A few days ago, I was talking to someone I used to work with at the newspaper, who asked me very specifically if video game journalism had "advanced at all." We've spoken about this subject in the past and we typically end the argument in a stalemate. Let me see if I can explain.

The rules for news reporting are very clear. They are always unwavering; written in stone; impossible to break or even alter in the slightest way. A reporter isn't allowed to have an opinion; he or she really can't even use descriptive adjectives, as they can be construed as personal opinion or commentary. A reporter provides the public with the facts and nothing more. I know this because I worked with the newspapers for several years, handling everything from local news to full entertainment features for various industries, including music and comedy. So for instance, if I'm doing a feature on a concert coming to town, at no point am I allowed to voice my pleasure or displeasure for the artist in question. Technically, I'm really not even supposed to say that fans "really loved" the last performance; that's speculation and can't easily be proved.

This is how news is supposed to be and I have the greatest respect for the institution of journalism and print media in general. I think it's terrible that papers may be seeing the end of their days, and just because I have more than a few publishing credits doesn't give me the illusion that I can write for the New York Times. If you wish to find the best journalists in the world, look there. I would never say they're not skilled nor would I say we should take the rules of journalism into question merely because the Internet has arrived. Now, the purists (and elitists) will quickly get on your back if you provide news to the public the way we – and many other sites – do, in that we inject opinion and even speculation into news articles. I will freely admit to doing that, but I must ask first and foremost that people not assume I'm doing this because I'm ignorant of the rules. I'm not…we approach the news in a different way on purpose.

Here's the thing, and you are more than welcome to disagree. A website is not a newspaper or any other piece of print media. You don't have to make any distinction between the two, but we see it this way: the website, especially these days, is a living, breathing community that often lives and dies not with the content , but often with the people involved on both sides. We see it as a large group of friends, who are going to discuss a topic that we provide. Those who write the articles here – and there are only a few of us – must be available and visible to the readers because they aren't just readers; they're community members. Their feedback provides us with valuable insight. We often steer the content in the direction of reader interest; in other words, if we see the community express an inordinate amount of interest in Demon's Souls , we will make news and info for that game more of a priority. Then there is the personal angle.

We want you to know who we are, and it must go beyond the occasional editorial. We also think we're experts in the field in which we report; I was never an expert on the damn housing commission in the area nor could I ever consider myself knowledgeable enough to write for Rolling Stone (despite the number of music features I produced). In this case, we believe the website – especially those geared toward a specific group, like PSXE with PlayStation fans – must have a cohesive, interactive community, and our views are part of the news. So if we report on a Bayonetta sequel in the future, we will remind you that the PS3 version of that game was inferior. We might even say it "sucked compared to the 360 version." The rules of journalism state we're not allowed to do that, but we believe it's crucial to this living, breathing online culture. We will never distort or stretch the facts in any way; you will always get the facts straight from any press release or source we have. But you can also expect a small interpretation of those facts.

Interpretation. It's the cardinal sin of journalism. There are those who will hate what we do; that we're literally spitting in the face of an established institution. But the Internet spits in the face of just about everything, as far as I'm concerned, and we live and die by our community. If you only want the bare facts and nothing more, read the news at GameSpot. Go right ahead; I'm not stopping you. But if you want to become involved in something and feel like more than simply an outsider looking in, and know that your participating has a direct impact on the content that is produced, come here and have a chat. We don't allow the hostility and stupidity that infects many gaming websites – sadly, there are those who never grow up – and I think PSXE has really surged with this growing community of civilized, knowledgeable PlayStation fans. And it just keeps growing; it's a pleasure to watch.

Is this approach holding the industry back? Should the difference between a website and a piece of print media even be relevant? If you think what we're doing is reprehensible, I will not say you're wrong. I won't even necessarily disagree. But I will ask you to look around and actually read what's here – the Comments are part of everything; they're part of us – and then decide if we're performing a disservice. I think 99% of our community love and respect what we do, and return because they connect with us and feel like they matter…that's not an altogether unimpressive achievement. Lie to you, we will never. Toss in a little comment to augment a story, we will. In the end, my ex-co-worker, who believes as strongly as I do in the integrity of journalism, admits my situation is very different. He even says he'd probably do the exact same thing. But he struggles with the concept and in all honesty, so do I.

