Jimquisition: Integrity, Journalism, and Free PS4s

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Aardvaarkman:

SirCannonFodder:
Because the purpose of a games reviewer is to provide (as unbiased as possible) advice on whether or not a game is worth buying. If the reviewer is beholden to the company whose games they are meant to be reviewing for the basic tools needed to do their job (such as the console they have been given as a "gift", or an early exclusive they need for readership, etc), then they have a vested interest in giving the game a positive review, meaning the reader has no way of knowing if the review is genuine or not.

How does getting a free PS4 make the reviewer beholden to Sony, and require them to give a positive review? And how is that any different to a chef getting free knives?

beholden
bɪˈhəʊld(ə)n/
adjective
adjective: beholden

1.
owing thanks or having a duty to someone in return for help or a service.

If a reviewer received a console free of charge from someone, and they now depend on that console to review games on (ie, to do their job), in what way are they not beholden to that person? And if that person is a games company they're reviewing games of, how would that not affect their opinion (either consciously or unconsciously)? And while yes, a chef would be beholden to a person giving them free knives, that wouldn't make any difference to their job, which is making food, not reviewing knives (well I suppose it could make a difference if they were also in charge of ordering the basic ingredients and they received the knives from some food company that they were then more inclined to order from).

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired, I'm pretty obviously not convincing you, you're not convincing me, so I'm out. Any replies to this will go unanswered, so feel free to get the last word in, if that's your kind of thing.

Casual Shinji:

Dragonbums:
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.

Yeah, that's a bit on the show-off side for something that's just supposed to be a "review" unit. I feel it wrongfully celebrates the privileged position that reviewers are in.

But then 5% of those likely broke anyway. :P

I honestly want to believe they give big time reviewers the best consoles so they don't end up breaking. I'm not sure how much I believe that myself since that's going into tinfoil hat category.

SirCannonFodder:

And if they then return the review unit when they're done reviewing it (or dispose of it if returning it isn't practical), that's fine. Keeping it, such as with these PS4s, makes it a gift.

In this case, it makes it a tool.

Do you apply these ethical standards to other forms of review?

puff ball:
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.

He made a Jimquisition video that basically outlined their complete and total incompetence as a video game company. One of those being that Jim offered to advertise their game for free since they couldn't even be assed to so much as do an online ad promo.

The only thing they LITERALLY had to do was give him the O-kay and they couldn't even do that right.

His harsh (and correct) criticism lead him to being blacklisted.

senordesol:

SirCannonFodder:

senordesol:

The servers that run the website are tools. The computers and software used to generate content for the website are tools. If a new system or application comes out; you don't have to buy it if you can't afford it, and what you do buy you must scrutinize heavily before purchasing -lest you be left with an inferior product (perhaps you will go to various review sites to make such a determination).

Games are not tools. They are review products.

Imagine if, as a self-employed person, you had to buy NOT ONLY the best in a line of new products that have just come out mere hours ago, but also the shittiest that no consumer in their right mind would touch within mere hours of their release. Every time, year-round.

There's the primary difference. That is why getting games for free is not 'bad jarnalizm'. Your site has to review every game when or before it comes out because, otherwise, it's old news and you won't get traffic.

And if they then return the review unit when they're done reviewing it, that's fine. Keeping it, such as with these PS4s, makes it a gift.

Why return the review unit? Most product reviewers of low-ticket items don't return the products sent to them; mainly because it's pain in the ass and would just get thrown away as 'used'.

Food critics don't vomit their meal back onto the plate. Book critics don't send back manuscripts publicists and authors send to them.

That's why I edited in "or dispose of it", eg donating the game to charity, throwing it out, etc. Review items kept become gifts, and this article gives a pretty good explanation of what should be done with gifts.

Pretty sure you voided the warranty on that PS4 with that ending.

Zachary Amaranth:

SirCannonFodder:

And if they then return the review unit when they're done reviewing it (or dispose of it if returning it isn't practical), that's fine. Keeping it, such as with these PS4s, makes it a gift.

