Since the launch of the 360, I've been a pretty keen follower of the gaming industry and like many people, I've had to rely on the gaming press to get all the information I need to know about one of my favourite hobbies. For the last four years I've been reading articles, listening to podcasts, keeping up with blogs and watching videos that involve the gaming press presenting me with information about games. What I've realised is that the vast majority of the gaming press is ignorant about the topic they talk and write about and this is extremely unprofessional.
Podcasts are one of the major offenders. I listen to podcats from several sites and even though I enjoy listening to the perspective of people that share my hobby and have a hand in the industry, nearly half the things they say are incorrect. I believe the ignorance comes from three things. Firstly, the press rarely ever research topics they don't know about and the majority of the time, it seems like they can live on in that ignorance, mainly because their audience or co-workers are rarely willing to correct them. Secondly, the members of the gaming press have preferences and that's fine, everyone does, but the problem is that when a topic of conversation starts about something they are biased against, they place that topic in a bad light and continue to hold this nevativity towards it. Thirdly, the press have taken these two faults and created a hivemind among their peers. On nearly every podcast I listen to or in nearly every article I read, it seems like they all share the same tastes in games, platforms, publishers and thoughts on specific topics in the industry.
It's annoying to read, watch and listen to, but the problem is when an audience is involved. The ignorant audience have no other outlet to give them the information they need to know about the industry and that's mainly because they are mostly satisfied with sticking to the site their on and belieiving everything the site says. The ignorance of the press is passed down to the audience and then this creates an army of stupidity that disrupts proper discussion of topics about the gaming industry. As an example, the audience of sites like Giant Bomb, IGN, Gamespy, Gamepro and Joystiq all believe that the PS3 'overstockz' and that every multiplatform game sells twice as much on the 360, the 360 has a fail rate of 50% and the Wii is a console for children.
The press are also extremely inconsistent. I know every article and review is written by a different writer, but unless your consistent with your message, people won't know what the hell is good or not. You cannot say that the story in MW2 is unimportant, but the story in Killzone 3 is vital to the experience and should be judged accordingly. You cannot say that Kirby's: Epic Yarn is too easy and then cry when you think Donkey Kong country is hard. You cannot whine about the lack of JRPGs but then ignore Yakuza 3, Lost Odyssey, Tales of Vesperia, Star Ocean 4, Atelier Rorona, Resonance of Fate and the ocean of titles on the handhelds. I could go on and on, but hopefully some of you will get the point.
When Garnett Lee on Shacknews says that the PS3 has no online games to play, he is wrong. When Jeff Gerstman on Giant Bomb says that Demons Soul's has horrible gameplay (despite never playing the game) he is wrong. When Jeff Kaneda says that the Wii didn't have any significant releases in 2010, he is wrong. When Will Tuttle of IGN says that the Japanese game industry has not given us any good games in the last five years, he is wrong. If you try and correct them, they get angry and snob you off, because we are just a bunch of kids that don't have a degree in communications.
I can only hope that people do the research for themselves, but I highly doubt they will and so I hope that gaming press can pull up their socks and pull through. I am grateful that everyone on this site seems to know everything about everything when it comes to gaming and I'm actually happy when I'm correctly corrected, instead of ignorantly called an idiot for correcting a 'games journalist'.
Bet with Conegamer and AussieGecko that the PS3 will have more exclusives in 2011 than the Wii or 360... or something.