OK, if you haven’t watched the official trailer, stop and go watch it now. Got it? OK, cool. So as you can tell from the trailer, there is a group of superhero-level writers who have been assembled to save us from all of those yucky OTHER game journalists. In case you have no idea who these people are, Polygon raised a stink not so long ago when they announced they were starting a wonderful website that would change the very face of journalism, as if writing about games is somehow devoid of any, you know, serious writers. As if that’s what we need.
Anyway, they announce this new website and immediately started hiring amazing talent, the likes of which we have never been lucky enough to gaze upon. The flaw? They didn’t hire a single woman and, from what I can mostly remember, a single person of color. I’d need to look it up, but basically they were a bunch of white dudes claiming to be the next best thing. Fine. So, the internet attacked them and in return they decided to scout out a female writer. So, if you look at the documentary, there us a single woman that is lucky enough to get tangled into this mess.
Notice that there are no clips of the women talking. Just a note.
So, flash forward several months and we come up with this trailer. Wow. I mean, surely you saw what everyone is seeing. I won’t recap the comments section on YouTube or the hilarious mocking videos or the scathing write-ups, but when you claim to be making an amazing site, forget to hire a single female writer, then put out a trailer (that was obviously influenced by one-too-many-viewings of Indie Game: The Movie)…a trailer that is so filled with emotional B.S. and, for some reason, shots of writers who seem to know what a doomed project it is and you wind up with the whole mess becoming a meme. It doesn’t take long. If there’s one thing the internet’s finest love to come across, it’s a fresh, easy victim.
I wish nothing but the best for the writers involved with the project, but I can’t help but think that any person with an ounce of internet knowledge would be a bit scared after watching the reaction to the trailer. If that was me in the video, noting that I was moving across the country to join in on this project, I would be very worried right now.
On top of that, the whole thing is sponsored by Internet Explorer. Dear god.
Now, I am not some browser snob. That’s goofy. Every browser has its issues, and browsers do not equal political leanings. But c’mon…they had to know how the internet’s trolls (in other words: gamers) would react to the IE popping up. It took me a second to realize that the whole thing was a horrible infommercial gone wonky.
It’s sad, really, that someone grabbed a bunch of backing, hired a bunch of people and had them move entire households just to release something like this trailer. On top of that, the trailer — and the people in it — are essentially saying “These are the best writers and editors in the world, literally, forever.” to a bunch of writers and editors. Should anyone be surprised that those sites have reacted poorly to this crazy video?
Let me just say this: game journalism is usually populated by non-journalists. I know more writers in the industry who have nothing near a journalism degree, yet love using the term. Why are people so up on making the whole industry into a “serious” pursuit? You want to be a “serious” Writer? get out of games. Go write about disease or the poor.
Of course there are serious topics within the gaming community. I’m looking at sites like AbleGamers.com and sites that breakdown the sexism that is so embedded in gaming. Sure, that’s serious stuff and should be treated seriously.
But something tells me that this group of mostly white male writers is not going to be doing hard looks into how the industry treats women or the disabled. Remember, this group had to be forced into even hiring a woman. And then didn’t let her say a word in the trailer.
So, great. Another gaming documentary that takes gaming and makes it into something that it can sometimes be but is usually not. Gaming is a wonderful break from all of that drama, so this trailer and maybe this site are simply trying to find depth when really they should just get busy and put the fucking site up.
I know, I know…I should have patience. The gods of journalism cannot be rushed. Still, I can’t help wondering if it’s possible that this group of megastars is not actually amazingly gifted beyond anything we have ever witnessed.
No…I must have faith. They will save us all when they write about the latest Mario game. The Prophets have said it shall be!