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The Gerstmann affair, or what Gamespot needs to do to restore its credibility.

The Gerstmann affair, or what Gamespot needs to do to restore its credibility. An open letter to Gamespot, Cnet, Eidos and the gaming public.

As everyone is now aware Gamespot is in the middle of a seemingly self induced crisis. It's become apparent that the website fired its long-time editorial director Jeff Gerstmann for giving the newly released game "Kane & Lynch: Dead Men" a score of 6.0 to the dismay of its publisher, Eidos, a company that also pays for its games to be advertised on the site. That after being given what the publishing company considered an unacceptably low review score it pressured Gamespot into firing Mr. Gerstmann. It also then proceeded to withdraw future advertising revenue.

Gamespots credibility has been further eroded by its inability to properly explain why it came to the decision to fire Mr. Gerstmann and why it has pulled the video of the review from its site. Also Eidos's credibility has been tarnished by the publishing on the game's official website of misleading and erroneous reviews and scores from other video game publications, that inflate the scores actually given by those organizations. All of these events together in the minds of gamers lead to the belief of a conspiracy by Eidos to exaggerate the reviews of a seemingly lackluster game (the apparent low quality of the content being known beforehand by Eidos) in a concerted advertising push to make the public believe the game was significantly more desirable then appears to otherwise be the case. And that in their zeal they used their leverage as a major advertiser at Gamespot to press for a good review and when they didn't receive it, exerted their influence in getting Mr. Gerstmann fired, with perhaps Gamespot having a pre-existing desire (legitimate or not) to fire Mr. Gerstmann with this situation providing an excuse.

Whether or not the events surrounding Mr. Gerstmanns firing in truth played out as they've been described is at the moment, beside the point. The public, and anecdotal evidence suggests a large percentage of Gamespots paid subscribers, perceive and assume these events to be true and accurate. And without evidence to the contrary, one can hardly blame them.

Unfortunately the burden of proof is now on Gamespot to disprove the rumors of its motivations in the recent series of events. If there is a reasonable and legitimate reason for firing Mr. Gerstmann we the public need to hear it. And be shown proof of its validity.

But as seems likely the events and the sinister motivations behind Gamespots actions are what we have already concluded them to be, then the burden of responsibility is again on Gamespot. Responsibility to acknowledge them and acknowledge that they were wrong in an attempt to resolve the situation.

First off, after admitting wrongdoing, Gamespot needs to offer to restore Mr. Gerstmann to his former position with no loss of pay, benefits or status.

Then as a bulwark against future scandals Gamespot should feel obliged to create an "accountability tab" to sit alongside its forums, videos, cheat codes, features, downloads, sports and news tabs. The contents of this new tab explaining the entire game reviewing process. Starting with when a game was first received for review, what version of the game was received (whether or not it is the full public version) whether or not the game was provided free for review, the number of and names of the individuals tasked with reviewing the game, information on the time spent reviewing it, and if, when and where possible the reviewers notes on the game.

Efforts to make the reviews more standardized and predictable should be taken. The act of reviewing games should be published as the process by which all games start at a ten until its errors and faults when encountered earn a game a lower score. Explanations of what problems are encountered and how and why they've cost a game a ten must be presented.

Verifiable and predictable patterns should emerge as more objective standards are applied more thoroughly. If a jagged or jerky graphical presentation lowers a games score by five points, then other games with similar problems must be similarly devalued. If an uninspired artistic style reduces a games score by twenty points, then other games with similarly reviewed deficiencies must be similarly devalued. Along with in both cases an explanation of the criteria and reasoning behind labeling something as "uninspired".

All of these suggestions are based around concepts of transparency and accountability. These ideas must also be applied to Gamespot and Cnets finances as well.

In the accountability tab all sources of revenue must be disclosed, with links or information provided regarding Gamespot and Cnets tax filings. All gifts, objects or promotional items given to Gamespot must also be documented. Gamespot should also press upon its advertisers the need to agree to and sign some sort of publicly available and verifiable non interference contract, again to be posted in the accountability tab, that declares an advertisers agreement to exert, at most, a minimal influence on editorial content. Any reviews of products created by an organization that advertises on Gamespot should have links to its products posted directly underneath a quote of revenue obtained by Gamespot, from the advertiser. To help in verifying that no preference for an advertisers products has been shown. Finally as a precaution all advertising links with Eidos should be severed.

