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JOURNALISM

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David Jaffe launches glorious verbal attack on CNN anchor


Developer gives Erin Burnett a furious piece of his mind
Feb 06
// Jim Sterling
Last week, we talked about how CNN anchor Erin Burnett desperately tried to link videogames to violent crime, attempting as she did to lead a psychologist into agreeing with her, and appearing flustered when he didn't. She wa...
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Ziff Davis buys IGN


News Corp hands over gaming site as part of 'restructuring'
Feb 04
// Jim Sterling
j2 Global subsidiary Ziff Davis has acquired IGN, following months of rumors that News Corp, run by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, was looking to offload the site in a "restructuring" plan. IGN, of course, also owns AskMe...

Whoa! A gun violence talk that does NOT blame games!

Feb 01 // Tony Ponce
[embed]243782:46668:0[/embed] You ought to check out the entire thing, but if you just want to watch the videogames segment, it's this clip labeled "The mental health stigma and violence." Cheryl Olson, co-author of the games violence research book Grand Theft Childhood, was on hand to once again point out there is little evidence to support any link between violent games and real-world violence. From her studies, she learned, "[T]he typical 13-year-old boy is playing at least one mature-rated violent game on a regular basis. And when you are looking at something very rare like a school shooting, and something that's statistically normal like playing violent videogames, it's kind of hard to make that link." Cooper agrees, "I looked at the study in ten different countries between gun violence and videogame sales, and it doesn't seem like there's a link in all these different countries." The discussion then shifts towards children suffering from mental health issues, and from there the panelists begin talking about the difficulties parents face in getting even so much as a proper diagnosis and treatment for their mentally ill kids. Audience member Liza Long is invited to stand up and share the story of her 13-year-old son, who exhibits great mental instability and a proclivity towards violence. Long fears that her son has the potential to be a school shooter one day, but her efforts to seek proper treatment are hindered by doctors who would rather throw more medicine at him and authorities who would rather throw the boy in prison. As it turns out, Long's son does not play first-person shooters and its ilk, instead preferring Minecraft and Dungeons & Dragons. His issues clearly do not stem from the media he consumes, yet because current laws and medical policies are reactive rather than proactive, there's very little Long can do to prevent a potential incident down the road. Granted, videogames are but a small portion of the entire Town Hall, but when it is touched upon, it's done with serious class. This may not seem like the most mind-blowing discourse to you -- these are the kinds of conclusions game bloggers and other pro-game outlets draw on a regular basis -- but considering it's a public forum held in front of possibly millions of viewers, it's very refreshing to hear. So yeah, more of that on TV, please.
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Anderson Cooper's Town Hall special discusses gun violence
It might be easy to label all major news pundits as being dangerously ignorant of videogames, especially when it concerns sexual or violent content. However, we ought to know better than to paint everyone with the same broad ...

CNN host tries and fails to link videogames to violence

Feb 01 // Jim Sterling
"You kill a prostitute, and that's a big thing, you get to win points," lied Burnett. "I find that offensive. But does that mean that those people who play that game are more likely to kill people?" Pollack's answer? No. He said there was absolutely no evidence, though admitted gamers may be less willing to break up fights and may engage in domestic violence. As questionable and alarmist as even that is, it clearly wasn't the answer the CNN reporter had hoped for.  As the interview concludes, I urge you to take a moment to observe Erin Burnett, stuttering, dejected, and visibly disappointed -- a far cry from the look of petulant smugness she begins the interview wearing. She wanted a psychologist to say violent videogames cause killers, and got one who said they don't. She wanted her assumptions to be backed up, and was told there no evidence supported her opinion. The sorrow on her face says it all.  Naturally, Erin and her sordid ilk will continue to bang on the same drum, and can find any number of alleged psychologists who will say anything they want. With that in mind, it's a small comfort, but it is nice to see a panic-mongering hack squirm after utterly failing to get the story she so pitifully and obviously tried to claw for herself.
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Erin Burnett wants psychologist to say things he doesn't believe
CNN's Erin Burnett last night tried desperately to make a psychologist blame videogames for gun violence, attempting to coerce him into agreeing with her that "violent" games make people more likely to kill.  "There's a...

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Objectify A Male Tech Writer Day [Update]


Salivate over grade-A man-meat on February 1st
Jan 28
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Leigh Alexander has decided to call off the event, following an examination of potential risks. It's been proposed that the event alienates those who do not neatly fit into the straight male and straight female dynam...
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Some guy: Xbox might be sold to Sony, Microsoft is ruined


Man on Internet says things in 'saying things' SHOCKER!
Jan 21
// Jim Sterling
Remember that guy who said Microsoft's Xbox division cannot be sustained by the company? Well, here comes another analyst with the same suggestion, going so far as to believe rival Sony could acquire the brand. Them's some da...

