Polygon writer attends preview event for Rock Band 4, can't be bothered to play or watch the game.

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Surprised this hasn't been posted already.

Colin Campbell was invited to swanky publisher preview event for Rock Band 4 - this is how his write-up starts.

A few of my more effervescent, more gregarious, more alive colleagues in game journalism are on stage "rocking out" to The Killers. We are on the rooftop of a pricey hotel in Santa Monica, at a press event organized by Rock Band 4's developer and publisher Harmonix.

I'm standing at a safe distance, drinking fizzy water, eating puff pastry canapes and chatting to another colleague about politics in the Philippines. I'm having an OK time.

I'm supposed to be focusing my attention on Rock Band 4, but there's more chance of Ferdinand Marcos leaping onto that stage than there is of me mounting the boards, swinging a guitar strap around my neck and yelling "whooooooo."

And it doesn't get much better from there on in...

Full article here - http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/1/8687867/rock-band-4-preview

It's fairly obvious something has gone seriously wrong with the preview process. If he's really that apathetic about Rock Band, why has he accepted the invite to the preview event at all, couldn't someone else from Polygon have gone instead. Assuming no-one else was available couldn't he just man up, play the game a bit and at least report some of the major updates for the game for reader who do care about it. He briefly mentions that there is some scope for improvisation in the game, but doesn't bother to test or really describe how this apparently rather major feature actually works.

It seems rather odd to me (and a lot of other folks on the internet) that anyone at Polygon thought this was fit to publish.

The quality of Polygon's content has been dropping ever since the "next-gen" console releases, they use to publish some interesting long-form articles but it got to a point last summer that I just gave up hope.

Well, this is what happens when people mistake "journalism" with "my personal blog".

This is what I would expect to see written on a livejournal by a hipster teenager that wants to impress the girls on his class with his worldliness, his intellectuality and how little he cares for things that are beneath him.

Looks like at no point he kept in mind that it was his job to inform people even if he doesn't like the game. Everybody does things they don't quite like on their jobs, and writing about a game you just don't care that much about beats putting up with customers or collecting garbage.

Holy shit that guy makes me mad.

More importantly. Where is the editorial process at Polygon? I knew they were hacks but goddammit, either they don't give a shit or they have dropped any pretense that they are just shitposting to try and rile people up.

The most important question is: Is he being honest? Because, as I've heard, a honest opinin is the most we can expect nowadays from game journalists. Not objective reviews, or even educated opinions, just honest opinions. And that is good, because that is really what's still missing on the internet: someone who broadcasting his personal views to the public.

I'd be in so much trouble if I pulled something like that... Unless you're independent and have nobody above you who tells you what you're job is, you're kinda expected to work when you're working. Perhaps a bunch of people from the same site were invited and they had someone else do the preview/interviews and this guy was along for the ride because he had nothing better to do, but sheesh, maybe be a good sport and actually try the game?

That said, I do appreciate that he's honest about the event (it basically being a party) and his own feelings towards it and the game.

NPC009:

That said, I do appreciate that he's honest about the event (it basically being a party) and his own feelings towards it and the game.

But that's been true of such events for years now, hasn't it?

Nekowolf:

NPC009:

That said, I do appreciate that he's honest about the event (it basically being a party) and his own feelings towards it and the game.

But that's been true of such events for years now, hasn't it?

Yep, but you don't see many people admitting they're were stuffing their face with pastries and hanging out with friends/coworkers. And if they do talk about it, isn't not rare to see it the experience being glorified - "I just spent a weekend in a luxury hotel to play Battlefield, isn't being a gamejournalist the best?"

NPC009:

Nekowolf:

NPC009:

That said, I do appreciate that he's honest about the event (it basically being a party) and his own feelings towards it and the game.

But that's been true of such events for years now, hasn't it?

Yep, but you don't see many people admitting they're were stuffing their face with pastries and hanging out with friends/coworkers. And if they do talk about it, isn't not rare to see it the experience being glorified - "I just spent a weekend in a luxury hotel to play Battlefield, isn't being a gamejournalist the best?"

