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    Friday, November 25, 2005

    Campbell Defends Games Journalism

    After our response to Matt Martin’s hopelessly misjudged article harping on about how “lucky” games journalists are was printed in MCV last week, it was brought to the attention of the nation’s official top games journalist. He was just as outraged as we were by the article, and his excellent response has been printed in this week’s issue.

    The god of games journalism shared our sentiments when it came to what journalists are meant to do, namely report the truth without being swayed by PR perks/bribery. The response is also somehow even more venomous than our own. Here are some extracts:

    “You’re not a “games journalist”, Matt, nor any other kind of journalist. If you need something to put under “Occupation” on your passport next time you’re off on some freebie junket, call yourself what you are. You’re a PR Auxiliary, or maybe a Marketing Assistant, perhaps a Junior Advertising Executive. You’re not in the business of investigation and communication, which is what journalists do. You’re a salesman. Actually, not even that.

    You’re in a job and you have a duty to do it properly, and that means ignoring all the free holidays and shiny presents you’ve been given by companies whose only purpose in doing so is to try to distort your coverage in their favour. (If they just wanted you to see the game, after all, they could send you a disc in the post.)

    There are a few people working in video games who do still practice real journalism. It’s quite offensive and arrogant for you to debase their work by pretending your airheaded cheerleading puts you in the same line of business… don’t get ideas above your station, eh?” for the whole thing.

    That Stuart can lay down his views in such an entertaining and overtly insulting way is exactly why this site considers him to be the nation’s number one journo, and he wasn’t even hiding behind anonymity like we do (although he probably got his £25). We feel obliged to acknowledge MCV for having the guts to print two scathing rebukes of Matt Martin two issues running, though, and would like to see what Mr. Martin has to say.

    Stuart – we’re returning the compliment with interest when we say that was superb. The RAM Raider salutes you.


    1. Anonymous2:35 pm

      Ultimately, the problem does not lie with Matt Martin though, but the witless editor or publisher that allowed the original comments to be published in the first place.

      They obviously felt that whatever he was saying was worth putting into print. In effect, they rubber stamped it, or it wouldn't have got onto the final pages.

      Now they are letting him take a public kickingwhile they hide, sniggering behind monitors. Hmm, very interesting tactic. And indeed another reason why those that work on trade papers are generally little more than self-impressed and over paid Press Release regurgitators.

    2. Anonymous6:01 pm

      I'd say you've missed the point entirely. All publications should strive to provoke debate, especially a trade mag. And when debate is provoked said publication should have the balls to print the backlash.

      To be honest it doesn't matter if Matt was right or wrong, it was an opinion piece. What was good is that it was printed, it's provoked this debate and MCV have had the decency and courage to print not one but two fairly fierce responses.
      Julie Burchill was/is one of the country's best columnists, not because she was right, or wrong, but because when you opened the paper the next week there were always letters from people praising her or slagging her off. Which in turn would bring in to question the whole debate, as opposed to pretending that there's such a thing as objective right/wrong. A concept most people grew out of the same time as they ditched being a goth.

      Ironically, for someone who purports to be an expert on magazine media, you don't seem to have a clue as to why they should exist.

    3. Anonymous8:40 pm

      That would be an excellent point if only MCV wasn't so mindnumbingly bland all the rest of the time.

    4. Anonymous9:36 am

      There is nothing clever about provoking debate. It's the easiest thing in the world to do and it's lazy. Let me show you...
      Just for starters you could A) Insult 30% of your readership (as in this case), thus 'provoking them to write. Takes very little thought, effort or imagination.
      or B) Take an accepted popular opinion held by your readership and write something advocating a completely opposite line of thinking.
      There you go, two of the most basic ways to do it. Both guaranteed to 'provoke debate'. And, if you think that that is what magazine media is all about, then you have an awful lot to learn.
      (Oh, and that line last line is method C).

    5. Anonymous10:24 am

      Interesting that you mention Julie Burchill because I’m sure Stuart Campbell models himself on her with his knee-jerk rantings.

      You simply cannot trust the man’s judgement. Let’s consider just two of his recent proclamations:

      Stuart on England’s final test in the recent Ashes series:
      “What we're saying is that cricket is a really shit sport, because it's just been (and is often) won by the equivalent of a team taking the ball to the corner flag and timewasting, but for five days instead of the last five minutes”.

      Stuart on Sony’s Bravia advert (a widely-acclaimed piece of film in which, famously, thousands of real rubber balls are launched down San Francisco streets):
      “Some shots of a hilly street in what appears to be San Francisco with a few thousand unconvincing-CGI dayglo rubber balls bouncing down it, while sullying one of the more lovely music tracks of the year with corporate whoredom in the name of one of the evillest tech companies around. Nice concept, but so fake-looking that it ruins the idea”.

      And this is your hero? Fools.

    6. Anonymous4:05 pm

      Fucking hell, you must love Stuart to be THAT obsessed with with whatever he has to say.

      Do you realise that there is more to life than stalking Stuart Campbell on the internet and then whining about him?

      I recommend you go down the pub and make yourself some mates.Get yourself a life as it were. But above all, turn the internet off, it is turning you into a self important net cock. O.K.?

    7. Anonymous10:37 pm

      He's got a point about that Sony ad'. I'm sure a lot of the balls are actually CGI.

    8. Anonymous12:02 am


    9. Wogan1:36 pm

      The advert's website has a behind the scenes section that shows them releasing all the balls.

    10. Anonymous12:06 pm

      He has a good point about the cricket, though. and im a cricket fan.