Those who wish to deride may do so. They're entitled and they have a valid point. All I ask is that you look around long enough to determine if things are "childish;" read our reviews , check out our features and above all else, say hi and have a seat for a bit. After that, if you don't like what you see, that's fine. No hard feelings. But at the very least, don't assume we – or any other site that acts as we do – take a slipshod approach to journalism simply because we're ignorant. Thank you for reading.

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Crudii
Crudii
10 years ago

A well balanced argument in the editorial Ben. To be honest I only visit this website BECAUSE you always have insight on the topic in hand and that's what makes it worthwhile. This is a community and we all like it that way.
Keep it up and this website might be the only one I still visit in 10 years time!

to_far_apart
to_far_apart
10 years ago

Totally agree with you Crudii.

Ben,

I must say, this is probably the best article I've read on PSXE, thus far. A great read, thank you for such a great article.

I just became part of PSXE around Nov/Dec 09' and ever since then i was sold. The warmth and interaction of the community, the many knowledgeable reader with some great arguments, the many great articles, the engaging staff. This list could go on for days. What really sold me was the way in which you all at PSXE write. I've been to a lot of sites, and no where have i seen such integrity and honesty in writing, it really is a unique thing you all offer among other websites. I also put you up against other websites, which are not solely game related. You guys are THAT good. I also appreciate your involvement with the community, it really is unrivaled.

This is in accordance of internet articles. Like you mentioned, when writing on the internet, you're not only writing a certain story for people to read, it's more then that. The beauty of online publication is the involvement you can achieve. With such additions like comment sections and forum boards, an author/publisher have a unique chance to gain feedback from a reader and even discuss with a certain reader. I agree with generally everything you mentioned in your article, it was very well written.

Like i've said before, PSXE is the place i come to readily now and I don't plan on leaving, I really do enjoy the hospitality, engaging conversations, and the kick ass articles. Thank you Ben, Arnold, and the rest of the staff at PSXE for one hell of a job. Keep it up!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

It's great that you came here and understand our philosophy. It certainly seems to resonate with many of you and we just love having the right people around. 🙂 Thanks.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

@ Ben, alter ego John(j/k lol), & Arnold,
Just keep on doing what you've been doing!

Just like a fine steak sauce, this site, all it's writers, & certainly it's thriving community of posters too, is A-1 with me!


Last edited by BikerSaint on 2/12/2010 10:06:35 PM

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Biker Saint… what an analogy… "…a fine steak sauce"… lol, one could think of it that way I guess 🙂

I must agree… this site is one of the best around; that is why we nest here 🙂

Q!

"The Wizard left Oz"


Last edited by Qubex on 2/13/2010 8:16:12 AM

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

I think thats one of the best articles I've read on this site. I also think that because of the approach you guys take in your journalism is a major reason why I keep coming back. Because we know the reviews and articles are truthful, even if they don't always please everyone, thats what brings us back.
I have to say I personally find alot of the members here to be very knowledgeable when it comes to this industry, something I'm only trying to scratch the surface on. It should be noted too that opinions expressed are presented in a civilised manner and I think alot of that comes down to how this site is presented by it's journalists.
I've forgotten passwords to the other game sites I'm a member of simply because I don't find any need for them. Not to say that they are all bad, its just this place feels more like a community.
It seems I'm rambling a bit now so I'll wrap it up by expressing how much I personally appreciate the journalism approach on this site and the informative comments by the members.
I guess a thank you to all contributors to PSXE. Great work guys!!!


Last edited by frostface on 2/12/2010 10:10:59 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I promise this community will always be something worth participating in. We've known how important that is ever since the Comments section started.

SonnyD
SonnyD
10 years ago

Both Ben and Arnold have inspired me to one day take journalism classes. I hope to be a game journalist one day. =D

Best wishes and have a great weekend Ben & Arnold,

SonnyD

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

That is a well thought out explanation, thankfully it was a good read but unnecessary to myself. I already picked up on all those things that PSXE aims at achieving by it's style, presentation, and focus versus straight news. This is why I stayed, the living, breathing community that I felt like a part of.

