Some answers may have been merged – ie, where I’ve been given the same link/article/answer multiple times, I will just include link with a note of how many people answered with this in the format: [article](x5)
Some answers may not be included if they misunderstood the question – they may instead have moved to ‘bonus’ as a section. Will highlight if that is the case.
People are anon if they didn’t explictly say “call me x”. Email me again if you want to change that 🙂Anon referencing consistent within this topic, but not with others.
1. What categories of content would you like to see? (ie, news, reviews, op-eds, etc.)
Anon6: “Just fair gaming news, if they have opinion pieces they should start any article by disclusuring their political stance”
Anon7: “News, reviews, videos, editorials, all is fine as long as they don’t overlap and it’s clear what a given article is.”
Anon8: “The current categories on most gaming sites are fine, they simply need to enforce the boundaries. Recently on twitter I saw an anti-gamergate proponent insult those who said opinion pieces should be clearly labeled. His argument was that they were already always clearly labeled, and #gamergate supporters were just children who didn’t understand this. The evidence does not agree. http://www.usgamer.net/articles/yes-castlevania-lords-of-shadow-2-did-make-me-feel-uncomfortable- As you can see from this example, the piece is clearly labeled as a preview, but reading the content, it’s an opinion piece on how the author felt triggered, a scene made her feel uncomfortable, and should be removed. Also note this preview makes no mention of the gameplay, or any other element commonly found in previews. This is the author’s opinion. This would be fine as a clearly labeled opinion piece, but this was labeled as a preview. I’m just fine with pieces like this as long as they are presented as an opinion piece (even better, have an opposing opinion piece also ran with it, presenting both sides of view. Long winded answer, is that I’m fine with the current line up of news, previews, reviews, etc, but the labels must be accurate. If it’s labeled as a news piece about persona 4, it should not be about the author’s polyamorus lifestyle. (Also sadly a real example) It should a piece of news about persona 4.”
Nathan: “I’m fine with news, reviews, op-eds regarding things going on in gaming (Why Japanese developers are having a harder time in the 2010s, articles on the Steam Greenlight process and their handling of Early Access) and even political pieces based off of someone’s views. What I’m not fine with is the op-ed and the author becoming the news. Opinion pieces deserve a separate place on the site, instead of being treated as news and even permeating their way into reviews. Another thing I’d like to see is retrospectives, where a reviewer spends a little more time with a game and comes back a month later, revisiting their initial review and deciding whether it was a good idea. I did volunteer work for a small review site that had this as an idea a few years ago, and I didn’t see it implemented there, and haven’t seen it elsewhere.”
Anon9: “The categories are fine as they are. Only the ‘clickbait’-content should be removed.”
Anon10: “Wouldn’t need to deviate from the norm at the moment.”
Anon11: “The categories of content don’t really need changing – I feel they all have a rightful place in journalism – but when the majority of your articles start becoming op-eds, and instead of actual facts you use other op-eds as sources to further your agenda, or you are simply talking out of your ass, then it has no place on your website. Along with the abhorrent clickbait nature of titles as of late. As a designer, I want to feel proud of anything I place my name on. Game journalists should have the compassion to do the same (instead of acting like a 45 word summary of a post on Reddit is worthy of placing on a games journalism website as opposed to your Twitter).”
Anon12: “The types of articles appearing on the websites would not change; they would still include news, reviews, and op-eds. However, the fact based reporting, the reviews, and the opinion driven editorials should be clearly labelled and hosted in separate sections of the website. Further, the editorials should cover a broad spectrum of beliefs and opinions.”
Anon13: “I’m open to most things, as long as things are clearly marked. Facts as facts, opinion as opinion. Biases noted.”
Anon14: “I don’t think there should be any changes in categories of content. News, reviews, op-eds are all fine, as long as journalistic integrity is present.”