In this case, it makes it a tool.

Do you apply these ethical standards to other forms of review?

A tool which was given to them, free of charge, to keep forever. Not sure how that doesn't make it a gift. A very expensive gift, at that.

SirCannonFodder:

If a reviewer received a console free of charge from someone, and they now depend on that console to review games on (ie, to do their job), in what way are they not beholden to that person? And if that person is a games company they're reviewing games of, how would that not affect their opinion (either consciously or unconsciously)? And while yes, a chef would be beholden to a person giving them free knives, that wouldn't make any difference to their job, which is making food, not reviewing knives (well I suppose it could make a difference if they were also in charge of ordering the basic ingredients and they received the knives from some food company that they were then more inclined to order from).

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired, I'm pretty obviously not convincing you, you're not convincing me, so I'm out. Any replies to this will go unanswered, so feel free to get the last word in, if that's your kind of thing.

What!?

No. Just...no. Think it through: just because I have a free console, what duty do I have to give it (or any of its products) a biased review?

They're not going to take it away. The worst that will happen is that I have to buy the next one in half a decade.

That's why I edited in "or dispose of it", eg donating the game to charity, throwing it out, etc. Review items kept become gifts, and this article gives a pretty good explanation of what should be done with gifts.

Incidental 'gifts' (i.e. flowers and a box of chocolate) along with the item are bad form, yes. But this has no bearing on the product itself. If the product sucks, I'm not going to want to have it around anyway.

SirCannonFodder:

A tool which was given to them, free of charge, to keep forever. Not sure how that doesn't make it a gift. A very expensive gift, at that.

For review purposes. This is kind of important here. But you dodged my question.

Silentpony:
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?

The best way I have found is to find a small number of reviewers whose opinion you trust and stick with their reviews.

Also don't buy games or consoles at launch.

Also use sales.

SirCannonFodder:
If a reviewer received a console free of charge from someone, and they now depend on that console to review games on (ie, to do their job), in what way are they not beholden to that person?

In every way? What exactly does the reviewer owe to Sony for getting the console for free? Are there contractual obligations that I'm not aware of?

The reviewer could simply give the console away and not review any PS4 games. How does that serve Sony?

And if that person is a games company they're reviewing games of, how would that not affect their opinion (either consciously or unconsciously)? And while yes, a chef would be beholden to a person giving them free knives, that wouldn't make any difference to their job, which is making food, not reviewing knives

The reviewer's job is writing reviews, not serving Sony. How does a free PS4 affect that?

The main tools of the reviewer are critical insight, understanding, and writing skills. Just as the tools of a chef are the understanding of food, creativity, efficiency and taste.

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired, I'm pretty obviously not convincing you, you're not convincing me, so I'm out. Any replies to this will go unanswered, so feel free to get the last word in, if that's your kind of thing.

Always a classy argument: "I'm not going to respond anymore, but obviously it's you who wants to get the last word in, not me, who literally declares my own argument to be the last word. For reasons."

EDIT: It appears that it wasn't your last word. Despite you being too tired to post anymore, you somehow found the strength to post after this.

Psycho11Edge:
I don't see why this would be such an issue to anyone who is a gamer. A lot of people on here have already said a lot of great examples as to why this shouldn't be an issue, using other industries as reference. But still, this is ridiculous.

I'm not a game reviewer of any sort, nor do I want to be, because I don't like to push my opinion, subjective or objective, onto a product as not everyone feels the same way I do. I may like something, other may not. I may have thought something in the game wasn't done as well as it could have been, others may feel it was done well. And the idea of sitting through games I might not like or are complete crap doesn't appeal to me. Sure, every so often I might get a review copy of the next Elder Scrolls, and I play it, and I like it and write a review, but then the next thing I get is a review copy of something I don't like, such as the next Gears of War, and I would have to sit through that and play it to review it fairly, even though I wouldn't want to.

