Video game journalism

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Video game journalism is a branch of journalism that covers the reporting and discussion of video games. Usually, it covers the revealing of new games, the preview of new games, and the reviewing of new games. Recently, there has been a large growth in new online gaming websites and blogs.

History of print based gaming magazines[change | change source]

The first video gaming magazine that is still in publication is the industry-oriented Play Meter magazine. The first consumer magazine specializing in video gaming was the U.K. magazine Computer and Video Gaming. It began in November, 1981. Two weeks later the first U.S. magazine, Electronic Games Magazine, was started. The oldest consumer gaming magazine in continuous circulation to the present time is Computer Gaming World.

History of web based gaming magazines[change | change source]

The first regularly published web based magazine was either Game Zero Magazine (went online in November 1994)[1] or Intelligent Gamer Online (individual issues were downloadable in 1993 [2] but the site was not online until April 1995) [1]. Right now, online gaming magazines and websites have many advantages over print-based magazines. New information on future releases can be placed on online publications immediately, but the publishers have to wait until the next issue to put new information in print based magazines.

Ethics[change | change source]

There have been many criticisms of the ethical standards of the video game journalism industry[3].

Conflicts of Interest
Reviews from a publication that receives advertising money from a game developer or attends a large 'press day' party are usually considered to be suspicious [4]. Reviews by 'official' console magazines, such as Nintendo Power, Official Playstation Magazine, or Official Xbox Magazine, are considered to be biased toward games on their own console, and toward first-party games. One industry and marketing magazine, MCV, has been accused of requiring developers to pay protection money for positive coverage [5]. Developers often do not give exclusive material or advertising money to magazines that do not give good reviews to their games or follow other wishes [6].
Time Spent on the Game
Getting a complete sense of a game can take far more than one playthrough. Many games, such as RPGs and strategy games, can take hundreds of hours to play. However, journalists often do not have much time to finish their reviews. In March 2006, a case where a reviewer only spent three hours on a game with around 50 hours of gameplay was publicized [7].
Reviewing Unfinished Games
There have been several instances of reviewers reviewing a game when they only had access to a beta version of a game. An unfinished version of Grand Theft Auto 4 was given a 10/10 by the Official Xbox 360 Magazine [8].
Lack of Familiarity with a genre or Lack of Skill
Reviewers often review games in genres that they are unfamiliar with. Often, games are uncompleted due to the short amount of time that a reviewer has to complete a review [9]. A famous case of lack of gaming skill was when Dan Amrich gave Space Giraffe a 2/10 in the Official Xbox Magazine despite receiving a very low score in the game and not getting any achievements [10].

GameDaily's Chris Buffa Wrote a series of articles in July and August 2006.

These articles criticize the present state of video game journalism and offer suggestions for improvement:

New Games Journalism[change | change source]

New Games Journalism is a term that was first used in 2004 by journalist Kieron Gillen. In New Games Journalism, personal experiences with a game, other personal experiences, and references to other types of media are used to explore the design, play, and culture of a game. This type of journalism focuses more on the subjective experience of an individual playing a game rather that an objectively reviewing the gameplay of a game [11]. New games journalism has been criticized for wasting the reader's time with useless information, and for giving the reader a bad review of the mechanics, play control, and A.I. of a game [12].

Notable Publications[change | change source]

Consumer[change | change source]

Print
Edge
Famitsu
Game Informer
Nintendo Power
Official PlayStation Magazine
Official Xbox Magazine
Play
PC Gamer
Online
1UP
IGN
Gamespot
Gamespy
Eurogamer
Gametrailers
Joystiq
Kotaku
Gamefaqs
Beyond 3D
Insert Credit
Actionbutton.net
Insomnia.ac
Specialist
SHMUPS!
SRK
RPGamer

Trade publications[change | change source]

Print - Game Developer Magazine
Online - Gamasutra 
The largest games trade magazine (circ 35 000), and its associated website. A focus on North America.
Online - NeoGAF
Print/Online - MCV 
UK trade publication (circ 10 000). Usually, it is published weekly.
Online - GamesIndustry.biz 
Popular trade website for Europe.

References[change | change source]