If you hate the video game industry, go write for another industry.
I’ve been in love with the video game industry since I was five years old. It fascinates me and entertains me in the same vein that cinema fascinates and entertains. When a new video game console launches, it’s a big deal.
Lots of things change. Games become more exciting since they can do more wondrous things. The gaming media tends to evolve, too. Glossy magazines appear and new websites tend to pop up in the inspiration wake of the new genration, and older, more established websites refresh their look and feel to suit the modern era.
At least, that was the case for the last 25 years until yesterday.
Yesterday, Nintendo launched the latest hardware generation of video game technology and the online gaming media failed their duty to inspire and hype up their readers to get excited in the name of negative headlines and link bait.
Yes – it is indeed the job of the gaming media to excite their readers about new consoles. Of course it is. Who else would do it? That doesn’t mean you have to be biased, and you can be excited without being biased. Likewise, being impartial doesn’t give licence to be negative.
Of course it’s the job of the gaming media to hype up video games. If there’s no excitement and there’s just negativity and hate, who the hell would read your website or buy your magazine? And the saddest thing of all is that every other entertainment and technology medium has those high profile hype machines. IMDB is a huge celebration of cinema. MacRoumors is a fantastic Apple-centric website that straddles the line of fanboyism and unbiased news quite well. MTV also manages to get unbiased news out while hyping up the music industry and keeping their readers engaged.
But the gaming media seem to not realise their role to play. Take, for example, IGN’s review of New Super Mario Bros. U, a flagship launch title for Wii U. The publication actually marked the game down on having “satisfactory” audio and visuals.
Kotaku’s in the same boat, constantly spinning negativity. One recent example was the link baited headline about Nintendo’s so called “delay” of Nintendo TVii — a North American-only web-TV streaming service for Wii U. Writing “Uh-Oh” in the headline is just ridiculous. The service wasn’t delayed, it never had a release date and regardless, having to wait 2-3 weeks for a service you will use potentially every day for at least the next 6 years is kind of a stupid thing to be negative about. After all, North America have the Wii U on shop shelves two weeks before Europe and Australia, and three weeks before Japan — Nintendo’s homeland.
Why not write an article about how fortunate North American gaming fans are in that respect?
Come on, guys – a new console generation means you have another five or six years of employment in the video game media. Do you think that Nintendo are sending you $1000+ worth of Wii U consoles and games as an early Christmas present? No, they’re doing it so you can excite your readers, inspire them to read your hard work and keep them hanging around for another generation.
This negativity has to end. We, as gamers, have endured it for too long in the mainstream media and public opinion. And now that gaming is accessible to everyone, we suddenly do a 180 and become the haters?
The more consoles Nintendo sell, the more games will be made, the more reviews you can write and the more readers you will have. And more readers mean more money, more employment and better careers. One can only hope the negativity campaign is only against Nintendo, because if it keeps up with Microsoft and Sony and their new consoles (whenever they decide to announce them), what hope is there for the future of gaming?
There is still an important place for impartiality and truth in gaming media, but no one else is going to hype up the industry. Constantly beating the hand that feeds you into a bloody pulp will just end in disaster for all concerned.
Image credit: Nintendo