I'm glad there are people out there who will play as many games as they can so that they can tell us if the game is actually worth the money to buy it. I have made the mistake of buying terrible games, only to look up the reviews afterwards and finding that it scored lowly all around by many reviewers. I use reviews to help me decide on what games I might buy if they are of a new series I have never played or are the newest in a series that I have started to not like, and if the reviewers couldn't get a copy of these games to review because they had to buy every single one of them out of their own pocket, then I'm stuck with the risk of buying a shit game. That's not to say I rely on reviewers to make my decisions for me, I merely use them as a reference if I use them at all, I'm just happy to have them around so that they can help me to avoid wasting my $60 on Aliens: Colonial Marines or something.

Them getting free stuff before launch to do their job is absolutely okay to me, especially when they are trying to review day one titles before they come out, as I'm sure you don't want to go in buying your new PS4 and games only to find that the games you decided to buy weren't as good as you thought, and then maybe a week later the reviews come in saying they aren't really all that good.

Another reason I wouldn't want to be a reviewer is I have a bad habit of writing run-on sentences. Sorry about that to anyone reading this.

Well, I doubt many people read the huge post I threw out on the subject, but as I was saying the problem is institutional corruption, that is to say the entire system, and the way it works, is totally borked. The arguments being made only make sense if you accept a fundamentally poisonous practice to begin with.

At the end of the day the game industry wants reviews for games to come out before their release so they can get the press, and grab most of their profits off of a title more or less immediately after the game comes out. This also allows them to control the narrative to an extent as the copies of a game sent to reviewers ahead of time, might not be indicative of the final product being released. There have been many cases where we've been told something was different in a review copy, or that a review score was higher than it should have been because an error in the game was supposed to have been corrected by the final release version, and it never was. Ideally reviewers shouldn't be doing the reviews early, but at the same time the games come out, using the same exact version of the game that consumers are going to get. This will ultimately mean that most people would wind up waiting a few days after release for the reviews, and the industry will be forced to delay it's gratification and also have their product judged by what is actually there, on the market, as opposed to the various smoke and mirrors games that can be played under the current system.

I'd also argue that being a game reviewer should be a job like any other, as opposed to the pseudo-celebrity thing it is now, with people working out of their own homes living off of this kind of thing. That would solve a few of these problems. Right now the argument that a game reviewer can't afford all the games or hardware he needs to review and thus shouldn't be criticized for being "gifted" them only makes sense unless you consider that if this was like any other job he'd punch into an office, go to some soulless cubicle, rev up a console owned by his publisher, and play a game purchased by the publisher that it wants reviewed.

See, the problem right now with the gaming media is that the guys watch dogging the industry have become dependent on it. The reviewers rely on the company to provide them with games and hardware. The publishers have become dependent on the industry for advertising and revenues. This makes it increasingly hard to divide the critics from the group they are criticizing, which is why it's so noteworthy when particularly hard to get hardware if gifted to the reviewers individually. What's more it can be argued that this was just the reviewers Sony approved of (as critical as they might be) there are doubtlessly many reviewers that didn't get one (hey, I've written some off the cuff game reviews, and have been incredibly critical of games and the industry, nobody sent me a "Therumancer" engraved PS4!). On top of these these watchdogs who are generally "internet famous" at this level get invited to industry events, some of which seem to be pretty posh, where their favor is curried by the industry, things that most people can't attend (closed to the public) or afford to attend like say E3.

I covered this better in my last post. But my basic argument is that while I do not think every reviewer is corrupt, I do think the entire system is tainted, and calls even the good ones into question from time to time. Ideally I feel it would involve some belt tightening, but games reviewers and their publishers should maintain distance from the industry they comment on. A site based on game reviews should not sell ad space to video game producers, but instead generate revenue from other aspects of things like selling the ad space to snack food companies, hardware manufacturers, and the like even if this means less money. The reviewers themselves should also not be receiving gifts, justified as "professional tools" or not from the industry, something they need to remain separated from as they work. Ultimatly the publisher should wind up purchasing and providing the materials, and in many cases that means game reviewing becoming like a real job as opposed to the fairly sweet gig it is now (sure, game playing might not be as fun when it's your job and you have deadlines, but honestly it's bloody posh compared to the jobs most people do, when is the last time a game reviewer got his face stepped on by a couple of drunk hoodlums when backup during a shut off wasn't fast enough... or injured on badly repaired machinery... or any one of a dozen other things most people deal with), even if it is still pretty easy and probably shouldn't be that profitable as a result. Go to work at your publisher, head to a cubicle, use the company console and whatever game they purchased, and do the review there. I mean just working out of your home and not having to commute is bloody golden by the standards of most people. Under no circumstances should reviewers who are supposed to remain focused on the games as they are released be present during events like E3 or other major Expos, since the job is to be critical, not seduced by the best face put forward by the industry.

