The Press Vs. Community (Part 2)

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The Press

Who are we? Are we writers and/or podcasters with much less of a means while at the same time being treated as second class citizens? Sure, the truth never lies, or something like that. If you want to call someone press, then that automatically means that you’ve acquired a Ph.D in writing puns, right? Have you noticed how much the so-called “press” uses this? But of course I’m not excluding myself in this. I’ve done it here and there, but being prolific at it is not what I’d call great writing. “The highly anticipated Gears of War 2 is set to chainsaw it’s way through the competition”. If your looking for a ton of that then you’re ripe for what is called ” the press”.

Then again what is the press anyway? From my experience it’s a collection of writers who have for one way or another been indoctrinated into a league of PR contacts that have become “trusted by not who they are, but by the name attached to them”. If you have 1up, IGN, Gamespot, Edge-Online now, CVG, or such, your automatically ahead of anyone on the inside looking in. If you take anyone considered “community” instead of press and place one of those names along side their name I’ll guarantee if you’re in PR you’ll be looking for those names and not anyone else. If I call you up for some information and I don’t have that “goto name” attached to me chances are you’ll turn me down while one of those other guys will do the same much later and get the “scoop”. Now, you have to see the problem there.

Press R’ US

Transparency is something that should at the very least be seen from everyone and not just 1up as of late. Then again, you know what? There is no such thing as press. Press is a made up word for the have’s and the have not’s. Your either in the club or you’re not. Don’t go thinking that you’ll be treated the same when you haven’t been indoctrinated into the club.

So, what gets you into the club? It’s very simple. Financial backing. If someone with the increasingly less worth greenbacks feels you have value to them they’ll give you financial backing. The 1up Network with Ziff Davis, IGN with Fox, Gamespot with Cnet/CBS, OXM/Edge-Online with Future, Kotaku with Gawker Media, Joystiq with Weblogs,inc/AOL. Sure there are many more, but at the heart of all of these outlets is a budget. Something lots of us are in need of. Who are PR to trust when you have no “real” backing and easily could be just one of those fly by night blogs looking for free games.

PR be damned

Public Relations, who are they? If you don’t already know they’re the gate keepers of information. You want it, they won’t give it to you. It’s sort of like that girl you knew in High School that you wanted, but she wouldn’t give you the time of day. Much like Trina of Gaming Angels said in this recent GTR podcast, the PR musical chairs aren’t helping anyone at all. If you have a big name behind you chances are that’s enough to at least get you in the door. Why can’t we all be treated equally? Now, of course it’s all about return of investment. Tough decisions need to be made. I and hopefully we get that. Then again, looking at the freak of nature that is Destructoid, if they can get luckier than a Leprechaun why should it stop there? Listening to this episode of All Games Interactive (warning, it’s explicit) where Ron Workman speaks about this is a must.

Biting the hand that feeds you is one thing. Unfortunately that same hand is playing both sides while still card counting the hell out of you at the same time. No math genius’ needed here. Their in the driver seat and there’s nothing we’re going to do about it until gaming breaks out of the “in your basement for hours” stereotype it currently still has. General advertisers need to get off of their stupid asses and take notice. If gaming sites can only get advertising by the very products they discuss then a question of integrity is likely to never go away. Jeff Gerstmann comes to mind.

Free Games

If your in this for free games then your in for quite the shock. Free games aren’t going to make you a better writer or a better podcaster, or a better me too man. Yes, “me too man”. A me to man in this case is the person out there who has no soul and would whether say ” Hey, me to can have that content”, as this example of many shows. Who really thinks it’s okay to steal from each other? News is one thing as it’s not outlet specific, but taking original content really? A source link is greatly appreciated for sure, but if your flatout just taking content from other places that’s outright despicable. Stop!

Infighting between different outlets needs to stop! If you have nothing of your own, then why are you here?

Up next is part #3. Blogs versus non blogs. When it’ll be posted depends on if I still have a connection.

-William “thewilleffect” Bell-

5 Responses

  1. For about 3 years now ive been blogging and always wished I could be apart of the big guys “1up or Gamespot”. Im not the greatest writer so i know thats not going to happen. One thing I always did on my little MSN space was post a picture and report the news and link to the source whether it was from the xbox domain, 360fanboy or teamxbox. But after a long while I realized nobodys coming to my space for news with all the bigger guys out there. and the few people that do end up at my blog already read the news else where. So like you said in part 1 your trying to bring new content to your site and thats great and its the same path I went as well…sort of. If there is big news ill give my opinion on it and not have to worry about someone getting mad at me. Or ill just give my thoughts on something tell whats happen in my gaming life. I used write for a site thats part of one of those bigger community blogger groups and my be getting some more hits here and there. It kills me that they have status in the community when they do nothing but copy and paste news, but when I(I was the only posting everyday out of 3 writers for a long time) came i couldnt have any type of creative control on my post after being told i could write what i wanted. they just wanted the news and that was it. Dont even get me started about the podcast they do….YAWN. Anyway Ive been planning with a friend to do a bit of bigger site with hopes of more of a following. We dont want fame and fortune (well we do but we’re down to earth about the whole thing, yeah we would like invites to E3), we just want to reach some more people and maybe give them our views, some gaming knowledge and maybe even entertain some folks with our post or even a podcast. I dont know if any of this had anything to even do with your post. I guess I ranted a bit …..SORRY….. after all is said and done… I CAN SAY THAT I HEAR WHAT YOUR SAYING AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

  2. Yeah man, great post as I said in the first posting. It’s too bad that guys like 360 Plex have to leech and copy news from other writers in order to run their site. It is indeed absolutely horrible, as we have had that happen to us quite a few times, and you just don’t know what to think when people take your articles and act like it’s their own [even though, like you said, sources provided]. We also recently had people taking off actual DESIGN IMAGES and calling them their own. Anyways, great article man, keep it up.

  3. Such a great read Will, well done.

  4. Reading …

    Absorbing …

    Waiting for the next one.

  5. It’s coming. I’m supposed to be on vacation. Time is tight. Part 3 will probably be up tonight some time.

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