Given the focus at the moment on gaming journalism and what it shouldn’t be doing, I thought it might be fun to look for some great examples of what good gaming journalism can be.
I’m kicking off with a couple of articles that told me a lot about the games they cover and also were (I thought) wildly entertaining reads.
- Bastard of the Old Republic – John Walker takes on Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). KOTOR was innovative in that you could play it all the way through picking either light side or dark side options. In this play through, John tries out the evil route and hilarity ensues. (The game is still great by the way, it comes up in Steam sales for 99p every so often.)
- The Life and Death of Skyrim’s Lydia – John Walker (again) talks about Skyrim.
- The Saga of Boatmurdered – this is a playthrough of Dwarf Fortress that has become semi-legendary. It has to be read. Not sure if we’re counting this as journalism but worth a shot.
- A rape in cyberspace – A very classic article by Julian Dibbell about roleplaying in LambdaMOO (think a prototype MUD/MUSH type text based game) back in 1998.
- Richard Bartle writes about Stranglethorn Vale in WoW
- ‘City of Heroes’ character ‘Twixt’ becomes game’s most hated outcast courtesy of Loyola professor — Ramon Antonio Vargas writes in NOLA about a media professorwho trolled CoH, ostensibly for research (would have loved to see THAT submission to the ethics committee). I like this one partly because it’s a non gaming journalist covering a gaming story and doing it well.
- PlanetFargo: Kill the Dude with the Thing — Thanks arb for nominating this legendary piece by Dave Kosak about PvP in Warhammer Online.
- Ten Unmissable Examples of New Game Journalism — thanks Jeromai for inspiring the search that found this article, dating from 2005. Some great stuff here.
- The Contemptible Games Journalist: Why So Many People Don’t Trust The Gaming Press (And Why They’re Sometimes Wrong) – by Stephen Totilo in 2012. (Sadly this discussion on ethics in gaming journalism didn’t involve the chance to take pot shots at some women so instead of inspiring an entire movement, people mostly said, “Good points, well made.”)
OK, over to you all. Any recommendations for articles that really stayed with you as good examples of what you like to read in gaming journalism?
http://www.gamespy.com/pc/warhammer-online/913667p1.html (hahaha, only joking, but it’s memorable!)
I’d nominate “Crash” magazine, far and away the best of the UK gaming magazines of the 1980s. The editors clearly took as their model the sharp, witty, uncondescending, culturally literate “Smash Hits”, which was a very high benchmark to aim for and one which they pretty much managed to hit, most issues.
There’s an online archive : http://www.crashonline.org.uk/
I do think that the overall expectations and therefore the standards were higher when print was the norm, although it’s fair to say that there was an awful lot of mediocre and poor shelf-filler turned out back then.
“Bow, Nigger” is a classic.
I’m rather partial to the Rock, Paper, Shotgun coverage of Neptune’s Pride and Solium Infernum. Also, pretty much anything by Kieron Gillen had excellen chances of being good to great.
Missing a “t” in excellent, dangit.
Oo, when I was searching for the first one, I found an old Guardian article that lists a few of their fave articles. Will add that to the list, thanks.
I would have pointed to several articles from the late lamented Righteous Orbs, but their links have long faded into dust.
Oh Tam is an awesome writer. Whatever else he is doing, I hope he’s still writing.
I sure hope so.
It would be nice if a few of the old crew, such as Tam or Larisa, would stop in and say hello.