The biggest videogame controversies of 2012

Dec 20 // Jim Sterling
Retake Mass Effect In the eyes of some, Mass Effect is to videogames what Star Wars is to film. Such a comparison holds water when you take a look at the fanbase, especially its reaction to Mass Effect 3. This was the big finale, the culmination of a trilogy in which millions of gamers had invested their time, their interest and, yes, even their emotion. In many ways, its ending was guaranteed to piss people off, as nobody can put so much personal stock in a story and not feel disappointed by the way it concludes. However BioWare ended it, it'd never be exactly what individual fans envisioned.  Nevertheless, nobody was quite prepared for the backlash. Aside from the usual Metacritic mauling, petitions were erected to have BioWare change the ending. Business authorities were notified as fans accused BioWare and Electronic Arts of lying. Cupcakes were sent to the studio's office in protest. The biggest sticking point lay in how commercials promised fans that every choice they'd made in the series mattered, when in reality the ending all came down to one of three "choose your ending" options, like any other videogame.  The anger became focused into the "Retake Mass Effect" campaign, which eventually got big enough to where BioWare released new downloadable content in order to "contextualize" the ending. For some, this was the olive branch they wanted. For others, it fixed nothing. Even now, months after the game's release, the debate as to whether or not fans were ultimately cheated by BioWare rages on.  Are you right there, Phil Fish? There is a reason public relations is such a big sector of the game industry, and it's because game developers seem to have a habit of really putting their feet in their mouths. Phil Fish, already a controversial figure in the indie development scene, demonstrated just how badly things can go when you utter the wrong thing, after he said to a Japanese developer, "Your games just suck." Of course, he went and said this right before his project of many years, FEZ, was slated to launch on Xbox Live Arcade. Years and years of promotion and hype, undone by a single sentence. Pretty soon, whenever FEZ was mentioned, talk emerged on whether or not the creator was a racist. There were gamers who refused to buy the game, due to concerns over supporting a bigot, while others were simply angry that he'd so bluntly write off an entire sector of game development.  Chances are pretty good that Fish, for all his faults, is not a racist. His dismissal of an entire nation's games, however, was undoubtedly ignorant, and it's not hard to see why so many were offended. Nevertheless, FEZ performed quite well and enjoyed huge critical acclaim. Just a shame about that patch.  The diabolical disaster of Error 37 Diablo III was one of the most anticipated games of the year, and after making six million sales in a week, it was easily among the biggest successes. Nevertheless, the game's always-online requirements remained a sticking point, especially when the glorified DRM measure meant users couldn't get into the game on launch day.  Many gamers trying to log in were hit with "Error 37" messages, Diablo III's servers unable to handle the masses of would-be heroes frantically attempting to enjoy the game they just paid for. The whole mess illustrated the major problem with PC gaming at the moment, as paying consumers feel less like customers and more like lodgers, enjoying temporary stays in a game's world at the mercy of corporate landlords. Nobody owns the games they pay for, and handing over your $60 doesn't guarantee you the ability to play what you bought -- and that's kind of not cool. Street Fighter X Tekken X Disc-Locked Content On-disc DLC is not a new concept, but gamers are growing increasingly tired of having to buy "extra" content that was already surreptitiously sold to them. This weariness came to head with Street Fighter X Tekken, featuring as it did a full roster of playable characters hidden on the disc, waiting to be unlocked via later purchases of "downloadable" content.  Despite the usual load of excuses (separate budgets, multiplayer integration, etc.), Capcom's behavior in this instance was largely considered a case of going way too far. Full character models, along with prologue and ending movies, were all sat there like sleeper agents, and it came off as more than a little insulting.  Capcom, for its part, would go on to say that it'd be "re-evaluating" its DLC policies in the future, though admitted Dragon's Dogma would still ship with disc-locked content. It remains to be seen whether or not Capcom can continue to resist this tacky business practice, or if it'll go back to old habits once it thinks the heat is off.  Bayonetta 2 ... U MAD? Perhaps one of the more ridiculous outrages this year concerned Bayonetta 2, a game that simply would not have existed without Nintendo's support. That didn't stop "fans" being utterly disgusted that the sequel would be a Wii U exclusive, seemingly preferring to have no game at all rather than one bound to Nintendo's newest home console.  Within moments of the game's announcement, folk were flinging shit around their cages in furious protest, sending such vile messages to Hideki Kamiya as, "I better see an Xbox release in future or I'll kill you," "FU*K you and fu*k YOU Platinum Games. Not buying games from you again. No respect for loyal gamers," and "Platinum studio is dead for me. Considering to cancel my MGRising pre-order too." The term "entitled gamer" is overused and often utilized in the wrong situation, but for this particular debacle, its certainly a term that seems to fit. Bayonetta's fans painted a truly despicable picture of themselves that day.  Doritosgate An image of Geoff Keighley sat, dead-eyed, next to a bag of Doritos and a load of Mountain Dew. It started as a generally humorous image, shared on social networks and used to poke fun at game journalism's increasing proximity to advertising agencies. Things took a more serious tone, however, when Eurogamer columnist Robert "Rab" Florence penned an article severely criticizing the way in which games media seem to hop gleefully in bed with industry PR. In particular, he picked at the British Games Media Awards, a ceremony in which game marketers essentially reward their favorite writers. Even worse, this year they had those same writers Tweeting advertising hashtags to try and win a PS3.  Things took a turn when Rab focused on one particular writer, Lauren Wainwright, who defended the hashtag contest. He noted how her defense of the practice led him not to trust her opinion, as someone who justified games media's complicity with product placement. Lauren would go on to accuse Eurogamer of libel, and her employer MCV got involved. Eventually, Eurogamer edited Rab's article to remove Lauren's name, and Florence quit his post at the publication in response.  This chain of events sent shockwaves throughout the gaming community, forums such as NeoGAF began shining a spotlight on a number of dodgy practices, and the media felt the heat. Some outlets wrote up new ethics codes, others promised to cut out publisher-paid preview trips. Many writers took hard, long looks at themselves. Then again, others wrote off the entire thing as unimportant whining, and didn't take the introspective opportunity. Whatever one's opinion, this was easily among the most tumultuous issues of the year, and something I personally haven't forgotten. The War Z and the war on telling the truth about things 2012 was so packed with kerfuffles that some studios had to wait until the last few weeks of the year to get their turn. Hammerpoint sung out twelve months of controversy with impressive gusto, releasing The War Z under a banner of lies. The game hit Steam with a list of features that weren't even in the game, promising multiple maps, skills, and up to 100 players per server. None of those were available at launch. Not only that, but customers weren't told they were playing a glorified alpha build that, frankly, was a mess.  The game itself was a huge disappointment. It was less zombie-survival MMO and more all-versus-all deathmatches with snipers talking out unarmed newcomers -- newcomers who'd survive for a few seconds and then have to wait four hours to respawn (unless they made a brand new character or paid Hammerpoint extra cash for an instant revival). As customers got pissed, Hammerpoint spent its time silencing dissent on message boards and attempting to portray complaints as the work of disingenuous fanboys. Valve, however, saw things differently, and actually pulled the game from Steam before offering refunds.  At the time of writing, more information continues to appear concerning the lazy and sketchy development of The War Z. This is a story that could carry us comfortably into the new year. 2012: The Year of Sexism The videogame industry is no stranger to social pressure, beset as it is by critics and pundits who wish to blame interactive entertainment for every ill in the world. This year, however, the heaviest of the pressure came from within. 2012 was undoubtedly the year gaming got serious about gender issues, which can be a good or bad thing, and the sheer volume of events that happened is staggering.  There really are too many things that happened to name individually, but a few of the biggest include Hitman: Absolution and a trailer depicting Agent 47 bashing the crap out of fetishized nuns, the attacks on BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler, a women threatened with rape after seeking funds for a video series on videogame gender tropes, and the PR missteps of the Tomb Raider reboot.   Tomb Raider was arguably the most high-profile issue, a seemingly genuine attempt by Crystal Dynamics to craft a strong female character that managed to offend by beating the crap out of her and promising murky implications of attempted rape. While the game looks on track to be quite good, the big mouths of executives and developers dug themselves into deeper and deeper holes, as they attempted to backtrack on earlier statements and go so far as to deny the word "rape" even exists in their minds. It all got a bit David Brent, to be honest.  Of course, while some gamers enjoyed having provocative debates over the problem of sexism in the game industry, others pushed back, angry that their escapism was being dragged into such heated discussion. Whatever your opinion, though, I think we can all agree it's at least a testament to the growth and continued influence of videogames that we can even have these discussions nowadays, where once any issues would be roundly ignored.  I mean, you can just ignore any controversy that doesn't interest you, right?  Oh right ... Internet. 
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Twelve months of outrage
Another year, another round of videogame controversies! 2012 was perhaps one of the biggest years ever for scandal and strife, filled with sexism, lies, and ... Doritos?  We've compiled the most outrageous outrages of th...

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Dynasty Warriors implicated in school shooting


Camp hack n' slash can feed your 'Darkest Thoughts'
Dec 17
// Jim Sterling
As if the circular blame game surrounding violent crime wasn't bad enough, one particular British tabloid has decided to implicate Dynasty Warriors in the Adam Lanza school shooting. Yes, we've moved on from Mass Effect and a...
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Mass Effect and more attacked over school shooting


Angry mob goes after games when media misleads them
Dec 15
// Jim Sterling
Yesterday, the mainstream media sunk to a new low in its rush to build the latest death circus. Following a horrific school shooting in a Connecticut kindergarten, news sources -- chiefly CNN -- jumped to dangerous speculatio...
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Halo 4 will NOT be issuing special XBL bans for sexism


Racism and homophobia not given a looser leash either
Nov 06
// Jim Sterling
Last week, Halo 4 was at the center of a brouhaha with word that sexist behavior in Halo 4 online play would net the user a lifetime ban. While some folks applauded the measure, others asked why homophobic and racist activity...