Well there isn't much reason to, it's fairly common knowledge amongst the gaming community and an instant go to for jokes mocking the integrity of games journalism. For example '"Best prawn salad I've had in ages" - 10/10 IGN'.

edit:
You can even find song parodies on YouTube


Yup. Another example of how game journos just don't understand the calls for objectivism from the readers. I learned far more about the writer of that article than I did about the game.

That's what those reactionary capitalists at Harmonix get for expecting a Professional Games Journalist to write about some silly game they slapped together. As if! But at least their pathetically bourgeois canapes were subverted into feeding the intelligentsia at this crucial time in... Madagascar, was it?

It reads like a cry for help by someone in throes of Leigh Alexander's Disease. For the non-medically trained layperson, this is the condition of jaded distaste for video games, accompanied by the lack of recognition that one really shouldn't be writing about games professionally if one really feels that way. Other prominent symptoms include exaggerated ennui and making Kim Klicker your GOTY. Then again, if I'm not mistaken this is the same guy who said him being a white dude in games journalism was deeply "problematic", but he just lacked the determination to quit. Maybe this is him taking a halting step towards unemployment, for Great Justice. Godspeed, brave sir knight!

No joke though, this will be their most popular article for quite some time, with everybody dropping links for people to marvel at their sorry state. Me, I prefer the archives, for scholarly purposes you see: https://archive.is/j7x2t

"All video games are stupid, of course." - video game journalist, 2015.

Yeah, I've enjoyed some of Polygon's stuff in the past, but this is shite.

NPC009:

Yep, but you don't see many people admitting they're were stuffing their face with pastries and hanging out with friends/coworkers. And if they do talk about it, isn't not rare to see it the experience being glorified - "I just spent a weekend in a luxury hotel to play Battlefield, isn't being a gamejournalist the best?"

I don't see anything particularly wrong with the event as it is described. There have been some infamous examples of publishers taking journalists go-karting or giving them high-end laptops to play the game on, but this seems fine. The games company is doing a preview event. They have potentially hundreds of journalists coming. They likely don't have the facilities to host such an event in their offices, and their offices might not be in a convenient location for journalists to get to anyway. Hotels have conference centres for exactly this purpose. The journalists are your guests so you provide drinks (non-alcoholic) and some may have travelled many miles to get there, so you provide finger food they can eat while you start the show. This is just business etiquette 101. While canapes might sound posh, they're often just mass-produced these days. If the publishers later come to do an interview or a podcast or something in the journalists office then, I'd expect the journalists to provide them with equivalent treatment (although slightly less given that the publishers are the ones with the money). Rock Band is a party game, so of course you try to create something of a party atmosphere. It's also a multi-million dollar franchise so you spend a little extra on a 'pricey' hotel. The whole thing is over in a hour or two. If any of the journalists have flown in for a far, they may need to stay overnight and if the publisher is picking up the tab for their hotel or their travel costs, this needs to be disclosed in the article. But unless the event is in the Seychelles or the hotel is the Savoy, I don't think there's anything untoward going on.

Its fine to have a paragraph saying these are the conditions under which you played/saw the game.

Campbell's approach reminds me of a story I remember from university, I had a friend who organized a series of careers lectures for women going into engineering. One of her speakers dropped out and at the last minute she got an aerospace guy who worked for BAE to fill in. Amongst other things, BAE was currently involved in a controversy about them selling fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, so lots of protesters turned up at the event. I think her words were "Look, people totally have a right to protest the event, but if you are going to protests, don't turn up, drink all my wine and eat all my sandwiches before you start". I suspect someone at Harmonix is probably thinking something quite similar right now.

EDIT:

Incidentally for a example of a Rock Band 4 preview done right, see IGN of all places.

http://ap.ign.com/rock-band-4/89204/preview/rock-band-4-may-be-the-last-music-game-youll-ever?utm_source=recirc

While this certainly doesn't sound like the worst, I'm just not a big fan of preview events in general. Maybe this is just me acting like a bitter old lady, but it all feels so... promotional? On one hand I know readers are interested and what to know about upcoming games, on the other I'm a bit disillusioned because all these events are for is making consumers aware of the games existence months (sometimes many, many months) before they can actually buy the final product (which may be different from what was presented). I know it's fun to have something to look forward to, but at the same time that anticipation has no actual point beyond increasing the changes of people buying the product when it comes out. It's all about raising awareness for a product.