BUT, I'd like to read this to a lot of the idiots out there that believe a game news site should be straight opinion, spin, and no substance to speak of. *cough* Destructoid.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/12/2010 10:49:34 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

You'll never please OR convince everyone. All we can do is ignore the haters and do the best we can.

Roach721
Roach721
10 years ago

Amen to that Ben.

CH1N00K
CH1N00K
10 years ago

Newspapers and internet journalism..ohh that's a touchy subject..lol. It's like you said Ben, journalist don't have it easy. They've got strict rules to abide by, there is no bending. With the rise of the internet, anyone can pick up a keyboard and start typing and call them selves a journalist. And some do. They're called bloggers..lol.

I've seen the same thing with photography. Anyone with a digital camera is now a photographer, but very few know about composition, aperture or how to take the camera off of autofocus for that matter.

The thing is that journalism has many different branches just like everything else. Gaming/internet journalism is a branch of Entertainment journalism. And while I will definitely not lump PSXE in with the same turd pile that gave birth to the likes of Perez Hilton or supermarket tabloids, it is still a form of entertainment.

Most hard hitting reporters will give you a hard time about entertainment journalism, because they can't understand that though they do a great job of telling the news, News isn't there to amuse or entertain people. It's to provide facts and educate your readers.

Sure they do the odd puff piece to make you smile, but you won't find that on the front page.

Now to provide the facts and paint a clear picture, the journalists have to, as Ben mentioned, keep emotion out of it. Now imagine trying to do that as a video game reporter. You can't, because games create emotion. To enjoy a game you have to get excited over the idea of playing it. To do a review on it, even though you need to keep a certain degree of professionalism, you still have to, in general, like to play games. And even the NY Times realizes this. You look at the paper today, it's changed from what it used to be years ago.

There is an entertainment section, filled with articles that look suspiciously close to what you would read in a tabloid? Why? because no one buys cut and dry. You need to add a little pizzazz! (no, not pizza, but that would be nice to)

But when it all comes down to it, if I want to know what's happening in the world, I'll look at the times. If I want to know what's happening in the Gaming world, I know that Ben's going to have the information posted up here before the Times ever prints it. Either way, both are well trusted and well respected professionals in their field of journalism. It is up to us, the reader, to decide which form holds more appeal.

I'm here pretty much everyday, I haven't looked at a NY times in 6 months. lol, I think I've got my answer.


Last edited by CH1N00K on 2/12/2010 10:48:16 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Oh, I wouldn't put us up versus the Times. But what you say is definitely flattering and appreciated. 🙂

Axe99
Axe99
10 years ago

Great read, an interesting and well-written article :). I'd note, though, that the 'old rules' are a bit of a smokescreen. There is _always_ personal interpretation in the reporting of an article. It's very rare that all of the facts on an issue can be reported, so the choice of facts reported reflects personal interpretation. Then there's what the 'facts' mean – a statement can be interpreted in a number of ways, and presented in a way that changes that interpretation.

At the end of the day, what this means is that many print media articles I read are absolutely riddled with personal interpretation (and it's often quite clear), even if the 'rules' aren't broken.

What this site does, in breaking the rules, is actually make the news _more_ trustworthy. By making it clear where you stand, it's also a lot clearer what the facts presented mean. The 'old media rules' reflect a limited understanding of the transmission of knowledge that was superceded decades ago.

So, like what everyone else was saying, keep doing what you're doing – you report in the best way possible, balanced reporting with both facts and opinion, from a clearly defined position on the topic. This is far, _far_ more preferable than 'faux' balanced reporting with no opinion, that is often far more biased than appears at face value*.

* It was only after studying both politics and economics that I realised how terrible reporting on these two topics is, and my scientist mates tell me time and again how biased reporting on scientific issues is. And I don't need to tell anyone here how balanced the mainstream media is when it comes to video games. The experience of myself and others suggests strongly that the 'no interpretation' rules actually veil interpretation in an aura of false legitimacy.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

It's true that hardly every journalist for papers and other print media adheres to the hard-and-fast rules. But that doesn't mean the rules don't exist. 😉

And that's a good point. Even if I wanted to add anything to articles I've written in the past for newspapers – subjects I'm hazy on – I wouldn't have been able to. And I always thought that by making a stand, if I could, the facts would've been more meaningful (as you said).

psxmax
psxmax
10 years ago

I have to thank Gamespot for introducing me to this site. When I looked at a review for a game they list the different website scores and this site impressed me. I was able to make a comment without having to be an elite member before I could post.