Check out these gaming blogs and discover happiness

Nov 05 // Daniel Starkey
Our Special Selections These are the sites that we think are particularly excellent for one reason or another. Critical Distance and Dire CriticKris Ligman contributes to both of these sites on a regular basis. The first, Critical Distance, is a blog dedicated to highlighting other independent blogs. The latter is Kris' personal site and it is fantastic all-around. Nightmare ModeThose of you disillusioned with the growing bond between many game journos and PR folks might be interested in Nightmare Mode. Run by former Dtoider Patricia Hernandez, the site is personal and honest, which is a lot more than can be said for many other sites these days. Awesome Out of 10Several former Dtoiders and their pals contribute to this blog regularly. It seeks to turn the whole notion of numbered scores for games on its head by boiling each game down to a word or phrase... out of ten. Geekdom Venus PatrolVenus Patrol focuses on the visual and aesthetic beauty produced by the games industry. Concept art, screens, and side projects all get a fantastic showcase here. Die Gute FabrikThese guys represent a game studio in Copenhagen. Their team attempts to translate the mechanics of physical games into something new with 21st-century technology. UnwinnableWow... just... wow... The scope of Unwinnable is somewhat ridiculous. There's so much content covering so many different aspects of geek culture you are guaranteed to find something you like here. DorkismsDeeply personal and heavy on the swears, Dorkisms is just as the name implies -- a dorky place with dorky things. General Gaming Brainy GamerAre you a scholarly gamer? Do you enjoy your frag fests with a piping hot cup of the finest herbal tea? Brainy gamer might be your place. They try to look past the superficial and get into the meat of games, criticism, and the culture that surrounds them. Attract ModeA "videogame collective" of artists, designers, journalists, and the like, Attract Mode is best described as a mini Gamasutra with a much more attractive website. TwinfiniteWhen I see the Twinfinite people at conferences, I think of a very young Destructoid. These folks are dedicated and they deserve your clicks. Action ButtonTim Rogers is a person. And this is his blog. Operating without a standard review format, Tim and friends post some of the more engaging pieces of legitimate criticism I've ever read. Great stuff. Rock Solid AudioRun by a former game journo, Rock Solid Audio is a fantastic blog from one Nick Suttner. Beeps and BloopsNot updated very often, Beeps and Bloops is focused on "informed criticism," something that our industry is definitely lacking. GrantlandI'm going to preface this by saying that if you haven't read Tom Bissell's Extra Lives, you should probably go take care of that. This man is a brilliant journalist who happens to be a gamer. His content is fantastic and you need it in your life. Electron DanceIf you like well-thought, intelligent discussions about videojuegos, then this another site you can add to your list of daily bits. Good Games WritingThis isn't so much a news or reviews blog in the traditional sense as it is a place to highlight the best in games journalism. It gave me a smidge of hope amidst the recent Geoff Keighly insanity. It's good to know there are people being awesome all the time, everywhere. Quarter to ThreeQtT is rather close to my heart a website that acknowledges the apparently chronic insomnia of the people who game. Among the sites listed here, this is among the most active and has a relatively high post/day count, so you'll get quite a bit to keep your eyes busy. Themed websites Indie GamesIt follows that some indie game blogs would be about indie games, right? Well this is one of the best. Give it some lovin'. Free Indie GamesThe title says it all. Tiny CartridgeAre you passionately in love with all things DS? Are you sick and tired of not getting all the DS coverage you feel you deserve? Tiny Cartridge has you covered. HookShot Inc.HookShot Inc. is all about cheap, small downloadable games that run $15 or less. If you're a gamer on a budget, or just love PSN and XBLA, this might be your jam. Dead End ThrillsDuncan Harris uses heavily modded games and a pretty solid gaming rig to squeeze all the visually beauty he can from games... then he takes pics. Seriously, if you ever want to see just how pretty some games can get, you should check this guy out. Rockman Corner & The Mega Man NetworkThese blogs are all about Mega Man. I mean EVERYTHING Mega Man. From fan art to music to modern film, these people have an obsession. Our very own Mr. Tony Ponce swears by both, and Destructoid editors are never wrong. We sincerely hope that you'll take a look at some of these sites and give them the traffic and recognition they deserve. If you don't like one, don't worry there's plenty here to keep you occupied for a long time to come.
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Earning our karma
I came across Destructoid back in 2006. At the time, it was barely a blip on the industry's radar. It was just a pack of dedicated bloggers with a rebellious streak. Now, this site has seen at least a dozen of its own graduat...

