Game Reviewer Ethics

I was originally just going to pass this news on to Elysium and Certis, but, hey, we're all family here. If my uncle can FWD me jokes, then the least I can do is post articles that tangentially (you love it Luda) apply to gaming news.

Slashdot just posted a link to this very good article at Online Journalism Review that discusses the payola and praise going on behind the scenes of your favorite gaming websites. I for one [dollar bills] could not ever be swayed [freebies] to write a favorable review [10/10, two thumbs up] based on free reviewer copies [more please]. Like I said, this is at Slashdot right now so the page may already be under the influence of the Slashdot Effect.


I'd like to make it clear that the handy Divine Divinity Notepad that came with my review copy of DD last year in no way affected my glowing review, despite my having taken some review notes on said notepad.  As an additional note, I would like to also make it clear that had that notepad been made of solid gold I would have written whatever they like, because solid gold purchases many more upgrades from CompUSA than my reputation does.  I am, of course, joking. 

It would have needed to be _2_ solid gold pads.


Holy slap-happy synonyms, Batman! My arch-nemesis, word-of-the-day calendar, has struck again! Curses!

*I* never got any of that cool free stuff when I wrote for 3D Action Planet. I've been cheated!!!!


I gotta' say, I would have absolutely no moral qualms about being invited to a gaming shindig and being allowed to mingle with developers. My guess is that our audience would be more interested in reading the in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes tidbits that close ties to the industry would provide than reading YAGR (Yet Another Game Review). There are enough reviews, by "gaming websites" and users alike, to pretty much help you make up your mind about any purchases. The discussions that spawn from reviews are all by people who have already bought the game and either agree or disagree with the review. At that point, the dollar is already in the publisher's pocket, and they have already won *evil wicked laugh*. We'll keep writing reviews, but we're generally pretty straight shooters. And, like the article mentioned, it wouldn't take too many biased reviews for readers to move on.

If, on the other hand, I became buddy buddy with Developer Joe while knocking back a couple of Drambuies at a junket of some sort, and dropped a post about how Joe based all the levels he designs on Björk's earlier work with the Sugarcubes, I'm guessing there'd be a lot more to discuss. I mean, that's just cool. Sign us up, please!

Nice article, I think it reflects a great deal of the what the lesser "journalists" seem to be at fault with (*cough EA @ cough*), free games are nice and all but Greg Kassavin was right when he explained how the stakes were higher with video games.  You need to get an honest review out their or you do lose your credibility.  You really feel let down when you purchase a clunker.  Not only was it something you liked, in the way of content and genre, but you are also let down in the fact that you just spent $50.00 on something that you will most likely never play again.  Sure you can sell it at a loss, but it's still a loss.