Game Journalism 101
GAME NEWS is an award winning web-based game review website that offers unbiased reviews on Nintendo Wii games. The company has teamed up with Nintendo to promote the release of the highly anticipated Nintendo Wii game, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Knight. Readers can look forward to the site’s two hundred and fifty page game review and feature interviews with the game’s producer, Eiji Aoki and The Master of Disaster, Masahiro Sakuraba. The writers atGAME NEWS also give a brief overview of the game’s various features and the Nintendo Wii’s role in promoting these and other upcoming games.
Video game journalism is an exciting yet potentially rewarding career choice for those who understand the importance of visual communication in the video game industry. This highly competitive industry relies heavily on video game journalism to allow the public to have continual access to information about new games, classic games, trailers and any major announcements within the industry. Video game journalism has the potential to be very lucrative and rewarding as the gaming industry continues to grow. However, in this competitive world, it is essential that consumers get the facts straight from the horses’ mouths. As a result, video game journalism has come under fire from many gamers who feel that journalists are actually part of the gaming industry and only out to make a few extra dollars.
According to freelance journalist and freelance writer Jack Urseger, “I started working as a freelance game informer in 2005 after leaving a six-figure job in the downtown business district. It was the recession, and I needed a change of pace. Gaming magazines and online media websites called my name every day. I applied to several major publications, but eventually landed a job with a game website that allowed me to work from home and provided me with a steady stream of new assignments.” Game PR consultant and freelance writer Stephen Totilo concurs, “I think the majority of people within the game industry don’t see the difference between game journalism and regular journalism. They perceive game journalism as more ‘in-depth and serious’ than regular press, and therefore, don’t perceive it as being any different from regular news reporting.”
Game journalists should always check sources, cite sources and follow correct procedures before publishing any information from a source. This is just common sense. In addition, game journalists should always update their web citations on a regular basis, most especially if they are working for a popular website that receives tons of web traffic.
As mentioned above, game journalism has come under fire from some gamers for supposedly’sourcing’ reviews from gaming magazines that in turn are supposed to be objective and unbiased. However, it should be made clear that any review that is retrieved from a gaming magazine is ultimately derived from that particular magazine. The games reviewed may have been played by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, so it’s not impossible that one or two individuals reviewing a game may have biased opinions on it. However, given the tremendous number of reviews that are retrieved from a gaming website each month, it is highly unlikely that the number of reviews from a particular magazine would be much higher than ten or twenty. Game journalists also play an important role in maintaining transparency, which is essential in the gaming industry.
As a gamer myself, I believe that Game News Online is definitely a legitimate and trusted source of information, although I can’t seem to find any evidence that this is indeed the case. If you are a reviewer and would like to post your own review, be sure to contact the writer beforehand so that your review will be well taken care of. A good example of this would be if a game journalist writes a favorable review for a game, and then contacts the writer after the review is published to request permission to include a link to the writer’s personal site for additional information. It would be unethical for game journalists to allow anonymous sources to post favorable reviews on their personal sites. Please consider all this and think on it.