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1:14 PM on 11.30.2008 // mikeyed
Video Game Journalism: Talking About the Hype



It just occurred to me that is this what Video Game Journalism is for? To report objectively whether these hyped games are over hyped or not. I'm sure Sterling (in reference to the recent Midway post) and the rest get that a lot, second hand remarks by publishers and developers about how great this or that game will be, but then those same people get angry when the people whom are supposed to be reporting the details they themselves so love to aggrandize in their potential. I guess this relates to my last article, and theme I see rising in my writing here, "Nothing is new".

When companies like to stake claims about expanding the boundaries it always ends up to be disappointing no matter how satisfying the experience. They set themselves up for bigger and even more embittered disappointments when they create such fantasies and mysteries about their products. If you give people your purpose in creating this game straight rather than trying to up the bid in comparison to one other's work (unless you're The Beach Boys and The Beatles) it seems the more contented the consumer is likely to be with buying said game.

With lots of hype, one is unsure what they're really buying (the dream of the game or concept of the game, I leave it to you to decide which is better). Well, I guess the problem is that this isn't incidental a lot of the time. Sometimes this is used as a smokescreen effect to confuse the ill informed. Also the recent tension between media and medium has certainly become very apparent as of late, so allowing a reviewer the chance to stop development in its tracks or hurt sales is certainly on a lot of project leaders' and company execs' minds. So how much does industry unease enter into it is a problem. As well as advertising is certainly a concern for marketers.

However all this distrust and shady practice certainly has not helped either side. So how does a journalist look at the comments made by a developer? Well, obviously by reputation and a certain amount of reflection on the part of the individual speaking. Their name is attached to those words, so their job is on the line, but silence speaks volumes in this industry as well as seems to be the primary course of action for any big name developer. A lot of money on the line. So the journalist must know when it's worth to be so bold as speak derisively about anything specific and when letting things stir in order to allow the developer to make their own mistakes is a strength one must be well aware of in order to remain friendly with the machine that keeps on feeding.

Pussy footing aside, the journalist is a filter that the public should appreciate. One simply could not be a Mr. Universe of the real world and remain a functional individual. That is what I thought the intent of a newspaper (blog or, ugh, seven'o'clock news) was for, to be the middle man between the action and observer, not as a scary outsider. This might be overkill or a rehashing of past posts, but do you think so? Is reporting on hype really a report or more of a dissection? I appreciate the rumors, but sometimes the developers sound like a sound bite about every potentially "new" game on the market.

Also, cocks.
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