This has been my interpretation of the recent events surrounding Gamespot and its firing of its editorial director Jeff Gerstmann, and the steps needing to be taken by Gamespot to restore its credibility.

I like Gamespot, trusted it's reviews and enjoyed the large, active community of gamers that gathered at the site. I would like to see it restored to its former position, and not have to wonder where I'm going to find all the people who may or may not have already scattered based on Gamespots recent actions.

Thank you.

Stupid financial aid office!

I'm going back to college this year (I haven't gone since 05) and I'm both excited and nervous.

The college I'm going to is in NYC, it is called York, it is part of CUNY (The city university of New York). It is basically the best college you can go to without going to community college. But thanks to my overall lack of a HS education I really can't b!#$% too hard. I am glad they've taken me.

Since it is a local school, there really isn't the sort of campus life you'd traditionally associate with college.

Anyway I don't have the money to pay for it upfront like I did last time. So this time I have to get a student loan (since I don't qualify for financial aid).

What a pain in the a$$ this process has been. Twice I've gone all the way to my school (It's not exactly nearby) just to stand in a ridiculously slow moving line, to be told I could do everything at home, or because (at the time) I lacked some government pin, they couldn't do anything for me. Apparently thanks to computers they don't bother keeping paper forms around anymore.

So why is there still a f!#$%^& financial aid office!?! Why not just have an atm machine with a sign on it that reads, please go home and do all this on computer (if you can suckers) then come back to withdraw funds (if you qualify of course).

Also if you weren't paid up by the 16th (me) your registration was canceled. This wasn't so bad since my schedule was abominable. So I thought OK I'll go the 17th to re-select my classes and hopefully get a better schedule, I have to go in to visit the financial aid office anyway. Well done, good idea, me, way to kill two birds. Wrong, b!#$%. Go all the way to Jamaica (45 minute bus ride) to wait in line to find out FA is useless and then go to the academic advisement office to find out that today when it would be both logical and convenient for them to be open, they are closed.

I hope next week brings better results, and I hope by the time classes start, I am actually paid up. I need to get a job.

But I can't get a job until I know my schedule, and know that it is reasonably consistent. Not one quarter of my classes on Wednesday afternoon and the others scattered at different times, on different days.

Over 1000 Sunev downloads!

Today the total number of downloads for my mod at the tessource site passed a thousand!

Yea! One thousand people (or less, more then once) have downloaded it. Even more exciting is that all together all the sites combined I'm probably over 2K. --does a little dance--

I am f!#$%^& thrilled.

I have one building 1/2 way done and another I've yet to start, once they are done I'll put out another release.

I put it up at a new site a couple of days ago, this one reviews the mods before they put them up. And the review was glowing. That s!#$ made my day.

http://elderscrolls.filefront.com/file/City_of_Sunev;80012

If you downloaded it before,

Thank You.

AAAAAAARGH a setback!

Unfortunately the City of Sunev project has suffered a setback. I now have to go to the v.0-5-5 backup. I'm not too upset, there wasn't that much done outside the magic shop, and I wasn't overwhelmingly pleased with the way that was coming out.

I'm going to put the project on hold for a little while now. I just got the DS for my birthday and used some of the money to get 1701 which should get here mon\tue.

My first post!

I have switched from NmikeY, which no one ever got. (mike is in between N and Y so Mike in NY or NmikeY) so I created a new name which is just a copy of my xbox live gamertag. It's a better name anyway, it creates a nice image in your head Blizzard-Dream. Very Funcom. :)

At the moment I'm busy creating my oblivion mod "The city of Sunev". I'm finally getting close to the end of constructing all the buildings, which I'm actually a little nervous about since it means I'll have to devote myself to ai and quest creation, which at the moment are far from my strongest skills.

I'll try to put more into this new name-account (whatever) when I have the time.