Sunday, August 05, 2007

The state of gaming news blogs today



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.

24 comments:

Zucas said...

Ignorance, bias, and laziness is always going to be abroad.

Touch-Gen said...

LOL...Couldnt agree with you more on that Falafelkid. What a great rant. BRAVO. Love how you commented on Codenamed Revolution's site...Just pure brillance! And have you checked out his own article? Called: "Discussion: Is current lack of availability of the Wii hurting the Console?"

Give it a good read...he even goes onto say that Nintendo should raise the price of Wii too $279.99. lol...

Now I cannot proclaim that I am myself an amazing writer, infact its more a 180 degree turn. But at least I am not a daydreamer.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Touch-Gen.

Thanks for your comments. Of course, I don´t mean to single out MaxConsole, QJ and Codename Revolution and blame only them for the poor reputation of gaming blogs.

There are plenty of popular sites that need improvement. Kotaku´s Brian Crecente lost all sense of judgement when those fakers sent him exclusive details of ´Sunder - Land of Divide´ in January last year.

And Joystiq can be so long-winded before actually getting to the point, it sometimes makes me scream. I challenge you to read this post just once and then summarize the content. It´s not impossible, but why should I have to suffer while reading?

Those two sites may slip up like that very rarely, but it happens. And it seems that noone in the community is bothered about it enough to speak their mind. Well, I am.

SDtektiv said...

Hey Falafelkid,

This comment is only going to make sense to you.

I read your comment on my blog, though I did not publish it because I'm laying Repriisent down to rest, so to speak, and also because I don't want make a scene of things(though I doubt publishing the comment would, anyway).

I wanted to say thanks and that I really appreciate it.

Falafelkid said...

Hi SDtektiv.

No, it´s perfectly okay to complain about something you find offensive. For me, it was just a bit of fun, but I can entirely understand where you are coming from.

The new image is also slightly offensive (though in a less graphical way) but I hope it won´t drive people away from my site.

I also added your blog to my link list. Even if you don´t get to update it much, it should be on there.

Jay said...

If you are going to go on a rant about spelling errors and such, you should probably check your own before hand....

"So why am I compaining 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."

I believe the word you were looking for was complaining. No hate, just saying that a mistake like that in a post like yours makes you look really, really stupid, so you might want to fix that.

Falafelkid said...

Hi jay.

I believe the word you were looking for was complaining. No hate, just saying that a mistake like that in a post like yours makes you look really, really stupid, so you might want to fix that.

First of all, of course, my bad and I stand corrected. But if you think I was writing (and compaining) about spelling mistakes, then you were too eager to find one to actually read my post.

Also, I was not looking for a word there - it was just a typo. Like when you wrote ´before hand´ when you meant to say ´beforehand´. I am not bothered by little spelling mistakes like mine or yours. They happen and they certainly don´t make anyone look ´really, really stupid´.

I am bothered about so many other things first and foremost. As far as typos go, they only start to bother me when they appear in droves and when people get names and titles wrong, because they don´t know any better.

Only today, Kotaku told us about a game called ´Dragon's Liar´. Sure, that´s another typo and the Kotaku guys know what that game really is called. But it is an unfortunate spelling mistake nevertheless. And, I believe, you would be hard pressed to find anything of the sort on this blog to compain about.

Touch-Gen said...

@ Falafelkid....Compain & Compaining! lol... Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I really find this post a bit hypocritical. On numerous occasions This blog has made somewhat similar blunders only to correct them with a follow-up post.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha.

Absolutely funny post. Nothing like burning bridges and telling other people how much they suck and are incompetent at writing.

At least you didn't suggest they just go ahead and kill themselves.

-Abu

Anonymous said...

"(...) and everyone will suffer (...)" = And gaming reporters will lose their jobs and their unimportant review quotes will take up less space on the games boxes. Maybe they'll even have to find real work, covering real news. Oh, the horror.

Anonymous said...

great job, falafelkid.

i'm surprised you didn't say anything about IGN... they can be pretty bad at times...

-"usper fan" tictacs.

Jason Alexander said...

LOL - IGN and sometimes? - Nevar!

Falafelkid said...

First of all, thanks for all the positive comments. Now onto the rest.

Anonymous 1:

I really find this post a bit hypocritical. On numerous occasions This blog has made somewhat similar blunders only to correct them with a follow-up post.