I like how we can email Ben and he actually listens to us. Every other site just puts up an article and that's it, no interaction with the writer. That is why I keep coming back to this site, because of the personal touch and the friends.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Heh…it tickles me to know we got a reader from GameSpot.

But it only shows that our site is a little unique and it can grab people who are looking for something specific.

Fane1024
Fane1024
10 years ago

I came to the site (six years ago) because I was looking at multiple reviews of PS2 games trying to decide which to buy (thanks BTW for Ico). I stayed because the reviews were better than other places. Now, I never go to GameSpot or GameSpy or GamePro (though I do go to IGN), but I'm here whenever I can be

I love the community aspect and the fact that you both (and sometimes Shadow and "John") are active in the comments section.

I guess I would tend to favor a more strict adherence to journalistic rules within the articles themselves, in order to distinguish yourselves from the amateur blogger-types, but I'm not saying that anything needs to change.

Personal opinions are welcome in the op-ed pieces and in the comments section, of course, even a good, respectful argument.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/13/2010 5:51:17 PM

___________
___________
10 years ago

judging by the varying reviews of many games this past week i think it has certainly changed.
review scores use to be like a standard when a game came out it would get the same reviews, same score give or take a very small margin.
it was kind of set as standard that every reviewer had the same opinion on the game, or set that it was maybe even fact.
but than i point you to heavy rain and its scores, or even alien V predator, or even dantes inferno.
heavy rain has got quite a few 9s and some 10s even, but than also some 7s.
same with AVP game informer gave it a 6.5 for crying out loud, but than IGN, PSM3 and other sites have given it a 8.5+.
same with dantes inferno, some have given it a 7 and some have given it a 9.
im starting to believe reviewers have forgotten their job.
as you said ben you cant let your opinion come into play with what your writing, you cant let it change or effect what you say about the content.
its reviewers jobs to review a game for what it is, not what its not.
for example deducting points for not having co-op is ludicrous!
so is deducting points because "its not original, its the same as its predecessor"
like what OPM gave GOW3 a 9 deducting 1 point just because the combat feels like GOW2.
im sorry thats a bad thing?
thats like complaining my wife looks like a super model.

Naztycuts
Naztycuts
10 years ago

I liked the bit about the supermodel at the end

Milonakis
Milonakis
10 years ago

Gotta say, I like reading your articles Ben.

chucknasty
chucknasty
10 years ago

While I thoroughly enjoy this site I will say you throw out too many pieces that are 'hit bait' in the form of 'nudity in game X' or 'Is sex in game Y really what people want?' which is a real issue with all net based media (ads, page views, etc)
I am a huge fan of sex it gets a bit tiresome to see it beaten to death.

So as not to sound purely negative I will say while the 'usual suspects' appear in most comment threads they tend to have thoughtful, or at the very least, logically consistent views and opinions so that reading through the comment section doesn't feel like fan boy/troll central. There are people who I disagree with (vertigo for example) who seem like they are trolling but over time you learn that no, he really feels that way and isn't just rubbing you backward for a rise (and to since vertigo likes Ico all is forgiven).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Er…I think if you actually checked, the number of articles we do related in any way to sex or nudity is is way lower than most other places.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Sometimes sex in games is a really big deal though, it brings us gamers unwanted attention so it gets reported on by haters and defenders alike.

to_far_apart
to_far_apart
10 years ago

Unfortunately, there aren't many people who do not know how to have a healthy discussion/argument about certain subjects. Why many tend to avoid from the sticky subjects like politics, sexuality, and so on. Granted, there are many who know how to discuss civilly, but unfortunately, it's not to widespread.


Last edited by to_far_apart on 2/13/2010 2:39:20 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

As Ben says, PSXExtreme features far fewer articles that take a 'sex' angle on anything. It's quire refreshing because when an article does come along that mentiones 'sex' in some way, any discussion is at least rational.

telly
telly
10 years ago

The huge number of sex stories on Kotaku is my biggest gripe with that site and others. Enough already, you know? It just feels like they are pandering to the worst stereotype about gamers — that we're all sexually frustrated losers who need the Internet to give us the Sexy Time. I know I'm not the only one on here who can attest that is NOT the case!