From a bag of Doritos to a bag of dirty laundry

Oct 29 // Jim Sterling
From hashtags to harshtags Florence's criticism of Wainwright stemmed from her defense of a suspicious contest being held at the GMAs, where media folks were encouraged to Tweet a marketing department's hashtag for a chance to win a PS3. Lauren's insistence that there was nothing wrong with such a practice rang alarm bells in Rab's ears. "Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: ‘Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ'," he wrote. "And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist’s apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she’s in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I’m sure she isn’t, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?" Wainwright took umbrage with Florence's words, and her response was to accuse him of libel. Her employer, MCV, backed her 100%, and after a day of back-and-forth between Rab's supporters and hers, Eurogamer eventually capitulated to the implied threat of legal action and amended the offending article. That is when everything went truly south.  The Internet will CUT you Various communities, most notably NeoGAF, began talking in earnest about the situation, with many of them reposting and immortalizing Rab's redacted words. Rab, meanwhile, stepped down as a writer for Eurogamer, feeling his position was untenable at an outlet that would censor him (that said, he did not bear his former employers any ill will). In no time at all, Lauren was revealed to have listed Square Enix as an employer, at the same time as she was reviewing and covering Square Enix games. She claimed she had not reviewed any of the publisher's games while working for it as a consultant, but an image of her Deus Ex: Human Revolution review for The Sun was quickly shared online. Meanwhile, she locked her Twitter account to escape a torrent of abuse, and also set about deleting references to her Square Enix connections. This all added fuel to the fire, as a public found such behavior all the more suspect.  Lauren and MCV deny any sort of legal threats being made, but even that has been called into question, with Lauren having been found to have Tweeted that her media law qualifications were finally paying off. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell said that Lauren had made it quite clear to them that lawyers would be involved if nothing was done. Such a threat cannot be taken lightly in the UK, where libel suits are costly, risky, and can prove destructive to the losing party.  Neither Lauren nor MCV have made further comment on the matter, and are more or less attempting business as usual.  Media uncoverage The story gained traction at many outlets, with articles from Penny Arcade, Forbes, and myself via GameFront pouring in. At this time, the hardcore gamer community demanded other outlets cover the ongoing controversy, with some publications such as Kotaku brushing it off as not important. This was seen as a position of cowardice by the likes of GAF, who felt the story shone too bright a light on the dodgy dealings of the gaming press at large. Meanwhile, Stephen Totilo's argument that good games journalism was what mattered only seemed to amuse the accusatory GAF, who wasted no time in juxtaposing the statement against Kotaku's Halo 4 unboxing video.  It didn't end there. As the GAF thread goes on, everything is scrutinized from free review copies to press kits to writers and game marketers being far too friendly to provide a useful service to readers. All of it's worthy of scrutiny, all of it's worth thinking about. It is tempting to cover each subject individually, and that may indeed happen here if enough people would like a series on the subject.  Are there any writers who deserve to be called game journalists? Does calling yourself a blogger really give you the right to be lax on journalistic ethics? Should reviewers buy all their own review copies? The story throws up a plethora of questions, so many that no single article could cover them all. Most importantly, people have been asking, "Why is nobody covering this?" In a few ways, Totilo isn't incorrect. Many gamers do just want to hear about the games, and they don't really care for journalism or controversy. Maybe a site that talks about Japanese food isn't the right environment in which to say it, but it's not untrue. Then again, the size of the GAF thread alone proves there's a huge audience for these kinds of stories, so there is definitely something to gain from writing about it.  As for having something to lose from doing so ... maybe. There's no doubt that this is an uncomfortable story, and I don't think there are many writers at all who could claim to not be on friendly terms with at least somebody on the other side of the fence. Trust between a writer and a reader is crucial, and perhaps it is true that this story makes every writer just that little bit less trustworthy. I will quite happily admit that I have repartee with several members of the industry-side of things, and it's up to the readers whether or not that makes me unworthy of trust. It's not for me to say. It's not for any games media to claim it's trustworthy. That's a decision for the readers.  The ongoing discussion Many writers have decided to shrug this whole thing off as nothing but, a week later, it's still being talked about and, as Ben Kuchera says, it doesn't look like it's going away. Everybody covering games professionally is currently being viewed under a microscope, but not by publishers looking to see who they should favor -- it's by the people who ultimately matter. The readers are the ones taking a long and dirty look.  That's a good thing. Ultimately, it's the readers we are meant to serve. It's not our job to look after a developer's Metacritic bonus, or ensure that Ubisoft is happy with the way we phrase a particular thing. As a guy who got himself blacklisted at Konami in the name of entertaining and informing gamers, and who writes for a site that gained its popularity back when no publisher gave a damn about us, I can confidently say that it all begins and ends with the audience. We can live without the blessing of a game manufacturer, but we're dead without you. I'm glad the audience is judging our worth to them and I'm glad we're all getting a chance to reflect on what's going on.  I invite you to look at what Destructoid does. Read our reviews, check out the pictures of plastic tat that publishers send us, and by all means examine the games that our mascot, Mr. Destructoid, has appeared in. Take a good, long look at every site you enjoy. I can only speak for myself, but I welcome the scrutiny, and your decision as to whether or not we're worthy of your readership. If you decide we're too friendly with the games industry to do you a service, then it's a consequence I embrace. If you decide we are capable of giving you honest analysis of the game industry, then I can only be grateful for you allowing us to do that. In any case, it's given me and others a lot to think about, and those of us who did not simply close ranks on this issue will likely continue to think about what we've done and how we can improve. Maybe Destructoid is doing something wrong. Maybe I'm failing you as reviews editor somewhere. I like to think about this, because I believe we can always get better.  And if you don't care about any of this stuff, and just want to talk about videogames? That's fine too. Unless you're a professional writer, doing this for a living. I don't think we get to not care. None of us have earned that kind of privilege.
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How the games media got into a big crispy mess
Who knew that a picture of a man sat next to a bag of Doritos could snowball into anger, humiliation, and intrigue? The most startling thing about this industry is that the biggest of avalanches can erupt from the humblest of...

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Game Critics announce 'Best of E3 2012' nominees


Jun 20
// Jim Sterling
Every year, judges selected from a variety of outlets (including Destructoid) are asked to vote for their favorite games shown at E3. The nominations are in and you can probably guess who made the cut for the "best in show" t...
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E3: NINTENDO USES ELECTRICAL CORDS, CONFIRMED!


Jun 05
// Tony Ponce
Holly Green and I took a step outside the convention center today and spotted a bunch of crates for Nintendo's booth. We knew we had to share with you the contents of these crates, so we ducked security to snap some photos. A...