Of course I'm again rambling about ideals, what Jim is responding to is criticisms that this whole think reeked of corruption. It does... of course taken as things are, as opposed to how they should be, it's really no big deal because there are so many problems within the entire system. That said, the guys who got their PS4s could have been a bit classier about it, Jim and I both seem to agree that they brought it on themselves, deserving or not.

Jimothy Sterling:
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.

Watch Video

You were blacklisted by Konami? What's the story behind that?

What were the other games in the background? I only recognized Killzone.

btw, is there some kind of record of why jim quit his previous job? i can't find a thing about it besides what i happen to see in these threads sometimes.

Jimothy Sterling:

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!

Congratulations Jim. Who knew evil and smugness burned so many calories. Kidding kidding gees! XD

Well I'm guessing you felt this episode needed to be said, but I personally don't understand what the fuss was about. Of course reviewers of any entertainment industry get free stuff, that's just how shit works. Why this came as a shock or even an outrage to some people is utterly beyond me. And let's face it, even if Jim bought all his games and game platforms, the conspiracy theory pricks would still claim any positive game review was payed for, because that's just how the INTERNET works.

I feel there needs to be some standards and practices in Video Game Reviewing. There should be some third party organization that liaises between the reviewers and the game publishers so that direct pressure can't be applied upon the review process and so situations like Konami's blacklisting of Jim couldn't occur since then Konami would get blacklisted back by a large portion of the review community.

Something like that, I'm sure someone else can enunciate it better.

Maybe it's just me, bu isn't the PS4 rather... well, tiny? I thought the next gen consoles were supposed to be on par with pc's... so where did they fit the titan?

Obviously they are getting the equipment they are going to review. The people who think that biases them are either idiots or don't understand how the system works.

This episode had to be made? People had to be told this? I... I...
Really!? That fact alone blows my mind. While I love reviewers like Angry Joe, I know he can't review every game, or even own every system, because he doesn't have infinite money (his Game Genie is broken, I guess). He even stated a while back that he didn't do PS3 reviews as he lacked a PS3 due to funds.

I certainly wouldn't expect this of Jim or any other journalist. Joe reviews games because he wants to. But for Jim it's a job which pays his bills. I can't believe anyone thinks reviewers should have to pay for their games.

I'm sorry, Jim. Also, Thank God for Jim!

And I don't blame you for licking it. The PS4 is a damn sexy machine. Just look at it. Look at it and be seduced.

Therumancer:
. Right now the argument that a game reviewer can't afford all the games or hardware he needs to review and thus shouldn't be criticized for being "gifted" them only makes sense unless you consider that if this was like any other job he'd punch into an office, go to some soulless cubicle, rev up a console owned by his publisher, and play a game purchased by the publisher that it wants reviewed.

It's hilarious that you think all jobs other than game reviewing are like that. When does a construction worker see the inside of a cubicle, unless he's doing the maintenance on it? When does a teacher or academic work in a cubicle? So on, and so forth.

Plenty of people work from home, whether they are highly paid or not. In fact, many companies are decreasing on-site work, because of the cost of providing facilities. A game console for the reviewer to use at home costs a hell of a lot less than providing a work space in an office building. You know, we do have this thing called "the internet" that allows many types of work to be conducted from outside of an office.

It's amusing that you think that "cubicle work" is the standard form of work, and other forms of employment are some how invalidated by it.

