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Blogs Games journalism isn't corrupt, but Youtube has a problem.

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Combatus, 2 Sep 2016.

  1. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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  2. greigaitken

    greigaitken Member

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    I've generally thought the biggest issue with bias in games journailsm is bowing to public pressure rather than from the publisher. Such as - Game gets hyped to max before release, public are salivating like crazy, can't wait for the first reviews.... game site wants to please it's readers and the game doesnt live up to hype or reviews.
    Generally though when someone gets a consistent salary to write about a medium, they'll tend to have less of an alternative agenda than just give their honest views.
    I don't watch youtube reviews mostly because i doubt what does it for the youtube reviewers will be what does it for me.
    One day we'll be able to upload our brain network and have the optimal multimedia experience customised for our individual peak enjoyment. Good luck reviewing that experience to cater for a million different readers.
     
  3. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Not that there isn't also systematic pressure on review sites not to piss off publishers that are also advertisers. Doesn't make the average Youtube reviewer any less awful, but the main takeaway is that ANY review source funded by advertisers who also sell the product being reviewed (regardless of if the payment is directly for the review, or just paid to the publication) should be treated as a not completely unbiased source.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm pleased to say that with only very mild exceptions I have never even *known* what adverts are currently running in the publications for which I write. The only exceptions: a couple of times, but not within the last few years, an editor has approached me to say adverts on the theme of Topic X are running so could I find some Topic X stuff to write about? It's never been "Company X is running adverts, so write nice things about Company X" - just topic-related stuff to boost the relevancy of the adverts. An example would be when a car company - I forget which - bought two week's worth of advertising on a site for which I used to write daily news stories, and the editor asked if I could make sure each day's stories had at least one about cars or car-related technology. It was fine if the stories were about the company's competitors, or even bad things about the company itself - relevancy was the key goal.

    Since then, though, nobody's ever bothered me about such things. I never have the faintest idea what ads are going to be running in Custom PC, for example. There was once a discussion with another client where I'd referred to a company which shall remain nameless's financial troubles in an otherwise positive article and a PR got a bit shirty, but the article ended up standing as-is.

    What I can tell you is that if a client did try to tell me that I had to be nice to a company 'cos they were an advertiser, they wouldn't be a client for long. I'm here to tell the truth, not act as a corporate mouthpiece; if companies want me to say nice things they should either do nice things or hire me as a PR. Simple as that.
     
  5. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    I'm really starting to dislike the "clickbait" tone that the some of the headlines have started to take. I thought bit-tech was beyond those sorts of shenanigans.

    In the article you (somewhat mockingly) say that you can't definitively prove that games journalism is not corrupt, yet the headline makes that assertion emphatically. Furthermore you can't argue in a closing paragraph that not all YouTubers are paid shills and yet insist in the headline that "YouTube has a problem", heavily implying YouTube games coverage has serious corruption issues.

    I'm not going to debate specific points in the article. I would argue that, given the headline, there is in general far too much emphasis on dodgy YouTubers and not enough robust defence of "traditional" games media. You can't say that the lack of evidence of corruption proves that there is no corruption; it's a logically invalid statement, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    I don't necessarily disagree with the article; I'm not trying to question anyone's integrity here (except maybe PewDiePie, purely on the basis that he pisses me off so much) and FWIW the GamerGate crowd can go take a long walk off a short pier. But what I do disagree with the clickbait-style headline, because we're better than that.
     
  6. greigaitken

    greigaitken Member

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    If you were expecting definitive proof, but are now disapointed it wasn't there, you may have overestimated Ricks capabilities a little.

    I'm dissapointed that whilehe was writing this he didnt even take the time to just fix all the problems in the first place
     
  7. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    Hi

    My name is Byron. I'd like to introduce you to an idea. Now this might sound quite radical, but there are only two simple steps:

    1. read and understand the whole post; and
    2. debate the argument I'm actually making, not the argument you think I'm making

    I know, I know; it sounds like I've just turned the world upside-down, but bear with me on this because it makes environments like these forums just that little bit better for all of us.

    My argument was that the headline isn't supported by the points raised/evidence offered in the article, and feels like clickbait (as do some other recent headlines, such as "The 50 Best PC Games of All Time"). Your argument however was a straw man.
     
  8. .//TuNdRa

    .//TuNdRa Resident Bulldozer Guru

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    I still maintain that games media is a bit muddy at the second, just look at all the grief Kotaku has taken over the years for their reviews of games where the creators are close friends of the writer of said reviews.

    To say nothing of the whole "Gamers are Dead" thing.