Naztycuts
Naztycuts
10 years ago

I think the regulars come here because you do "cater to your audience" as you mentioned above in the Demon's Souls reference you know many of us here enjoy (J)RPG's so you do a few more articles on the games WE care about that other sites wouldn't appreciate (WKC) or they overlook entirely (Fret Hero)

I come here because if ps3 gets a crap port of a multiplat title you aren't afraid you'll start a flamewar by telling your readers. I also appreciate the well implemented ban feature it tends to keep the idiots at bay even though one slides in every now and then, they aren't around for long though.

I also like the fact you respond to our comments it adds a feeling of connection almost like we get to know everyone a respectable opinion at a time. It also adds a personal feel to it, it shows you actually care what people think of the articles/reviews/editorials you write and you have no problem defending where you stand when called in to question on a subject.

Thanks for having the only site worth visiting for reliable ps3 news I wouldn't have known about the Valentine's Day event for Demon's Souls if it hadnt been for you guys!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

That's what we want. That personal angle. REALLY hard to do that with cold, unemotional, boring articles, no matter what the rules of journalism may be.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

"Established institution" or not, journalism has to get with the times just like everything else. Gaming is entertainment. We can't have robots spewing out the gaming news, that'd be ridiculous! We need gamers who are journalists spewing out gaming news.

That's what makes this site so good. You're giving us the latest news, but your love of gaming shines through in what you write.

I first found this site through Google news. I quickly noticed that PSXE's articles were ALWAYS more intriguing and better written in comparison to the simple rote that so many sites fall back on. Then I read the reader comments here… laughed my ass off and haven't looked back ever since. You really do have the full package here. Don't let anyone tell you you're not leading journalism into the 21st century.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Ah, see, someone who actually READ what was here rather than looking at the name of the site and making snap assumptions.

Refreshing.

www
www
10 years ago

And I found this site through Gamerankings.

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

I discovered this website probably a year ago, and lets just say, I visit it everyday because you guys are honest. You guys take time to prove your case in reviews, instead of just knocking or praising a game with no explanation why. On top of that, most of your reviews match my intial and final verdict. The Heavy Rain review was honest to heart and that goes for all of the other reviews I have read as well. The news section always has some goodies in it that put a smile on my face. This is the ultimate site for PS3 gamers.

Anyway, keep up the hard work because I will always be paying attention. Oh yeah, well written article, I sometimes wish I could explain things on paper the way I actually felt inside like you guys can.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Thanks. We appreciate it. 🙂

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

Keywords:

Integrity
Community
Interpretation
Facts
Journalism

I think that you all here at PSXExtreme do a great job of balancing these things. You bring the quality of a journalist to the articles, you drive the direction of the coverage based on the community, you offer facts with interpretation, but you maintain the integrity of your journalism but making sure that your interpretations are clear and separate from the facts. You do not report your own opinions as fact, nor do you drive news stories off your own opinion pieces.

Now, there are gaming sites that do this, there are gaming sites that offer opinion dressed as fact, and there are gaming sites that have a very definite agenda that drives their opinions and coverage. When I see the kinds of 'news' that is put out by Destructaku or JoystIGN I am reminded of the Fox News Channel. They have less news coverage than they do opinion driven programming – by their own admission. They have used their opinion programming to create news about topics that their internal political agenda dictated should be news.

By comparison PSX is the equivalent of the BBC with a bit of CNNInternational thrown in for good measure. Generally very factual, some opinion, clearly labeled as opinion.

All I truly know is I can come here, read the articles and comments without wanting to flame the authors of the articles or the comments, and that is a rare find on the Internet. I found this site not sure how long ago, and not sure how, but I kept coming back because of the articles, they were fair and unbiased, and called a crap port a crap port. So, I stayed. I know that for every one person who says this in the thread there are possible 10 or 20 more who read and do not post. Keep up the good work.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 2/13/2010 4:07:51 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I'm glad you gave us some perspective on your views of other sites. To be perfectly honest, I don't read them very much and when I hunt for news, I skim the article to avoid any of their injected bias. I just want the facts and then I might offer a comment or two, but that's it.

