Op-Ed

Op-Ed
BlogJam of the Week: Kotaku Causes Blindness

Russ Pitts | 22 Jun 2006 12:45
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Now that we've made all of the "Florescent What?" jokes we can handle, it's time to take another look at the "New Kotaku."

Glaringly eye-crushing colors aside, today's Kotaku front page features no fewer than four obvious attempts to cash in on the power of sex. In no particular order we have: one picture of a bikini model eating squid (posted for no particular reason other than to have a picture of a squid-eating bikini model on the front page); one in-game shot of a metal-clad sorceress; seventy or so upskirt shots of Japanese models; and one barely-legal picture of a model with extremely large nipples (covered with paint).

Now, I'm not a prude or anything - quite the opposite - but the problem here is that with my eyes all a-goggle looking at the sexy ladies, my eye happens to be open just enough for my retina to be blinded once again by the vibrant colors of the site's new layout. Therefore, weeks after the initial shock has faded, I find myself once more threatened with debilitating blindness thanks to Kotaku. So many expletives from which to choose ...

But that's not why we're here.

We're also not here to discuss the horrendous editing to be found on that site (at least a half-dozen spelling, structural or grammatical errors in this one snippet alone:

Worried about his gig running the S.S. Sony, captain Howard Stringer met with company shareholders and tried to alleviated concerns that Sony is effed beyond belief. According to site Next-Genartion, the bossman said, "We have entered a period of re-emergence." Continuing, Stringer said ...).

Rather, we're here to look at the amusing story of how Kotaku came to be at loggerheads with a little site called IGN.

Kotaku's own summary of the incident is amusing and fairly complete, while one of the responses to the situation from IGN's editor is almost entirely devoid of that thing we like to call "integrity." Although seeing that the aforementioned picture of painted boobs did originate from his blog, we have to at least assume that he's after the same demographic as his loudly-colored adversary.

The story goes thusly: a post appeared on the blog of IGN's Nintendo Editor that he would be moving on from covering Nintendo games, to covering Xbox360 and PS3 games. Kotaku reported this as "news." The editor in question then made another post suggesting that he had left his computer on, and that his previous post must have been made by someone playing a practical joke. Kotaku then responded with a snark-a-rific post of their own lamenting the lack of credibility (yes, you read that correctly) of IGN's editor blogs. Which prompted the above, boob-laden response.

So what really happened here? Basically we've got two camps here: one camp who considers their blog (and those of others) as the holy grail of up-to-the-minute news commentary; and the other who considers their blog a place to post whimsical bits of inter-office goings on. I.e. someone who wants desperately to be taken seriously as a game journalist vs. someone who couldn't care less.

Worlds collide, the two are suddenly revealed as being more similar than they at first appear and gaming journalism as a whole takes one more giant step backward. Perhaps we deserve the scorn of mainstream media. Because if this is the best we can do, we should all pack it up and go home.

BlogJam Score: We'll tip the hat to Kotaku's wit for this one, "6.8 out of 10."

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