E3 memories: Some we regret, some we don't

May 29 // Allistair Pinsof
During the bitter end of the final day of last year's E3 (and my personal first), I trudged the far booths of the west hall while reading emails on my phone. After turning a random corner, I looked up to see a roped-off area filled with what I assumed was half of the sum of "booth babes" at E3, eating and chatting amongst each other. Normally, I don't give a shit about hot girls, because this industry floods us with them, but, in my tired state, some primitive part of my brain clicked on and convinced me that I'd found some hidden area that I wasn't supposed to find. So I just stood there and stared, in the way you do when your mind goes completely blank.When I zipped back to consciousness, though, I realized that about three other girls in that area were staring right back at me with what I can only describe as a mixture of unpleasant expressions on their faces. I fancy myself a quick thinker, so to save the awkward situation, I politely asked them where the restroom was. Without saying a word, one of them pointed behind me, where I had just come from, at a restroom sign that was in plain sight.Whatever little respect these girls usually have for gamers, I think I destroyed the remaining bit after that moment. Sorry, everyone. E3 2011 was my first rodeo, but I definitely came away with some interesting memories. Probably the highlight was at the Justin.TV/Heroes Of Newerth party. It was a ridiculously lavish affair in a gorgeous penthouse suite. What I thought was a good sound system bumping some of my favorite mash-up albums turned out to be the actual Super Mash Bros doing a DJ set. While there, I got to drink a beer with Seanbaby (EGM, Cracked.com) who I credit to this day as one of my main inspirations for "trying to write funny." I rambled incoherently in total fanboy manner, and Sean may or may not have dry-humped Hollie Bennett.At some point during that same party, I hanged out with the ever-charming Carlos Ferro (the voice of Dom in Gears Of War) and pestered him with dumb jokes. Eventually, he got fed up with me and said loudly, in a busy hallway, "HEY! THIS GUY HATES GEARS OF WAR!" At this point, I was immediately asked "What?! How come?" by several bystanders while Carlos escaped into the crowd. While defending my firm belief that Gears was art-directed by an Affliction shirt and three cans of Axe body spray, I made friends with Jeff Hanna, an incredibly nice dude who happens to be a senior technical artist for Volition. We talked about art, aesthetics, and how violent video games are fun, and other industry bull, but most importantly, that was the night when I first learned that Saints Row: The Third had giant dildos in it. The rest is history, I guess.But really, guys. E3 is serious business. I have to go schedule some calendar spreadsheets or something. One time at E3 I met this guy in a robot helmet. Now I run his flagship website.Seriously! Last year was my 2nd E3, and I wasn't with Destructoid yet. My crew and I decided on the last day that we were going to rush to the front of the crowd so we could be among the first in; we didn't want to wait at Nintendo. We ended up making the front of the line, which was right across the walkway from the Nintendo VIP booth. As we stood there, my EIC spotted and pointed out Reggie Fils Aime at the top of the booth, looking down on all the attendees in the queue. I started digging around for my phone and by the time I looked up he was hamming it up for the crowd. I started blowing kisses and hollering "THETANOOKI.COM LOVES YOU" while he laughed his head off. At that point my friend Gil Ruta, the head of Nintendo's ESRB division, came down to give me a hug and chat for a bit, thus assuring Reggie that I wasn't completely psycho. Apparently, Reggie occasionally asks about me -- I'm sure in the "Hey remember that crazy chick?" capacity. Also some crazy hot hippie game artist chicks drug me across the street to smoke joints under one of the statues at the Staple Center. That was fun. I also almost got into a fist fight with some white trash chick on an escalator my first E3 but that's not much of a story. It was E3 2010 and our former Editor-in-Chief, Nick Chester, somehow roped me into checking out Def Jam Rapstar for preview coverage. If you know me, then you know I have NO rhythm skills nor singing skills whatsoever. So, reluctantly, I attend the meeting at one of Konami's private rooms at their gigantic booth on the show floor. I step into the tiny dark room and saw, in the very back, there was Method Man and Red Man smoking like there was no tomorrow. The duo were set to perform a few songs at the Konami stage later in the day, so in the meantime they were hiding out in the meeting room. The meeting took around 20 minutes or so, during which Method and Red were smoking the whole time. Tiny room, lots of smoke -- Yeah, I got contact high for sure. Honestly, it was a little nice. E3 is one of the most stressful times for anyone in the gaming industry so having some of that edge taken off for just a short time was a nice little relief. It was E3 2008. Since I live in Los Angeles, I decided to take the subway downtown to pick up my E3 badge early. On my way there, the subway broke down and let everyone off at a station a couple of spots before the L.A. Convention Center. No big deal, I thought. I don't mind walking the extra distance.As I was walking, I entered a darker, shadowy section of downtown L.A. Kind of like the elephant graveyard in Lion King, but without the sassy lioness cub to protect me. Anyway, from out of nowhere, a homeless man appeared. As I walked around a corner he was right there in front of me.I immediately realized something as strange: His entire shirt was made out of a trash bag.Before I had a chance to even think about anything, the man started screaming. Like, full on screaming at the top of his lungs. Right in my face. It was terrifying. I was so confused and scared, though, I couldn't even move.Then it happened.The screaming homeless man ripped off his trash bag shirt like the Hulk. He just flexed his chest, grabbed hold of both sides of the shiny trash bag material, and pulled the shirt apart. All while screaming. Once the bag shirt was completely gone, I freaked the eff out. I turned in the other direction and just ran as fast as I could with my arms flailing above me.I didn't look back, so I have no idea if the homeless guy followed me. The next thing I knew I was at the Convention Center in record time. I ran in, completely out of breath, and approached the counter to get my badge. Breathing hard, I handed over my credentials and said "I was just confronted by a homeless man in a trash bag shirt. HE RIPPED IT OFF!"The E3 employee looked at me and said nothing. I smiled, grabbed my badge, and walked away. To this day, I will never forget that wonderful screaming homeless man in the tearaway trash bag shirt. It is one of my favorite E3 memories. Mine is short, and maybe not as ridiculous as others, but I will always remember it. I was at E3 2010: attending my second live Nintendo Conference. Reggie dimmed the lights, and said they were announcing an "old favorite franchise returning to the Nintendo Wii". As soon as I heard the first few notes of Donkey Kong Country Returns, I flipped my shit and yelled "HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT'S DONKEY KONG!". Some people around me laughed, some glared, but they were all faceless blurs in the wake of my excitement, unable to tear myself from the giant screens showing Donkey and Diddy in all their revived glory.I totally went back to being a kid again, the latest Nintendo Power in hand, eager for the next first party title. To some extend I'm still that little kid, but nothing can replicate being at a live Nintendo Conference for me.This one time, I was watching coverage from home and Olivia Munn embarrassed herself on TV while interviewing David Jaffe. When I think of past E3's now, the thing that usually comes to mind is Kentia Hall, and that thing has been lamented to death over the years. Kentia Hall has been as long (or longer) than Destructoid has been going to E3, I'm pretty sure.I first went in 2005. The plan was to get in as a retail employee for Circuit City, but I just missed the cutoff. So, I drove out there anyway because the plan had been to go with a friend who had gotten his badge. But it turned out that a former employee of mine had become a level designer for a game studio, and he supplied me with the pass of a QA guy who'd been laid off between registration and the show.  It was pretty intense. I recall the PS3 presentation, walking out of there thinking, "Well, your video rendering is great but when are you going to show me a game?" And the boomerang controller! They really made the right call there, and I hate the Dual Shock 3 There was just, like, four minutes of video from Resistance or something of that ilk. Maybe it was a Killzone 2 clip. The whole thing is a bit of a blur now but I just remember the thing feeling like a big dog and pony show. It didn't seem plausible and, frankly, it wasn't. I'm far less adventurous and far more professional than most of these guys here. Which is really to say I'm still very adventurous and only slightly professional. In any case, I don't have many stories that will make you squirt milk out of your nose and tickle your asshole. I have other means of accomplishing that though (find me on Craigslist). There is an element of celebrity to being an entertainment journalist. Some writers pretend it's not a factor, but it always is and it's never clearer than at a madhouse like E3, populated with far more industry and people who have no right being there than honest-to-goodness journalists -- not your cousin with a WordPress account. In this job, you occasionally have those, "Oh shit. This is real" moments. For me, one of those key moments happened at E3 last year. I was assigned to cover Sega's E3 booth. Well, minus the games I actually gave a damn about. My boss was the one that got to check out Gearbox's Aliens: Colonial Marines. "Get your work done and meet me back here and maybe you can check it out with me." So, I worked my way through Anarchy Reigns, Sonic Generations, and other Sega offerings. Miraculously, I finished right in time. She had entered the small makeshift theater for Aliens and saved me a seat. Now I just had to get in which wasn't a small feat. While I was previewing games, a line began to build up for the demo. The line must have been 100 people deep, some would have to wait an hour or more. I knew it was my birth right to see this demo, so I cut in front of the line like any self-assured games journalist would. The line soon became an angry orgy of Gamestop clerks and developers spitting bile and honing pitchforks at me. "LINE CUTTER! OFF WITH THE FUCKERS HEAD!" they yelled, while unsheathing their promotional foam swords. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but, trust me, they weren't having it. I turned to the Sega employee at the door of the theater and told him my boss was in there. "HAHA! Nice try, asshole! His boss is in there! Yeah, good luck working that one, bud!" the guy at the front of the line said. I kept my cool though. Luckily, my boss was seated right next to the door and she waved me in. The Sega guy said it was cool so I went in, but not before I looked back and gave the guy in front of the line a knowing look. "Have fun waiting, pal." This one time I showed up in a robot helmet made out of air conditioner parts.
 photo

E3 is a week of great stories. Unfortunately, it's also a week of unbelievable stress and drinking so a lot of those stories die out along with the brain cells that contained them. Luckily, I managed to wrangle out a couple s...

What does a game journalist do at E3?

