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An Open Letter to the Gaming Press

There is no doubt Robert Florence opened a can of worms with his Table of Doritos article over at Eurogamer. Most of us know about the article. It was about the relationship between the games press and PR. I wont go into the contents in detail as you can read it here.

Now Id rather be here writing about how awesome Persona 3 is or what I think the direction horror games should go in, but considering what has gone on this week in regards to the gaming press I feel I have to address it.

Looking at what Ive already written I can see that I may be preaching from a high horse, sneering down like a king at a pauper but I do understand how the lines can become blurred in an entertainment press and PR relationship. Were hits on some counter, were Likes on Facebook, and were bullies with bad grammar on Twitter. Were statistics.
We are not the personalities you have to deal with day to day and were not the people you generally have to maintain some kind of relationship with. And games PR are probably as passionate a gamer than anyone, I mean who else wants to work in the games industry at that level other than a gamer, so having something you both care about in common will likely end up in friendship. This is a persistent relationship that you just wont have the majority of your readers, so I can see how a relationship with PR can become quite strong, and I totally believe it to be unintentional; people with the same interests connect.

I know this comes across as a buzz kill as some may say its only video games, we shouldnt be taking them so seriously, but some of us do really care about them. Some of us may look up to some of you as thinkers. The ones whose career it is to think about games and pass those thoughts to the rest of us who perhaps dont have the time to analyse for ourselves due to pesky day-jobs but one of those thoughts may strike us and makes us realise something we never noticed before in a particular game. Then we apply this theory, whatever it is, to other games and start to demand better.

Its through good criticism you can potentially help make better games, but your readers need to trust you or its all for nothing.

From the outside it looks like there is a lack of self-awareness in the gaming press with their relationship with industry PR and all I'm asking is to just take a step back every-now and then and consider if you're closer to the industry than you are your readers.
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About Leigh Davidsonone of us since 4:59 PM on 09.14.2010


I'm a gamer from the 90s who was raised on games with cute characters in them, both the genuine, heart-warming kind and the cynically designed ones.
But despite me mostly being a Nintendo fanboy it was probably the holy trinity Final fantasy VII, Tomb Raider and Resident Evil that truly got me into gaming.

Now I play anything as I'm open to anything.

Favourite game of all time? probably a toss up between Mass Effect 2, Persona 4, Metroid Prime, Killer7 or Resident Evil 4.

I write bits for the gaming site BitParade

My Twitter - @LeighDavidson
Xbox LIVE:DifferentClass
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Mii code:0228-6106-8734-8508


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