So I really try to gloss over anything they're "doing" to the news. But obviously, you're not the only one who sees a lack of integrity on their side so it's clearly an issue for many.

Roach721
Roach721
10 years ago

Damn just look at the time, iv'e been reading for hours on end now. How time flies when your reading great articles with great bloggers. Thanks to everyone, especially the administrators on this site,its everyone that makes this site what it is. Now i need to go play some White Knight before going to bed.

P.S. Off topic,do you guys remember E.V.O for the NES the evolution game.Where you started out as the fish and you had to turn into a human they need to bring that game back to the new Gens. Sorry just a thought,that game was AWESOME…;)

Sonattine
Sonattine
10 years ago

Dear Ben,
if this question is difficult for you, maybe it is that you aren't acting as a journalist in these articles.
I receive two RSS feeds linked to video games. One is from Gamekult (a French website) that gives straightforward information and unforgiving reviews, and the other is this one. The first follows the reporting rule you give, namely to give no opinion.
As far as I'm concerned, by this definition, you are not a journalist for the very good reason that I read you because I value your opinion.
Video games is an industry, a business. But, as you often say yourself, it is also an art. It is in its infancy perhaps, teens more probably, not recognised at large as yet, but still an art form. The parallel with cinema (movies if you like) is obvious.
Therefore, you are not acting as a journalist, but as a critic of art.
As for the website's community, a website's fate is the same as any newspaper's of any kind: it lives or dies at the whim of its readers. Most newspapers are dying because they tend to stick to bare facts, facts that readers know the very day they come out, through the Internet. What makes a newspaper worthy of interest is the added value of in depth reporting and criticism. The same is true for smaller websites, such as this one.
As long as you keep up the added value, you will have the readers you deserve. And, judging by the quality of the comments, this site is deserving indeed.

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

Jawk in disguise?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

I suppose you're right. Perhaps it would be incorrect to say I'm a "journalist" in the strictest sense of the term. At the same time, we both believe that what I'm doing is effective and hardly a bad thing. 🙂

Sonattine
Sonattine
10 years ago

Indeed. On the contrary, it's excellent. You are a critic, in the most literary way. If we are to consider video games as art, we also need critics to enlighten the layman so that he may better experience the art in all its beauty.
And stay away from the trash of course !


Last edited by Sonattine on 2/13/2010 1:57:40 PM

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
10 years ago

…..friends? Do you mean it? (and this is when everyone quietly says yes,circles around and group hugs) 🙂


Last edited by Kowhoho on 2/13/2010 6:54:07 AM

kevyd09
kevyd09
10 years ago

when i first found this site it was for all the cheats and that was the only reason i came here for the 1st 6 months and i used to buy the gaming mags for all my news, then 1 day i noticed the features and discovered how informative this site was and all the rows that happened in the comments section and i havent looked back since!!

Shatterday
Shatterday
10 years ago

I'm a person that doesn't feel the need to comment on every single article I read on here, regardless of the topic at hand. I come here to read the ones that lure me in. I must admit that sometimes, all I do is read the title and I don't even bother to go in and read the piece. Ben, I'm pretty sure you hate that.

I have zero journalism experience, but I can defintiely see where you are coming from, Ben. The presence of the comments section is reason enough to inject a little opinion and criticism into your stories. If you didn't announce your position on the subject, how would we be as motivated to agree or disagree? The comments are basically an open dialogue for us all to communicate our opinions, praise others, and defend our points.

I think the atmosphere here, for me at least, is that you will post what you want. You'll give us trailers, other reviews, similiar articles; all of the reference materials we need. In short, you give us a lot of fact sprinkled with opinion. Just enough to build interest down here in the comments.

Personally I couldn't be happier… I'm on this site more frequently than any other, and I plan to stay for quite some time.

Ben, Arnold, John, and everyone else here at PSXE, thank you for helping me kill time in work or class, and for fueling the fire that is my need for gaming news.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Thanks much. And I don't mind if people don't read every article. It'd be impossible to write articles all the time that everybody wants to read so I hardly hold that against you.

But you respond to what we're trying to do, and that proves my point. We're plenty satisfied if readers participate the way you do.