Callate:
Sadly, this is not the case.

I'm not saying, based on the above, that it's common practice; I genuinely hope it's not.

But few things are as likely to get you proved wrong as "always" and "never".

Eh, the only one of these that are remotely worrying is the third one, and even that was quickly brought to light. If anything, that proved how untenable such a practice would be as a long-term business model, or strategy if you will.

*sigh* I can't believe how stupid some people can be, thank god that jim sterling is here to explain to those poor morons

I was going to say I'd bring a taser if I ever met you, just to be safe, but then I realised you'd probably enjoy it, wouldn't ya Jim? You sick puppy.

Can't wait to pick up a PS4 in about half a year to a years time, when Sony's got their shit together, there's a decent number of titles to play and the price has dropped a bit.

I suppose the funny thing is that sony have always done this, they also used to give out yellow playstations to run alpha/beta/not yet in print copies of games.

Aardvaarkman:

Therumancer:
. Right now the argument that a game reviewer can't afford all the games or hardware he needs to review and thus shouldn't be criticized for being "gifted" them only makes sense unless you consider that if this was like any other job he'd punch into an office, go to some soulless cubicle, rev up a console owned by his publisher, and play a game purchased by the publisher that it wants reviewed.

It's hilarious that you think all jobs other than game reviewing are like that. When does a construction worker see the inside of a cubicle, unless he's doing the maintenance on it? When does a teacher or academic work in a cubicle? So on, and so forth.

Plenty of people work from home, whether they are highly paid or not. In fact, many companies are decreasing on-site work, because of the cost of providing facilities. A game console for the reviewer to use at home costs a hell of a lot less than providing a work space in an office building. You know, we do have this thing called "the internet" that allows many types of work to be conducted from outside of an office.

It's amusing that you think that "cubicle work" is the standard form of work, and other forms of employment are some how invalidated by it.

I probably wrote it badly in my haste. Cubicle work is the most applicable standard for this kind of work however, where someone is to use a computer or similar device for a long period of time. Remember the subject here is game reviewing, and the most practical way of doing it as a "regular job" would be to have the reviewer sit in a cubicle where the console and monitor are set up and play the game there.

That said, you might want to re-read my post since you seem to be picking at it devoid of the overall context, which has to do with institutional corruption, and is addressing the point that "we reviewers have to be given these things by the industry, or else the overhead would kill us" the point is that they do not. Game reviewing is a cushy job, and predictably they want to keep it cushy. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that desire of course, but the point is that things do not HAVE to be that way.

As I pointed out, right now half the problem with reviews is that the system is fundamentally corrupt, and very few reviewers rise above that. The industry ultimately supports the media producers behind reviewers (websites, etc...) with advertising for the most part, and ultimately directly provides the tools (which are also a huge perk) to the people doing the reviews of which it approves or thinks are a big enough deal to matter. Ideally a reviewer, and his sponsor, should be entirely detached from the industry producing whatever they are doing reviews of. Hence why I mentioned that game sites hiring reviewers should ideally only accept advertising from sources outside of the gaming industry itself, say from hardware manufacturers (gamepads, headphones, mice, keyboards, etc...) or snack food companies or whatever, and the reviewers themselves should have no direct contact with or accepts gifts from the industry, rather their producer/publisher should be the one to provide such things... which the reality of costs being what it is, especially if they go with secondary advertising options as opposed to those motivated to pay the most money, means that the company itself would be the one to buy and own the PS-4 and would provide it in a work space much like how another
kind of company would provide it's workers with a computer.

The point here again (for the third time pretty much, even if you disagree with it, which I imagine you do), is that while the guys showing off their gifted PS-4s were being douches, the backlash is because this goes beyond that. What your looking at is a situation where there is already a lot of focus on the gaming media for having sold out to the gaming industry, with reviewers being invited to events not open to the public, and publishers largely making their money by selling ad space to the same groups they are supposed to be watchdogging. Seeing a bunch of guys handed consoles that most people can't get by the same people they are supposed to be critical of, brought a lot of things to
a head.

