Games Journalism always tends to get a bad wrap among its own community. While many complain that the journalist and the outlets themselves don’t stick up for their fanbase, there is another trend that has grown over the past couple of years that gets overlooked by most people. That being that games journalist don’t have much interaction with one another. At least, it a positive way.
I’ve been a part of my share of communities devoted that just games journalism and while they start out with good intentions, they seem to change into something that has become an epidemic within the community. That being that most journalist tend to reach out to one another for one reason and one reason only; to get their articles enough votes to be published on N4G. The idea has been noticeable for some time, but it really didn’t dawn on me until I saw a forum post by Gaming Reinvented that asked if this is what everyone solely cares about. The GamesPress forums became 99% used in the N4G submission thread and that everyone just seems to think that all journalist groups are just “Please approve my N4G article” pages.
It’s not to say that I don’t entirely understand the reason for it. No matter how much people will bash that website, a lot of people still visit it on a daily basis. Despite seeing a dip in traffic over the past year, it still has a global ranking of 8,545 on Alexa. It’s also seen outlets such as DualShockers and Playstation Lifestyle become household names in the gaming world by receiving enough traffic from N4G to sustain themselves as a business.
You could also look at the issue from a business perspective. There is a saying among journalist that the industry is quicksand and the websites are the people. It’s a race to the bottom and everyone is just trying to be the last one there. There are also sayings in business to not be afraid to crush the competition around you and make them look like jokes. While that is completely understandable, it does seem be a tad harsh in some areas. We’ve mentioned before that there are tons of smaller outlets who have made a reputable name for themselves over the past couple of years that have restored gamer’s hopes after fiascos with the major outlets.
So what can we do about it to solve the issue? While I do support the intention to submit their stuff to N4G, they should not be afraid to reach out to other journalist for other sites. This can be especially true if you tend to cover games that often get overlooked among the community. Take a look at interviews with these companies, we’ve gotten some major boosts in traffic and notoriety by doing interviews and having other people use them as sources for tidbits their readers find interesting. Backlinks can be beneficial to both parties as it makes the other aware of one another and it’s good that somebody took the time to read what may have taken you a few hours to prepare and do. Hell, if you have any feedback or would like to get in touch with me, here’s my e-mail: [email protected]
Together, we can create something that we have said that we cherish; a community.