But, again, this may be just me. Games are awesome, but lately I find it harder and harder to care about games I can't play yet.

So, wait. Are we really supposed to be mad at a writer who isn't getting hyped at a preview event for a game they might cover?

I thought they weren't supposed to be swayed in their opinions by glitzy marketing shindigs?

NPC009:
While this certainly doesn't sound like the worst, I'm just not a big fan of preview events in general. Maybe this is just me acting like a bitter old lady, but it all feels so... promotional? On one hand I know readers are interested and what to know about upcoming games, on the other I'm a bit disillusioned because all these events are for is making consumers aware of the games existence months (sometimes many, many months) before they can actually buy the final product (which may be different from what was presented). I know it's fun to have something to look forward to, but at the same time that anticipation has no actual point beyond increasing the changes of people buying the product when it comes out. It's all about raising awareness for a product.

But, again, this may be just me. Games are awesome, but lately I find it harder and harder to care about games I can't play yet.

Well they are promotional. It's basically a unpaid ad at best, but we like it because we like hearing about games that are coming out. A good deal of games journalism is hype making and shilling. It's just that we like that it seems. I think the problem with this preview is that the person writing it isn't hyped. I mean you read it and they do talk about the game. They talk about some new stuff being put in, but they set out right at the start showing that they aren't hyped in the least. That puts you off kilter because you read a preview expecting to be hyped.

altnameJag:
So, wait. Are we really supposed to be mad at a writer who isn't getting hyped at a preview event for a game they might cover?

I thought they weren't supposed to be swayed in their opinions by glitzy marketing shindigs?

No. We are critical of a guy with a coveted media platform refusing to make the minimum professional effort at the whole "doing his job" thing. Nobody's saying he should hype the hell out of the game because they gave him some pastries, but if you go to a shindig like that to cover a game, just cover the damn game. Or don't go.

altnameJag:
So, wait. Are we really supposed to be mad at a writer who isn't getting hyped at a preview event for a game they might cover?

I thought they weren't supposed to be swayed in their opinions by glitzy marketing shindigs?

He showed up to an event to preview a game, ate their sandwiches and drank their wine, and failed to actually provide we the readers - who are essentially the reason he was offered this opportunity in the first place - with any information whatsoever on the game he attended a preview event for.

I'm on and off with Polygon, sometimes they put out interesting pieces, but this right here is bullshit. Him getting hyped is not a requirement for him to pay attention to the damn game and tell me about it later. As it is I feel as though I'm reading something written by a college student. "Showed up for the free food, left after I was full."

NPC009:
While this certainly doesn't sound like the worst, I'm just not a big fan of preview events in general. Maybe this is just me acting like a bitter old lady, but it all feels so... promotional? On one hand I know readers are interested and what to know about upcoming games, on the other I'm a bit disillusioned because all these events are for is making consumers aware of the games existence months (sometimes many, many months) before they can actually buy the final product (which may be different from what was presented). I know it's fun to have something to look forward to, but at the same time that anticipation has no actual point beyond increasing the changes of people buying the product when it comes out. It's all about raising awareness for a product.

But, again, this may be just me. Games are awesome, but lately I find it harder and harder to care about games I can't play yet.

Well yes, it is just a promotion. But if you get sent to a promotion to report on it then you ought to actually report on it. There are people who don't care about previews or promotions - fine, that's cool - but for those of us that do care, maybe write about the damn preview. You don't have to like or care about a project to complete it and be paid for it.

But... it's Rock Band. We already know you play with friends on a set of fake plastic instruments to the tunes of music.

Whats there to cover?

altnameJag:
But... it's Rock Band. We already know you play with friends on a set of fake plastic instruments to the tunes of music.

Whats there to cover?

I don't know, because he didn't cover it. He didn't even complain about a lack of things to cover.

altnameJag:

So, wait. Are we really supposed to be mad at a writer who isn't getting hyped at a preview event for a game they might cover?

nomotog:

I think the problem with this preview is that the person writing it isn't hyped.

