Sunday, October 5, 2014


Insane that this is still going on.

The flag which the misogynists, haters, and general rowdies are still draping themselves with is "OMG, there's corruption in game journalism!"

In other breaking news, the sky is blue.

Have they LOOKED at the industry coverage? Ever? The majority of outlets "reviewing" AAA games are supported by the games they pretend to be able to make unbiased coverage of. Funny thing, but 98% of the games (totally unscientific impression) get favorable reviews. Sturgeon's Law alone says that is not possible. No industry can get that many right.

And the personal experience of too many individual gamers is broken mechanics, tired tropes, boring retreads, and buggy beta-ware. Any truly unbiased coverage would be taking a much harder look at that.

But, no, it is apparently all-important to raise a stink that an independent solo game designer had an affair with an editor (who has never reviewed one of her games in any case). Heck, I'd say, given the intense amount of environmental support -- the giant conventions, the sites crawling with advertising, the huge mainstream coverage -- that AAA games get, I'd be all for a little unfair advantage to the struggling independent game community. It needs it!

So, yeah. At the very, very best, the gaters are people who got stuck with the wrong end of an argument, and who are backing away trying to claim it was really all about "corruption in game journalism" when they were going full dudebro on a female game designer and denigrating her in every way that occurred to them.

I should really add -- games, like summer movies and paperback books, are commodities. You get bored with a game, even a good one, and you need to buy another. So it isn't per se irresponsible journalism to say "'Cauldron of Victory' is worth your $40," because it fills the need even if it is nothing more than "Medal of Honor" with orcs. 

I find this a lot more questionable industry practice when it comes to software, though. Every piece of software you adopt is a choice of potential lost productivity in retraining, migration of old files, compatibility with collaborators and the rest of your ecosystem.  And that is if if works flawlessly. It is in software -- Moore's Law be damned -- that a truly neutral review process would find no more than half of the titles actually worth trying.

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