    But it's not a case of "Everyone is corrupt, everyone is being bribed, everything is sexist, everything is racist" yadda yadda that some people seem to claim.
     
  9. PaulC2K

    PaulC2K PC Master Race

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    As edzieba said, its the managements integrity which is what i'd question, and then whether their journalists are willing to work with those conditions. There may be journalists who are independent who are easily influenced, whether they figure on these larger news sites i dont know (my thought would be its unlikely) and i dont suppose they're getting the same audience impact as these larger sites who frequently get levelled with claims of bias. Doesnt make it right, they're just smaller fish.

    Not sure where i'd stand on youtube channels, i suppose it'd depend on how i view their content. There are people i watch for no reason than they're funny and entertaining, others im watching to hear their opinions, but for the most part if i was parting with cash i'd still want to watch a variety of footage to see the gameplay. Its somewhat easier with Early Access titles, cos many of them are released and have gameplay footage to view, when it comes to preorders i suppose it gets murky. I was excited for BF1 from what i'd seen from multiple sources & raw footage, but having played the beta i've cancelled. I dont doubt their opinions (and they've always said in the opening 10sec 'this content is sponsored by EA' or something to that effect) and theres no doubting their sponsored content is feature promotion stuff, but then a day or 2 later on you'll hear opinion videos on things that could be better.
    Im not sure i'd take Pewdepie as a journalist though, but would still expect to be made aware of the nature & purpose of the content, just as the FTC have repeatedly warned youtubers about withholding this information.

    I dont actually have an issue with a site like Bit-Tech being asked to do stories on particular products by the manufacturer, as long as its still being done to the same standard any other article would. *I* wouldnt be particularly fussed if it wasnt labelled as 'paid for' content - provided its honest. Can understand why its best for it to be stated though.
     
  10. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    Tbh if there's one thing that youtube does have it's let's plays from random unknowns. For every silly, massive personality like Pewdiepie, there are 100 unknown people just silently playing through the game on camera, similar deal with Twitch.

    I find those to be the best reviews tbh. You just watch some guy playing the game for a bit, and if it then interests you maybe take the plunge. By no means is it foolproof, but there are pretty much no opinions present anyhow, so you can form your own.

    Nothing like an edgy-Rick-bait article eh?
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I've never felt the Bit staff's integrity was questionable. I think I've read more negative game reviews than positive ones here. All seem honest and balanced. Even when Bit was under Dennis, you guys were like, "Yeah... F Dennis." :lol:
     
  12. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    I find playthroughs more helpful than reviews. I see as much bias in all reviews, for various reasons, whether Youtube or mags/websites. They are subjective after all; if the game is hopelessly broken, I'd say that is an exception to the rule.

    Overall, I'd give your blog entry an F. I think it was a little dump of nonsense into the noise of the internet. To be forever lost amongst all the other BS. Keep it up though, we want your opinions. The day you don't offer your opinions anymore is the day the internet has failed, for more than just gaming.
     
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  13. Elledan

    Elledan New Member

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    I stopped reading the article when it insisted that gaming journalism isn't corrupted and that GamerGate was just an excuse for a hate campaign.

    Heck, back in the 90s it was already known that sites like IGN were largely bought-and-paid for, with no one with a clue paying much sense to what they said, preferring to listen to friends and acquaintances what they said about these games.

    GamerGate did manage to change this to at least some extent, with many gaming sites now requiring paid-and-bought-for articles as well as any connections the author may have with the gaming studio/publisher/etc. to be listed in the article.

    On a personal note, I tried to ignore the whole GG thing until scammers like Sarkeesian began to abuse female gamers like yours truly for their purposes. Then the founder of IGDA called me a 'sock puppet' on Twitter because I disagreed with his assessment on female gamers.

    Anti-GG defenders can go take a hike, which sadly seems to include the author of this article. I expected better of this site :(
     
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  14. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    Whatever concerns were originally brought about by GamerGate were soon washed away by legions of ****wits who used - and continue to use - the "movement" (or whatever it is) to be extremely crappy to people. It's no better than the toxic bile spewed across forums, comments sections, or YouTube comments.

    Sarkeesian is a bit of an idiot (not the word I want to use, but... swear filter) IMO, but so are many other people. I don't care what colour your skin is, what language you speak, what gender you identify with, where your sexual organs (if you have any at all), etc: none of those things makes you an idiot, the fact that you're an idiot makes you an idiot.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    GamerGate is a bar brawl started with a pathetic ****-shame by a jilted boyfriend and going downhill from there.

    Seriously, since when is my hobby a political cause? I just want to play computer games.
     
