On video game journalism

John Biggs for TechCrunch:

In the great, wide world of journalism, games journalism is a weird animal. Those who “practice” – and practice it well – face a barrage of PR perks, free trips, and angry houses. Access is given and taken away by marketing folks on a whim. There are a few great news sources (Polygon is one as is Rock, Paper, Shotgun), a few silly ones, and a few horrible ones. But on the whole, not many folks think much about the business of writing about games. Yet, if we’re culturally current, we consume quite a bit of games writing and, sadly, that writing is often compromised by the broken PR system. This came to a head, sadly, when Rab Florence, a writer with Eurogamer, resigned after calling out the industry, including presenter and journalist Geoff Keighley (see him here), a writer who posed himself next to a pile of Doritos and a garish Xbox display.

I don’t really disagree with anything Biggs has written here, but there’s a delicious irony in TechCrunch, of all publications, calling out games journalists for shitty ethics.

  • tylernol

    what’s that expression…pot calling the kettle…?

  • Chris

    I think you can drop the “video game” part. Journalism is pretty bad in all of tech… Thankfully we have a few sites like the loop where reason and intelligence top the list.


    • Chris

      I wasn’t being snarky, btw. Really do love your site.

      • Peter Cohen

        Thanks. 🙂

  • From the publication that gives every Apple product reviewed (after bypassing all the mooks playing with demo units to get a review unit straight from Apple, no less) a five star, can’t-think-of-a-single-reason-why-anyone-wouldn’t-want-this review?


    • Peter Cohen

      Thanks for reading, even if you hate us.

      • Hate’s a strong word, Peter. I think the inside scoops you guys get are great. It’s what keeps me coming back. But when it comes to dolling out criticisms, The Loop does tend to veer towards hypocrisy more often than I’d like.

        • lucascott

          Thing is, just about every blog out there has the same scoops. And 90% of them are all too happy to post when The Loop has given one of their wink wink confirmation comments. So there’s zero reason really for you to be reading the site. Other than page hits that give them ad funds. Which begs the question, why do you if you think they are so biased in their reviews.

          • I think they are so biased in their reviews because they are preaching to the choir. And the choir is what fills their coffers with ad revenue. And to a certain extent I think it feeds Jim’s ego to be so close to Apple – who else would begin a review by rubbing in his access to one of Apple’s coveted review units over all the tech journos stuck playing at the demo tables? Jim doesn’t gain that level of access by being critical of Apple, that’s for sure. But he sure is critical of anyone remotely in competition with Apple. Funny how The Loop can be so aggressive when it comes to criticizing others, but when faced with criticism from a reader they get snarky and back handed.

            So yeah, I could scour the other tech sites for second hand information gleaned from this blog, or I can come straight to the source and face a daily dose of hypocrisy as the price. Truth be told, I do enjoy calling them out on their BS from time to time. I converted from the Windows world to Apple a long time ago, but I know they’re far from perfect – I think The Loop does everyone a disservice by pretending and preaching that they are.

  • The biggest problem with tech journalism in general is that people think sites like TechCrunch employ journalists and practice journalism to begin with.

    So the problem isn’t TechCrunch, it’s the people who read it, IMO. A fact that is proven true if you ever read the comments on the articles over there. The most uneducated, “I’m the center of the universe” type of crowd you’ll ever come across.

    • lucascott

      nailed it. There is no ‘journalism’ on 99.9% of tech sites. They are blogs and they practice blogging, including doing anything for the hit.

      • To be clear though; I have no problem with BLOGS vs. JOURNALISTIC sites. In fact, I prefer the heavily opinionated blogs to the more ho-hum sites that are more “balanced and fair” — also known as boring and only slightly informative drivel.