Ethics in for-profit blogging

I don’t follow “games journalism,” largely because I already feel that I get marketed to enough. When I want to find out about videogames, I generally turn to Let’s Play videos. So I didn’t really pay too much attention to the flamewars and online mudslinging that characterised video game “journalism” last year.

And let’s be fair, a bunch of awkward, gangly nerd/hipster types blogging on the behalf of multinational corporations in order to fund their ironic t-shirt habit isn’t really what any sane or decent human being would call journalism, anyway.

But today I happened to come across what is probably the most pathetically craven piece of writing that I have ever seen. It was written by a man named “Brian Crecente.” Bizarrely, Mr. Crescent is actually a journalist, by which I mean he worked at a newspaper before becoming a paid blogger. I can only imagine that he grew tired of having to actually perform the barest hint of a useful service and left to seek fame and unwarranted self importance as a big shit on the internet. (Or is that supposed to be big shot? Nah, I’ll stick with the original)

The piece of writing to which I refer, (which can be found here), consists mostly of Comrade Crescent bemoaning the closure of stupidly-named vaguely videogame blog “Joystiq” (Who the hell came up with that name? I’d like to have them punched in their reproductive organs.). By itself, this wouldn’t be worthy of mention, because suckling on the anus of the industry is to be expected from most media these days, but what struck me, and what I considered worthy of mockery, was the massively overinflated sense of self-importance Craptain Crescent displayed on behalf of the industry.

He writes:

The death of a gaming news website is a terrible thing.
It weakens the video game industry. It weakens video game journalism in what are still important, formative times. It hurts gamers and, of course, those talented writers who write about games.

Now, I know something called a “gamer gate” happened recently. I can only assume that it was some kind of political scandal that ended up with the president of gaming having to resign. But what I do know is that it involved all sorts of gaming “journalists” basically writing lengthy articles in which they essentially told their customers at length about how awful they are. One would think that not shitting where you eat would be common knowledge, but perhaps, being hipsters, they were doing it “ironically.” They probably also contracted whatever disease one gets from eating shit covered food ironically, died in ironic pain, and this metaphor has gone on long enough and gotten quite too ironic silly. (Incidentally, I would never say anything bad about my audience. It’s been scientifically proven that people who visit The Laser Feet are more intelligent, more morally upright, taller, and far more sexually attractive than people who don’t.)

Anyway, I’m writing this to mock, and so mock I shall. I will mock Commander Curved-Shape’s whingeing from back to front, because the closest that the quoted bit of text comes to having a point is found, with no small dosage of irony, at its arse-end. Now, talented is debatable, but I’ll allow that the shuttering of their platforms does hurt the ability of the trend-parroting hipsteresque to earn their living.

The rest of the excerpt, though, is textual excrement of a most pungent form. In what way could the closing down of a single blogging site possibly “weaken the video game industry” – last time I checked, that industry was made up of people who… you know, make video games. Doubtless Little Lord Fontle-I’ve-Run-Out-Of-Names-For-This-Twat thinks that he and his ilk provide some kind of important service, but I’ve got some news for you, Brian – you exist to peddle the wares of your betters. And I am emphasising “better” here – you know, people who actually create games? Who make stuff? Not just vapidly talk about it? I guess those that can do, do, and those that can’t, write about it on the internet and develop delusions of personal value?

Now, it may just be that I’m a total feckin’ moron (but I’m not. I’m a total feckin’ genius instead), but I completely fail to see how anyone who makes videogames is at all in any way inconvenienced by the lack of existence of Yet Another Video Game Blog. As far as I can tell, if anything at all, it just means that the publishers can save a small amount of money by having to invite one less smug wastrel to the launch party of their Next Big Thing (which I’m sure will be Gunshooter 5: The Return of the Son of Gunshooter). Which makes the quoted whining even more laughable, since if anything, the video game industry only benefits from cutting a thin sliver of lard from the arse of its extended marketing arm.