May 27 // Allistair Pinsof
Stuck somewhere between an Olympic sprint and an angry mom jog, you make your way toward the West Hall. You have an appointment with Epic Game's CliffyB, and he's showing off his latest game -- your boss will have your head on a spit if you screw this one up. Go past the overpriced, disgusting convention pizza, make a left at the angry mob of GameStop managers fighting over a bag of GREE swag, and make a sharp right at the despondent girl giving out energy drinks. Congratulations! You have arrived at Microsoft's monolith of an expo booth. You are a true E3 master. Now, check in at the press desk, feel the disappointment of learning your one-on-one appointment is actually a one-on-25, 20 of which are rowdy developers from other companies wanting to hang out with Cliffy, and try not to worry too much as the appointment begins to overlap with your next meeting on the other side of the convention center. This is E3 for a games journalist. We may talk about the great parties, industry luminaries, or D-list celebrity spottings, but these things hardly make up the bulk of the most exciting, exhausting, and stressful week of a game journalist's year. Like broken soldiers remembering a war, we hold on to the humorous stories and convey the rest through a knowingly defeated nod. I may be a young gun in this industry of really, really old people in their thirties, but I've survived E3. I'm here to tell you what it's like to cover the show as a journalist: the good, the bad, and the "Why the hell are there furries in a bounce house trying to spank me?" of E3. A Magical Place E3 always seemed like a magical place to me, like Disneyland but better because it's where you get to see Solid Snake, Link, and Samus' new adventures before anyone else. As a kid, I looked at E3 brochures that came with issues of EGM with a wide-eyed sense of wonder. The impossible leaps in technology, heavily anticipated sequels, and the thrilling spectacle of lavish decor, big screen TVs, and fog machines that made up the show floor drove my imagination wild. Now that I know the reality -- what it means to cover the show as a member of the press -- I love this time of the year no less. It's just a bit different. I once experienced the show alongside the rest of you: glued to news feeds, live streams, and Twitter accounts, chomping at the bit for any new, juicy details on the next generation of hardware or franchise reboot that neither analysts nor fans saw coming. Who could forget the jaw-dropping Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer or the Konami 2010 conference that spawned a thousand memes? For a game enthusiast, E3 is the holiday that marks the true beginning of a new year. Strangely, experiencing E3 from home has become vastly superior in many ways over the years. Now  every conference is streamed with high-quality, dependable video, and every outlet is uploading video of the show's biggest demos within an hour of filming, if not shooting live. At the show, it's impossible to keep up with information coming out of the press conferences. Many of us were in the dark about the Wii U during Nintendo's press conference because we were too busy commuting to the convention and racing down the halls. I won't pretend being at E3 isn't awesome. Of course it is! Though there are benefits of seeing the show from your home command center, you can't get a hold of the demos that the rest of the Internet wants to play so badly. So, what exactly does a journalist do at E3? I won't pretend to be an expert on E3. There are industry veterans that have covered it from the first showing in 1995 and even CES before that. Me? I've covered it once. E3 2011 feels not that long ago, so maybe I can impart some clarity, as my memories have not been blurred by a plethora of previous E3s and similar expos, though none carry quite the grandeur and scale of E3. Companies spend thousands on booths which are more akin to Hollywood sets: gigantic dragon sculptures elevate above, fog machines go off below, and the best models money can buy all around. Some are even paid to dress in cat suits and jump up and down in bounce houses all day to promote games. If you have become desensitized to the imagery and randomness of the dark recesses of the Internet, then you'll feel at home in the Los Angeles Convention Center. So, what exactly does a journalist do at E3? A lot. It's different for every outlet. G4, Game Informer, and IGN are big enough to have their own areas on the show floor or nearby. Game publishers and developers often come to them rather than the other way around. And then there are the select few sites that get invited to E3 Judges' Week, a week of early E3 demos presented in May, in order to help inform the decision making of judges. As you can imagine, having 50 games previewed before the show makes covering the event much easier for an outlet. It also helps to have more than five people covering the entirety of the expo. Destructoid is fortunate to have both of these advantages, but I wasn't with Destructoid a year ago. I was with The Escapist and we didn't have shit. Well, that's not entirely true. We had five talented writers and editors who were out for blood. Susan Arendt and Steve Butts manned the ship, getting us to where we needed to be without hesitance, "us" being me, Thomas Goldman, and two girls freelancing for the site. Goldman was a machine, and I mean that in the best way possible. In conversation he was naturally slack, or rather unnaturally slack, considering we were occupying bedlam for the week. He'd write three previews in the time it takes most journalists to write one. And here's what drove me nuts: they weren't terrible! At least he was on our side. For an editor, E3 is much less a battle than it is a war. It starts a month before the show even begins. Setting up appointments, figuring out travel, and managing equipment is as important as being there itself. You can tell when it's an outlet's first year at the show: they are the ones who ask for an appointment at the press desk of publishers' booths during the show. "Sorry, sir. Here's a disk of game trailers released a month ago. Now enjoy standing in line for two hours, sandwiched between two sweaty, grizzled GameStop assistant managers!" Even when you make a plan, it rarely goes accordingly. E3 is not a place for the timid. There are always appointments you show up late to or appointments that publishers drop, knowingly or not. In these instances, you need to say, "This is who I am, this is why I'm here, now show me dem games!" in the nicest, most professional way possible -- I've found not using the term "cunt" goes a long way! It also really helps to have PR contacts on the other side who can help. If not, you can always count on your outlet's name helping you land on your feet. No one is going to turn away The Escapist or Destructoid, and if they do, their boss is going to hear about it. I can only imagine the nightmare it must be to be the new guy on the block. Without contacts, appointments, and a history in the industry, you are just another face in the crowd, and what a big crowd E3 brings! [embed]228130:43798:0[/embed] The Press Dungeon When you aren't making a beeline across the convention center's expansive hallways -- taking a blurred photo of Tak Fuji and bumping into a Mass Effect cosplayer on the way -- you are stationed in the press room. It's in here that you connect to the Internet, transform your delirious notes into articles, and post live coverage that will be devoured by thousands within an hour. The comments roll in quickly: "This dumbass misspelled Kratos' name!", "No, the last game came out in 2007, not 2008. Jesus Christ, who hired this guy!? LOLOLOL", "Oh great, another Wii U game preview? Must be nice to be in Nintendo's pockets, huh?" As a journalist, I aim for quality over quantity, but this luxurious mindset is not afforded to those covering the year's biggest event. Instead, you load your words into a shotgun and hope no one gets hurt. It's nice to have a team of copy editors who have your back. It's nice to want a lot of things. Assuming the press room's Internet doesn't go down and no one kicks you out of your seat, you'll be able to get in three to five lengthy previews. You'll write the other five in your hotel room, while everyone else goes to the parties. Then you get up at 8 AM and do it all over again for two more days. This is very much the bare bones approach to E3. At The Escapist, we didn't conduct interviews, we didn't film, and only a couple of us covered the press conferences from the major publishers and hardware manufacturers. Even so, five people covering 100+ games is a mighty feat. As the event approaches, you doubt whether it's even possible. Before you even know it, you find yourself trapped on a roller coaster, being swung this way and that way. You'd get off if you could, but you never do. Maybe you are just having too much fun. Or maybe you are just afraid of how poorly it will reflect on you as a journalist. Sometimes it's hard to tell which it is, so it's best not to think about it. There is work to be done, after all. "E3, as an event, I can take or leave. Repping Destructoid at E3, however, is kind of priceless." Last year, I wanted to be covering the show with Destructoid. They were the cool kids. In the press room, they claimed an entire table like a prison gang. I'm sure Jim Sterling would have made me his prison bitch if I approached him while he wrote his Skyrim preview. Holmes would then shank me (with love, of course). I kid. I met some of Destructoid staff for the first time last year, some more awkwardly than others. All were incredibly nice and didn't have that air of "DO YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT WHAT I'M DOING RIGHT NOW IS!?" that so many others in the room had. Never mind the European press who would talk loudly, videochat with their girlfriends back home, hog electrical outlets for their handhelds, and answer phones. So my wish came true: I'm going to E3 this year with Destructoid. Many of the big games have already been previewed, and the ones that haven't are already in the sights of multiple editors. For better or worse, this definitely isn't The Escapist. Though, I am afraid I will be too distant from the maelstrom of E3. For me, E3 is as much about the big announcements as it is about busting ass through a crowded hallway with a purpose. The greatest purpose of all is to tell the next kid in Texas what games they can look forward to this Christmas. And then you get drunk and sing along to Sonic songs at some dumb party. Because this is E3 and it's really dumb and awesome. Mostly awesome. You never know what will happen at E3. Maybe you'll see Snoop Dogg hogging up time at the Warner Bros. booth. Maybe you'll bump into Hulk Hogan in the bathroom. Or maybe you'll fight Steven Spielberg's kid over the controller on a demo. There is one thing you can always depend on though: you will work your ass off, because those who don't rarely make it back. Only the strongest survive out here. As you sprint down a crowded hallway and come to a bottleneck of human traffic at the escalator, you have a brief moment to check your pockets. Bulky notepad in the