Gillen linked to this from Rock, Paper, Shotgun today.
It’s another in the run of anonymous blogs ranting about an industry from the inside. Except it’s not, really, because it seems to be a journalist, or group of journalists, ranting about games PR. In other words, it’s about burning the bridges we really ought to be maintaining as carefully as possible, and building up into something brilliant and new.
Now obviously gaming journalism needs to avoid being a mere vehicle for games PR to ride in on its journey from the minds of a marketing type into the pages of magazines. That’s not useful to anyone, for reasons that have been explored at length by a whole bunch of people. Basically: it’s a disservice to readers, developers, the PR-folks themselves — everyone. But it’s also important to maintain these relationships and work them into something really good. I’d hope that would be for obvious reasons too. The better the relationships we, as the reporters, can build with these PR companies, the more realistic, honest and generally excellent content we can deliver to our valued audience — and, ultimately, the more kindly people will think of the business side of videogames.
The blog is just an absurdly self-important piece of nonsense, which claims such idiocy as — paraphrased — “we’re writers, which means we hate using the phone.” It’s also dispicable because of its incessant generalisation of what “we” as gaming journalists think. I’d like to publically distance myself from the thing right now. It’s horrible, and those behind it only make themselves look like precious idiots.
Other blogs of its kind fail to wind me up quite as agressively. There’s one on bad games writing which, while much of it is typo-nitpicking stupidity that equates good writing to competent prod-editing, is a worthwhile read for aspiring writers looking to improve their craft and understand what to avoid. And there’s RAM Radier, which honestly is often quite useful, even though the anonymity thing continues to irk. If you have something to say, stand up and say it, or forever hold your silence. Don’t hide behind the internet.
But these at least have good intentions — they’re trying to ensure their fields become better. This, though, is just wildly unproductive, and not doing a service to anyone other than ignorant fools who like to point and laugh at the stupidity of others.
Inevitibly, I hope, those fools will be pointing and laughing at the authors of the blog, rather than the PR types.
Much more productive would be active, open conversation between journalists and PR reps about how we can improve the relationship and ensure the readership is satisfied with our collective output. This sort of stuff has been happening a bit more in circles I move in, which is fantastic. Martyn Abbot from Chaloner has been wonderful in these conversations, and really helped myself and others see things from the opposing perspective. More of this, please, and less of the arrogant rubbish.