That's not it at all. It's fine for the journalist not to be a Rock Band fan. I'm not either. It's fine for the journalist to have gone to the event and come away unimpressed. It's fine for the journalist to say that Rock Band 3 was a terrible game and Rock Band 4 looks just as terrible.

The issue is that, in a preview about a (like it or not) major game, we expect there to be a lot more information about the actual game. Which is missing here because the journalist wasn't paying attention. The problem is there are, by my count, ten paragraphs about how the author doesn't like music games, two about a similar game (Lips) that the author played and only five about the actual game.

I'm a fan of Polygon, but this article is definitely a miss if it was supposed to be a preview. Would have been nice if he at least got some feedback from some of those that did play it.
Win some, lose some I guess

EDIT: Just read this part: "I go in search of a developer to interview. Perhaps there's a nice quiet room where we can sit and chat."
so maybe this was a preview of the preview?

NPC009:
While this certainly doesn't sound like the worst, I'm just not a big fan of preview events in general. Maybe this is just me acting like a bitter old lady, but it all feels so... promotional? On one hand I know readers are interested and what to know about upcoming games, on the other I'm a bit disillusioned because all these events are for is making consumers aware of the games existence months (sometimes many, many months) before they can actually buy the final product (which may be different from what was presented). I know it's fun to have something to look forward to, but at the same time that anticipation has no actual point beyond increasing the changes of people buying the product when it comes out. It's all about raising awareness for a product.

But, again, this may be just me. Games are awesome, but lately I find it harder and harder to care about games I can't play yet.

I agree, previews are usually just day-long promotional vehicles that showcase content that a lot of times doesn't even make the final release, and I generally don't care for them.

HOWEVER, if you're going to be invited to a preview event, and you accept that invite, I think the least you can do as a professional is make the best of the situation and try to engage the content and/or developer. And I can hardly believe I'm saying this, because I rarely stand up for the big publishers, but they do spend a fair amount of time and resources putting this events together and at least make *some* attempt at engaging the press. If you don't like preview events? Then don't go and let another reporter/outlet take your spot. If you do? At least make an effort. I went to a Guitar Hero event years ago that I absolutely did not want to attent, and I have ZERO interest in the game and can't play for shit -- but I still went and did my best to report on what was presented because 1) it was my job, and 2) a significant portion of readers actually DID care about Guitar Hero.

In this case, if Campbell/Polygon had done a proper preview article (positive or negative feedback, doesn't matter) and then posted this piece as an additional opinion column, that'd be fine. But this as it stands just comes across as extremely jaded and overly cynical, and that's the last fucking thing the games press needs.

DrWut:
Well, this is what happens when people mistake "journalism" with "my personal blog".

This is what I would expect to see written on a livejournal by a hipster teenager that wants to impress the girls on his class with his worldliness, his intellectuality and how little he cares for things that are beneath him.

Could you imagine opening your newspaper of choice and reading a piece on the latest election results

Many of the journalists who have more interest in politics are up on the whitehouse lawn interviewing Ted Cruz about his shock landslide victory for US Presidency this November of 2016, whereas I prefer to hang out at Union Station eating frozen ice cream at the terminal shops because it's just too damn warm out there. You know how it is. New boss same as the old boss amirite?

Instead of judging this president on his political merits or trying to understand what this means for the future of our nation, I think I prefer the cool refreshment of Ben and Jerry's chocolate brownie frozen yogurt. I ain't even totally sure that Ted Cruz actually won to be honest, that's just what the hobo at the station door told me, and fact-checking is for losers. YOLO!

Gaming websites certainly do play host to a 'special' type of journalism.

Like I said, if I were to do something like this I'd be in serious trouble (well, unless I wrote something like that and a proper preview, that'd be fine). If I'm there to do my job, I do my job. I'm not into Rock Band either, but I'd atleast give it a shot and talk to the people who seem to be into it (assuming they've played older installments and may be able to point out a thing or two I probably overlooked). You know, make an effort. Looking at Campbell's article, it feels like nearly everything he wrote about the game itself he could have also written without going to the event.

