Wednesday, September 13, 2017

You're Fake, And You Need To Leave

I think I've hit upon why I personally despise games journalism so much. Yes, this is another Very Angry About Video Games post, but bear with me, because this is important. I also think this explains the reaction to Dean Takahashi's Cuphead gameplay footage, as well as the reaction to that reaction by the games press. So grab a snack, this could take a while.

So, as I and many others have said before, Dean failed at basic reading and gameplay so simple a literal 4 year old can figure it out. This is because he's not a gamer. Neither are the people defending him. I don't care how long you've been in "tech journalism", because "games" and "tech" are not the same thing.

Allow me to explain.

In "tech journalism" I can learn about companies manufacturing technology, and this could be anything from robots on assembly lines to computer parts. I can also get reviews of products in the "tech world." So I can go to a tech journalist and get a review for a new graphics card for my computer I'm looking at getting, and if the journalist is competent and knows what they're talking about I can find out if it's going to be worth my money to upgrade. So this is not an interactive medium, here. I'm not going to be interacting with the graphics card in an active way, I'm just going to be getting the benefits of it as I go about my computer-related tasks. 

"Games journalism," on the other hand, is strictly about an interactive storytelling medium. I don't care what graphics engine, or physics engine the game was made with. I care about how the game plays, whether the story is any good, whether the mechanics work or not during gameplay, and other aspects that you have to actually know how to play games to be able to talk about competently. That's what I go to games journalism, when I go at all, for. 

That explained, wouldn't it concern you if the person writing about a certain technology had fuck all knowledge of it? It would damn sure concern me. I'd be wasting my money, hundreds of dollars worth, because the fucking retards that hired this mongoloid didn't vet him to make sure that he could competently write about technology. Wouldn't that make you very upset? Because that would make me very upset.

Likewise, in the games journalism world, if someone is writing reviews of video games and (I wish I was joking) didn't know how to read words on the screen and apply them to gameplay when that's what the words are there for, couldn't master basic commands like "walk," "jump," "dash," and "shoot," and didn't know the most basic aspects of RPG's and gave a game a bad review because he couldn't figure out how to level up his character, that person should not be reviewing games, because they don't understand them. I'm almost certain this last is a problem that ONLY Dean encountered. So you can see how this astounding level of incompetence will absolutely affect not only his journalism, but the industry itself in a very negative way. 

This is because Dean and his ilk are not gamers. They can whinge about their "experience in tech journalism" until they're blue in the face, they're not fucking gamers. I've been playing video games longer than I can remember. My parents used to put the original NES controller in my hands when I was a baby to make me think I was playing a game. I play platformers, RPG's, match-3's, shooters, puzzles, stealth, and horror games. I'm reasonably certain that if you put any game in the world in my hands, within a few minutes I would be able to play it with at least more competence than Dean showed. 

Because I'm a gamer. An actual one who's been playing video games since I could hold the controller and has sunk more money into this hobby than I care to think about. It's in the thousands, almost certainly. I've spent millions of hours getting the requisite skill to be able to play almost anything because I love video games. I love to play them, I love the challenge, I love the stories, all of that. 

So when I see someone come in to my hobby, that I've loved and cared about for damn near 30 years now, and start shitting it up, I tend to get upset. And the reason they're shitting it up is because they don't care about the hobby. They care about themselves. Which is where we have this problem. 

When I see game journos coming out with articles saying "Gamers are dead," or I see someone like Dean fucking up so monstrously (multiple times) and trying to excuse it, and when I see other articles saying that expecting game journos to actually do their fucking jobs is "elitist and toxic gamer culture," I start to think that these people aren't real gamers. The real kicker for me is the "Who cares about games journalism? It's only video games!" line. 

Any games journalist who has said that and meant it should lose their job and never work in the industry again.

It's only a hobby that I and millions of people like me, you know, the gamers, care about very much. But if the love and money and time and sweat we've sunk into this hobby don't convince, how about the fact that it's literally the biggest entertainment industry in the world, grossing more annually than films and music combined. That alone means that people should care about who's reporting on this.

Games aren't some niche hobby for loser nerds anymore. Those loser nerds grew up, got jobs, and started spending their money on video games, as did a shitload of non-loser nerds, for example people who like sports games. It's a big damned industry, and if the car industry had a bunch of people writing about it who knew fuck all about cars, there'd be a justified push to get rid of them and bring in people who know what they're talking about. 

Which is what we need to do with these fake gamers. They wanna stay in the hobby? Fine, they can do it without a position of influence. I have no problem with them going back to being customers, because I know they were never customers in the first place. They're journalism majors that couldn't get jobs at respectable news outlets, so they picked games journalism precisely because "who cares? This should be easy."

Well fuck your meal ticket. Go report on something else. You're fake, and you need to leave, before the entire industry is irreparably fucked thanks to game devs thinking they have to go through you and get good reviews from your lazy asses to sell a product. Because not only are you fake, not only are you idiots, you're actively trying to ruin our hobby. You need to get gone so that somebody competent can come in and do your job properly.

Because the people backlashing against you aren't "Gamergaters," they're regular customers and gamers who love this hobby and realize that you people are not qualified for the job you're doing. And not to appeal to majority, but when everybody who loves a certain thing and is involved with it in some way except for the press surrounding that thing think that the press is fucking up, maybe it's time for the press to take a fucking knee on this one. Just saying, some humility would do you good. And you leaving the industry would do all of us some good.

Go do something more your speed, like flip burgers. If you can work out how a fucking spatula works.

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