Experiences you share, the highs and the lows
As of late there has been a persistent backlash against games journalism from fans, YouTubers, and readers alike. A couple of outlets such as IGN and Kotaku have received the brunt of this criticism. From posting reviews and articles — or at this point memes — with ‘too much water’ as negative game feature or the occasional generic Top 10 lists. Though this not say that reoccurring complaints from the community are solely focused on games journalism as a whole, rather that they are in response to bad journalism practices.
Take Kotaku’s article Overwatch Heroes, Ranked written by Patricia Hernandez. This article itself is a classic example of lazy journalism. The piece functions as a ‘definitive ranking’ of the Overwatch heroes present in Blizzard’s new first person shooter. Now, being that Overwatch has made its way into the competitive e-sports arena, having one or two tier lists or character break downs can be quite valuable. Although this piece doesn’t seem to be going for that ideology at all. Quite simply it just ranks Overwatch’s heroes from worst to best without out any initial explanation. Due to Hernandez’s lack of context for these rankings the article poses no value and quite frankly no purpose other than to waste your time scrolling to the end of the article to figure out who’s number one. You also shouldn’t have to search through the comments section to find out that the justification behind this list is “a mix of design, fandom (art work, memes, jokes), and gameplay mechanics” as stated by Hernandez.
Though the article mentioned above doesn’t represent the standard for all gaming articles. Polygon, which had recently published the article Final Fantasy 7: An oral history, written by Matt Leone is a perfect example of a well-documented history piece. The article features over 25 firsthand accounts of developers, directors, artists, writers and industry experts behind the final fantasy franchise. As well as present a breath of information about Square Enix and their rise in popularity after Final Fantasy 7. The article is frames Square’s deep and rocky history in an interesting — though one may argue long — narrative. History pieces like this are great at documenting the still relatively young video games industry and can be crucial sources for Game Studies.