Friday, 24 July 2015

Games Media Is Busted

I've mentioned on this blog a number of times that I think games media is a giant steaming pile of horse crap.  I've commented on individual things, events or articles that have pissed me off but never on why I think games media as a whole is so bad.  This is A LOT wrong with this side of the industry so if I tried to go in too great detail then this blog post would never fucking end but to me there are 2 big reasons why games media sucks so bad so I'll talk about those.

1.  The Way They Make Money

So almost every games media site that I'm aware of make money via advertising sponsorships and then clicks on their page.  This in and of itself is not a terrible thing and I'm sure there are plenty of websites that do this without being crap.  The danger of a business model like this though is that your people are going to write things in order to generate those clicks that bring in the big bucks. 

I don't mind people writing articles for clicks if it is relevant to gaming.  You can hype up the newest Call of Duty all you fucking like, lots of people enjoy that series and if writing about that game brings in the money, then by all means.  But we have had a trend in the industry for the couple of years where writers are turning not only to huge titles but to outrage in order to generate the site traffic.

All these fucking articles that have popped up complaining about certain aspects of games that the writers have probably never played or all these idiots moaning about violence and sexism that is apparently rampant in the industry.  I'm almost 100% certain that there is at least a good handful of writers on these sites that don't actually believe this crap, but writing it is what brings the people to the site which in turns brings home the pay check.

It's all well and good complaining about this side of things but I'm no fucking businessman, I don't know how you could fix this side of things.  Like I said it's not a bad model on its own so I guess the only real solution is to hire writers who actually have a sense of pride in their work and aren't willing to write stupid drivel for traffic.  This of course leads me nicely into my second point which is

2.  The Writers

This is my biggest problem with games media, more so than wanking over AAA and stupid Buzzfeed style clickbait journalism.  The writers who are currently employed by games media are fucking trash, for the most part not in terms of writing ability but in knowledge about the industry they are writing about.  This has seemed to be the case for a very VERY long time with writers shamelessly praising certain aspects of big releases for doing shit that other games did fucking YEARS ago. 

This realization came to me a long time ago with the release of the first Halo.  After getting over my disgust for the fan base and all the fucking praise that the game got Halo is actually an enjoyable series.  But every single member of the games media writing about how it was "revolutionary"?  Holy shit are you crazy?  Before Halo, first person shooters were awesome with things like Doom, Duke and Quake.  They had puzzle solving, exploration, great weapon load outs and then Halo comes along and puts everything in a grey corridor with set piece battles and that's seen as a fucking step forward?!  Are you insane?  Halo did do a couple of things for the console FPS genre but it did more to ruin it than revolutionize it.

I think if you are a fan of the horror genre then the weakness in the knowledge of these people becomes most apparent.  ANYONE who gave The Evil Within or Silent Hill Downpour a positive review is a fucking idiot who doesn't understand what they are talking about.  Just look at the IGN review in particular of The Evil Within.  "Terrifying enemies" and "convoluted story".  Most of the enemies in that game are just fucking dudes and the story is only convoluted in the sense that it seems to have been writing by a fucking 6 year old who watched too many slasher movies.

All these writers who gave The Last of Us and fucking 10/10 are either pandering or fucking stupid.  I quite like that game really but it is in no way a fucking 10 on 10 game.  Hell, it's a fucking 3rd person, over the shoulder action game and I saw numerous people praising the games originality.  It's about as unoriginal as it gets but it's very well crafted, polished and is ultimately fun to play so a good 8 or 9 I could handle but a 10?!  You really want to claim that shit is perfect? 

This isn't to say that 100% of the writers in games media are clueless.  Hell, it'd be a little harsh to call most of them "clueless" but their expertise are not enough to be writing about certain things.  This is why small time YouTube reviewers have become so popular because instead of having some idiot chatting about a series or game that you really enjoy, you can go somewhere and get the specialist knowledge.

I think what I'm trying to say in a very long winded and stupid way is that the writers for games media write for money and to echo popular opinion rather than for the benefit of the consumer.


There are many more issues than this with games media but these are the big 2 for me and they are very closely linked.  I'm too much of a huge dumbass to know how to fix it but really we live in an age where games media isn't really needed anyway.  If you want info on a game, go lookup some passionate youtuber or twitch streamer who will give you an honest and informed opinion because they love the games rather than because they want to make some money, it's that easy.

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