Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' Rule

August 16, 2010 -

A lot of journalists that cover video games do not enjoy being called the "enthusiast press." Some are even embarrassed when their colleagues cheer at press events or have a "f**k yeah!!" moment caught on film during a new game announcement. AJ Glasser from GamePro is one of those journalists that takes what she does seriously.

In an editorial about QuakeCon and journalism (where, she says, developers at the "Building Blockbusters" panel seemed to take issue with quiet games journalists), Glasser talks about the popular sports journalism rule "no cheering in the press box." The good news is that some games journalists are following the rule.

Recalling a sports journalism course she took at Stanford University and a book with the same name, she lays out the fundamentals of it:

The "no cheering in the press box" rule was introduced to me in a sports journalism course taught at Stanford University. The rule is also the title of a book of essays from famous sports journalists who wrote during the golden age of sports between World War I and World War II. The writers in that book were obviously sports fans and very passionate about the games and athletes they chronicled -- read Grantland Rice's New York Sun article "Game Called" if you don't believe me -- but eulogies and poems aside, sports writers in the early 20th Century followed the same no cheering in the press box rule as the professional sports writers of today. Having read that book and taken that course, I believe games journalists should, too.

She goes on to say that cheering and clapping at press events and product reveals is commonplace in games journalism, but this allows "developers and publicists to treat us as fans and not as professionals." As an illustration of this in action, Glasser reminds us of the horrible Project Natal event during E3 and the subsequent Microsoft E3 Media Briefing:

Take Microsoft's Project Natal reveal event at E3 this year, for example. Everyone -- every reporter, every analyst, and every industry professional in attendance -- had to wear those weird white space ponchos and actively participate in the spectacle. There was no sitting back, no observing. Not even any real reporting at the event because attendees were banned from liveblogging or Twittering (although plenty broke the rule).

I didn't feel like a professional journalist at that event -- I felt like a partygoer at Carnival, sans the booze. I wanted to be there for the information, I would've liked to sit back and watch the crowd's reaction to the games, but I was too busy trying not to trip over Cirque du Soleil performers while jockeying for a better view of the stage where we thought there'd be games. Turned out USA Today already had a press release with each of the games listed and they wound up with more information than any of the reporters that actually attended the event. Oh, and the event was televised -- so technically, we journalists weren't even partygoers, we were stage props.

After the Natal reveal, I worked myself in a state of righteous journalism indignation that lasted for about 12 hours. Then, I attended Microsoft's E3 press conference the following day and saw exactly what Microsoft was thinking when it threw that Natal event. Hundreds of people filled every available seat at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, and nearly every single one clapped like a madman whenever a producer came on stage to introduce their product. Even the products that didn't seem very interesting got resounding applause -- and when they announced at the end of the event that each attendee would be getting a free New Xbox 360 unit, that clapping erupted into a standing ovation.

You should read the whole article on GamePro - especially if you are a game journalist that tends to get caught up in the moment.

 

Source: Troy Goodfellow


Comments

Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

Bah.....people are to excited for watered down media.....


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Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

Pah, what gaming "press"? There hasn't been any journalism in games journalism since people have been writing about games.

Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

We must have more moments like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPbY6SkGA5M

 

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

I wouldn't mind a no cheering rule in some cases. Plus microsoft deserve no cheering at there e3 events.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

 The advocate reviewers are giving game reviewers a bad name. Especially after the debacle that was Modern Warfare II and their glowing reviews for it. When you actually bought it for the PC you discovered it was an extremely short solo play and instantly hackable multi-player. The average user review is far lower than the reviewer scores. I wonder what they were bribed with to produce such out of wack scores. 

Re: Games Journalism and the 'No Cheering in the Press Box' ...

I don't cheer but that's mostly because I'm a stick in the mud.  I don't mind applause and cheering if it's something you're genuinely excited about.  Most of us are big gaming fans after all.  But I do dislike when it gets obnoxious or when the cheers are undeserved.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
 

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