: Editorial: What Is Gaming Journalism?

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Editorial: What Is Gaming Journalism?

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 bothsides. 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.

2/12/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (69 posts)

Crudii
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:05:46 PM
Reply

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!

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to_far_apart
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 2:24:40 AM

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!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:35:07 AM

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.

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BikerSaint
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:06:07 PM
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@ 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

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Qubex
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 8:14:44 AM

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

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frostface
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:09:01 PM
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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

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:40:51 PM

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

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SonnyD
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:30:43 PM
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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

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:42:10 PM
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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

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:35:38 PM

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

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Roach721
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:15:58 AM

Amen to that Ben.

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CH1N00K
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:45:01 PM
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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

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:40:00 PM

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

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Axe99
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 10:55:37 PM
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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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:38:42 PM

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).

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Gone
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:08:12 PM
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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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:36:36 PM

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.

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Fane1024
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 5:50:08 PM

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

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___________
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:13:19 PM
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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.

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Naztycuts
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 12:57:10 AM

I liked the bit about the supermodel at the end

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Milonakis
Friday, February 12, 2010 @ 11:23:13 PM
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Gotta say, I like reading your articles Ben.

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chucknasty
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 12:30:41 AM
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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).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:06:08 AM

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.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:42:13 AM

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.

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to_far_apart
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 2:38:53 AM

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

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Highlander
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 3:49:32 AM

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.

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telly
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:40:58 PM

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!

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Naztycuts
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 12:54:21 AM
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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!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:46:58 AM

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.

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Alienange
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:22:54 AM
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"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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:45:51 AM

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

Refreshing.

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www
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:01:52 PM

And I found this site through Gamerankings.

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FM23
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:29:43 AM
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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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:45:08 AM

Thanks. We appreciate it. :)

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Highlander
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:04:08 AM
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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 Highlander on 2/13/2010 4:07:51 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:44:33 AM

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.

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Roach721
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:29:19 AM
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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...;)

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Sonattine
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:52:22 AM
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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.

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Kowhoho
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 7:02:30 AM

Jawk in disguise?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:42:22 AM

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. :)

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Sonattine
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:55:43 PM

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

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Kowhoho
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 6:47:43 AM
Reply

.....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

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kevyd09
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 6:54:54 AM
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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!!

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Shatterday
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 7:48:31 AM
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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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:40:41 AM

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.

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JackC8
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 7:57:43 AM
Reply

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.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:39:18 AM

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.

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Sonattine
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 3:20:56 PM

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.

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FullmetalX10
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 8:20:52 AM
Reply

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

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Qubex
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 8:30:27 AM
Reply

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

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:37:12 AM

Well, that's the thing. We're convinced our readers have a brain, that they can think for themselves and won't easily be swayed or influenced by a simple little personal comment we toss into a news story. People aren't stupid. They can discriminate.

So, we just give them what they want with the interactive, personal, community feel. :)

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Qubex
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 11:39:32 AM

Right on the button Ben :)

The difference here is the way you balance your reviews are expertly done.

You don't impose, you inform... but you inform really really well... credible advice that makes sense, that helps an individual make the decision that is probably the correct one for them...

This is what makes PSXeXtreme great for me... the entire team. Of course personal preference and opinion will be stated; it is how debate is stimulated... but what is interested is how you explain why your opinion is so, or why you feel a certain way... its credible and its real... and I think that is what people want... the honesty xFactor :)

Q!

"The Wizard left Oz"

Last edited by Qubex on 2/13/2010 11:40:01 AM

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mackid1993
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 10:28:03 AM
Reply

Great article Ben, but the Anti Israel bias in some on the NYT's articles and editorials disgusts me. :( HonestReporting.com is a great site so see things like this in major publications like the BBC and CNN. Sorry to bring politics into this.

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JPBooch
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 11:20:29 AM
Reply

If it were only as simple as "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."

Journalism has and always will shape how the masses think. Pawning off as just relaying facts but in reality it's not how you report it's what you report. No news is unbiased and only a fraction actually report on both sides of a story. And yet deeper still, it's someone deciding what is actually news worthy.

