Jimquisition: Integrity, Journalism, and Free PS4s

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Integrity, Journalism, and Free PS4s

Days before the PlayStation 4 launched, Sony held a "review event" in New York, in which reviewers got to pick up their "free" consoles. Then they tweeted pictures of themselves with their PS4s. Then the Internet did its thing.

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So, remind me never to touch anything you own, Jim...
Ever.

Still, good points were raised by you, thank god for you, bla bla, sacrificing orphans in your name etc.

Now to drink the memories away...

Well if they didn't want it to look like that, then they really shouldn't have their names emblazoned all over them. That does make them look like gifts, not as resources for the companies they work for...

Now I'm waiting for somebody to make a .gif of Jim licking his PS4.

Yeah it's a bit unfair to show off your PS4 when you need it, it's almost like slapping us in the face saying "Hey, I can do my job now!"

"games are expensive; electronics are expensive. If we asked a reviewer to pay for them, we'd essentially be asking them to pay for their jobs. ."

I think it was that line that made me realize how unnecessary video game journalism is. I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste? Somehow this week's episode felt less like an idealized rant and more like whining on how unfair it would be if journalists were like ordinary people.

Pay for my own games? Are you mad?!

...maybe.

Silentpony:
"Video games are expensive. Having journalist pay for them would be essentially having them pay for their jobs."

I think it was that line that made me realize how unnecessary video game journalism is. I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste? Somehow this week's episode felt less like an idealized rant and more like whining on how unfair it would be if journalists were like ordinary people.

Pay for my own games? Are you mad?!

...maybe.

Welcome to the Internet? None of it is necessary. However, people are putting their time into creating something that entertains a lot of people. If they're providing something their audience wants, do they really have to be expected to commit financial suicide to do it?

Reviewers *aren't* normal customers. Look, I can buy all my own games, but don't expect me to spend my days copy editing Escapist articles or even producing Jimquisition videos, because I'd be clocking in at a 9 to 5 office somewhere. :)

Alandoril:
Well if they didn't want it to look like that, then they really shouldn't have their names emblazoned all over them. That does make them look like gifts, not as resources for the companies they work for...

They were given out far before the release. It's common to have those things personalized so you can track back from whom it came if it sold or in case of movies etc. ripped from.

Looks like we can expect Lick/10 from Sterling on all PS4 games for the next 5 years.

Silentpony:
I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste?

As opposed to spending $40-$60 on a title that might be good or might be Ride To Hell: Retribution? Yes.

Their job is to sift through the mountains of games so that people who have other jobs and a limited amount of time/money to enjoy video games can spend as much of that time and money on fun games they enjoy instead of frustrated with games they don't.

While it's disappointing that you had to explain why game journalists don't and cannot pay for the games they review, you have to admit.

Sony was asking for this shitstorm.

Perhaps the perception of them being gifts has A LOT more to do with the fact that Sony actually went out of their way to EMBLAZON their names on the PS4 in question as opposed to giving them a regular ass system.

I mean, they emblazoned the damn things. To the uninformed that REEKS of bribery and gift material, regardless of it being the case.

So while I agree that all three sides are wrong, I think the most wrong would have to fall to Sony first, the reviewers who bragged on Twitter about it second, and the gamers third.

Alandoril:
Well if they didn't want it to look like that, then they really shouldn't have their names emblazoned all over them. That does make them look like gifts, not as resources for the companies they work for...

That was a requirement for picking one up from Sony at their pre-launch event. If they refused, they would have been denied and had to have waited until day one, thus making their jobs of covering the system a tad harder.

Honestly, I have no idea why people are upset at the notion of reviewers getting free systems/games. When did that fact suddenly become a secret? Yes, hate on the douche bags who posted pics all day long, but don't pretend something that's been happening for DECADES (in this and other industries) is suddenly a violation of basic human decency.

Because it's not.

Jimothy Sterling:

Silentpony:
"Video games are expensive. Having journalist pay for them would be essentially having them pay for their jobs."

I think it was that line that made me realize how unnecessary video game journalism is. I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste? Somehow this week's episode felt less like an idealized rant and more like whining on how unfair it would be if journalists were like ordinary people.

Pay for my own games? Are you mad?!

...maybe.

Welcome to the Internet? None of it is necessary. However, people are putting their time into creating something that entertains a lot of people. If they're providing something their audience wants, do they really have to be expected to commit financial suicide to do it?

