The Comments Section: Tips for A Positive Experience in Games Journalism
In the gaming industry, and even on the Internet in general, it's a well-known fact that opinionated people are everywhere. No matter what community you partake in, you'll run into someone who doesn't agree with you.
GameSkinny is growing, and some may feel that the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with a small community will be quashed by the dreaded, yet inevitable, variety of replies in the comments section. Here are some tips and tricks for JTP members, new contributors, and current writers, that will hopefully help preserve the warm fuzzies.
Remember, comments are a good thing.
While comments calling you terrible names or just plain hateful statements are grounds for spam and should be reported, comments that promote discussion--regardless of whether or not you agree with it--are valuable input from the gaming community. Commenters who offer their input in a civil way should be respected.
Comments mean that people are reading, and thinking about, the things you say--even if it's in a rage-induced ramble. Your audience (the civil portion of it) is important!
You don't have to respond.
If you aren't comfortable having a discussion with someone, or just don't want to argue anymore, you always have the option of not responding. GameSkinny does not force authors to interact with readers any more than they want to. This includes JTP members. Your duty as an intern does not include forcing yourself into awful situations. You may leave the comments section completely blank if you want.
This includes choosing not to respond someone who is completely civil towards you, even if they disagree.
Don't read the comments section.
Some authors will never even read the comments section of some articles. While I wouldn't recommend never reading them, some swear by how stress-free it makes their experience as a writer--especially on articles that they know are unpopular by opinion or highly controversial.
If you're writing an article that you know you won't read the comments section of, I would strongly encourage you to look at your content and decide if perhaps some revision or editorial feedback could help soften any strong opinions or aggressive language. Often, a fresh pair of eyes can be an excellent way to introduce a new perspective.
Comments that break our TOS should be reported to [email protected]
If a comment is name-calling or hate speech, we mark it as spam so that it disappears from the comments section. If you run into a comment that you think could be breaking our TOS, please send an email to [email protected], and we'll remove it as soon as possible.
Ashley ShankleMarch 20, 2014, 10:00 pmAssociate EditorYOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.
I don't know the last time I replied to a comment. I think it was a couple of weeks ago? Either way, I don't get comment notifications and I'm a busy bee. I don't LIKE ignoring my comments, but it's sort of an inevitability at this point and I am not confident enough to argue in the comments section. Plus, you know, super busy.
Fortunately all I do is write guides these days anyway. Not much to say in the comments on those, aside from pointing out inaccuracies or asking questions. If I see inaccuracies pointed out, I fix them when I can. If I SEE questions on guide content, I'll answer. But I probably get far more than I'll ever see.
Corey KirkMarch 20, 2014, 8:20 pmFeatured ColumnistEver since I began to write, even before my gameskinny days, I developed a habit of not reading the comments. I love making content and I love when people comment. Human nature however makes me focus on the negative comments only.
Since I don't read them, I never worry about whether my topic generates a lot of hate. By not responding and not reading, I find content creation, whether written or video, to be fun and mostly stress free. For me, having the only stress come from making the content itself is the best thing.
Delta Squad ReaperMarch 21, 2014, 1:38 pmCorrespondentAgreed, people nowadays just like to be hateful. I understand negative criticism, but today majority of comments are just trolling or hating on the author or video owner. I never cared for getting comments on my articles or videos, so long as it outreached to people. I don't bother with it, because if I do, then I might let the comment get in the way of my work.
Fathoms_4209March 20, 2014, 7:47 pmFeatured ColumnistThat's great, Katy. I agree with most all of it, even though I do believe authors should always read the and reply to comments, if only to boost up the number of comments, which people see in the People are Talking sidebar.
But unfortunately, this is all in vain.......I can't count how many times I've written things like this for other sites, but the bottom line is that stupidity will always reign on the Internet. Unfortunately, hostility is especially rampant among gamers (for some reason), and it's just impossible to avoid.
All you can do is have a ToS and enforce it. :)
Amanda WallaceMarch 20, 2014, 7:33 pmFormer Staff EditorI believe it's Jay that primarily advocates the "avoid the comments" mentality.
Venisia GonzalezMarch 20, 2014, 7:06 pmFeatured ColumnistThanks Katy for this article :)