And thankfully for said creators, there will never be a shortage of people willing to peddle product in exchange for being occasionally invited to conferences and allowed to scavange scraps of ad revenue from atop the marketing pieces they put out. Video game bloggers are quite possibly some of the most easily replacable people on earth. It’s not that I have a problem with critics per-se (assuming, of course, that they have the testicular fortitude to actually, you know, critique, and the mental capacity to realise that they are owed nothing for doing so, and that their value only lies in plying their craft with some degree of honesty), but the internet in general, and video game blogging in particular, seems to have given rise to exactly the kind of culture that spawns chaps like Crescente here.

It’s one thing to be a critic, and to earn your living off of reviewing things that other people have made. It’s one thing to be a reporter, and to broadcast news of events to other people. It’s quite another thing entirely to blog about games and suddenly think that you are some great arbiter of culture, pushing forward the boundaries of art and expression, and singlehandedly guarding a meek and impressionable consumer base from the machinations of a heartless capitalist enterprise. The former two are jobs. The latter is being a tosspot. Tosspots deserve mockery, so as to be shamed into improving their personalities.

But Sir Cressaunt has not yet even begun to inflate his own ego. Oh no. We’re going to blot out the sun with this fucker, just you watch.

The Curved Lad closes with the following:

Without a strong Joystiq, there never would have been a Kotaku, there certainly would never have been a Polygon.
Without those fantastic reporters and writers and the amazing editorial leadership, the blogging revolution may have never come to gaming.

The blogging revolution, everyone. Because spewing text onto the internet carries all the same kind of weight as, y’know, overthrowing a government. I have to wonder how Big Brian And The Crescents would handle himself in an actual revolution? Probably by soiling himself a lot and trying to hide from all the angry people with guns roaming around. Regardless, why has hyperbole become so commonplace today? Why can’t we just popularise something, instead of being the vanguard of a fucking revolution? I could theorise about this for ages, but I suspect its because people like C.R.S.C.N.T struggle to accept the fact that what they’re doing is, in the grand scheme of things, rather unimportant.

We’re all pissing about uselessly. At the very least, we could try to be entertaining about it. Nothing spoils the fun quicker than some sanctimonius prick going on at length about how important our vapid gum-flapping alledgedly is. Doubly so if said prick is a shape resembling a segment of a ring tapering to points at the ends.

I went on the Eye-Are-Sea and did stuff

So I spent some time hanging around on IRC. While there, I drew a few things sort of kinda upon request and/or inspiration.

“Firefluff” first asked me to draw “a conceptual representation of the number 27″

27

followed by something to depict the greatness of vodka

Vodka

Following that, “Shinaru_Sayuno” asked me to draw a picture of this famous chef guy getting his oil on

COOKING

Truth be told, I find the above image just a little bit terrifying.

Lastly, “Hina_Kagiyama” told us about how thier pokemon bracelet thing that they bought doesn’t actually fit

Hinand

I suggested that they should remove their hand in order to bypass the problem.

Drawing random requests was fun; I think I’ll do this again some time.

(Also, I don’t know if being shitfaced makes me a better artist, or a worse one)

Stepping out for a bit, and I may just die in a blizzard.

So, this blog is a thing now. A thing that exists.

It exists because I am a lazy bum who can’t draw nearly often enough to keep this site updated.
It exists because I am probably better at communicating through words than I am through draws.

But mostly, it exists because I’m going to use it as a platform to:

  • Talk self-indulgently about my own magnificent self.
  • Ruthlessly criticise and belittle people who make me angry.
  • Spew forth confounding conundrums set superficially in sesquipedalian loquaciousness so I may satisfy my urge to play at being a wordsmith.
  • Occasionally drop notes and thoughts that I may think are interesting and/or wonderful.
    • I am magnificent, after all.
  • Ruthlessly criticise and belittle the horrible little people who make me angry.
  • And whatever else I feel I need to do with it.

Hopefully, I can manage to be entertaining enough throughout it all that people feel it worthwhile to read my crap.
Otherwise, how am I going to pay my internet bills?
(Just kidding. This site doesn’t earn me a dime (Yet))

And if that fails, I’ll just post perl code. LOTS OF PERL CODE. REALLY UGLY PERL CODE. That’s always entertaining.

What do you expect? I just found out the other day I’m a descendant of some long-gone european noble family.
Figures – my only talents are being rich and publicly executing my enemies.

So let’s go for a walk…