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'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'

I am not a journalist

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Not me, of course, never claimed to be one.
I’m talking about Jakub Wojnarowicz from the self proclaimed “Home of the hardcore gamer” FiringSquad. This is the first paragraph of an article posted on that site (and linked by EvilAvatar) titled “Nintendo: For the win“:

Disclaimer: I am not a Nintendo fan. Of all Nintendo systems, I only owned the NES, GBA, and briefly, the SNES. The N64 was a subject of my humor and the GameCube earned immediate contempt for its storage format and the vastly inadequate memory cards it came with (it took 3 or 4 to save a season of Madden with rosters on release). Regular readers of the site will have no doubt read many of my scathing comments about the Revolution controller design.

Now, just in plain, simple words, what the hell is this guy’s problem?
Do you see any other analyst column starting with the “I am not an Oracle fan”? “Of all HP’s brands I only had…”? “WinXP Home was a subject of my humour”?
You don’t, even if those articles were titled “Company X: For the win”. It’s just something you don’t do as it A: discredit yourself as a writer, B: discredit your article as being unprofessional (since if it is professional, no one should think you’re a “fanboy”) C: discredit your profession, since if positive articles are “fanboism”, and negative articles are “bashing”, how serious do you want anyone to take you and your peers? And D: discredit your readers. If Wojnarowicz thinks FiringSquad readers really need that “disclaimer” before the article, it doesn’t speak highly of what he thinks of them.

Try any review, or commentary about Nintendo, Microsoft of Sony’s new (and old) consoles, and you’ll never see those “disclaimers”. Not for a bad commentary/analysis/review, not for a good one, and, would you believe it, not even if the writer is an in-your-face flat-out Nintendo fanboy! Why is that? Because that’s what a commentary/analysis/review is all about, which is having an opinion, and expressing it. Some give both sides of the argument, some only one side, some are reporting and some are preaching, but that’s quite alright, because all of them are looking at the current state of affairs and sounding off their opinions on it.

On a similar matter, Wojnarowicz description of his Nintendo experience is, for lack of other words, embarrassing. From a person writing for a site that claims to be one of the “big guns”, I would expect a bit more than his “Nintendo resume”. Not owning the SNES (or whatever briefly means)? Using the N64, home of Mario 64, Ocarina of Time and GoldenEye as nothing more than a “subject of my humour” and have nothing to say about the NGC, who offers Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4, both being hailed as the best games released at their respected years other than blaming it for EA programmers’ buggy memory usage in their Madden games? Not good for a person who is the site’s “Editor-in-Chief, Games” (just bothered to look at his profile). At least GameSpy’s writers lie about playing every game since SpaceWars (better in the sense that they realise that NOT playing those games might make their opinion undervalued in the eyes of their readers).

I don’t really know how “big” is FiringSquad, to be honest. I know Tom Chick used to write for them, so they’re “big” enough to be able to pay their writers, and I seem to recall their reviews being stretched over multiple pages, so they probably could pay a lot of money to their writers. Disregarding this issue, I doubt that there’s a high air of professionalism in a site who’s Editor In Chief has this to say about game review scores: “Though game review scores live in their own little world of the 60-90% range (with everything below being reserved for Daikatana and Mortyr)“.


Written by Erez

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 21:27

Posted in Journalism

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