I rarely watch the news or read newspapers even though I get daily service of our local newspaper delivered. (mainly to support them for their excellent Yankees blog) I stopped at a very young age when I realized that barring real world changing events, they have their own agendas and report either gloom and doom or some BS that I'm supposed to feel compassionate about.

I check this site for whatever news about gaming and the opinions of the authors. The opinions I may or may not agree with, but at least I know where you are coming from.

If gaming journalism is looked at as the bastard child of "real" journalism I can only scoff and say that at least gaming journalists don't hide behind an ideology that is nothing but a facade.

Walter Cronkite is dead.


Last edited by JPBooch on 2/13/2010 11:24:17 AM

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Fane1024
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 6:21:10 PM

I'm not disagreeing, but even the idea that a story has "both" sides is a sign of the inherent bias in the process. There are many perspectives on any news story; far too often, an attempt at "balance" is merely allowing party mouth-pieces a chance to spout propaganda.

p.s. 2969 trophies! Holy ****!
p.p.s. Yankees suck! ;)

Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/13/2010 6:24:49 PM

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Razgriz916
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 1:57:54 PM
Reply

I have much love towards this site and its community. Not only are the material and topics very enjoyable to read, but also the community of readers(like me :D)/ commentators are very modest and intelligent than of any of other 'gaming news site' that I've visited. Much love, Hope this site never changes.

Oh and to Ben and Arnold, keep doing what you two do!(oh geez, awkward sentence) ^^'

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NoSmokingBandit
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 3:13:42 PM
Reply

I was thinking of something witty to enter, but i realized its all been said already.

Ben (and Arnold, if you are reading this), you are one hell of a journalist. Theres a reason members here tend to be more rational and educated than the rest of the internet. Its great to see a writer with the integrity to keep his opinion out of way but with the intelligence to relay his opinion when appropriate without cramming it down our throats.

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www
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 3:58:57 PM
Reply

Well one thing, just ONE thing I love about PSXE is that, it turns little boys to men, no stupidity around here.

Oh yes and how the comments are arranged neatly, a reply comes under a comment like a sub-menu, everybody's avatar is displayed cleanly. I visit other sites and I can't tell who's replying to who and which comment is first or last.

Hey I know this not a 'what do you like about PSXE?' article but please allow me :)

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telly
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 4:44:35 PM
Reply

Ah, the rapidly changing world of journalism. Until about a year ago I was a reporter myself, most recently covering the U.S. Senate for a pretty big Washington, DC publication. A lot of reasons led me out of the field, and I think I would only go back FOR games journalism. So yeah, this is a topic I have some strong feelings about. It's an interesting debate, but for now I'll just say that the beauty of the Internet is that I can go to PSX every morning, and then check gamespot, and then check ign, and on and on and on. I love what this site offers, but thankfully Ben and Co. don't insist we all get into an exclusive relationship with one another ;)

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I C E_COLD
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 5:11:39 PM
Reply

That's cool Ben , I vist every gaming website you name it I've bine ther ,your journalism is what keeps me coming and it's always updated , I some how feel part of this place you know, I come here not just for the news but for the comments as well , so yeah man keep it up , ther is no web site out ther that feels like this, thank you guys for your hard work man it's appriciated.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 7:14:58 PM
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I don't know much about journalism and rules. But I've learned in my time that journalism definitely shapes public opinion. And I believe that those who report the news should uphold truth because it's right. It bothers me when I read or hear about media networks that ignore, or skip, news stories to pander to specific interest groups etc. Whether news content is distributed via internet or paper, truth needs to be upheld. Of course there's reporting on the news, and editorials that offer opinions etc. but, regardless of format, truth needs to be sought out. I'm bothered by heavily biased sites, such as Kotaku, who insert their moronic, child-like biases. Not to mention all of their sex-based stories that are irritating and out of place. I've rambled on a bit, but I believe I've conveyed my point.

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SixSpeedKing
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 2:06:44 PM
Reply

This is exactly the reason I love this site so much. You provide facts but at the same time provide a bit of, shall I say opinion, on the topic being presented. Every article I read here is always intersting. I love reading every word. Also I as you said it is a community and I love reading the comments of all the other people who take time to post their thoughts and feelings, making it feel even more personal. I don't post comments very often but I still feel welcome among all the other people who post here. That is just how I feel and that is why this will always be my #1 place for anything gaming industry related.