2. What sort of games would you like to see focus on, and which would you not like to see featured? (ie, early access or not, etc)
Anon6: “I like games as they are now, theres is room for anyone’s tastes, they can do the games that fit their political views, but not force my games to fit their views”
Anon7: “Any and all, altough early access and betas should be clearly separated from others.”
Anon8: “It would depend on the site, would it not? Mobile game sites would cover mobile games, PC game sites would cover PC games, etc. I’m okay with how sites currently choose their content, they just need to be honest, consistent and fair about it. For example many videogame sites covered the Max Temkin rape scandal. My problem with this is that Max Temkin designed a card game, not a videogame, and this was the first time many of those sites even talked about a card game. Be consistent.”
Nathan: “Right now, Early Access is mired with too many lies and empty promises to merit any coverage. I don’t think that has a place on a site that’s trying to avoid being simple PR for devs and publishers. I’d like to see more of a focus on smaller, but not indie titles. It seems that the bulk of attention is paid to AAA games and indie titles. What about the lesser-covered, but still established companies?”
Anon9: “Any game, really. Aslong as there is information about it, why not make an article? Aslong as its not clickbait. Objectivity is key”
Anon10: “I’m not a fan of early access but I don’t really like that to GamerGate. No strong opinions on excluding any kind of game.”
Anon11: No answer given.
Anon12: “Again, these websites should continue reporting on all types of games in any stage of development, including early access. However, games should not be given more or less positive or negative coverage based on whether or not they conform to any specific political agenda or set of beliefs, and if a journalist has any connection with a game or a developer, whether personally or financially, that information should be clearly stated at the top of the article, no matter whether the content of the article is positive, negative, or neutral. “
Anon13: “Take a deeper dive than just AAA, possibly a seperate indie/early access page. But avoid early access where the game will feel like a completely different game when it’s done.”
Anon14: “I think that which games should be featured or not should be left up to the website itself. If the site wants to cover early-access or cover nontraditional game experiences such as Gone Home and Depression Quest – more power to the site. As long as it is done honestly and professionally, and situations where a game receives multiple 10/10s without actually being THAT good are avoided.”
3. What sort of areas would you want to covered as ‘news’? (ie, game date releases, studio shutdowns, etc)
Anon6: “Everything, the gamergate got really toxic cause big gaming websites avoided the issue, then gamers did their own research, and our quest for truth got really rough”
Anon7: “Anything that isn’t personal, tabloid-like (i.e. developer X just bought a new car, see photos), or based on just hearsay (Alice said that Bob did X).”
Anon8: “All of the above. Again much of the current content is fine, it’s how it’s been carried that is the problem. If you are going to talk about the recent release of a game that was done by a personal friend, or someone you fund on patreon, is that fair to all the countless indie game releases you don’t feature on your site?”
Nathan: “Well, news. As long as it’s not an opinion piece and it covers something significant involving video games, then it’s news and merits at least a looking at.”
Anon9: “Unexpected things. If its something i can google, i’d google it.”
Anon10: “Again, no particularly strong opinions on changing the current status quo.”
Anon11: No answer given.
Anon12: “The following should be reported as news: progress on the development of a game; the release of a new game; the announcement of new games in development; any change in the status of a developer, i.e. studio shutdowns, layoffs, successful product launches, etc.; any other gaming news that is purely fact-based and has no room for opinion. The following should be contained to an editorial section: discussions about the political or social implications of a game or any part of a game; any other article that is partly or entirely based on subjective opinion.”
Anon13: “Information about unreleased games (release dates, features and such), news from gaming events (everything from E3, to gamejams to e-sports), information from the game publishers (not just citing press releases, but actually looking into it and forming an opinion)”
Anon14: “I definitely want to see game releases and studio news as game news.”
4. What sort of comment policies would you want them to have?
Anon6: “No censorship”
Anon7: “As in reader’s comment section? Obviously nothing illegal or threatening, also no flaming.”
Anon8: “A low priority to me, but they need to be honest, fair and consistent. I realize rules must be enforced, but please be fair about it. Rather than allowing hateful disparaging comments on one group of people but allowing it for another, why not just ban all hateful disparaging comments?”