Totalbiscuit has done a dramatic reading of this and it's wonderful:

https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/masterpiece-theatre-presents-games-journalism

DrWut:
Totalbiscuit has done a dramatic reading of this and it's wonderful:

https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/masterpiece-theatre-presents-games-journalism

I knew it, I bleepin' knew it. I thought it sounded like an NPR report. Seriously this guy needs to consider a different line of work, because this is just an opinion blog piece talking about a man at a party about a game that people are previewing, not a game preview! And another thing, what the hell does a dead Filipino president have to do with anything?

Why does a person who thinks "All video games are stupid" even have a job in game journalism?
He should find some other job that he has more passion for or at minimum one that pays better then being game journalist since I hear the job does not pay very well.

DrWut:
Totalbiscuit has done a dramatic reading of this and it's wonderful:

https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/masterpiece-theatre-presents-games-journalism

well a dramatic reading in a very snobby tone fits that article well.

I'm a little mixed on this. On one hand, I can understand how readers might feel slighted by this especially if they were interested in the upcoming Rock Band. It does seem pretty unprofessional.

On the other hand, this is a corporate promotional event for a video game, not the G8 Summit. Honestly writing about his experiences there was probably more interesting than writing about the new song list for the latest Rock Band. And it's extremely common for journalists to frame their stories like this, inserting themselves and what happened to them while reporting the story into the story.

They probably should have just posted a separate piece about the latest Rock Band features, whatever they are (more buttons on the guitar?).

EDIT: I read the whole thing. I liked this paragraph:

All video games are stupid, of course. That whole thing of, 'you're not really shooting terrorists or winning the World Cup, you're just pressing buttons' is patronizing and simplistic but every now and again you come across a game that has so little emotional connection to who you are that you end up standing there, gazing at the screen and saying "I'm just pressing buttons and my life has no meaning," to a slightly bemused PR person.

Also it seems like a lot of the criticism of the article is tinged with more than a little bit of jealousy. "You get paid to play video games and get to go to swanky parties in Santa Monica and you aren't loving every minute of it while constantly praising the Gods for your good fortune? WTF?"

DrWut:
Totalbiscuit has done a dramatic reading of this and it's wonderful:

https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/masterpiece-theatre-presents-games-journalism

Thanks for sharing that was a great listen.

I keep retyping this message because the article leaves me speechless. I don't even know where to begin with it. This is the kind of thing that you expect to see as satire and if Taco posted this I would be convinced that it was fake.

I'm just gonna go and play some video games, preferably some non-stupid ones since I think that there are plenty of video games that are not stupid unlike the author of this article who seems to have given up on games. I'd say that if he thinks "all games are stupid" or that they feel empty and can't invoke any emotions in him then he hasn't been playing the right games.

El Camino of Rampage:

All video games are stupid, of course. That whole thing of, 'you're not really shooting terrorists or winning the World Cup, you're just pressing buttons' is patronizing and simplistic but every now and again you come across a game that has so little emotional connection to who you are that you end up standing there, gazing at the screen and saying "I'm just pressing buttons and my life has no meaning," to a slightly bemused PR person.

Also it seems like a lot of the criticism of the article is tinged with more than a little bit of jealousy. "You get paid to play video games and get to go to swanky parties in Santa Monica and you aren't loving every minute of it while constantly praising the Gods for your good fortune? WTF?"

That part sounds like an emo teenager writing about the lack of meaning in his life.

Aside from that:
I need smileys here. Because there is only one thing to say:
:rofl: Polygon. Do they want to kick themselves out of the video game industry?

Exley97:

NPC009:
While this certainly doesn't sound like the worst, I'm just not a big fan of preview events in general. Maybe this is just me acting like a bitter old lady, but it all feels so... promotional? On one hand I know readers are interested and what to know about upcoming games, on the other I'm a bit disillusioned because all these events are for is making consumers aware of the games existence months (sometimes many, many months) before they can actually buy the final product (which may be different from what was presented). I know it's fun to have something to look forward to, but at the same time that anticipation has no actual point beyond increasing the changes of people buying the product when it comes out. It's all about raising awareness for a product.

