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Gaming On Games Churnalism

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 31 May 2011.

  1. alialias

    alialias New Member

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    It's clear that a lot of people spend a lot of time on this site, I for one check it at least thrice daily, and it's clear that a lot of people spend a lot of time contributing, through build logs etc. So, why not introduce a 'Reader Review' section; a reader could have a bit of hardware/software that BT doesn't manage to get it's hands on, and can tell the rest of us what it's like. Obviously there will be fanboys and haters posting, but if other readers took everything they read with a pinch of salt, then it could prove to be very interesting.
    Also it would be a nice way for budding, or enthusiast writers to get pieces to the masses, rather than setting up a largely unread blog.
     
  2. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    We've thought of doing this before in the past, but it again becomes a matter of resources. If we look at doing that and surfacing them on the site, we'd still have to read every one to make sure it wasn't inflammatory, was legible, etc. It might be something we do later this year though, with some other plans we're cooking...
     
    thehippoz likes this.
  3. unclean

    unclean SMP obsessive

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    I appreciate what's being said. However, I do feel that Bit-Tech compromised this 'low output, high quality' message a couple of years ago when game reviews became much less detailed.

    I don't understand the logic behind enforcing the current two page limit; it's woefully short for sprawling lengthy titles, but conversely overkill for others, such as many indie releases.
     
  4. Garside

    Garside New Member

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    I was Joe's predecessor at Bit-tech and this article beautifully sums up why I left and left 'journalism' in general. What you describe here Joe isn't limited to games journalism either. You only have to read one of Charlie Brooker's angry tirades against the world of media on his Guardian blog to see this same problem of Chinese whispers and news regurgitation has, in fact, infected all types of 'journalism'.

    The problem isn't isolated to the news. Deadlines are placed on reviewing games, churning through as many as you possibly can. Always staring, metaphorically, upward at the views counter. Are people reading my latest review? Is it performing better than the last one? Is it because I'm a great writer? Or is it simply because the game happens to have the word 'sex' in it?

    Invariably you end up churning out articles like this http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/2007/01/10/most_wanted_2007/1

    This was one of our best performing articles. It depressed me so much it was one of the major factors in me leaving.
     
  5. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Thank you. There is quite enough of that about.
     
  6. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    oh joe your job is respectable.. not many out there who do it

    the reviews are pretty good imo.. I don't really read any of the hardware articles as their are better with a forum full of bucktooths who love to oc (think of a forum full of pete j's and truegamer obsessives).. but when it comes to gaming and even the modding section (which I'm not into myself at all- if I made a case mod it would be a swinging wiener with a setup overclocked to it's limits, stability and longevity.. I always liked the sleeper black box, never cared for a case that screams look at me)

    sometimes you skip over things I'd like to hear more about like guildwars 2 builds and age of empires online beta, but the ones you review are always a good read
     
  7. evanjdooner

    evanjdooner Booty like POW!

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    This is a refreshingly honest article and one that lines up with my experience.

    Some time ago, I set up a games news blog to familiarise myself with internet journalism and writing daily. After a few weeks, it was a real pain to log in and start perusing news sources. There's so little *real* news on any given day that one must resort to paraphrasing PR crap just to fill a page. I pity any person who does this for full-time employment and I envy you for having a job that allows you to focus on the important news items, when they do finally arrive.
     
  8. delriogw

    delriogw New Member

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    either i have a really REALLY filthy mind, or that sounds a hell of a lot like a dodgy euphemism
     
  9. thil

    thil New Member

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    This is why I love b-t. The articles, when they have them, are well thought out. For the most part, game journalism is not journalism at all - more like something like PR chunder mixed with your average gaming forum post. B-T isn't afraid to buck the 7-10 rating scale, either, although I find the transfer to a percentage score a little dubious.

    Unfortunately, the downside of the internet letting anyone write news is that anyone *can* write news, and the tech side of things (not just gaming, but everything from MP3 players to cameras,) seems to think that anything goes: editoralising everywhere's fine, a "review" of the specs listed in a press release is the same as actually using a product, and, of course, no mentions how they *got* a copy of product (yes, a game might be good, but is it worth RRP?) or indeed, how much PR ********/cunnilingus was performed by the publisher (remember the review of the review conditions for Black Ops?) The last one's normal in the travel writing industry: "Joe Bloggs was a guest of Sheraton Hotels," but not in game writing.

    In the light of the Eidos scandals (Kane & Lynch & Gamespot, Tomb Raider "review management," Bioware's "user" reviews on Metacritic,) it's hard not to get a little cynical.

