The reasons? Simple enough. I tried to leave for good back in 2005, but something called me back. It was JediMoogle's Xfire Union. I'd always planned on helping promote it to the top, but I cut it short by leaving. It felt rather cheap and incomplete, to me. Like one of those loose ends left by Halo 2's ending. The union kind of withered and died horribly. So, I asked Moogle if he'd give me the leadership position so I could set things right. He did, and I began my work. At this point, I don't even remember how long it's taken me to get to this point. I wanted to make the union big - so big that I could just leave, pick a new leader, and have it sustain itself, without the constant work needed for a smaller union. About two weeks ago, I decided that I was just going to be running around in circles for possibly another year. Or more.
So, basically, I decided that finding a quick replacement leader and cutting things loose was my best bet. I told Moogle I was leaving first, and he decided to take the union back. It was quicker resolution than I'd expected, to be sure. Then my plans got screwed over for a few weeks, due to vacations, suspensions and other nastiness. I wanted to leave then, but better late than never, I suppose. So, for all my SW compadres, long-time pals (here's to you, sonicare) and completely awesome newer people (*cough*Teufelhuhn*cough*) who I don't talk to on Xfire, so long. Well, not quite. I still have one last thing I'd like to rant about, first.
The state of the press. Specifically, gaming's press.
What's wrong, here? Things seem to be going smoothly. Lots of competition, smaller publications gradually becoming bigger, or being swallowed up by bigger ones. Business as usual in the media. Well, that isn't the problem. The problem is the content. What content, you ask? Is there something special? Yes, there is. Have you read The New York Times, recently? Perhaps the editorials, or the latest movie critique? Even the news, itself. What you see here is professionalism. The kind of professionalism that you can be proud of. These people are experts - not wannabes. Whether you agree with what they say or not, denial of their professionalism and general couth is not something you'll get away with.
When you read a movie critique in The New York Times, you don't go "what the heck? I could write a better critique than that!" Well, unless you are either very good at what you do, or very, very ignorant. When you read their reports, you don't see the cheap puns and artificial humor that you get as a rule in gaming news. When you read the editorials, you don't write these people off as blithering faux intellectuals desperate to have some shred of complexity. You can hate them, sure. But questioning their legitimacy is not an option.
Why doesn't gaming have this? GameSpot, you say? Not a chance. IGN? Even worse. Gamepro? Game Informer? EGM? Gamespy? Gamedaily? All wrong. Name 'em all you want, but there is nothing. As I know it the best, I'm going to break the rules a tad and use GameSpot as an example. There is one person here whom I respect, and always have. Greg Kasavin - the only person I've ever found in the entirety of gaming publications who, in my view, holds a position on the same level as a "real critic." The rest? Not really. I've been coming here for years, and it's really always been the same - there are the wannabes, the people who don't get it, the faux intellectual-types and the complete and total fakes. I'm not going to name names, however. That would potentially get ugly.
But the problem isn't just GameSpot's style of reporting news - the bad puns and lame cracks, the generally low quality of writing, the largely laughable editorials (when they show up, anymore), the bogus critiques (reviews) or all that other great stuff. It's the fact that this defines gaming news as a whole. If I had to spell it out with one word, it would be this: unprofessionalism. The exact opposite of what publications like The New York Times bring us. Go to IGN, some time. I remember a crack they made about Super Monkey Ball for the Wii - (are you ready for this?) "Wii with balls." This is the level of filth in which gaming news resides. Third grade humor and generally tasteless comments. On top of this, I was once over on that awful site, checking on the news, only to read the ending of F.E.A.R. No warnings, no suggestion that it would be there. Just bam, the end.
And do you know why? It's because of the market which gaming attracts. Big business focuses on the money, and as always, the money is in the masses. Play any random online game and you'll see what these masses are - ignorant punks who seem to be fresh out of special school. These are the people who laugh at these pathetic attempts at humor, and are incapable of understanding actual writing. These are the people who get bored when reading legit news. These uncouth barbarians inundate the industry with their retardation, slowing the progress of gaming as a whole by keeping the publications in the dark ages. It's like every source for gaming news, editorials and the like is trying to be "alternative media" in order to pander to these... creatures. People, there is only enough room for alternative media before it becomes the norm. But it gets better: I once read a gaming-related magazine that I liked. It was called GMR. I didn't like it because it was professional - I liked it because it really was an alternative media source. It wasn't like these other dumps that feign legitimacy while feeding the morons who keep their coffers full - it was straight up bawdy and hilarious. It didn't try to be legit, because that wasn't the point. Here's an example: on the back page of every GMR, there was a section given to an invented character dubbed the "game geezer." His photo was a black-and-white picture of an old man, cantankerous-looking and wide-mouthed as he appeared to be yelling. This section never failed to be hilarious, as the geezer always had something offensive and ridiculous to say, even if it was always backed by a legit point. This is alternative media, my friends.
And do you know what happened? GMR went under a few years back. Typical. It doesn't make sense, but there you have it. The one publication that actually succeeded in being alternative media, in the sea of publications trying to be alternative media, failed. Now, the real alternative media in gaming is only hypothetical, and it happens to be... the professional publication. I want news for people like myself - people who get that the current media is a dirty sham, and want something that covers the news like a real publication should. Like The New York Times.
The most baffling element is that no one who has also come to this conclusion (there has to be someone) has been willing to create it. Or at least make it succeed to the point of notability. I've gone digging for it, but it just isn't there. In this vast ocean of people and insignificant information, there is no real source for news. It deftly defies both logic and reason, but there it is.
Maybe legit publications will arrive once gaming becomes more than just another niche - when women, parents and grandparents are participating in it, just as they do with movies. And don't give me that crap about "40% of the gaming population is female, according to polls." It isn't true in the slightest, unless you count everyone playing Freecell and Minesweeper. I doubt the female gamer even enjoys 25% of the total market, honestly. As long as the punk, young adult male focus remains, the news will continue to be complete garbage.
Well, that's pretty much it. I'm off to find something better than this. Don't expect to see me back, because a perm ban is in my near future (although I'll be asking for it, not account suiciding like a lamer). That's all, folks.