The Dawn of Video Game Journalism
Journalism Video Game Journalism 8bitrocket.com
As I said before, I'm a professional journalist. And so when I stumbled across 8bitrocket.com yesterday, this article really grabbed my attention: "Pac-Man, Electronic Games Magazine, and the exact moment Atari lost the video game war," http://www.8bitrocke...video-game-war/
The author examines how the "newly established critical video game press" contributed to the Atari VCS' downfall and the video game crash when Pac-Man was released. Up until that point video game "critics" were really just advocates cheerleading even the worst games. Pac-Man marked a turning point.
This article got me thinking about sports journalism, which also tends to be more of an advocate than a critic. It's a fairly recent phenomenon for sports reporters to write dirt about players and teams. However, the reaction to negative sports coverage is completely different from negative video game coverage. Sports fans aren't likely to ditch their team when a bad story comes out, but a bad video game story can very effectively keep gamers away. A series of bad stories probably won't get a sports fan to turn their back on a sport, but it could get a gamer to turn their back on a system.
The impact on the target of the bad press is different too. A series of bad sports stories probably isn't going to have much of a long term impact on that sport. However, a series of bad video game stories could have a profound impact on the industry. It could lead to either a crash or it could motivate game designers to create better games. You can't rest on your laurels in either industry, but negative stories definitely seem to have a bigger impact on video games.
Anyway, these are just some first impressions about the topic. It could probably be a journalism grad student's thesis, and an ambitious one at that. It involves psychology, sociology, public relations, and sports and technology issues. It just goes to show how much we can learn about ourselves from video games and the Atari 2600.