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Destructoid: A Manifesto

10:45 AM on 03.16.2006 // Niero Desu
  @destructoid

Independent. Accountable. Raw.

[This article was published in 2006, but is a living document that speaks to everything we stand for and what we hope to achieve. It was last updated April 15, 2013. Still independent, Still living the dream. -Niero]

There are so many cookie-cutter database videogame sites out there. Can you trust the editors working there? Are they fun to read? Where's the humor?  Where's the passion?  If you're as bored of bland "games journalism" as we are, you might appreciate what we are doing at our company.

We truly love videogames -- but can't love every videogame, and we're not shy about it. 

It's no secret that many industries would prefer to gently suppress the critical voice of the consumer, and gaming is no different. You've heard about all the politics that involve video game review scores --  your timely opinion is not welcomed. Whether we're blacklisted or mysteriously sent a late copy of a horrible game already shipping pre-orders, we will be rattling fences to get the honest, unfiltered word out. 

Canned gaming editorial is dead. The internet is about social media and gamers are getting more involved in the conversation, like it or not.  Destructoid is here to ensure that this continues to happen from an independent standpoint.

Destructoid wants to be the voice of the people. Real talk.

When people call us "video game journalists" we squirm a little. Look, we take our jobs seriously, but we also aware that we are neither chasing ambulances or soon eligible to win a Pulitzer for writing about The Passion of Mario and Princess Peach. Journalism implies the sort of black-and-white objective reporting that leaves little room for emotion, yet when we talk about video games the term "art" comes to mind, and art implies passion. Thus, Destructoid's mission is not to curate or coldly report on the logistics of videogame news, but rather to comment and critique it as a medium. 

We're not "bloggers." We are critics.

We began writing back 2006, which was an interesting climate. Countless gaming news sites popped up during the rise of social media and began out-pacing legacy news outlets's lethargic daily delivery of videogame news. Destructoid was one of the fastest and most accurate -- and now those aging publications have adopted many of our agile techniques. 

We're often referred to as a "blog," but when we press people to define the difference between us and other non-blog top gaming sites they're not sure what to say. Those guys have user comments. Those guys write shorter articles than us sometimes. We offer a more current,  comprehensive games database than most sites. A blog is a type of article. We are a serious news organization -- independent is not synonymous with "enthusiast."

It is no surprise to me that people who work at Destructoid often go on to do amazing things. Have you ever heard of Borderlands 2? We gave the game's writer his first break in the gaming business. I'm incredibly proud of our influence in the gaming community at large. You'll find ex-Dtoid editors in companies like EA, Sony, Namco, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others. Working here is creatively rewarding -- we're lucky to still have many founding editors on staff now going on seven years.

Editorial aside, we're heavily invested in running an incredibly vibrant consumer-first community like no other, with one of the least draconian user moderation policies online. We respect differing opinions here. Our editors expect you to question them. That's healthy here, not grounds for banning.

ADVERTISING POLICY

Advertisers have no access to our editors. As publisher I'm dead-serious about separation of church and state.  Destructoid has no interest in having an in-house sales team, nor is ad-selling part of our culture or process. We simply receive a life support check in the mail, as we outsource ad sales to GorillaNation. Go talk to them. If sponsors throw giveaway products at us we're quick to turn them around as giveaways to our readers, and are clearly marked as such.

We're keen to offer an ad-free version of our site because our readers block ads, and that's fine. Hopefully you'll support us with a membership if you enjoy the site so we can stay afloat without having to compromise this manifesto.

EDITORIAL POLICY

Accountability is very important to us, so we cite all of our sources or label rumors as they are.  However, you'll find that we always write from the heart -- uncut and unfiltered. We've also been called an (insert any console) fanboy site, but it couldn't be farther from the truth -- we hate everybody equally. At the end of the day, we're all about good games and don't really care about the industry's bottom line or publishing every minutia of press releases and problems. We like to keep it simple.

PRESS JUNKETS

I know other sites try to market themselves as real journalism types by not accepting press junkets, etc. This is the cheapest attempt at feigning credibility in our industry.

99% of editors who say they "don't accept junkets" are passing their receipts to their employer. That editor doesn't "feel" that travel bill out of pocket. Regardless of who paid the bill, you'll find all of these guys drunk at the first available happy hour together. C'mon. They just are doing their jobs and being reimbursed for their expenses by their publisher or the gaming company. Either way it has nothing to do with editorial integrity. So what does?

Destructoid believes in honest, open relationships. Whether we foot the bill or you do, it doesn't mean the person attending the event will review the game -- or that you'll ultimately see a positive review. We know PR junkets hope to affect review scores by half a point, and we make it that much harder for that not to happen by not attending "review events," period.

Talking to us about your game will give you a very good idea of how core gamers will react when it hits store shelves.  If you value that, contact us. If you don't and just want a good review, there are plenty of other gaming publications that will sell you good, cheap PR under the guise of serious editorial. This is Destructoid. We don't do that here.

WHY IS IT CALLED DESTRUCTOID?

I made it up. The name is fitting; the first articles ever published on the site were scathing criticisms of the stuffy game industry as we saw it. We wanted to change things, destroy and rebuild, make the industry take note that we were here to make noise and try things differently. Besides, there's enough companies called SuperGameZoneNews. We're also known as "Dtoid" for short.

SO ABOUT YOUR HELMET...

The original helmet was made by me. I made it from household parts from scratch; the most useful thing I've ever done with my art education. Our logo is based on the classic 50's Japanese toy "The Smoking Robot." It is also extremely handy in the clutter of press events, as having a gigantic helmet makes it easy for our community to find us in the mob. Later versions were commissioned to the talented Harrison Krix of Volpin Props.

HISTORY & BUSINESS

For more information about Destructoid and our other websites, visit ModernMethod.com



Niero Desu, Blogsmith
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