MaxConsole: Copy-and-paste journalism
Now, I´ve had a bone to pick with gaming news site MaxConsole before. But it seems they have not read my open letter to them. At any rate, not much has changed there. If you head on over to their site today, you will find plenty of mind-boggling errors, omissions and other products of shoddy copy-and-paste journalism.
There´s the most amusing use of an apostrophe ever ("Who care's"), slightly unintelligible sentences ("Some of the ones to look at for include all the exclusive Shenmue titles"), completely unintelligible sentences ("The rumor never remains firmly put in its place") and interesting new terminology ("real life gameplay").
QJ: Fanboyism and dilettantism in disguise
But another strong contender has entered the race for the least reliable gaming news site. QJ has, in the past, written stories like the one about a Japanese brand of barbecue sauce mocking Ken Kutaragi which bore the sulky headline "Can't people just leave Sony alone?" and urged us to celebrate "the European launch, the growing developer support, and the worth-every-penny platform that this the PS3", throwing any kind of critical approach and journalistic integrity overboard.
Today, they have posted more fun. They celebrate Crossbeam Studios opening its new website when, in reality, the guys have just uploaded an interim page announcing their new site is in development. QJ also managed to misspell one of the two projects allegedly in development by them. A particularly great effort since the title is monosyllabic.
Oh and, again, no hint of criticism or caution regarding the professionalism of said studio. My own research found that these guys were happily developing ´Orb´ four years ago, have not managed to produce a single screenshot since (or ever, for that matter) and all they have on their professional record are a minimum of four cancelled projects and some unimpressive artwork.
Tom Hollensend, meet David Dayack
As far as misspelling names is concerned, QJ is also on the ball: id Software´s CEO Todd Hollenshead becomes Tom Hollensend. That rivals MaxConsole calling Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack David Dayack. Getting both first and surname wrong is an achievement, particularly when these are key industry figures.
What´s the fuss about?
So why am I complaining so loudly? After all, some might say, most of the above examples are no big deal. Well, the thing that really bugs me is that it is so easy to double-check the little things.
And if you are looking for examples of complete disinformation, consider the following. In early July, I wrote:
Europe´s biggest computer and videogame trade show, the German Games Convention, will relocate for 2008, several industry insiders have told me in confidence.
And Codename Revolution turns that into:
No Leipzig Games Convention this year? (...) Apparently rumour has it that this year’s Leipzig Games Convention may move to 2008 instead
The only possible response to the above is a hearty ´What the fuck?´
A few bad apples...
I simply believe that the community deserves better. Regrettably, most of the authors on these sites have never received any formal training or have never written for anything but gaming news sites and blogs. While that´s an explanation, it does not constitute an excuse.
So I would like to urge all those people writing for those sites to please double-check the content you are posting by finding the original source and studying it in detail, check words whose correct spelling you are unsure about on Microsoft´s Encarta dictionary or likewise. And please refrain from blind endorsements (or condemnations) of any product.
Unless this happens, all gaming news blogs will be associated with the shoddy journalistic practises of a few sites and everyone will suffer. Most of all, of course, the readers.