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    Great Debate: What do you want from videogame journalism?

    by Danielle Riendeau on Apr 17, 2009 at 06:23 PM

    It seems as if games journalism is going through some growing pains these days. Some folks like the light, often goofy – and, lets be honest – frequently childish tone that accompanies so much of the coverage. Some folks want to see the content mature and evolve and others think that there’s no need to add pretentious dialogue and endless pontification to our hobby.

    Of course, I’m playing both stereotypes here but I think it’s worth discussing. I was inspired by a post over at The Geekbox, where podcaster/writer extraordinaire Ryan Scott commented on the heated debate that recently sprung up over a column by N’Gai Croal on NeoGAF. It seems that plenty of folks dislike Croal’s writing (which, in my opinion, is consistently excellent, though I don’t always agree with his arguments) and think he’s too “pretentious”. Mr. Scott – and the quotes he pulled from forum poster Firestorm – argue that Croal is trying to help gaming journalism “grow up,” something that is sorely needed in a sea of yes-men, over-sensationalized, over-hyped releases and lame/rushed writing.

    I have to say, I’m with Croal and Scott and Firestorm. As much as top five lists and wacky, fluffy features are fun, they’re no substitute for solid reasoning and enlightened writing. Keep on fighting the good fight, sirs!

    While I’m at it, let me point you all in the direction of another talented, smart (and never pretentious!) journalist – Leigh Alexander, and her Sexy Videogameland blog. I could read it all day and it represents a perfect blend of logical discussion, humor, artsy-lite analysis and pure fun.

    Read [The Geekbox] Site [Sexy Videogameland]

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    • oliemoon said:
      Avatar for oliemoon

      I agree with you on N’Gai Croal and just roll my eyes when people call his writing style “pretentious.” But then, I am inclined to think that the kind of readers who find Croal to be pretentious are probably the same kind of people who think Jim Sterling of Destructoid is a brilliant and witty writer. /shrugs

      I disagree with you about Leigh Alexander, though. She consistently misses the mark when it comes to sexism in gaming and games journalism and, more often than not, makes excuses for and defends sexism in the games industry. I just can’t take anyone seriously who answers the question “Is it hard being a girl in the game world?” with “No. I’d actually say it’s easier.” Particularly because she follows up that answer with a contradictory acknowledgment that the games industry lacks gender equity (from the FAQ on her blog). Her rebuttal to Feministing’s post about misogyny in GTAIV on Kotaku last year was a particularly shoddy piece of journalism, IMO.

    • Danielle Riendeau from Boston, MA said:
      Avatar for Danielle Riendeau

      Oliemoon – thanks for commenting. I have to say, I’m a new reader of Ms. Alexander’s and I do find it odd that she might take such a stance on sexism in games and in the industry. Perhaps she’s attempting to appease her (mostly male) audience and not seem like she’s complaining – I’ve known many women in positions of power/influence/etc. to take this tact. I’m not excusing it, however.

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