back, uncomfortably shaped batter in the right, cell phone in the left, and something else thick and rectangular: You hope it’s your voice recorder but there is no time to make sure. “Damn, what if it’s my 3DS? Why do I even have my 3DS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!? Whew, Ok, it is my camera battery. Now, where is my camera?” you think to yourself.Stuck somewhere between an Olympic sprint and an angry mom jog, you make your way toward the West Hall. You have an appointment with Epic Game’s CliifyB and he’s showing off his latest game. Your boss will have your head on a spit if you screw this one up. Go past the digustingly overpriced disgusting convention pizza, make a left at the angry mob of Gamestop managers fighting over a bag of GREE swag, and make a sharp right at the despondent girl giving out energy drinks.Congratulations! You have a arrived at Microsoft’s monolith of an expo booth. You are a true E3 master. Now, check-in at the press desk, feel the disappointment of learning your one-on-one appointment is actually a one-on-twenty-five (twenty of which are rowdy developers from other companies wanting to hang out with Cliffy), and try not to worry too much as the appointment begins to overlap with your next meeting on the other side of the convention center. This is E3 for a games journalist. We may talk about the great parties, interviewing industry luminaries, or D-list celebrity spottings, but these hardly make up the bulk of the most exciting, exhausting, and stressful week of a game journalist’s year. Like broken soldiers remembering a war, we hold on to the humorous stories and convey the rest through a knowingly defeated nod. I may be a young gun in this industry of really, really old people in their thirties, but I’ve survived E3. I’m hear to tell you what it’s like to cover the show as a journalist. The good, the bad, and the “Why the hell are there furries in a bounce house trying to spank me?” of E3.A Magical PlaceE3 always seemed like a magical place to me, like Disneyland but better because it’s where you get to see Solid Snake, Link, and Samus’ new adventure before anyone else. As a kid, I looked at E3 brochures that came with issues of EGM with a wide-eyed sense of wonder. The impossible leaps in technology, heavily anticipated sequels, and thrilling spectacle of lavish decor, big screen TVs, and fog machines that made up the show floor drove my imagination wild. Now that I know the reality -- what it means to cover the show as a member of the press -- I love this time of the year no less. It’s just a bit different.I once experienced the show alongside the rest of you: Glued to news feeds, live streams, and Twitter accounts, chomping at the bit for any new, juicy details on the next generation hardware or franchise reboot that neither analysts and fans saw coming. Who could forget the jaw-dropping Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer or the Konami 2010 conference that spawned a thousand memes? As a game enthusiasts, E3 is the holiday that marks the true beginning of a new year.  Ironically, experiencing E3 from home has become vastly superior in many ways over the years. Now that every conference is streamed with more better quality, more dependable video, and every outlet is uploading demos of the show’s biggest games within an hour of filming, if not shooting live. At the show, it’s impossible to keep up with information coming out of the press conferences. Many of us were in the dark about the Wii U during Nintendo’s press conference, because we were too busy commuting to the convention and racing down the halls. I won’t pretend being at E3 isn’t awesome, though. Of course it is. Even with your home command center, you can’t get a hold of the demos that the rest of the internet wants to play so bad. So, what exactly does a journalist do at E3?I won’t pretend to be an expert on E3. There are industry veterans that have covered this show from its first showing in 1995 and even CES before that. Me? I’ve covered it once. E3 2011 feels not that long ago, so maybe I can impart some clarity, as my memories have not been blurred by a plethora of previous E3s and similar expos -- though, none carry quite the grandeur and scale of E3. Companies spend thousands on building booths, which are more akin to Hollywood sets: Gigantic dragon sculptures elevate above, fog machines go off below, and the best models money can buy all around. Some are even paid to dress in cat suits and jump up-and-down in bounce houses all day to promote games. If you have become desensitized to the imagery and randomness of the dark recesses of the Internet, then you’ll feel at home in the Los Angeles Convention Center. So, what exactly does a journalist do at E3? A lot. It’s different for every outlet. G4, Game Informer, and IGN are big enough to have their own areas on the show floor or nearby. Game publishers and developers often come to them rather than the other way around. And then there are the select few sites that get invited to E3 Judges’ Week: A week of early E3 demos presented in May, in order to help inform the decision making of judges. As you can imagine, having 50 games previewed before the show makes covering the event much easier for an outlet. It also helps to have more than five people covering the entirety of the expo. Destructoid is fortunate to have both of these advantages, but I wasn’t with Destructoid a year ago. I was with The Escapist and we didn’t have shit.Well, that’s not entirely true. We had five talented writers and editors who were out for blood. The most vicious type of writers. Susan Arendt and Steve Butts manned the ship, getting us to where we needed to be without hesitance. “Us” being me, Thomas Goldman, and two girls freelancing for the site. Goldman was a machine and I mean that in the best way possible. In conversation he was naturally slack -- or, rather, unnaturally slack considering we were occupying beldam for the week. He’d write three previews in the time it takes most writers to write one. And here’s what drove me nuts: They weren’t terrible! At least, he was on our side. For an editor, E3 is much less a battle than it is a war. It starts a month before the show even begins. Setting up appointments, figuring out travel, and managing equipment is as important as being there itself. You can tell when it’s an outlet’s first year at the show: They are the ones who ask for an appointment at the press desk of publishers’ booths during the show. “Sorry, sir. Here’s a demo disk. Now enjoy standing in line for two hours, sandwiched between two sweaty, grizzled Gamestop assistant managers!” Even when you make a plan, it never goes accordingly. E3 is not a place for the timid. There are always appointments you show up late to or appointments that publishers drop, knowingly or not. In these instances, you need to say, “This is who I am, this is why I’m here, now show me dem games!” in the nicest most professional way possible -- I’ve found not using the term “cunt” goes a long way! It also really helps to have PR contacts on the other side who can help. If not, you can always count on your outlet’s name helping you land on your feet. No one is going to turn away The Escapist or Destructoid and if they do, their boss is going to hear about it. I can only imagine the nightmare it must be to be the new guy on the block. Without contacts, appointments, and a history in the industry, you are just another face in the crowd and what a big crowd E3 brings! The Press DungeonWhen you aren’t making a beeline across the convention center’s expansive hallways -- taking a blurred photo of Tak Fuji and bumping into a Mass Effect cosplayer on the way -- you are stationed in the press room. It’s in here that you connect to the internet, transform your delirious notes into articles, and post live coverage that will be devoured by thousands within an hour. The comments roll in quickly: “This dumbass misspelt Kratos’ name!”, “No, the last game came out in 2007, not 2008. Jesus Christ, who hired this guy!? LOLOLOL”As a journalist, I aim for quality over quantity but this luxurious mindset is not afforded to those covering the year’s biggest event. Instead, you load your words into a shotgun and hope no one gets hurt. It’s nice to have a team of copy editors who have your back. It’s nice to want a lot of things. Assuming the press room’s internet doesn’t go down and no one kicks you out of your seat, you’ll be able to get in 3-5 lengthy previews. You’ll write the other five at your hotel room, while everyone else goes to the parties. Then you get up at 8 AM and do it all over again for two more days. This is very much the bare bones approach to E3. At The Escapist, we didn’t conduct interviews, we didn’t film, and only a couple of us covered the press conferences from the major publishers and hardware manufacturers. Even so, five people covering 100+ games is a mighty feat. As the event approaches, you doubt whether it’s even possible. Before you even know it, you find yourself trapped on a rollercoaster, being swung this way and that way. You’d get off if you could, but you never do. Maybe you are just having too much fun. Or maybe you are just afraid of how poorly it will reflect on you as a journalist. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which it is, so it’s best not to think about it. There is work to be done, after all.“E3 as an event, I can take or leave. Repping Destructoid at E3, however, is kind of priceless.”Last year, I wanted to be covering the show with Destructoid. They were the cool kids. In the press room, they claimed an entire table like a prison gang. I’m sure Jim Sterling would have made me his prison bitch if I approached him while he wrote his Skyrim preview. I kid, of course. I met some of Destructoid staff for the first time, some more awkwardly than others. All were incredibly nice and didn’t have that air of “DO YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW IS!?” that so many others in the room had. Nevermind the European press who would talk loudly, videochat with their girlfriends back home, and hog electrical outlets for their handhelds and answer phones. So, my wish came true. I’m going to E3 this year with Destructoid. Many of the big games have already been previewed and the ones that haven’t are already in the sights of multiple editors. For better or worse, this definitely isn’t The Escapist. Though, I am afraid I will be too distant from the maelstrom of E3. For me, E3 is as much about the big announcements as it is about busting ass through a crowded hallway with a purpose -- the greatest purpose of all: To tell the next kid in Texas what games they can look forward to this Christmas. And then you get drunk and sing-a-long to some Sonic songs at some dumb party. Because this is E3 and it’s really fucking dumb and awesome. Mostly, awesome. You never know what will happen at E3. Maybe you’ll see Snoop Dogg hogging up time at the Warner Brothers booth. Maybe you’ll bump into Hulk Hogan in the bathroom. And maybe you’ll fight Steven Spielberg’s kid over the controller on a demo. There is one thing you can always depend on though: You will work your ass off because those who don’t rarely make it back.
 photo

