Deer Destructoid blog, I hope I will be able to confide in you like I have never confided in any other game-related community blog visible to anybody with an internet connection and too much spare time. With apologies to Anne Frank.
Why is it that some games journalists are uncomfortable describing their profession as such? Why can't it be a thing? Getting caught up in semantics leaves any human being treading water because language is inherently not exact and labeling is generally a thorny thing, especially when it's done to things that that provoke emotions from a wide range of people. However, I don't thinks its bad to label your profession, I actually think its kind of important, especially if you rely on it as a means to survive. The reason for this being that if you aren't even comfortable with the name of what you do, then how can you really, truly be confident in doing it? And if you aren't confident in your work, then your work will be shitty.
Okay, so why aren't games journalists comfortable calling themselves that? Simple: because they have let other people who don't do their job and are bitter, jealous or insecure about their own job (or lack thereof) define what a gaming journalist is. Lately, the party line is that "Games journalists are nothing but freelance PR men for game publishers." But they aren't talking about games journalists are they? No, they're talking about people who get paid to take information that publishers give them and present it in a bland format that that will appeal to as many consumers as possible, they're not talking about games journalists.
Here's what I think. Games journalism centers around opinion, which is what separates it from regular ole journalism, which is all about writing a concise set of facts in a narrative format called stories ( "Tonight's top story..." or "Did you see that story in the paper?"). But let's jump back into the semantics pool: doesn't "stories" imply something that has been made up? No, not when it has the word "news" in front of it. Same with "games journalism". The word "games" is a special word. It's a word that brings people together into Communities like this one and gives us a chance to connect with one another, which is the most important thing any person can do ever. So if the word "game" can change how we think of "communities" then surely it can change how we think about journalism".
Games are art, and the critics of art are what connect it with culture. They're the bridge that connects the creator to the consumer and vice versa. They're has never been an art form quite like gaming except maybe architecture, one that exists for its own sake, but is also tied into some of the most massive technological advancements that human beings are now making, and frankly a simple critic is not equipped with the tools required to build bridges that fast. Games don't need critics. Games need well informed, in the loop people who can keep up with the lightning fast digital zeitgeist that games are a part of but also have a passion and love for what they are in and of themselves and a desire to make them better. Games need fucking games journalists.
So nut up you guys. Straighten up and fly right. And for those of you incapable of doing so, please seek occupational therapy. This is what you Do. It may not be what you always Do, but it's what your doing now, so do the best you can or get the fuck out. Some of it I say because I love you, but most of it I say because I love games.
PS: Please divert any complaints about pretentious, saccharine writing, bad grammar or just being wrong and generally shit to Anne Frank. With apologies to Anne Frank. read