GameIndustry.biz, as observant as ever in their latest weekly newsletter, rails against the lazy games media for building up the GDC conference into something it’s not. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Nintendo, in this particular case, is actually part of the overall problem.
From the email-only GameIndustry.biz gnewsletter:
It’s not just GDC that is so afflicted, either. Just as media outlets are astonished and angered each year by the lack of non-development announcements at a development conference, they also build the same pointless expectation over shows like Game Convention (realistically, too close to Christmas for any major slew of announcements) and the Tokyo Games Show (largely focused on the domestic market, and dominated by titles which will never be exported).
The reason for this constant cycle of rumour, expectation and disappointment – whose ultimate result is to create a large population of embittered, annoyed consumers, something which isn’t good for anyone in the business – lies in the continuing debasement of the games media itself. Blogs, podcasts and news sites can huff and puff as much as they want about GDC (or any other show) being “disappointing” – the reality is that it’s the writers themselves, through their credulity and unprofessionalism, who have created the false expectations which lead to such disappointment.
But this is a Nintendo blog, and like I said, the blame in one particular case, which happened just yesterday, is shared equally between the Big N and the journalists who are tasked with covering it professionally.
Here’s my free advice. Add it to the pile. When Nintendo sends you a motherfrakking cake with your picture on it, to promote the launch of the DSi, do not blog about it. Do not eat it. Do not write a post about it with one hand, saying it is ridiculous, while with the other you are cutting it and hungrily snarfing it down along with a healthy side of your objectivity. Instead, send it back. Forget about it. Politely decline the opportunity to slide further into Reggie’s pocket. Believe me, I’m in there already, and there’s no more room. To do otherwise means you are embracing what you really are: A PR hack.
As much as I love Nintendo products (some would say too much), I do not consider the company “my friend.” I do not want to “have a beer with Reggie” so I can blog about it and show how he is so much more of a “friend” to me than he is to you.
Now, no offense to anyone who received this admittedly well-done confectionery delight, but if I were still a professional journalist, asking my audience and my industry to take me seriously day in and day out, it would be absolutely, utterly offensive to me if one day I received a cake with my face on it from a company I was tasked with covering objectively and honestly. After covering Linux for nearly four years, I can honestly say I never schmoozed with CEOs at Red Hat; or wined and dined with Novell. Nor did I actively blog at my company’s web site about the “evils” of Microsoft. Any swag secured at shows was given away or filed into a trashcan. I received no penguin cupcakes.
From the look of their column, I’m guessing GameIndustry.biz didn’t get a cake from Nintendo this week. Infendo didn’t either. Good.
Image from Game|Life