Now yeah, it's great to be able to work from your own home, get to travel to conventions and such where your treated as a minor celebrity due to your "E-fame", and be handed expensive toys constantly as "part of your job". Sure I acknowledge grappling with a deadline is stressful, and gaming is less fun when you HAVE to do it, but overall the whole situation is a joke compared to most people. If you read my examples I mentioned guys getting their heads potentially kicked in during alcohol shut offs (I did casino security), or being made to work on unsafe machinery (my brother, who I haven't seen face to face in many years, works in metal factories which keep getting shut down due to the death of industry where he is). A REAL job is one where you get up early, drive at your own expense (gas is not cheap, especially nowadays) to a place you hate (if it was nice they wouldn't need to pay someone) and even if you do very little you have to deal with mind killing boredom in repetitive tasks, and sore feet, maybe depending on your job you might have to worry about whether your the guy the machine is going to break on and hurt, or if your going to be the one who gets called to tell a drunk "bar closed... for you" and not be able to control the situation (I controlled it every time I was there, but I knew people who had it go very wrong, and knew something like that was always in the cards). Now fine, those who have gotten professional video game reviewing jobs have got it good, and overall there aren't many people who live off of that alone to be fair, but at the same time I don't think we quite need a "woe is us" routine to justify why they "need" the perk of being given free consoles and games. Most people have trouble making ends meet, and part of it because a portion of whatever they make goes towards things like gas, professional cleaning on uniforms (if your not lucky), and similar things. I suppose $400 at once is a big work expense, but it happens (say if you need to get the tires on your care replaced from all the driving) and honestly the cost of a game is probably what someone spends on gas each week depending on their commute.... not many jobs cover the overhead involving in doing those jobs. Some do,
most do not. Where I worked I was lucky that they had an employee cafeteria and laundered the uniforms, but of course they didn't do most of that out of the goodness of their hearts either even if it didn't cost us anything (long story/tangent). Most people aren't that fortunate.

The point here is pretty much to say that I don't think the people getting upset about this were out of line. Mostly though it's largely because it illustrates how close the gaming industry is to the people who are supposed to be keeping an eye on it. Even if one defends the game reviewers NEEDING these handouts, it still shows the industry more or less picking who is allegedly going to be their balancing force.

Would having to buy systems and games yourself really ruin you?

Let's take a step back and look at some of the independent reviewers out there. They don't get free systems. They don't get free games. They barely get to get in and talk to the developers, and publishers, if they get to get in and talk to them at all. Yet they still review these things. They buy these things all themselves. They pay for trips up to the major conventions themselves. They pay for everything. And they get by.

They don't ruin themselves doing this.

Some of them get by all on the money made off their web shows. Some of them have to work a job or two in the background, in addition to reviewing and previewing games.

I'm not really against Jim on this. I'm actually with him on the idea that getting review/preview copies of games and systems is not automatically bad. But it can be. And we've seen how it can go bad on both sides of the coin. I won't say it always will, because it won't, but some publishers and console makers really do have less moral substance than others, and that's a fact. The same goes for the people reviewing games, just look at the gamespot fiasco some years back, bribery heavily involved.

So, while I agree with Jim on this, I do so warily, because Human nature is . . . what Human nature, unfortunately, is.

DID THE GUYS AT NEOGAF REALLY DID THAT???!!!!
BUAHAAHAHAHAAHEHEHEHEHEHEEH WOLOLOLOLOLOLOL EHEHEHEHE.......POOR SOULS!!!

But yeah, dont brag about it Garme Reviewers. Its nor right, i also felt jealous for that :(

Also why do i have to go premium to watch in HQ?? I wont pay to watch Jim licking his PS4 in glorious 720p XD

cards against humanity card, "licking things to claim them as your own"

I licked one of my gaming consoles once exactly because I saw someone do what Jim did. It was a dreamcast, and it tasted of plastic.

