All of the fallout going on in regards to games “journalism” and stuff has been making me reflect on my history with Nintendo Power, actually.
Like, I was a longtime - a long, long, longtime - subscriber to the magazine. The first issue I got was back when Oracle of Ages and Seasons were still new, I’m pretty sure the month just before my first had coverage of all the special linked game password and secret stuff, and had Oracles on the cover.
In hindsight, they were clearly biased about Nintendo games in the magazine, but, well, no kidding, it was a Nintendo magazine in the first place. And despite the bias, and the occasional scores that most people considered too high for some games as the years passed (Star Fox Command getting an 8 or 9, for example, or Brawl getting a perfect 10), the reviewers and writers did actively promote some games and ward readers away from others in ways that I don’t think I’ve ever, ever truly seen more modern GJ websites do.
I remember a number of shovelware games for the DS getting reviewed and subsequently receiving scores of around 2 or 3 out of 10 because they just were bad and weren’t worth spending money on, discussing problems with controls, problems with content, problems with whatever the shovelware had problems with, and I remember Okami on the Wii being praised because it is Okami and all, but still getting a 7 because the controls weren’t extremely polished, and then of course it was Nintendo Power that really helped Professor Layton become what it is. I don’t know how many people would have bought the game without NP’s helpful hype bumps.
Even looking through some of the old articles from when it was more a magazine about gaming tips and secrets instead of articles and interviews, it’s easy to tell that the people that worked on the magazine did so because they really liked games and they really enjoyed their work. Obviously there’s big differences between online publications and a physical magazine, but NP’s staff just… well, had integrity. I think as a kid I really wanted to work at Nintendo Power, and felt that way long into middle and high school because they clearly enjoyed their work and wanted to do their jobs and their readers and writing justice.
It seems like they were one of the few game-related journalism… anythings, really, that did.
"I work for Reuters. I’m a journalist in the media business.
Back in 2008, I sat in a conference and reviewed some proposals to integrate news sources focused on electronic gaming into our RSS service as niche content providers.
We considered IGN, Gamespot, and a few other syndicated online info feeds.
Now, in order to white label a source as affiliated with Reuters, you need to run through a checklist of ~100 items that are necessary for journalistic integrity. The source and its organization has to score at least a 60 out of 100 for it to be considered fair and unbiased.
These tests are carried out by senior journalists, editors, and investigators.
NONE of the gaming publications scored higher than a 15. For reference, the National Enquirer scored a 38 and the MSNBC blogosphere scored 44.
Some failures included:
- Economic ties with publishers
- Acceptance of favors
- 0% of staff held journalism degree
- Very small percentage worked in other major publications
- No real editing process
- No accountability
tl;dr: Gaming “journalism” is a joke and the laughingstock of reporting media. Continue to read these publications if you want, but assume that everything you read is biased or an outright lie.”
”—Gaming news is officially worse than supermarket tabloids folks. Let that sink in for a while. These people are are several steps below “IS BRAD PITT CHEATING ON ANGELINA???” (via bonglorio)