Reviewers *aren't* normal customers. Look, I can buy all my own games, but don't expect me to spend my days copy editing Escapist articles or even producing Jimquisition videos, because I'd be clocking in at a 9 to 5 office somewhere. :)

Look, not mad per se but you do have to see it from the 'average' gamers view. If reviewers/critics get a free game and everyone gives it a 10/10 or some such, the 'average' games DOES smell some shit. Am I saying that critics are like millionaires? No, of course not. But I do think there is a level of quid pro quo to this. I mean did every single critic think GTAV was a 10/10(you being the exception I know), or was that just an implied deal they made? Somehow I feel like the latter is more likely...

Actually a bit surprised that this even needed an explanations.

Still never going to forgive Jim for posting that video of him playing Deus Ex 5 days before I could...

jim i hate to tell you this but i think you may have voided the warranty of your ps4. also may i ask why you were blacklisted by Konami and what that entails.

I wonder how these people feel about other media. I'm not a full-time reviewer, but I am a published one. I have gotten many a free CD or book for review purposes. This is not considered a bribe in either field, and CDs and books are far less expensive.

Further, my father IS a full-time reviewer. He even gets unsolicited material. Also not considered a bribe. And he's actually gotten stuff with is name on it before. The reason for the PS4s having the reviewer's name engraved on it seemed obvious to me: this would prevent resale of these desirable devices or allow the seller to be identified.

Some music groups have gone so far as to send out review discs glued into portable CD players designed to be returned. Entertainment media does not want the reviewer to keep, or worse, distribute, the media they're reviewing. If Sony can 'damage control' use of such consoles, they will. I bet they'd go further if they could feasibly get away with it.

I almost feel bad for games reviewers if this is to be the standard. Douchey or not, posting pics with review material does not merit a desire by the gaming community for one to have to bring their own media.

Also, Jim, please tell me you're going to action that PS4 you licked for charity or something. >.>

Silentpony:

Jimothy Sterling:

Silentpony:
"Video games are expensive. Having journalist pay for them would be essentially having them pay for their jobs."

I think it was that line that made me realize how unnecessary video game journalism is. I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste? Somehow this week's episode felt less like an idealized rant and more like whining on how unfair it would be if journalists were like ordinary people.

Pay for my own games? Are you mad?!

...maybe.

Welcome to the Internet? None of it is necessary. However, people are putting their time into creating something that entertains a lot of people. If they're providing something their audience wants, do they really have to be expected to commit financial suicide to do it?

Reviewers *aren't* normal customers. Look, I can buy all my own games, but don't expect me to spend my days copy editing Escapist articles or even producing Jimquisition videos, because I'd be clocking in at a 9 to 5 office somewhere. :)

Look, not mad per se but you do have to see it from the 'average' gamers view. If reviewers/critics get a free game and everyone gives it a 10/10 or some such, the 'average' games DOES smell some shit. Am I saying that critics are like millionaires? No, of course not. But I do think there is a level of quid pro quo to this. I mean did every single critic think GTAV was a 10/10(you being the exception I know), or was that just an implied deal they made? Somehow I feel like the latter is more likely...

Did you see the PS4 reviews from a lot of outlets that got "free" games? Knack and Killzone both got pretty average scores, which was doubly funny as a lot of gamers predicted they'd both get 10/10s due to all these "gifts."

I do not believe getting a game "free" makes you kinder to a game. If you believe that of me, you are welcome to, though.

Wait. Blacklisted by Konami? HOW? WHY?

anyone else wondering what chinese sweatshop labour tastes like after seeing that? haha

I have said a long time that there is only 3 types of Jimquisition episodes; bad, filler and good once with food allergies. Looks like I got to add "Should be redundant but aren't".

Well, Konami and Microsoft made themselves look a bit stupider. Their loss.

This whole sad thing is just gamer jealousy gone mad.

Ken_J:
Wait. Blacklisted by Konami? HOW?

There is a Jimquisition episode called Konami. The road to blacklisting begun there.

It ended when I pretended to be the newly crowned head of Konami's PR department for a day. :)

Am I the only one who thinks that Jim has lost quite a bit of weight since he first started his show?? Keep it up Jim.

I thought that the reviewers at the Sony event had to give their PS4 back afterwards? I don't remember where I heard it but it seemed silly so maybe it was just a bullshit rumour.

