Now for you impatient types out there who don't feel up to reading all of that, I'll try and sum up as best as I can.
See there's this thing called the games media awards. The GMA is a publisher funded award ceremony for games journalists. So the GMA is essentially a room full of games "journalists" being crammed with free food and alcohol while specific games "journalists" are brought up on stage to be told how great they are by the people they're supposed to be critical of. This time around, the publishers decided to take their open disdain for the industry a step further and encouraged said "journalists" to advertise the crap out of a videogame on their twitter accounts in exchange for the possibility to win free PS3's. Obviously, these game "journalists" came to their senses and told their hosts where to stick it... Wait, what the fuck am I saying? Plenty of them saw absolutely nothing wrong with this and cheerfully obliged. http://storify.com/andybeta/gmadefiance
For years now the games journalism industry has been a bad joke. I lost count a loooong time ago of the vast number of friends who refused to buy videogame magazines of any kind, because they all agreed they were painfully full of crap. This is one of the reasons it's been so refreshing to see individuals starting to make a name for themselves with let's play videos and the like that have become so incredibly successful. People are beginning to make careers out of simply filming themselves getting honest enjoyment out of games, and the sheer potential here is staggering. Yet here we are now... the videogame industry is taking a huge ego check as numerous games "journalists" are backed into a corner. The movers and shakers of this industry who are supposed to know a thing or two... the people who are being held up as the best of the best that the world of games journalism has to offer, and here they are angrily gnashing their teeth like rabid dogs and desperately hiding their tracks in an attempt to save their reputations, because they got caught collectively selling their dignity for a free fucking PS3.
Now at this point there are NUMEROUS articles and opinions discussing what has happened here, but there's still one thing that I feel is being overlooked and that's just exactly how extensively gamers have been let down here. See there was a time when the majority of us all started to move away from those magazines we could no longer stand to pay good money for. A time when websites were slowly beginning to post real opinions about this hobby we love so dearly, and we all leapt at this refreshing change of pace. But somewhere along the line, something changed... somewhere along the line those people who we thought were actually interested in real, honest to god games journalism became the exact same shills we'd all gotten sick off once before.
Somewhere along the line, our trust was abused as a room full of drunken, greedy games "journalists" took advantage of the faith we'd shown them and abused their connection with us to try and win themselves a fucking prize. Worst of all when confronted with their actions, most have remained quiet. some have held their hands up and admitted there is a problem, some have gone on the attack having seemingly lost all sense of perspective whatsoever and some... well some have misguidedly attempted to make a big joke about the whole debacle, despite the fact that every single games journalist out there who has engaged in this practice of blurring the lines between publisher and reviewer is partly responsible for allowing this shady side of the industry to prosper, whether it be via complacency, inaction or just good old fashioned greed.
Whether or not these games “journalists” realise it, they HAVE become corrupted. Maybe not willfully… but it has happened, and on an extremely extensive scale. The attacks on Robert Florence for daring to rock the boat have been a testament to this.
Worst of all, it’s also become fairly obvious through this whole disgusting incident that there are more than enough talented and opinionated people out there who could have already made a large difference regarding this appallingly shady side of the industry they claim to love, if only they had had the courage to stand up and say that “no, this isn’t ok” but instead we’ve had excuse after excuse from a bunch of "games journalists" who all allowed themselves to be swayed by free crap.
If there's one thing to take away from all of this, it's that gamers have most definitely suffered in this huge clusterfuck of a PR nightmare. They've had their faith abused and their trust betrayed by those who where supposed to be keeping this industry honest, and that's a damn shame.