Nathan: “I would almost rather comments be offsite and discussion take place separately on social media, since comment sections rarely have anything of merit in them. If they must have one, no trolling, no slurs, no flaming, the usual.”
Anon9: “One, where you dont have to register. Anonymous postings are allowed. Comments can only be deleted by the person who wrote them, inappropriate comments can be flagged. Flagging results in the contents of the comment to be toggled invisible, but everyone can look what it said and reply to it.”
Anon10: “Ideally one that would allow constructive dissent without censorship.”
Anon11: No answer given.
Anon12: “It is my opinion that it is at a website owner’s discretion whether or not to allow comments on any section of their website. However, if they do choose to allow comments, these comments should not be moderated in such a way as to promote or exclude any political or social beliefs. For example, a moderator of a comments section should never delete comments or shut down a thread purely based on the fact that the comments are expressing an opinion with which the moderator disagrees. The exception, of course, is for cases where illegal activities are being condoned or advocated, or where someone’s health or life could be endangered.”
Anon13: “PG13, keep clean of personal attacks, but open anonymous commenting (not having to use real name)”
Anon14: “Comment policy is a sore topic for the whole Internet. I don’t think game journalism has a better shot of solving it than anything else. I personally like Escapist public forum policies and feel they work well. If you want actual ethic rule suggestions – their Code of Conduct is what has proven to work – http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/codeofconduct“
5. List three things you’d want to see in an ethics statement from them?
Anon6: “-What are your political views (not for gaming for every journalist, but thats kinda utopic)
-Disclosure of relationship on insdustry
– Money support to developers”
Anon7: “If a writer is connected on a personal level to a subject, he should not cover it. If it is impossible to avoid such a situation (due to his expertise, nobody else saw it, etc.), he should make it clear in the first paragraph.
Writers should not personally accept material and benefits from publishers/advertisers/etc. Review copies, travel fees, etc. should be considered as belonging to the site, rather than person.
Articles should not be based on a hearsay (I think I ran out of important things here :p)”
Anon8: “I’m just going to link this: http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
If I was forced to choose, I’d say 1. no allowing gifts or bribes (completely. No loopholes. Many sites say they don’t allow gifts to their journalists, but have loopholes in which the gift can be given to the office and so one. No loopholes). 2. Friends should either state the connection up front when covering their friends, or even better recuse themselves. 3. Multiple sources should be used for stories. No more running stories off of a single tweet. This one goes way back. Notch of minecraft fame constantly complained on his twitter about sites running stories based off of one time tweets. Hideki Kamiya of platinum games stated “My twitter isn’t what you use to find your news on a slow day. It is to communicate with fans. Don’t ruin it. It fucking pisses me off.” https://twitter.com/PG_kamiya/status/181631518211457025”
Nathan: “- Refuse all kickbacks from devs and publishers, or include them in giveaways to fans. Nothing kept for yourself.
– No conflicts of interest, whether monetarily or relationship-wise, and compromising the publication’s journalistic integrity means you lose your job.
– Cite sources and double-check to make sure that hype is actually valid.”
Anon9: “Kinda difficult to say. I wouldnt really expect any ethical statements from someone, i’d kinda expect they’re doing what they promise to do.”
Anon10: “1. A commitment to recusal and/or disclosure when covering subjects that have a close personal/financial relationship with the writer.
2. An indication that the site does not collude with other outlets on what to cover.
3. (Not ethics really, but) More than one goddamn source for articles with factual claims.”
Anon11: No answer given.
Anon12: “I think that the new ethical guidelines published by The Escapist are a great place to look for guidance for any website.”
Anon13: “1. No writing about people you have intimate or financial ties to (if not possible, at least disclose them)
2. Outside of opinion pieces, aiming for objectivity is a must
3. Opinions and rumors shall not be reported s facts if they have nothing to back them up”
Anon14: As above.