Rest in peace noble gaming console: May the memories of Sonic Adventure, Grandia II, Crazy Taxi, and other great titles keep you company in the great beyond. =(

Great episode. Jim is absolutely right. These people have a job that they earn their green with, and it would be ridiculous for them to have to pay and then spend all their other time writing reviews for free. And don't forget the absolute shit they would have to pay for out of pocket. I love the accusation of them being "bought". Last time I checked, bad games still get shitty reviews, and those reviews are not from something that was paid for by the reviewer.

Really you don't need your name branded on the god damn console to "Track the console" They have SERIAL NUMBERS! They can remotely brick your damn console by checking your console id online if it so happened to fall into evil hands and what not if they gave a damn.

I get it's for their job but doing anything more then giving ps4 and games and goes into the bribe territory. Holding a big galla ball event to hand out customized ps4s along with a party might not be as bad as that halo where people got a new halo themed 360 and a swag bag worth a few hundred dollars to just "review the new halo game" and we may not have known about it till the few whistle blowers called them out on the bribe. Hell jim you even routinely wield the dildo bat. Now why you may be above the bribe, how many people won't be to try and get more free crap.

Therumancer:
I probably wrote it badly in my haste. Cubicle work is the most applicable standard for this kind of work however, where someone is to use a computer or similar device for a long period of time. Remember the subject here is game reviewing, and the most practical way of doing it as a "regular job" would be to have the reviewer sit in a cubicle where the console and monitor are set up and play the game there.

How is that the most applicable environment for the job? If the job is to review games, the household is a much more appropriate one, because that's where most people play games. they are typically not played in office cubicles. And they are not typically played on a 9-5 office work schedule.

That said, you might want to re-read my post since you seem to be picking at it devoid of the overall context, which has to do with institutional corruption, and is addressing the point that "we reviewers have to be given these things by the industry, or else the overhead would kill us" the point is that they do not. Game reviewing is a cushy job, and predictably they want to keep it cushy. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that desire of course, but the point is that things do not HAVE to be that way.

I'd hardly call game reviewing a "cushy job" - most game reviewers are not making a lot of money, for many hours of work. And it's also a job where one is constantly subject to online scrutiny and even harassment. I'd call a "cushy job" being on the board of executives of some company where you get little scrutiny, get paid millions, and have the power to control other people's lives and finances, without having to do much work.

As I pointed out, right now half the problem with reviews is that the system is fundamentally corrupt, and very few reviewers rise above that.

Well, Jim certainly does. He regularly attacks the industry. Do you think him getting a PS4 is going to change that? Do you think him working in a cubicle is going to change that?

The industry ultimately supports the media producers behind reviewers (websites, etc...) with advertising for the most part,

Well, here we get to the actual aspects that influence the industry and reviewers. And they have nothing to do with getting free games, not working in cubicles, or having "cushy" jobs. They are entirely the result of reviewers being too ethically weak to stand up against advertisers, or employees of media sites being pressured by their employers.

Hence why I mentioned that game sites hiring reviewers should ideally only accept advertising from sources outside of the gaming industry itself, say from hardware manufacturers (gamepads, headphones, mice, keyboards, etc...) or snack food companies or whatever,

That's absolutely absurd. It would be like a car magazine not having ads for cars. The other side of it is that wouldn't those game peripherals influence the reviews just like the game company advertising does? e.g:

"This game does not play well with the Logitech SuperMaestro 2000 Extreme gamepad, so I can't recommend it."

"What a fantastic game to play while slamming down a can of PWNED+++ Energy Drink™"

"Play longer with Ms. Pacgirl brand feminine hygiene products!"

Gamers come to gaming sites to see stuff about gaming. Frankly, I would find advertising other unrelated stuff somewhat insulting. I'd prefer to see ads for games, as long as the advertising doesn't influence the review. But I haven't seen any evidence of that on the Escapist. Corrupt and bought-off media is going to be corrupt and bought-off no matter who the advertiser is.

... which the reality of costs being what it is, especially if they go with secondary advertising options as opposed to those motivated to pay the most money, means that the company itself would be the one to buy and own the PS-4 and would provide it in a work space much like how another
kind of company would provide it's workers with a computer.

