Saturday, 3 December 2011

Game journalism: Reliable or trash ?

Game journalism has become increasingly popular these days beside the experienced journalists normal consumers share their opinion in form of reviews or previews.
One of the things I've learned the hard way was not to rely on grades, their often biased and will not always stand for the personal gamers' opinion. I remember when I was in high school having a (Dutch) gamers magazine called Power Unlimited and discuss the games and often ending up in discussions regarding grades they gave. This has led to several miss buys and/or false judgments and I've learned to rather than looking at grades base my own judgment on several reviews and footage.

How come I'm not choosing my games purely based on (p)reviews ?

Even review's can often be deceiving footage in form of screenshots and video's generally tell me more than someone's experience for the pure reason of being rebellious against overhyped blockbuster games that generally don't attract me but enough other people to sell well ( Battlefield, Assassin's Creed, Halo*cough cough*)

So without judging a game on footage what makes a (p)review good ?

Because video game (p)reviews are often rushed the journalist rarely takes the time to finish a game. This leads to an opinion based on often a few hours of game-play and might have changed further in the game. Even though developers these days spend more time on the start of a game than the end due to the low amount of people actually finishing games ( 90 % these days according to: )
So let's say a few hours in the game would be giving a good impression of a game there's still often
journalists being bribed by developers to write a good (p)review and if not Biased journalists will have their way writing either a really good story due to the fact their part of the fan base or didn't like the type of game in the first base. Often games are also being graded by a standard lay-out ( graphics ,game play , story ,audio etc) a game can stand or fall with any of these points  luckily this has led to NGJ. Standing for New Games Journalism.

NGJ  to the rescue ?

New Games Journalism means no less than the article being written from the perspective of a gamer, rather than the static view of how it's made/developed. This means that it's more engaging to gamers but the writer actually finishes the game AND is also more passionate about the game. Of course this can still lead to biased opinion's but rather than being corrupt or have it based on the first 4 hours of a game that contains hundreds of hours in content the journalist has a good idea of what it's like.

What does NGJ mean to me ??

Unfortunately nothing. I will still stick with my own little island picking off whatever game I like based on official website's, footage from YouTube previews ( without listening to the journalist previewing them) , screenshot's and people's opinion that i entrust due to the knowledge they have in games. What this mean's is Mr. X tells me this game has impressed him. I know Mr. x in person and know we share a same interest in games and/or knows what he's talking about when judging a game( generally people I've met on the course or my previous course). I inspect the official site then proceed to do a YouTube search for any footage released ( preferably not a (p)review done by someone but rather official or game play vids) and then form my own opinion. The difference in this case is I know the person that tells me about the game unlike some unknown/hidden journalist that might have NO clue what he's talking about and I have done my own research to see if I would enjoy the game. I think it's a good approach and has led to much less miss buys than when I relied on magazines.

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