How not to be a cutting-edge games journalist

Is there anything new to be said about “the state of games journalism”? Not here. It’s yet another reflective “hmm” piece with no real insight, other than…well, what any blogger with no direct access would say. It’s a forum post with bigger words, but it’s not actually critical or helpful in any way.

One of the things listed as a sign of print magazines struggling is Edge launching a website. Well, that’s not true; it was more a rebranding an existing one, Next-Gen.biz, which was named for the US print magazine Next Generation, which was the American version of – you got it – Edge. So in a very roundabout way, Edge was simply reasserting its own strong brand. That may or may not have a positive impact on the print product, but it certainly has no negative impact on its print product, if you use logic, which the internet often does not.

What’s more, the irony is that the site that posted this article, which talks about how online sites are changing the face of journalism, a) seems to primarily repurpose press releases about games being announced, going gold, or going on sale, with the occasional regurgitation of original work done by other websites, and b) does not allow users to make comments on its articles, nor does it embed email links to the authors, which are both staples of the new medium. I was going to post my opinions on the article in the comments under the feature, but I couldn’t. Hell, if I don’t want a two-way street, I’ll stick with print.

The last paragraph is unintentionally funny – suddenly it becomes an “I told you so, you creaky old print mags” as if someone had challenged the author or told them they were wrong about the online movement. Certainly nobody from the print world challenged the author; nobody from the land of print was interviewed. But the author did listen to Sid Shuman on a podcast. Also…the most modern game you can cite that people want to express opinions about is Final Fantasy VII? Really?

There are some online sites doing cutting-edge work – but this is a good indication that simply being online doesn’t make you cutting edge.