Feel free to give me an example. But I can tell you now: you won´t find anything. Maybe you have me confused with someone else...

Anonymous 2:

Nothing like burning bridges and telling other people how much they suck and are incompetent at writing.

I never said those things. However, what I did say needed to be said. The state of gaming blogs is, in general, pretty bad and something needs to change.

Anonymous 3:

And gaming reporters will lose their jobs and their unimportant review quotes will take up less space on the games boxes. Maybe they'll even have to find real work, covering real news.

You don´t know much about gaming media, do you? Online is a huge threat to the print magazines (see Ziff Davis struggling with ´EGM´). People just don´t buy magazines for stories and screenshots they can get online for free. But people don´t stop watching television because they have already read a story online. I mean: hey! Moving footage, anyone?

Also, I work for a regular newsroom that also reports about gaming. So I get my fair share of what you call real news, thank you very much.

Actually, you did know that I am working for a television newsroom, did you?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha only joking. But I work in the industry, so you have to realize you are my natural enemy, being from the media and all. I know about your credentials by the way.

RewiredMind said...

Couldn't agree with you more. What irks me most is the way in which most news sites seem to be able to squeeze two or more seperate news posts out of one story.

For example, "US Xbox 360 price cut by $50" - followed ALWAYS about 10 minutes later with "US Xbox 360 price not necessarily mirrored in UK."

Then maybe, "Microsoft tight-lipped on Euro Xbox 360 price cut."

It goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

Ahh I love you Fal. I just want you to know that you are the only game blog belonging to an individual that I ever frequent.

<3

I just wanted to add that I think Joystiq is probably one of the better gaming blogs, but it's not perfect of course. Kotaku in my opinion, is probably the worst when it comes to blatant typos. I think on average, I have seen about 3 typos a day.

Jeff Green from 1up said something to the effect of "I'm so sick of game journalists saying 'why doesn't anyone take us seriously???' Because you don't f-ing deserve it!" And I totally agree. While there are exceptions, I think that as a whole, everyone in this industry needs to grow up if we (gamers) want to be taken seriously. You don't see this kinda crap on movie sites.

- Mischa

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous.

Hahaha only joking. But I work in the industry, so you have to realize you are my natural enemy, being from the media and all. I know about your credentials by the way.

First of all, sorry if I came across slightly miffed... I wasn´t. I was just in a rush when I wrote those comments. If you work in the industry we are certainly at cross-purposes. However, if I ever left my camp to join your camp... we would both be on the same side. If that was ever to happen... (*starts tape with mysterious music*)

Hey Mischa.

Thanks for your comments. Couldn´t agree more.

Anonymous said...

"Feel free to give me an example. But I can tell you now: you won´t find anything. Maybe you have me confused with someone else..."

How about a few months ago when you had a scoop about Rockstars first effort on the Wii. Claiming Table Tennis was now being ported and was set to be their first foray onto the platform. Only later correcting yourself since Manhunt 2 was already well into development (and if it wasn't for rating issues would be released by now).

I've always been one to defend you Falafelkid on other boards where users question your authenticity etc. But with this post you just come across as sounding pompus with a holier then thou attitude and that you are above errors which isn't the case at all.

Falafelkid said...

Hey Anonymous.

How about a few months ago when you had a scoop about Rockstars first effort on the Wii. Claiming Table Tennis was now being ported and was set to be their first foray onto the platform. Only later correcting yourself since Manhunt 2 was already well into development (and if it wasn't for rating issues would be released by now).

I've always been one to defend you Falafelkid on other boards where users question your authenticity etc. But with this post you just come across as sounding pompus with a holier then thou attitude and that you are above errors which isn't the case at all.


Fair enough, I had to correct myself at this point. But if only the blogs I mentioned in this post did that... I am concerned with the fact that you can still read that garbage Codename Revolution made out of my exclusive story about the Games Convention. I commented on that very post the day it went up and weeks later nothing has happened.

With the Rockstar thing, I at least corrected my mistake immediately. Even though it wasn´t a mistake after all, was it?

I do understand your concerns about me coming across as pompous, though. Believe me, I didn´t word this post carelessly. But this really needed saying... and I feel that the majority of positive comments above vindicates that.

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