But, again, this may be just me. Games are awesome, but lately I find it harder and harder to care about games I can't play yet.

I agree, previews are usually just day-long promotional vehicles that showcase content that a lot of times doesn't even make the final release, and I generally don't care for them.

HOWEVER, if you're going to be invited to a preview event, and you accept that invite, I think the least you can do as a professional is make the best of the situation and try to engage the content and/or developer. And I can hardly believe I'm saying this, because I rarely stand up for the big publishers, but they do spend a fair amount of time and resources putting this events together and at least make *some* attempt at engaging the press. If you don't like preview events? Then don't go and let another reporter/outlet take your spot. If you do? At least make an effort. I went to a Guitar Hero event years ago that I absolutely did not want to attent, and I have ZERO interest in the game and can't play for shit -- but I still went and did my best to report on what was presented because 1) it was my job, and 2) a significant portion of readers actually DID care about Guitar Hero.

In this case, if Campbell/Polygon had done a proper preview article (positive or negative feedback, doesn't matter) and then posted this piece as an additional opinion column, that'd be fine. But this as it stands just comes across as extremely jaded and overly cynical, and that's the last fucking thing the games press needs.

Yes. If I, for example, was invited out to a Madden preview event, and went, it doesn't matter that I don't like sports games; I'm expected to play a bit, get a feel for it, and give an opinion of how it seemed, right then. I'd also try to find some developers and ask about any new or upgraded features that people who play Madden would care about.

If I went, representing a website or publication, and came back with this, I'd be severely reprimanded for it. When I was senior editor for a website, if one of my editors went and wrote something like this from a preview event or E3 appointment, I'd severely reprimand them for it, as well... and I'd have the backing of my then EIC, as well.

Whether the author likes the genre, or even rock music, isn't important when he is there to report for the readers' benefit on a game they might be interested in. I learned more about the game from another author, after reading his rebuttal to this particular article, and then reading his preview. And he's an independent person, like I am, now. I learned those hundreds of songs I bought on last gen will mostly come to me if I get it on this gen; that the new instruments weren't available to test; that last gen instruments should work; etc. From the Polygon article, I learned that this author cares way more about Filipino politics than what he's getting paid to do... perhaps he should get a job reporting on Filipino politics, then.

Polygon has fallen to shit. I still love the aesthetics of their site layout, but I can't bring myself to read their bullshit anymore.

"It's my job to report on games, but, instead, I'm going to write an article all about myself, and how edgy I am for not enjoying this game"

Yeah, go fuck yourself.

The whole article reeks of self-importance and the entire article is just a tribute to himself.

StatusNil:

altnameJag:
So, wait. Are we really supposed to be mad at a writer who isn't getting hyped at a preview event for a game they might cover?

I thought they weren't supposed to be swayed in their opinions by glitzy marketing shindigs?

No. We are critical of a guy with a coveted media platform refusing to make the minimum professional effort at the whole "doing his job" thing. Nobody's saying he should hype the hell out of the game because they gave him some pastries, but if you go to a shindig like that to cover a game, just cover the damn game. Or don't go.

From the Review:
But I can tell from the people on stage, the fact that they are having fun and coming back for more, that Rock Band 4 has something to offer people who get together and enjoy each other and music and the whole rock-'n'-roll ethos. I'm jealous of their ability to enjoy this product.

If my grandmother, who does enjoy a good party, were here on this windswept hotel roof - instead of sitting in an old people's home in Manchester, watching Britain's Got Talent - she'd be up on stage, singing and yelling into the mic, mocking me for being a "boring old fart."

Do you know what those two paragraphs tell me? They tell me that this game is a hell/of/a/lot/of/fun, great for groups and people of all ages, young and old. And he did that by using the narrative framing device of "him being disinterested in the game." He used his "coveted media platform" (a phrase that literally screams "I'm jealous!") to give us a preview that didn't read like a game preview.

Also from the article:
But I found, with that game, that I could sing it worse and score higher, by doing what the software wanted me to do, rather than what my Tanqueray-fueled inner-Culture Club needed to release.

