even trying to hide it any more. This is dangerous for a couple of reasons:

  1. It reinforces the idea that what the popular gaming media is doing right now is acceptable. It isn’t. You cannot continue to call yourselves journalists when you cannot even do the due diligence to remain impartial and objective.
  2. It creates a Fox News style echo chamber for uninformed and ignorant morons to push their agenda and silence dissent. Something we’ve seen a lot of the past month, particularly on the sites that were involved in the GameJournoPros email group scandal (I use the term scandal loosely, nobody has been held to task for that yet) and even on Wikipedia.
  3. It encourages the gaming media to continue treating their demographic like shit, as they have been all month. If they can not only get people to mirror their opinions in editorialised ‘Supporter’ pieces but also get revenue from them at the same time, the idea will be adopted by other corrupt media establishments.

What happened to RPS? It used to be one of the only places I could go for decent game news and light hearted discussion. Now it’s selling screen space to the masses, their masses, the masses that support the corruption. It’s a dangerous precedent to set.

We don’t need this shit, and nobody asked for it. It’s clear that RPS has lost some sponsors in the wake of #gamergate and is having to come up with new ways to raise capital. Unlike The Escapist, who saw the problem and acted on it, they remain stalwart in the face of accusations that they are corrupt, they don’t acknowledge it, they bury their heads in the sand.

It will be interesting to see if this opens up further and gets to the point where they allow these ‘Supporters’ to write their own pieces (think Fox News ‘contributors’) or how they deal with subscription holders who don’t echo the brainwashed masses in the comments sections. Then again I fully expect that anyone who has a Supporter subscription and doesn’t toe the line set by the editors will quickly see their articles or comments censored, removed, or put so far to the bottom of the pile that nobody ever sees them.

Yeah, you can’t even write that off as paranoia any more because that is exactly what is happening all over the Internet.