Free airfaire, luxury hotels, private parties, target range practice – all routinely part of the package for some gaming writers, The Washington Post reports.
A July 3 article in The Washington Post highlights the often outlandish perks and benefits some game companies bestowed upon game reviewers and other staff at game-oriented websites.
The article opens with the example of one Ghislain Masson of the French publication Pc Jeux, who received paid trips to India and Las Vegas, among other locales.
His latest foray, the article continues, was Washington, where Bethesda treated him and 60 other writers from across the world to a preview of the 2008 anticipated blockbuster title Fallout.
The provided amenities cannot help but raise eyebrows among anyone who has taken an journalism ethics course:
“In addition to an hour-long demo and chats with the game’s designers, the trip included a two-night stay in downtown’s swank Helix Hotel, dinner at Logan Tavern and a private party at a nightclub in Adams Morgan. Airfare, hotel, food, drinks and shuttle bus were provided, courtesy of Bethesda Softworks. Although a few attendees paid their own way, most did not.”
Other perks provided by Bethesda include some free sniper and assault-rifle firing practice at a target range outside Nevada – to help build hype for a tactical shooter title based on the Navy SEALS.
One Washington attendant, Mike Reilly of Game Revolution, said all the perks did not effect his assessment of the game.
“The reason I got invited is I have readership. The only way I keep readership is by staying honest, by calling it how I see it.”