Sell Your Soul or Stand Your Ground; Where is Gaming Journalism Going?

Is voicing your opinion now grounds for being fired in journalism?

If I voice my opinion I can be fired? It’s an odd statement to hear in journalism but definitely prevalent in gaming journalism today. An example of this is Alexander Hinkley.

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What are you talking about?

Alexander Hinkley was recently fired. No he wasn’t reddit-ing at his desk. He was fired for an article he wrote voicing his opinion on how much developers make. The article, which was published in his gaming column at the Examiner.com, criticized that the six figure salaries of developers are driving up production costs that are then being passed on to the consumer. Although many people agreed with what he had to say, the Examiner fired Hinkley after several complaints were made by big shot developers who didn’t like what the journalist was saying.

Is this what journalism and gaming have become? It seems like the gaming industry is following suit with the rest of the corporate scum. When did the gaming industry become more concerned with making money than with making great video games?

Well Hinkley asked the same question and got fired for it. But it’s either get fired or do something like this…

Yes, that’s Geoff Keighley, one of the leaders in the gaming journalism industry. You’ve probably seen him covering E3 or Comic Con. Here he is…with a table full of snacks.
I think he sold his soul to Doritos.

All jokes aside, this is what journalism is now. Either you say what they want or you go collect unemployment (although I think you have to be laid off for unemployment but whatever). You do what the money wants, and that’s not fair.

Jeff Gerstmann, a former writer for Gamespot, was fired for almost the same thing. He wrote a not-so-pleasant review about Kane & Lynch: Dead Men and was then kicked to the curb.

Publishing platforms like GameSkinny don’t have those rules. We are free to write and feel how ever we want, as long as there are no grammatical errors. I honestly think that this is where the future of journalism is going. People like Hinkley and Gerstmann are just one of many journalist who have had this happen to them, and people don’t like for their voices to be muted.

Now I’m not here to say whether Hinkley was right or wrong about his opinion. The fact that he was fired because the developers didn’t like what he had to say just baffles me. The Examiner.com would lose what, a few exclusives?

It seems like now we are all working in public relations. If I wanted to talk about only the great things about a game or developer then I’d go work in their PR department. That’s not journalism.

I’m just really disappointed with the scandal. How about you? Do you think Hinkley being fired was justified? Let me know how you feel about this issue.

 

Follow me on twitter: @ravenhathcock


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Image of Raven Hathcock
Raven Hathcock
Better dead than a damsel. I'm a Magazine Journalism student at the University of Georgia. I enjoy shooting bullymongs in the head while I'm not cuddling my cat.