Keep doing all the things you do, how you currently do them, and I will keep coming back knowing this is a place I can count on for great articles, reviews etc.

Thank you guys for everything you do here.
Keep it coming! :)

Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 2/14/2010 2:07:56 PM

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Cavan
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 6:27:03 PM
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i actually came to this website over 3 years ago because i was viewing comments on gamepsot and an xbox fanboys arguement was that the ps3 sucked because a ps3 only site (psxextreme)was saying a bunch of ps3 ports sucked. so i went to the site to check it out as i assumed it would be a fanboy site, to my amazement it wasnt, it was just a down to earth honest site, tho to be fair the comment section used to be alot smaller back in those years lol and now i only ever come here for all my gaming needs.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 7:26:52 PM
Reply

I'm certainly glad the readers understand exactly what we do and why we do it. Of course, you're here...so it's not surprising. ;) But thanks, anyway. We'll just keep doing what we're doing.

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maxpontiac
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 8:12:05 PM

By all means Ben, please do.

I always feel I am getting a straight line with you and others here, and not some rhetoric that is simply designed to bring people here (IE - N4G material).

It's all about genuine honesty. Plus, whether I agree with it or not, I respect it. Because of that, it's the only game site on my PS3 web browser.

Plus, as I read a poster above write, the community here is alive and well, and I actually read nearly every comment after I read the article.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 2/14/2010 8:13:43 PM

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Jed
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 10:38:02 PM
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Most of what we see in terms of videogame news does not deserve the title "gaming journalism".
A lot of the stuff we see is just fanboy garbage. 99.9% of the blogs out there are pure crap, which is damaging to gaming journalism as a whole. However, it does let sites like PSXE shine like a diamond in the rough.

I do enjoy reading some of the current magazines which are respectful publications, but magazines are always a month late and usually have sub-par websites that are jam packed with fanboys frothing at the mouth.

PSXE has all the great articles that you would find in any of the magazines, gives some of the most in depth reviews around, and somehow maintains the healthiest and most civil online community out there.

So, while gaming journalism as a whole is held down by fanboys and wanna be bloggers out there, I think this site is the perfect example of what it should be.




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Robochic
Sunday, February 14, 2010 @ 10:56:25 PM
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I googled "Gaming websites" and it was the first one I found decide to see what it was like and I haven't left since,love this website, love the community, love the reviews,previews ect... U all have saved me alot of money since I started reading and being part of the community i stoped buying the gaming mags. I love this website so much I stopped logging on to the GAP, i would rather be here instead.

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kraygen
Monday, February 15, 2010 @ 7:59:23 AM
Reply

Personally i think that the idea of and "journalist" from anywhere calling what you do bad, or a disgrace to journalism or whatever is ridiculous. All news is controlled by someone, even if the article itself is unbiased the news that is chosen to be printed is in itself a bias. Multiple stories are brought forth every day and by printing one and rejecting another they are being biased. Reporting on problems in Afghanistan and not reporting problems in Russia or anywhere else is being biased.

I say what you guys do is just don't lie to us about it. You give us your opinions right out in the open, while most journalism is presented as if they are giving us the whole story while in truth they are not.

I'd say your typical newspaper type journalism is just history that is happening now, and as we all know, history is always written by the winners. =)

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just2skillf00l
Monday, February 15, 2010 @ 2:59:29 PM
Reply

I feel like I have a connection with this site. I stumbled upon this site looking for a review for a certain game (for the life of me I can't remember it now). After reading multiple reviews from other sites I thought this would just add to a flat-lining statistic, it turns out I was in for quite the surprise. This site's review was much more honest, and the writer of the review (that would be Ben) seemed to have a deeper and more resonating analysis of the game than the writers of the many other sites.

But I didn't join just yet, I scrolled down the page to read the comments and I LMAO and also felt like this community was The One that I felt I could relate with the most. For the most part, this is an easy-going community with a die-hard love for gaming. A fun community that also respects intelligence and well thought out opinions. This site keeps me going back because of the thoughtful articles, the honest reviews, and the ability to connect with a community that shares a loved hobby. I'm glad to be a member of this site!

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