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    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    RR Up-And-Coming Journalist of 2005


    When we thought up the categories for the RR Awards 2005, we had a go at guessing what/who would probably be nominated and voted for. When we came to this one, it made us pause. Then it made us ponder. Then it made us put serious thought into who could be possibly nominated as the most promising journalist of the last year.

    Not a single person came to mind.

    After the votes were counted, we didn’t find a single nomination for a promising, competent, or even mildly useful journalist. Several voters went so far as to specify that no-one should take the award.

    This, readers, is the games industry of the present and, probably, the future. Not a single new fucking writer has shown as much as a flicker of hope, not enough to get any of their colleagues or readers to nominate them at least. The people who’ll be writing the shit you pay for over the year to come have all either been named already in the Official Top 10 “Celebrity” Games Journalists, or are faceless, personality-free, anonymous, talentless cunts.

    Maybe Matt Martin had a point (one that was totally lost amongst him attacking the wrong people for the wrong reasons) in his fucking awful article about rekindling the passion in games journalism, or maybe all the decent writers just can’t be fucked with the shit pay offered to review games, or hate all the dodgy dealing.

    The journalistic framework surrounding an industry worth more than music and films is broken.

    That makes us sad, because it’s wrong. We're losing.

    10 comments:

    1. It would probably be useful to put receiving no votes into context. I got the impression from my award that I received quite possible a whole vote, and the lack of convincing nominations elsewhere would suggest that perhaps 0 votes isn't too indicative of a chilling silence.

      There are very many excellent writers working at the moment. "Up-And-Coming" is an awkward title, however. Most people don't know how long someone has been writing for, and hence are unable to tell if they count for the rather peculiar category.

      To suggest that there's no one noteworthy writing at the moment is plainly fallacious. From my own biascamp, obviously Kieron is relentlessly entertaining, Jim Rossignol is writing stupendous work, Tim Edwards is biting deeper than most with his fantastic reviews, Steve Williams is amazingly funny, Tom Bramwell produces astonishing volumes of superb copy, Tim Stone is a masterful wordsmith, Stu Campbell is a monster made of sentences, and I've gone out of my way to compliment Ross Atherton, Craig Pearson, Tom Francis, Ellie Gibson and Tony Ellis for excellent pieces of writing in the last year.

      And all the other people I've forgotten.

      It's disingenuous in the extreme to dismiss all these people, and many others, out of hand, because you're a bit cross about something you can't quite put your finger on.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Putting the "no votes" into context, it needs to be made clear that a lot of votes were submitted to us through e-mail or in person. Some categories received a lot more votes than others, but the only votes this category received were from people actively saying that no-one should win it.

      There are some good writers out there, but are doing a good job of staying hidden.

      It's noble (but obvious) suggesting a list of your PC Gamer and Eurogamer colleagues, but two of them are already on the Official Top 10 list, some of them are fairly interesting writers, and some are stupidly bland. If you genuinely think one of them deserved the award, you should have voted. A nomination for Bramwell would have been welcomed.

      ReplyDelete
    3. CheapSheep9:14 pm

      Hang on a minute. Did you come to the conclusion that are no new promising video game journalists in the universe by painstakingly checking each and every publication and website, by analysing each and every new writer's style and judging their potential to blossom into a fantastic writer given the time to get into their stride? Or is this just a misguided, angry rant with no real aim or purpose?

      Now, I sincerely doubt that I'm the best up-and-comer of 2005. Hell, I'd be shocked if I was the best new journalist within Future Publishing. It's even quite likely I'm not even the best new journalist on my magazine. Whatever. If someone doesn't like my writing style, that's cool; I'm an adult, I can take criticism. I welcome it, in fact; like any journalist writing for a new audience under a new-to-him house style, I find it very easy to pick apart and criticise my own work. You learn by doing, after all.

      But the problem is, how are you in any way qualified to say that every new writer in the business is a 'faceless, personality-free, anonymous, talentless cunt'? Now, that's quite something to say about a group of people trying to do their job, and one that it's very difficult not to take offense to.