Rock Band 4, as Harmonix keeps telling us, is not so much about creating a game in which there are scores and channels and targets and RPGish upgrade paths (though they are all certainly present) but in creating a really fun experience in which people get to sing, guitar and drum their fave tunes their way and generally have a good laugh and not be booed off stage by AI douchebags. So far as I can tell, the company is making a good fist of this endeavor.

This here is important information that wasn't in the IGN article. The old versions of Rock Band could be "tricked" into giving higher scores by singing badly, the new version pushes aside some of those gameplay elements so that the focus is more on having a good time.

I just don't get the outrage. Writing an article with a framing story is an old old technique. There was plenty of good information in the article. If Games Publishers don't like this then Polygon won't get invited to any more games previews. But we aren't Colin's boss, and if he didn't put in the minimum professional effort (and I see no evidence that this is actually the case) then that is an issue for his employer, not us. So if you don't like the story, then stop reading Polygon. But I thought that Gamergate had stopped reading Polygon long ago? So the outrage makes even less sense to me.

Oh no, somebody didn't take a preview event seriously. This proves definitively that he has some common sense. Are we for realzies now calling for journalists to take preview events seriously? Why? I honestly preferred if there were no preview events as I have no idea who is served by them but hypemongers who want to sell pre-orders. Besides not going, mocking the whole affair seems like the next best thing. I'm willing to give expo's a chance but preview events organised by publishers and developers of a specific game? Why would I trust anything about that.

To the people complaining that they aren't being informed: what exactly do you expect to learn from these events? Why does it even matter if you aren't pre-ordering the game (which I would recommend against in any case) that the misleading pre-view events can't be used as a way to learn about the game. I wouldn't trust pre-views regardless as games are often changed after that and most preview events are by most accounts set up to give an unrealisticly positive impression of the games being shown off while journalists have their hotel room and drinks payed for by publishers.

And to the people here who seem truly upset: are you wronged in any way by this? How? At worst the author of the article wronged polygon by producing a subpar article out of lazyness but really what do I care. (besides the fact that I found both the article as well as the outrage rather amusing to read) Reading a bad article is not the worst thing ever. If polygon is cool with publishing this, then I'm not bothered that the author doesn't care. Polygon doesn't either and nobody in their right mind cares about or trusts preview events. So I see no harm in this at all.

Even besides all that, as others have mentioned this article really isn't any less informative than any other preview. Maybe, and by maybe I mean definitely, that is because previews are generally not very informative. I respect the author for at least making fun of the whole affair, though I prefer the Jim Sterling approach of avoiding this sort of nonsense events alltogether.

starbear:

This here is important information that wasn't in the IGN article. The old versions of Rock Band could be "tricked" into giving higher scores by singing badly, the new version pushes aside some of those gameplay elements so that the focus is more on having a good time.

Actually he's talking about a completely different game here - Lips published by Microsoft. The IGN article actually does a much better job of explaining what's going on with this new 'improvisation' feature.

starbear:

Do you know what those two paragraphs tell me? They tell me that this game is a hell/of/a/lot/of/fun, great for groups and people of all ages, young and old. And he did that by using the narrative framing device of "him being disinterested in the game." He used his "coveted media platform" (a phrase that literally screams "I'm jealous!") to give us a preview that didn't read like a game preview.

I'm not sure why 'not reading like a game preview' is a good thing. If the article were fresh, interesting and generally novel that'd be one thing.

We're talking about Rock Band 4 here, people already know the base game is fun in groups - the question should be "Are you going to have more fun playing 4 than 3?"

starbear:

But we aren't Colin's boss, and if he didn't put in the minimum professional effort (and I see no evidence that this is actually the case) then that is an issue for his employer, not us.

Readers aren't allowed to criticize articles in the publications they read? The boss shouldn't take into account his/her reader's feedback to the articles they produce?

starbear:

So if you don't like the story, then stop reading Polygon.

Or, maybe, tell them why you were unhappy with one particular article?

starbear:

But I thought that Gamergate had stopped reading Polygon long ago? So the outrage makes even less sense to me.

I don't think you necessarily need to be a Gamergate supporter to see this as a shoddy article.

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