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  1. #21 Reply With Quote
    Metasyntaktische Variable  foobar's Avatar
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    Well, generally speaking, I should probably point out that from all that I can tell, this relationship between that one reporter and that one game developer was only what sparked the controversy. There were other aspects that fueled the suspicion of widespread media corruption. For instance, several reporters had been donating to that developer's Patreon account (including Polygon editor Ben Kuchera). There were also other sexual relationship between reporters and developers.

    Based on what I could find out, the conclusion that there was indeed something wrong with at least a portion of the media does not seem completely unreasonable to me. It went beyond the (potential) misconduct of one individual.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maladiq View Post
    But it can be just an appearance.
    Yes, it can be. It can also not be. So how can anyone fully trust this guy's reviews?

    TotalBiscuit for instance said in one interview that a company offered him a 1,500$ gaming notebook to review their game. Obviously, they didn't say what result they expected. They just said: "You'll get the game from us, preinstalled on this nice laptop. Don't bother sending it back."
    So you would never have been able to prove that his rating had been bought.

    But he declined that. And if he had taken them up on their offer, would you still put the same level of trust in his review of the game? Even if he honestly tried to be impartial despite that generosity, could he really and 100% free himself of having that free laptop somewhere in the corner of his mind?

    This is not a criminal court where the reporter is in danger of having his liberties taken away and where "innocent until proven guilty" is a very important rule. It's simply a matter of trust in the people who a lot of customers rely on to help them make their purchasing decisions. And trust has to be earned. By adhering to a higher ethical standard, for example. How can your readers expect you to put their interests ahead of the interests of your friend? Or love interest?

    At least, that is what they teach in Journalism ethics classes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-7RLxrsJ04
    foobar is offline Last edited by foobar; 18.04.2015 at 14:26.

  2. #22 Reply With Quote
    Deus Maladiq's Avatar
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    So should we forever banish any reviewer who gave Risen 2 a positive review?

    The fun thing about being a reviewer is that their whole work is based on personal taste. It's almost impossible to pinpoint fraud. But if we are to trim the heard based on trust, that would mean ignoring those who like a game we do not, or dislike those who dislike games we love. It's a slipery slope.

    Reviewers receiving gifts is not something rare, it's actually the norm. Most reviewers get their games for free, collectibles and so on. So, should there be a ban on reviewing games by publishers who send out more than a Steam license? If so, how can fansites organize competitions anymore? The prizes WoR sent usually came from PB or DS.

    I wish there was a solution, but I can't think of any.
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  3. #23 Reply With Quote
    Metasyntaktische Variable  foobar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maladiq View Post
    So should we forever banish any reviewer who gave Risen 2 a positive review?
    To the pits of hell!

    The fun thing about being a reviewer is that their whole work is based on personal taste.
    That is true but you can still place your trust in opinion. Let's say - for the sake of argument - that you realised over the course of the several years we've both been active in the forum, that my taste usually matches yours. You might not trust every random review on the web, but when I recommend a game, that's an opinion you take seriously. Because you trust me to speak the truth as I see it and to have similar taste as yourself.

    Then that trust you place in me is still in danger if I take any kinds of benefits from a certain developer I write about. Because suddenly you don't know if I'm biased towards that game.

    Reviewers receiving gifts is not something rare, it's actually the norm.
    I think that was kind of the point of the GamerGate movement.

    If so, how can fansites organize competitions anymore? The prizes WoR sent usually came from PB or DS.
    That stuff isn't for us. We don't keep it. We give it to you. Although you could probably argue that the contests themselves might draw more attention to us. On the other hand, we're not a commercial site. We don't earn anything with this either way. And it's basically advertisement "crap" (some stuff is good quality but it's still advertisement). I don't think that ranks in the same category as sexual favours or direct monetary contributions to individual persons. If DS gave us a brand new car to use as prize in a contest, I'd probably be concerned about our objectivity as well. But not for a poster, an eyepatch and a carton full of stickers that Don-Esteban is desperately trying to get rid of because they take up so much space.

    And - obviously - we disclose that we get this stuff (otherwise we wouldn't be able to to have a contest). So at least you know about it and can make your own decision.

    But yes, to a certain point gaming sites have to kiss ass for access. Kotaku, I think, is trying to get away from that dependence on the publisher's good will by focussing on post-release coverage. The games themselves, the patches, the mods, etc.
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  4. #24 Reply With Quote
    Ranger Grimmwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maladiq View Post
    So should we forever banish any reviewer who gave Risen 2 a positive review?
    The point is that it would be unethical for a journalist to review Risen 2 if she were having sexual relations with members of Piranha Bytes. At least if she were attempting to hide it, rather than giving full disclosure to her readers. Such behaviour is where the 'corruption in gaming journalism' comes in. More importantly there was also a private mailing list (GameJournoPros) where various gaming journalists were coordinating their reviews based on political views. As I recall, GamerGate started when that mailing list was leaked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maladiq View Post
    The fun thing about being a reviewer is that their whole work is based on personal taste. It's almost impossible to pinpoint fraud. But if we are to trim the heard based on trust, that would mean ignoring those who like a game we do not, or dislike those who dislike games we love. It's a slipery slope.
    All reviewers have their personal taste, that's not the issue. There's no reason to suspect that journalists are corrupt merely for liking a different game than you do. I think you're missing the point here. There's been a lack of journalistic ethics in gaming media, and GamerGate-supporters want that to change. When gaming journalists violate such standards they should be held accountable, that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maladiq View Post
    Reviewers receiving gifts is not something rare, it's actually the norm. Most reviewers get their games for free, collectibles and so on. So, should there be a ban on reviewing games by publishers who send out more than a Steam license? If so, how can fansites organize competitions anymore? The prizes WoR sent usually came from PB or DS.
    Some gifts are appropriate, others are not. Sexual favors and particularly expensive gifts belong to the latter category. There's definitely gray areas, but rules regarding such gifts can be specified in the organization's journalistic ethics policy.

    Here's an example of a journalistic ethics policy that was implemented in lieu of GamerGate. From the first paragraph:

    Defy's editorial site (each, a "Site") teams should ensure that their writing complies with journalistic ethical standards that our readers can trust that our views and opinions are our own and to ensure that we are correctly disclosing any relationships that may be perceived to influence our writing. Any personal or professional interests that conflict with that obligation, whether in appearance or in reality, risk compromising our credibility.
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    Grimmwulf is offline Last edited by Grimmwulf; 18.04.2015 at 17:48.

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