      That you're unable to warm up to any single video game journalist's writing style in 2005 says more about you than the quality of the writing out there. On almost every magazine I've picked up - be it Future, Highbury, Imagine or whatever - there's at least one writer that has potential, or an engaging writing style. And if you don't like the writing style of, say, GamesMaster, maybe, just maybe, that's because you're not part of its target audience. A magazine written for kids isn't going to appeal to 35-year old virgins :(

      It must come as a shock to all those journalists that they're suddenly talentless cunts because they happen to write about video games. I myself am quite perturbed that my journalism degree, my two years as a sports journalist, my freelance articles in numerous national newspapers and my ongoing work as an I.T. writer has all gone out the window merely because I was stupid enough to take up a job writing about a subject I am passionate about.

      So my advice is to try and calm down, stop gritting your teeth in impotent anger and read some of the magazines out there afresh. If you're seriously unable to come up with any positives, any at all, then man oh man, you really DO need to get out of this industry.

      Kind Regards,

      Alex Dale

      (£10 says you aren't able to tell me what magazine I write for, without looking first. Well researched little awards ceremony, this!)

      ReplyDelete
    4. "Did you come to the conclusion that are no new promising video game journalists in the universe by painstakingly checking each and every publication and website"

      No, I counted the votes submitted by RR readers and friends.


      "That you're unable to warm up to any single video game journalist's writing style in 2005 says more about you than the quality of the writing out there"

      No, it says something about you: you've not read this site properly. I've given credit where it's due, especially in the Top 10.


      "I myself am quite perturbed that my journalism degree, my two years as a sports journalist, my freelance articles in numerous national newspapers and my ongoing work as an I.T. writer blah blah blah blah"

      You loved typing that, didn't you.


      "£10 says you aren't able to tell me what magazine I write for, without looking first"

      You're right, but that again says more about you then me. Even Google doesn't know who you are, and that reads even more mags than me.


      "Well researched little awards ceremony, this"

      They're the awards of the site's readers, not mine. I just give the commentary.

      There are mildly promising new writers out there, but the whole point is that nobody thinks they're good enough to vote for. Maybe they'll be the second coming in five years, but we'll see.

      ReplyDelete
    5. CheapSheep11:40 pm

      "You loved typing that, didn't you"

      Of course I did. That's half because I'm an attention whore, and half because my keyboard is so lovely and soft.

      "Even Google doesn't know who you are, and that reads even more mags than me"

      Aside from the fact that it does, Google has been more or less useless for the last 18 months anyway, ever since they started dicking around with the search results so certain sites will always come top. Now THAT, my friend, is corruption in the media.


      My point was, you called everyone writing in the industry that WASN'T in the top 10 'faceless, personality-free, anonymous, talentless cunts'. That's quite a blanket statement you made there. I made no reference as to why no-one voted. As John Walker suggested, there's probably less sinister reasons for that.


      Still, kudos for putting my comment up.

      ReplyDelete
    6. To Russia My Homeland10:05 am

      Dear Alex,

      Please could you post the title of the magazine(s) you write for? That way I'll know which title(s) to avoid next time I'm in Smiths..

      Many thanks

      To Russia, My Homeland

      ReplyDelete
    7. To Russia My Homeland3:50 pm

      Dear Alex (again),


      Could you also give us a picture of your good self; so that I might cuddle up to it in bed.


      Many, many thanks,


      To Russia, My Homeland

      ReplyDelete
    8. Please stop calling it games journalism. It's games WRITING. Which isn't worse or anything, just different.

      ReplyDelete
    9. Anonymous10:26 am

      i vote for steven bailey

      ReplyDelete
    10. Anonymous11:00 pm

      RR. Please make this stop. It's embarassing. Go away and moan about something worth getting this worked up about.Seriously. Please. I resent the fact I'm pseudo-validating this as I type. Really. Stop. Go and lock yourself in a room full of books and 2D games and let go. Snap the internet. Or something. Just never log on again, leave the house one hour earlier than usual, walk through the park, smell a flower, or go on holiday or something. This isn't ironic. It's real. You just need a rest. I don't think you're a bad man. But the internet will keep fighting for good journalism, basic human liberties and our right to download hideous corrupting pornography even if you get some fresh air for a life or so.

      Yours anonymously,

      Anonymous

      ReplyDelete