Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

EGM’s First Ever Successful Magazine Release
A Colossal Breakthrough For Video Game News

It is absolutely unprecedented. I have long been a reader of many types of gaming magazines, but for the first time ever I was actually enthralled by the content of one. The gaming media has long been the red headed step-child of actual news media sources, and for good reason. They have lagged far far behind their “real news” journalist brethren. But for the first time ever, I picked up and read a gaming magazine and actually read every sentence of every paragraph of most of their news stories.

The most exciting recent event to happen in gaming news news (not a typo) was when then editor of EGM, Dan Hsu had a little Q&A with then Microsoft 360 executive Peter Moore. The questions he asked were borderline inflammatory given the garbage most game reporters have asked in the past, but more importantly, the questions were poignant and freaking relevant. I was excited by the interview and was hoping to see a turn around in the gaming news industry. Of course the answers to the questions were less interesting than the questions themselves and unfortunately no one picked up the torch that Hsu had lit.

One and a half years later, the latest issue of EGM has finally taken game news reporting to a new level. The September issue (#32) goes in depth into the roots of our gaming history and they have several interviews with classic Japanese game maker icons. They discuss the rise and stagnation of the Japanese video game market, and really analyze what the problems could be in Japanese game development. It’s a thing of beauty really, and it’s what I’ve been hoping to see come from all of our video game news sources.

I suppose this makes EGM the New Yorker of gaming magazines, but whether or not it’s going to continue to give us this sort of content remains to be seen. I would like to see some more hard hitting questions from their reporters, particularly directed at Sony and Microsoft executives, but I suppose not everyone has Dan Hsu sized balls. On another note, I miss the Hustler of gaming magazines… PCXL… (sigh)…

On the other hand, with Hsu out of the picture, EGM’s new editor-in-chief James Mielke seems to have taken the whole magazine into a very positive direction for themselves and the game industry as a whole. Will other magazines follow suit? Probably not… To do what EGM has done requires journalists to actually go out and talk to people (you know, like they’re supposed to) and the game news media is notoriously fucking lazy (and often pathetic with even simple to find knowledge).

I would like to see this taken even further though. Hsu’s hard hitting interview may have gotten him critically chewed out by fans and haters alike, but it’s something that is still missing from video game journalism. Perhaps the sad truth is that the gaming magazines are all but slaves to the advertiser’s dollars, but I hope that’s not the case and we’ll soon see another gamer journalist take some real questions to their next interview with a Sony or Microsoft executive.

So, kudos to you EGM folks. If this trend continues I may continue my subscription (although I’m still annoyed about you tricking me into subscribing for an extra year). For anyone out there lamenting the state of video game journalism, take a look at this issue and let me know if you too are pleasantly surprised.

posted by CommanderHate at 10:54 pm  

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