Last night I watched one of the most amazing things play out over the Internet; an anonymous gamer took it upon himself to prove how gaming journalism was completely unprofessional and how the entire industry needs to be shook up.
To do this he created an anonymous gmail account and sent the below email to a select group of gaming websites with the hope that at least one of them would act on it.
The entire email was made up and none of it had any backing; some of it doesn’t even really make sense but it’s well written and has enough detail to make you stand up and take notice. The first to post the story was pocket-lint.com followed closely by a lot of big name sites like yahoo, CNET, Gizmodo and VentureBeat amongst many others.
This apparently proves that gaming journalism as an industry doesn’t really exist and that the mere fact that someone posts on a rumour destroys the credibility of the site.
Personally if we had received the above email we would have posted about it, as a rumour. Not that labelling something as a rumour absolves us of our responsibility to check facts but rather that we have and always will post rumours. We love rumours – and so do you. We posted a new Xbox rumour earlier this week which received 48 comments. We’re not promising that information is entirely correct and I think you are all smart enough to realise that.
The fraudster uses an example of the BBC
This is no way to run a ‘news’ website. How would people react if they found out the BBC got all their news third-hand from a copied article that had been changed twice along the way? It is not reliable. No other industry works like this. Why do we accept it on gaming sites?
There is quite a huge difference here though. The first being that the BBC is funded massively and has a government enforced mandate for reporting fair and unbiased news. The second and more important is that gaming websites are here mainly for entertainment purposes and not for hard-hitting news.
We are not going to start a world war by reporting on a rumour about the new Xbox for your entertainment whereas the real journalists of the world have a lot more riding on their articles. But saying that gaming journalism doesn’t exist is stating that any entertainment journalist isn’t a real journalist.
It’s this high and mighty attitude that has irritated me this morning. We’re obviously not curing cancer here but I feel we are providing a service to keep the gamers of the country informed and up-to-date with the latest goings on in the industry. This break from the mundane or serious part of life is just as important as keeping up with current affairs, saving that patient – or winning that big legal battle.
Life is about balance and we are here to provide the happy part of that balance and if someone thinks that is a waste of time then they may need to re-evaluate how they view life. Most of us have more serious sides in our lives and we need this to keep happy.
As for the anonymous troll who started this, there are a ton of factual gaming websites out there that you may rather want to read. They are industry sites like Gamasutra, MCV and develop-online. All great sites that offer a different selection and angle on the news.
So do you think this anonymous tipster has proven a point and we are too eager to post stories for hits? Would you like us (and everyone else) to double verify every tip before posting or do you like hearing the news fast and loose?
I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer