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Thursday, 10 April - link

Ethics in Online Game Journalism

I met with Josh Fouts at the Online Journalism Review at USC a few weeks back. We got to talking about the game industry, and game journalists. He asked me to take a look at Ethics in Game Journalism for his publication.

Most of my articles I write for other web sites are posted without much review or editing. But this piece I had to revise repeatedly. It went down to the wire - I'm glad Jim, the editor, stayed in touch. He called me yesterday afternoon, saying the piece was going up tomorrow. Did I agree with the thesis he'd rewritten?

We haggled over that thesis for three phone calls and a bunch of emails. He had said something along the lines of "as long as game journalism is still performed by fans and not by professionals, there will be ethical issues." I held fast against that statement - game journalism should not be taken away from fans, but rather fans should work on their sense of ethics.

He nodded, over the phone, and we reached this conclusion together: Ethics in Video Game Journalism and a sidebar Survey of Game Writing Online.

I did a lot of research about ethics in print game journalism, and a bit of research into the differences between "official" and "unofficial" console magazines. They trimmed that, in the interests of focusing the article on online game journalism ethics.

For the record, I'd like to thank these people who took the time to speak with me about these issues:

Robin Carr from Ubi-Soft Entertainment
Che Chou from Xbox Nation Magazine
Doug Church from Eidos
Chris Hecker from Definition 6
Dan Hsu from Electronic Gaming Monthly
Geoff Keighley from Entertainment Weekly
Tugbek Olek from Level Magazine in Turkey
Jen Pahlka from CMP Media
Jane Pinckard from Game Girl Advance
Harvey Smith from Ion Storm
Jakub Wojnarowicz from FiringSquad

Much more needs to be said about the difficulties of fairly covering "entertainment" as an appreciator of the art form. I expect the research I've done will filter out in other articles, writing for Game Girl Advance. Heck, it might even affect the way I write about games.

Posted on 10 April 2003 : 12:03 (TrackBack)
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