Over the years, I’ve heard people argue and voice their opinions that videogame journalism needs to be taken seriously, as do games in general. Many people in society still consider games to be something meant for kids and arcades, despite many games receiving content ratings listing them for mature audiences.
If games were written about in a more professional manner, games would be considered a more professional entertainment medium to the masses. We need some concrete news, not just some rehashed press releases that don’t add any new information. A press release should be a primer to the material and lead the way to ask more questions to create a story unique to your outlet.
When someone takes the latest press release and rewords it, or worst of all reposts it verbatim, that’s not news. News is meant to be objective, and while some PR is such, some carry a bias. A press release should lead the way to a story. Take the information given and build a full-fledged story. Get in contact with people and start asking questions.
When journalists refer to people someone by a nickname or alias, we alienate ourselves from the rest of the world. Two great examples come to mind: Cliff Bleszinski as CliffyB and Larry Hryb as Major Nelson.
Typically major news media don’t refer to someone in such a way, unless it’s George “Dubya” Bush or Michael “Wacko Jacko” Jackson, and those names are derogatory. And really, only the tabloids do (or should do) that.
The names issue is only one thing that could be changed. Another would be the use of jargon. In recent years, the use of terms like trilinear mip-map interpolation and Z buffering don’t show up like they used to, but that could be due to newer technologies being used. In general, the use of jargon seems to be decreasing.
The most common term I still see is anti-aliasing. Tons of gamers and most people in the industry know what this is, but does your mom or dad? How about your grandparents? Studies have shown in the past that the audience for newspapers is of an older age. It’s probably not very likely you can talk to your boss about a gaming console’s anti-aliasing abilities.
The most important thing a videogame journalist can do is not glorify industry personalities. Our industry seems to be one that feels the need to place persons on a pedestal. While
Stop reporting on rumors. No respectable newspaper or magazine does such a thing, or if it does, it tends to have very strong evidence to back up such a claim. Reporting on a rumor is like writing for a tabloid.
By doing such a thing, he is only adding to the sensationalism of gaming journalism, and that’s not usually a good thing.