  16. Elledan

    Elledan New Member

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    Well, Sarkeesian made a cool half million of it by pretending along with others that the gaming community is infested with 'toxic masculinity' and that us female gamers are constantly suffering harassment by white, male gamers. Then something about videogames being a vehicle for training boys to harass and rape women, and then suddenly they were at the UN, asking for the death penalty for anyone who dares to go in against Sarkeesian and kin.

    Also, the thing with Zoe Quinn wasn't so much a jilted ex-boyfriend, but rather that the bloke who reviewed her 'game' didn't disclose his special relationship with her. That aspect kinda blew up this anger that had been brewing ever since the 90s with the commercialisation of video games (instead of being a pastime for children and nerds) leading to video game reviews being more and more gamed (har).

    It wasn't 'GamerGate' which turned it into a brawl, it were mostly third-wave feminists who saw a chance to get into the limelight by playing the victim card against those 'horrible, toxic gamers'. Since feminism is a 'get out of jail free' card, nobody dared to suggest that 'us gamers' weren't all white, overweight, women-hating men.

    I'm a woman. I have been gaming since the late 80s. I love the (video) gaming community and have always felt welcome there. What Sarkeesian et al. said about us therefore was a personal attack. Ergo I and many others with me are still very much pissed about it.

    What we want is journalists to be bloody honest for a change. Not accept money from publishers to write a positive fluff piece. Not be friends (or more) with a developer and write a positive fluff piece. Not just write positive fluff about feminists because they are 'feminists'.

    A piece of journalistic offal such as being displayed on this site currently is therefore rather unwelcome. It does diminish the quality of articles on Bit-Tech in general as a result.

    Anyway, rant over. I'll go back to being a happy little sock puppet, playing video games like the non-existent female gamer I am. Yay.
     
  17. .//TuNdRa

    .//TuNdRa Resident Bulldozer Guru

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    The whole Eron Gjoni incident was something of a FusterCluck, but it was just the straw that broke the Camel's back, the fact of the matter is; GG exists, and for good or ill, they are seemingly succeeding in some of their goals of "Journalistic Ethics". Whether they're going about it the right way isn't for me to Judge, but they care enough to perform that much work for a goal.

    Personally I first heard about all this malarky due to the chaos surrounding The Fine Young Capitalists and everything they had thrown at them for attempting to make games, which was frankly absurd, and the resulting funds coming from 4Chan of all places, Everyone decrying them for accepting it, their IndieGoGo Page being taken over, and all the other fun incidents they had simply trying to make games.
     
  18. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Reviews in general are there to spin positive light, or you do not get the next product to review.

    Game reviewers are paid to review the game they are playing and are giving it for free in 90% of cases. My friend used to review games and has a steam account with virtually every game made up to the end of 2015, He did not pay for any of them.

    There is 1 or 2 you tubers who actually buy the game for there own cash. They are about a honest a review as you will recieve.
     
  19. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    Nice article.
    I remember a similar one about corruption allegations from a few years back from a different bit-tech writer, I think (though I can't seem to find it). Reactions now seem a lot more hostile than what I remember though.

    ---

    I've stopped giving elaborate replies to Gamergate conspiracies a long time ago, but this particular piece of ******** irritates me so incredibly much. I'm sorry if my reaction is a bit aggressive for just a single sentence, but the repetition of this claim - ad nauseam - has become more than just a pet peeve for me.

    The fact is: Nathan Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest.
    It's been disproven since day 1, yet people keep repeating and spreading this lie.

    I repeat: No review of Depression Quest was ever written by Nathan Grayson.
    The whole foundation of the Gamergate "actually it's about ethics in games journalism" movement is based on a complete fabrication. They have made no attempt whatsoever to clear this up.

    <Depression Quest, a Review by Nathan Grayson> ∉ [Things that exist in this universe]
    I highly advice you to do the research and see it yourself if you don't believe me.

    The whole Sarkeesian Kickstarter kerfuffle happened 2 years before GG, she had literally nothing to do with it.
    (I also disagree with the notion that she's a scam artist, but let's not have that discussion here.)

    ---

    Have you read those articles?
    First of all the first one was called: "'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.", not "Gamers are Dead" (which is easier to misinterpret if you only read the title).

    They were basically about how the current stereotype of a "gamer" is no longer accurate, and how a much broader audience is enjoying video games right now.
    Also a reminder that Gamasutra is a website aimed at the gaming industry, not the video game players. The implicit aim was for industry and marketing people to realize that a lot more people are interested in great video games than just the young adult male audience most publishers specifically cater to right now.
     
    Last edited: 3 Sep 2016
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  20. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    :clap:

    More patience than I had :).
     
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