Corruption needs to be exposed
I may not have told or mentioned this before, but I have worked within the video game industry since 2005, and since then have worked with everything from selling games, reviewing games, PR, ads to interviews and making gameplay videos. So during that time period, I have seen, heard and experienced quite a lot. Not everything has been of bad or “unpleasant” nature of course (or else I wouldn´t still be around), but I would lie through my teeth if I said that there are no problems with corruption in the video game industry. However, I think that the problems with corruption have become worse over time (either that, or it´s just because there is better coverage of cases with corruption, bias and scandals nowadays).
Thankfully enough though, there are sites and people like BasedGamer (Jennie Bharaj) and deepfreeze, as they keep an close eye on the games industry and expose corrupt game journalists, devs, publishers and AAA studios when ever they can. That can of course also be said about #GamerGate, as they work as an industry watchdog of sorts. As for me, I have learned a lot about ethics (and privacy) policies since I started to write about games back in 2009. Sure, I have been far from flawless, but at least I have learned from my mistakes (no corruption on my behalf, “just” some fact errors and that sort of thing), and I have apologized if I have made any errors (and corrected those error’s right away).
What is it going to take to “fix” the games industry as a whole?
As for here and now, we got really good ethics policies (which we follow), and we always disclose any relations that we might have when we publish something on our site (like in the case when I wrote about GOG.com for example). I think that this should be a standard procedure for everyone who runs a site, company or whatever though. Since it´s all about being honest with your readers, viewers, consumers and fans, so that there will be no bias reviews, interviews, articles and so on. Sadly enough, that´s something which a lot of games news sites and magazines don´t do, and just to make things even worse. Some of these “game journalists” aren’t “real” Gamers either (the knowledge, skills and the passion aren’t there. It’s just about the money). Then you got the fact that “some” games news sites even talk down to their own audience (the “Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over” article by Gamasutra is a perfect example of this).
So I felt a lot of deja vu when I watched BasedGamer´s “Tony Polanco Voices his Opinion on the Games Industry” video earlier today. As I can relate to a lot of the things that Tony Polanco pointed out, stuff like “money exchanging hands,” “some of these people are not actually real Gamers” and “bad reviews is a big no-no on the larger and well-known games news sites.”. However, at least more and more games industry people speak up about these problems now (such as Polanco for example), and that´s a good start for sure. I´m more than aware that there´s still a lot of work left to be done, but together we can make the games industry less corrupt and dirty for sure! Because it should be all about the games, the gameplay experience and having fun, in my opinion.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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