As you sprint down a crowded hallway and come to a bottleneck of human traffic at the escalator, you have a brief moment to check your pockets. Bulky notepad in the back, uncomfortably shaped voice recorder in the right, c...

 photo

Daily Mail: Gamers 'trained' to shoot people in the head


May 01
// Jim Sterling
In a new story titled, "Are we creating a generation of murderers?," the panic merchants at the Daily Mail implies that hardcore gamers are "trained" to accurately shoot real firearms. The tabloid call this a "shocking revela...
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If Anders Breivik used COD to train to be a killer ...


Apr 20
// Jim Sterling
... I've been using Sonic the Hedgehog to learn how to fucking exercise.
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Capcom has broken the street date for Devil May Cry HD


Mar 30
// Chris Carter
So I was walking into my friendly neighborhood Gamestop today for my weekly PS2/GCN/DS game run, and I happened to see a brand new shrinkwrapped copy of the Devil May Cry HD Collection -- a game that was slated to be rel...
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As much as our own Jim Sterling would like to distance himself from the label, what Destructoid and other game sites and blogs do is technically games journalism. However, when it comes the hardcore investigative research tha...

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The Sun says 'fanatics' use COD to plot terrorist attacks


Mar 20
// Jim Sterling
It's been a while since a British "newspaper" attempted to whip the public up into a hysterical game-flavored frenzy, but the latest mess from The Sun provides a real winner. According to some remedial fantasist over there, b...
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Blades of Time update: Mission Successful


Mar 11
// Jim Sterling
We did it, guys!
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Blades of Time update: Konami has ANNOUNCED the game!


Mar 09
// Jim Sterling
In a BREAKING Blades of Time update, publisher Konami has just announced the game, despite it allegedly releasing three days ago. According to the company, the game is now officially available. Perhaps that means more than Ne...
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Blades of Time update: there's a copy in New Jersey!


Mar 09
// Jim Sterling
Destructoid's intense journalistic coverage of Blades of Time continues, with news that a physical copy of the game has been traced to the East Coast. I swung by my local GameStop to see if it had anything, and was informed t...
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Silent Hill based on Kindergarten Cop, CONFIRMED!


Jan 11
// Tony Ponce
My God! Why didn't we catch this sooner? It's so obvious! The clues were right there the whole time! Konami was trying to keep the dirty truth a secret, but it didn't do a good enough job. Through the power of JOURNALISM, use...
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Shocker! Batman: Arkham World is not a real thing!


Dec 13
// Jim Sterling
Gamers love their mysteries, so it was hardly surprising that a Batman: Arkham World reference at the Spiked Game Video Trophies set brains afire. The reference was spotted during The Joker's CGI acceptance speech for his "Be...
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The Sun accuses Microsoft of 'Cyber Fraud' cover up


Nov 24
// Jim Sterling
The Sun's cabal of sleazy liars hate being dismissed, and when they've got an axe to grind, they've demonstrated they'll pursue their victims with frightening obsession. Microsoft is the latest target, with the tabloid accusi...
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The Sun warns world of 'Xbox Cyber Fraud'


Nov 22
// Jim Sterling
Shitty tabloid The Sun has a CRIME EXCLUSIVE on its front page, warning Britain of a terrifying new problem -- Xbox Cyber Fraud! While the Sun claims thieves have "hacked" into Xbox Live accounts, it's nowhere near as scary. ...
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Earlier this week, Gematsu posted an interview with Street Fighter X Tekken producer Yoshinori Ono. Questions plucked from both the site's readers and NeoGAF were addressed, including the fear of a "Super" edition appearing s...

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Ladies and gentlemen, this may be the most important film you will ever see. It's raw, it's gritty, it's real, it shakes the very foundation of the enthusiast gaming press. This is a movie that will change not only the future of filmmaking but also the very fabric of social constructionism. Modern Game Journalism: The Movie: The Trailer [GameTrailers]


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