Of course, this invitation will inevitably fall on deaf ears. But that isn't the point.

The point is to simply stand up and make the offer. Gamers can complain until they're blue in the face; unless we're given the opportunity to rebut in a mainstream arena, we will remain the unjustly accused.

Former Grand Theft Auto producer Jeremy Pope is on the record saying that gaming doesn't have a legitimate ambassador. Sadly, that is true. But is this because we don't have leading industry journalists who are willing to intelligently defend video games in a public forum? Or is it because the mainstream media has absolutely no intention of giving this industry a voice?

As is the case with most things in life, there's no clear-cut answer. Undoubtedly, we often hear one-sided reports concerning video games. This has been happening for decades and to date, I don't recall seeing an official rebuttal from a game journalist or developer. At least, not when it comes to mainstream sources. On the other hand, I'm not sure any industry insider has been all that anxious to come to the forefront; perhaps because he or she has no interest in shouldering the load.

That's perfectly understandable. However, in light of Katie Couric's recent admission that her "Are Video Games Ruining Your Life?" feature was indeed one-sided, we at PSXE see an opening. It's unfortunate that Bungie and the ESA neglected to participate (another example of industry representatives refusing to stand up), but we'll offer our services. Paltry though they may be in comparison to larger sources and more recognizable names, it's important to extend this open invitation to Couric and in fact, all members of the mainstream press. Couric used one of my Tweets in her Friday Follow-Up and I'm willing to take another step.

I'll talk. I'll answer the most difficult questions you can throw at me. As a 13-year veteran of gaming journalism, perhaps my two cents will shed some light on that which you only presume to know. My psychology degree might be useful as well. I have no intention of being hostile or bitter, nor do I wish to put yet another black mark on this industry by acting like a child. In short, I'll throw myself to the wolves for the sake of mass enlightenment. …all right, in and of itself, that's overly dramatic. But you get the point.

I'm waiting. Chances are, I'll be waiting a very long time. But at least the invitation has been made.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

Everyone, even the most terribly harmful industries, have spokespeople. I think it's high time gaming at one or more too, and where better than from the (not insane) gaming journalists?

I too am Spartacus.

Corvo
Corvo
7 years ago

I don't agree with somethings about you Ben, but if video games were to have its own spokes person i would vote for you. I like dealing with stupid people, its why i enjoy playing online games. Hate/rage mail is just a delight. But i don't think i could deal with these kinds of people.

The ones who stir or create problems where there isn't one just to avoid the much more real issue. Guns are easy to get in the US. So of course everyone would turn their gaze to anything just to avert from that. Video games of course is that scape goat. Anyway, good post Ben.

MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
7 years ago

This is out of the conversation but what ever happened to that Xbox website that was dedicated to Microsofts systems just like PSX is to Sony. This was many years ago and I want to make sure I wasn't dreaming or drunk lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

Abandoned due to lack of interest, (insert joke about Xbox here).

MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
7 years ago

I thought so. ūüėČ

556pineapple
556pineapple
7 years ago

Whether or not this offer is accepted, or even heard, by Katie, it's nice to see someone taking a stand on the matter in our defense.

Dukemz_UK
Dukemz_UK
7 years ago

I hope they reply to your invitation.

Kryten1029a
Kryten1029a
7 years ago

It's wasn't that Bungie and the ESA wouldn't stand up, it was a matter of them picking their battles. They knew that they'd never get a fair hearing from Katie Couric and just decided not to waste their time. I can't say that I blame them! How many times did she say "violent videogames" just in the clip that you linked to.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
7 years ago

That's just a lame excuse. It's easy to say, "oh, they won't listen so I won't bother."

Kryten1029a
Kryten1029a
7 years ago

If she were willing to devote an hour to a panel discussion between critics and advocates of games then it would well worth doing and I'd welcome it. Otherwise, you end up with a repeat of Geoff Keighley and Cooper Lawrence discussing Mass Effect on Fox News. Keighley was calm and reasonable but that day it didn't make a difference. Ms.Lawrence did eventually apologize but it took gamers review bombing her book on Amazon to make it happen.
We need to have the debate, but it has to be based on goodwill and a willingness to listen on both sides. If you don't have that, then it does no good to engage with them. You may feel that it's a lame excuse but I'd argue that a commentator who would run a segment called "Are videogames ruining your life?" won't give you a fair hearing.

Beamboom
Beamboom
7 years ago

Gaming needs a spokesperson, but that person should not come from the press. The press should always stay objective and independent.

A spokesperson should come from an organization established by, and sponsored by, the industry itself.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

An ambassador functions best when responding objectively and with facts when faced with scrutiny though.

Beamboom
Beamboom
7 years ago

Yes of course, but that's communication strategy. He's there to represent an industry and everyone knows that.

Kryten1029a
Kryten1029a
7 years ago

This spokesperson could be a developer, a games journalist or just an outsider with a knowledge of and appreciation for the medium. All that really matters is that they can communicate their points with conviction. World has volunteered his services in the past and Ben would serve well in that regard as well.

Beamboom
Beamboom
7 years ago

That could be their background, yes Kryten. But this spokesperson had to be hired and profiled by a "gaming industry consortium" to do that job.

You can't just go like, "hey everyone, I'm Joe from Eurogamer and I am representing the entire industry".
Every single gaming site on the planet got writers who'd *love* to answer questions from the mainstream press any day of the week.

But just like the writers in the gaming press hardly ever bother doing much research before they write their pieces, neither will the mainstream writers (I hesitate with calling this "journalism") bother doing research amongst people in the gaming press for something as insignificant as games. It's just how it works.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/23/2013 12:55:03 AM

wackazoa
wackazoa
7 years ago

You could be our Black Knight !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690

ricksterj
ricksterj
7 years ago

Here's how this is going to go. <mainstream press to gaming> "Oh WOW that's nice" (pats gaming's head patronizingly/condescendingly/insultingly like a dog) smiles then turns its back and walks away. Bottom line "for show" lip service and then squat.

terry1707
terry1707
7 years ago

Anyone else think of Jane McGonigal? Reality is Broken was a great tome of positive gaming examples (even if as a gamer I still found much of it excessively cheesy). She seems like a good candidate for this type of role (maybe Couric would at least respect her TED credentials). It's worth noting that McGonigal spends a good deal of time talking effusively about Halo, a game I would expect Couric to label as violent.

I don't read this site as often as most seem to, but I do enjoy your writing, Ben. I think you could do a great job articulating the positive value gaming can offer. It can't hurt to have more intelligent people offering to play this role, even if it goes largely ignored.