It’s very tempting to think of Youtube as a noble forum (in the Greek sense of the word) for debate and enlightenment and traditional games journalism as, well, this.

The funny thing is, YouTube, and private criticism in general, is far more vulnerable to what are considered the core problems with traditional games journalism: bias, pandering, clickbait, full blown journalistic ethical violations. It’s far easier to get away with those when you’re expected to police yourself, and you’re far less likely to get exposed if there’s no one else to act as a whistle-blower. Yet, paradoxically, people are far quicker to trust individuals than groups of individuals. We’ve already had YouTubers and streamers outed as “corrupt,” and that’s going to become a more common occurrence as more publishers realize the power in that particular medium. To be clear, that’s not a moral judgement of the people on YouTube, most of them are stand up blokes and blokettes, it’s just a problem inherent in the system.

Story time. When I was working in the Escapist news room, I had Susan Arendt as my editor. As anyone who’s worked with Susan will tell you, she’s basically the editorial equivalent of Batman. You can slip some shitty writing past her from time to time, but there’s like a 99% chance she’ll turn up later and shoot you in the kidneys with a grappling hook. The turnover in videogame writing is ludicrously high, and in my few years in the news room I saw her turn at least a dozen goofy teenagers into great writers.

Those YouTube kids don’t have a Susan, and that kind of worries me.

You can follow Grey and Cory on Twitter or find more of their work via their Facebook Page

You may also like