And I wouldn't have licked that PS4 Jim, a slave at the Foxconn plant probably wiped their arse on it. Unless you're in to that sort of thing in which case lick away!

Silentpony:

Look, not mad per se but you do have to see it from the 'average' gamers view. If reviewers/critics get a free game and everyone gives it a 10/10 or some such, the 'average' games DOES smell some shit. Am I saying that critics are like millionaires? No, of course not. But I do think there is a level of quid pro quo to this. I mean did every single critic think GTAV was a 10/10(you being the exception I know), or was that just an implied deal they made? Somehow I feel like the latter is more likely...

You realise, of course, the average 2/10 game also gives out review copies, right? That should kill the implied deal argument dead.

And, I mean, honestly. GTA gets good reviews because it's a well-liked series that's popular with a lot of people. How many people really felt deceived by V's scores? In fact, anyone who offered less than a perfect score got whined about, Greg Tito included.

It's ridiculous to argue that it smells like shit because the standard practice across pretty much all media yields people liking games people like. I mean, what about the free games that get 2/10? Or 5/10? Your argument breaks down because it's not just the good games that people get review copies of. And this is a cross-media phenomenon. I can't believe this even needs to be defended as a practice.

So. How did the PS4 taste? Free?

That was a quality game journalism you did at the end there, Jim.

It's good to see at least one professionalism in this industry.

Silentpony:
I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste?

While any given form of entertainment does at some point become strictly subjective, there are objective factors as well and that's generally what reviews look at.

In a book, we look at how objectively good or bad the author is when it comes to grammar and things like that. In music, the objectively quality of composition. In film, cinematography and acting. There are reasons why people take classes to learn how to do these things.

While you can certainly like or dislike any game for any reason, there are certain things that really aren't subjective (how well the game runs, for instance).

That's why we have reviewers.

Spoiler alert:
Jim is going to be in the next Mass Effect game.

Falterfire:

Silentpony:
I mean, are we seriously going to dozens and dozens of websites to get other peoples opinions on things that are subjective to taste?

As opposed to spending $40-$60 on a title that might be good or might be Ride To Hell: Retribution? Yes.

Their job is to sift through the mountains of games so that people who have other jobs and a limited amount of time/money to enjoy video games can spend as much of that time and money on fun games they enjoy instead of frustrated with games they don't.

This. Honest reviewers who get games well enough ahead of time to provide an accurate assessment of a title provide a valuable service to the gaming community.

So do devs/pubs that are confident enough in their games that they get them out to those publishers.

sushkis2:
Am I the only one who thinks that Jim has lost quite a bit of weight since he first started his show?? Keep it up Jim.

Thank you! I've been taking steps to do so. Watching episodes from months ago is a shocker to me!

I too am surprised people needed this to be explained.

Once something becomes a job, it's very difficult to find the fun in it anymore.

I would hate to be a game tester or reviewer. I want to play the games I want to play, my way, when I want. And I certainly wouldn't want to play all those shit games (or good games that just aren't my thing) all the way through constantly, and then have to write about it.

Many "self-employed" people do have to buy their own supplies. Cooks buy their knives, hair stylists buy their tools. These can be written off at tax time. They also get discounts straight from the vendors and other deals their restaurants/salons/what have you have worked out with the suppliers. Or they get given things for free, and are told to recommend the supplying company to their customers by displaying the products everywhere.

I don't think video game reviewers can write off games and consoles (or if they can, it's got to be different), nor can they stroll into GameStop and say "I'm a game reviewer, give me the games and consoles at cost." And game companies risk a lot by giving reviewers stuff for free. Because reviewers are not obligated to say good things about the product. If it's shit, the majority will say it's shit. And not only did the game company lose money giving free product to the reviewer, but the bad review will lose them many more customers. It's sometimes a no-win situation.

Jim's right, it would be insane to expect them to buy their own tools for their job.

And is it wrong to be a straight woman with a crush on Jim? Cause I do. And I don't care.

Hellfireboy:
Actually a bit surprised that this even needed an explanations.

My thoughts exactly. Through the whole episode, I was wondering "People aren't aware that's how this works? Wow..."

Honestly, I'd be worried if Sony -Didn't- give tons of journalists PS4s.

Konami blacklisted who for what reason?

Have there been actual cases of game journalists getting bribes?

Once again Jim Proves he is Intelligent, witty, funny And Occasionally outta his mind

keep being awesome

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