JackC8
JackC8
10 years ago

When it comes to reviewing things, whether it be games, movies or music, there's always going to be a lot of opinion involved. It would be impossible to give something a rating without having an opinion. That's just expected. As long as there's a lot of information reported, allowing the reader to form their own opinions, there's nothing wrong with the reviewer giving their own thoughts on the subject as well. What I hate is reviews like I often see at other sites where opinion replaces information, as if the game is so good or so bad that no further information is needed – just trust the reviewer. They often venture so far into fanboy or hater territory that it really belongs in a blog rather than a "review". What I really like about this site is that even though my opinions aren't always going to match those of the reviewers, at least they've very honest.

When it comes to news stories, I see very little opinion injected into it here – the news is given, a bit of comment may be added, but I don't believe it distorts the facts in any way.

As far as journalism in general, my opinion is extremely low. Journalists LOVE to preach about how unbiased they are, like a freakin' politician making campaign promises. It's the easiest thing in the world to write a biased article without including any "personal opinions", you just report one side of the story and give short shrift to the other side. It's a whole lot less work that way too. Anyone who would argue that journalism in America lives up to any high moral standards is hopelessly naive.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

It's sad but mostly true. There was a time when this wasn't the case but as I said, the Internet and fast media in general has changed things drastically.

And of course reviews and other analysis has to include personal opinion; I was talking more about news. Actually, "reviewing" isn't really even journalism. It's editorializing or op-ed, which is different in my eyes.

Sonattine
Sonattine
10 years ago

I would like to point out that journalism in the American XIXth Century was the most biased ever seen. Even today's Internet is not that bad. The difference today is the quantity of information.
The problem today, as ever, is people selected the information they want to know. And that starts with me. I'm reading this site and these comments not because I agree with them, but because they agree with me.

FullmetalX10
FullmetalX10
10 years ago

I don't really remember when I discovered this site, a couple of months ago or so, anyways, I started off with just reading the articles and the comments, after a week or two those two things started pulling me in with good quality and my shared opinion.
Then one faithful day, I decided to make an account and become a member of this tight community, and so far it's all worked out fine. I'm still enjoying the articles as much, if not even more, as the first time I come across this site.
Good job guys.

P.S: I find the articles here very good, since they are a mix of facts and the writer's honest opinion on the game. If everyone only used the facts all articles would be the same, it's the writers opinion and the way he/she puts it down that defines the quality of the article. With that said, y'all are doin' great.

cyaz.
FullmetalX10

Qubex
Qubex
10 years ago

Ben, a great and intricate article about an important subject that can and does affect our purchasing decisions. What could be more important than that? Journalism that saves someone money, or advices on how to build an amazing video game collection.

A couple of points worth mentioning I think. Firstly, tis true that most journalists have to err on the side of caution when writing in that their personal opinions are not explicitly expressed of sorts… this can be very difficult to achieve though in reality. I see it often occurring on news reporting on T.V; especially BBC and CNN… depending on what side of the fence you are standing – political correctness comes to mind here – overwhelmingly so; however, the whole idea/concept of an "opinion" is a little subjective in that "opinions" about specific subjects one feels strongly about may not actually affect an individual at all, not sway them in the slightest…

I have strong feelings about certain subjects, be those about religion, politics, money etc. Whilst I read, and take into consideration a journalists points raised; because I see the world from my perspective "generic opinion" doesn't necessary sway me either way. Maybe journalists could actually be more opinionated, and maybe their "opinions" wouldn't necessarily influence people that much if those individuals have already made up their minds. On certain subjects though, I fully agree that individuals may be on the fence, their decision on doing something, or buying something (or what have you), could go either way depending on an "authoritative" opinion expressed.

"Authoratitive" opinions – the credible ones at least – can and are (most probably) influencial and have the power to change outcomes on mass… however I believe it is the individuals that decide this, whether they want to believe or not. I think most human beings who feel deeply about something (maybe due to a past experience – hurtful or otherwise) may not be swayed so easily, but it is understandable that journalism and media, with its wide spread penetration, is fantastically powerful and able to change the minds of large swathes of people…

…so as the adage goes, with "power comes great "responsibility"… it is quite a privileged position to be in 🙂

Q!

"The Wizard left Oz"


Last edited by Qubex on 2/13/2010 8:37:29 AM