But that would shut out many smaller and independent voices. Only the larger media companies are going to be able to afford such work spaces - and the larger media companies tend to be the ones who are most influenced by advertising deals. Smaller sites aren't going to get huge feature advertising deals from game publishers. It's the big ones who do.

And directness of contact between industry and reviewers doesn't seem that relevant. What seems more relevant is contact with editorial staff. There are plenty of reviewers who can remain un-influenced by industry swag - but if their editor tells them to take a certain line, they might be out of a job. So, arbitrarily limiting reviewer's contact doesn't seem like a foolproof plan if the managers and editors are already corrupted.

The point here again (for the third time pretty much, even if you disagree with it, which I imagine you do), is that while the guys showing off their gifted PS-4s were being douches, the backlash is because this goes beyond that. What your looking at is a situation where there is already a lot of focus on the gaming media for having sold out to the gaming industry, with reviewers being invited to events not open to the public, and publishers largely making their money by selling ad space to the same groups they are supposed to be watchdogging. Seeing a bunch of guys handed consoles that most people can't get by the same people they are supposed to be critical of, brought a lot of things to
a head.

So, people are just looking at one small symptom that isn't really a big issue, rather than the actual problems. Pretty typical. What you're really seeing is jealousy, and it's stupid. "Oh, why does he get to play with the shiny new toys, and I don't"? It's just as asinine as people complaining that a car reviewer gets to drive the new Ferrari, and they don't - while ignoring real problems endemic to the car industry.

...but overall the whole situation is a joke compared to most people. If you read my examples I mentioned guys getting their heads potentially kicked in during alcohol shut offs (I did casino security), or being made to work on unsafe machinery (my brother, who I haven't seen face to face in many years, works in metal factories which keep getting shut down due to the death of industry where he is). A REAL job is one where you get up early, drive at your own expense (gas is not cheap, especially nowadays) to a place you hate (if it was nice they wouldn't need to pay someone)

This is a strawman. Any job, you can find one that's better or worse. Those "real workers" that you cite have it easy compared to somebody working in a sweatshop. So why don't they do a "real job" and work in a sweatshop? Likewise, there are plenty of better paid and more interesting jobs than being a game reviewer. Like being George Clooney, for example.

I also find your idea of "real work" rather pathetic. Why should a job have to be dangerous and difficult? And this is why we have things like Unions and safety regulations. Your friend shouldn't have to be working with unsafe equipment. What do you propose - that we randomly equip game consoles with dangerous spinning blades, just to even things up with the "real workers"?

Where I worked I was lucky that they had an employee cafeteria and laundered the uniforms, but of course they didn't do most of that out of the goodness of their hearts either even if it didn't cost us anything (long story/tangent). Most people aren't that fortunate.

How is any of this relevant to the subject at hand?

Elias Islas Rodriguez:
Also why do i have to go premium to watch in HQ?? I wont pay to watch Jim licking his PS4 in glorious 720p XD

It wouldn't matter if you did have a premium account. The visual quality of Jim's video is anything but glorious, no matter what resolution you play it at. I'm actually impressed that Jim managed to get such a terrible camera. He must have found it at a goodwill store, or be using an original Playstation Eye, as I didn't think it was possible to get such bad picture quality in 2013.

Eve Charm:
Really you don't need your name branded on the god damn console to "Track the console" They have SERIAL NUMBERS! They can remotely brick your damn console by checking your console id online if it so happened to fall into evil hands and what not if they gave a damn.

But how would they know it fell into "evil hands" and it wasn't the reviewer using it themselves? Serial numbers are typically hidden on the back or the bottom, so it would be easy to sell it to somebody else and it would be visually indistinguishable from a stock unit. Having the name emblazoned on it makes it much easier for onlookers to know the origin of the device.

Now why you may be above the bribe, how many people won't be to try and get more free crap.

But there will always be unscrupulous people. If it doesn't happen out in the open like this, it will happen behind closed doors and be much more insidious. At least this way, it's public knowledge.

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