    The unfortunate thing is that it seems, to me, that this is starting to affect the quality of games. Because a lot of reviewers are lax, or chasing deadlines, they won't have time to fully learn an complex, in-depth game, or finish a long one. So it's important to make a lot of good impressions, fast (and damn the replayability, while they're at it.) Have an easy learning curve, and simple gameplay, so the poor hack doesn't spend the entire time learning the intricacies of the game before actually doing, even though that might make for a much deeper, more involved and complex game. Put a lot of highly-automated, scripted events in there that look good, but will get tiring after the third or so viewing. And shorten the game so it can be comfortably completed in a day or two, well before the deadline, that ensuring the writer gets that massive payoff of completing and beating the game, and leaves with a feeling of satisfaction, even though the actual gamers forking out for it will feel ripped off (but you've already got their money, so screw 'em.)

    All that makes for a better score at the end!
     
  10. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Don't worry. I intend not to let the games fall in to 72.5% type rubbish. We'll mark in intervals of 5%, to avoid being stupid. Only exception has been LA Noire, which only slipped through because I was out of the office!

    It's also worth noting that there are some companies that are good, just as some are bad. Bioware may have fallen foul on the user review stuff, but they also sent out Mass Effect 2 code to legitimate site weeks ahead of release, so they'd have time to finish. CD Projekt are good too, sending Witcher 2 code out way in advance and making themselves available to talk about whatever aspects you cared to discuss.
     
  11. Mentai

    Mentai New Member

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    @thil

    That quality aspect is also of the cycle that games generally have now, where publishers expect you to buy one new release every month. You always need to be hungry for the next thing to make preorder goals. You can't have people satisfied with what they have! Also, why make a game in depth when only 20% of buyers will end up finishing it? You want 100% to get through so you can sell them endless sequels.

    To some extent I don't really mind this, since I only buy games on sale anyway. That and my limited time these days means I can feel satisfied when I churn through some of my steam backlog.
     
  12. wiggles

    wiggles Member

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    "This isn’t a part of some big self-aggrandising lecture"

    May not until you said that

    :)
     
  13. Trefarm

    Trefarm No matter what... It's all good

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    So True... It might be that I'm a little older (32)... but all this info has started to ruin the delight of a new game. The sheer amount of information available (and prehaps the decline in originality in AAA titles) leaves me playing new released games with an odd sense of Deja Vu.

    I grabbed Frozen Synapse after someone mentioning it was turn based on the podcast, knew nothing else about it, I've really enjoyed it, sometimes going in blind is pretty good.
     
  14. Waynio

    Waynio Relaxing

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    Joe dude, your possibly the only reviewer of games that is really spot on with your conclusions so your doing a flipping good job of it mate :thumb:, you remain nicely unbiased & this is rare in game reviews so that is really good, I was initially a bit disappointed in the Mafia 2 review as I had high hopes for it but after playing it I found I agreed 100% & I have zero regrets about buying the witcher 2 & portal 2 & others :D, your reviews are like reliable recommendations & I like that, keep it up :).
    [​IMG]

    Some seem to come here to say a bit of WTF reactions to some reviews after them eating up the hype from elsewhere or being obsessed fanboys that are able to ignore the faults but I've been actually being patient to see what you say about some games & not bought a crap game the whole time I've been doing this so cheers :thumb:.

    I can imagine it's not as cool as some might imagine reviewing games though, & having to play through it as best as possible keeping to deadlines etc, even ones you have no interest in, example = farming simulator :lol:OMG was that a strange punishment for you or something :hehe: just remember thinking how cruel having that put on you :D:lol:.

    So called user reviews or score ratings are quite unreliable these days & the amount of crap games I've bought over the years because of biased reviews elsewhere, there are many games I ignore with not having an interest in them so bit-tech & you Joe keep doing what your doing, like I said I've not made any bad game purchases in a while with the fair recommendations :thumb:.
     
  15. sotu1

    sotu1 Ex-Modder

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    Joe, fair answer. It didn't really bother me all that much but it did seem off colour at the time. If you had just said 'politics' I would have understood!
     
  16. Blademrk

    Blademrk Why so serious?

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    :worried: nah, it's just a kids game about a group of brick layers (tbh, they should have called it "Aye, pet") :lol:
     
  17. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Games are nowhere near as bad as movies for this, most movie trailers amount to 'lets see if we can squeeze the entire film into 30 seconds'
     
  18. dr-strangelove

    dr-strangelove New Member

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    I think that many sites have difficulty separating news from opinion, whereas you guys seem to have that pretty well sorted between your separate news articles and blog posts
     
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