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Game writer out of a job after libel complaint

NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/25/writer-out-of-a-job-after-crit.html

 

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/libel-alleged-legal-threats-and-conflicts-of-interest-the-twisted-story-of-

 

Eurogamer ran an interesting article about, in part, game journalists and their connection with advertisers. The image of Geoff Keighley sitting next to all those snacks, labels facing forward, has been passed around the Internet for the past day or so. The story also discussed writers tweeting at an industry event in order to win hardware, and the writer brought up a few instances of behavior he found questionable on the part of his peers. That’s not news. What happened next however, makes the story much more interesting than the standard patina of fear and distrust that often surrounds those who cover the video game industry.

Intent Media, the publisher of MCV UK, reached out to Eurogamer to complain about comments made about their writer, Lauren Wainwright. Eurogamer has since deleted sections of the story, and it has been claimed that Intent in fact threatened Eurogamer with legal action if the offending sections of the story weren’t deleted. “Also, don’t blame Eurogamer for this,” Robert Florence, the article’s author, stated. “The threat of legal action brings unbelievable pressure. I am clear on who the bad guys are in this.”

..

 

It’s all about loving Tomb Raider

Florence noticed journalists winning PlayStation 3’s on Twitter, and was critical of the practice of promoting games in exchange for the possibility of winning prizes. He detailed what happened next in the original version of the story.

“One games journalist, Lauren Wainwright, tweeted: ‘Urm… Trion were giving away PS3s to journalists at the GMAs. Not sure why that’s a bad thing?’,” Florence reported. “Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: ‘Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ’”

Florence stated that this behavior made him skeptical of Wainwright’s motivations. “And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist’s apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she’s in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I’m sure she isn’t, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?”

==================================

both links are worth reading

reviewers being schmoozed is nothing new - but threatening libel is a new twist and this is only going to put Wainwright in an undesirable spotlight of attention

 

associated reddit link

http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1227qi/robert_florence_just_stepped_down_from_eurogamer/

Comments

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member

    Kinda sad, that people in the industry can't speak the truth.

     

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • comrademariocomrademario LondonPosts: 98Member

    She most likely has been given free goods to sway her favour, not a bribe but you're not likely to write mean things about a guy who just handed you a PS3 now are you?

     

    Sadly this is standard practice in the film and music industry and since gaming is more profitable than either of those I'd assume it's the same here. It's the other side of the 'Write a good review about us or we'll never allow you review our products' again coin.

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    In todays society and it entitlement mentality, people would complain they didnt get a bunch of games and extra controllers to go along with that PS3.  Don't believe me look at all the complaints from the low life F2P whiners.
  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon

    Just goes to show what is wrong with the gaming industry from both a publisher to the very journalists that cover it. Its a real shame but the truth is harsh. I remember when gaming at least was about releasing those games people loved rather then doing it just for profit. Now the industry is so wrapped up with money that people will bribe their way to the top. 

     

    In truth too, we all already knew this was happening. Lets face it, we can already look at a site now that has done the same thing for a game we all knew wasn't that great and flaunted it with the Game of the Year title... which was actually done on many different sites as well and less then a year later is struggling and going F2P. It just goes to show you opinions can be bought quite easily now with the game industry. 

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,757Member Uncommon

    The staff at MMORPG.com are too busy playing on their complimentary PS3's and knocking back the beers they won recently on Twitter to comment. :D

    Just joking!

    I don't think there is anything wrong with a company offering some incentives, but it depends how much. I noticed some of the replies to that post showed cash limits some gaming journalists work to. That seems good sense.

    If you have your travel paid when visiting a gaming house, lunch on them at the Gaming festival that sort of thing is fine. Anything in execess of £50 is a cause for concern.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,772Member Uncommon
    What counts as libel is much broader in the UK than in the US.  In the US, if it's true, it's not libel, period.  But the UK legal system doesn't offer that defense to people accused of libel.
  • MogusMogus Anderson, OHPosts: 169Member

    It's the same in all industries really. It's a sad fact.

    It's dangerous today to take risks in media under fear of lawsuits so most just regurgitate press releases to stay safe.

    There is no news anymore.

    www.greedmonger.com
    Did you like Ultima Online? Then you'll LOVE Greed Monger!

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    I used to have coworkers get upset at me for declining free swag from suppliers.
  • LoLifeLoLife LA, CAPosts: 174Member

    Looks like surpressing the truth has ended up has a /facespike for little miss Lauren Wainwright, karma is a bitch and I love it, but still it makes me sick for happening in the first place.

    Mmmmmm....must....buy Beer, Halo 4, Mountain Dew, Doritos & Lauren Wainwright.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    What counts as libel is much broader in the UK than in the US.  In the US, if it's true, it's not libel, period.  But the UK legal system doesn't offer that defense to people accused of libel.

    Yup...it's not often that we find reason to be gratefull for our legal system over here in the US....but this is one place where we definately should be thankfull....our libel laws (or Free Speech in general) though eroded are still so much better then they have in most Commonwealth Countries...

    It's straight out of the Zenger Trial.

     

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog SPosts: 1,124Member Uncommon

    nothing new really, hence why I never read what these people say about games, hell about anything, its always biased in some way.

     

    far more into searching for info over the net, not only one thing, for games I go read the revies of people in gamefaqs, I read the one who top the max score and the lowest one for that game and compare they points then make if what I know about it will fall on my taste.

     

     

    but what she said is pretty much a kill carrer thing, hardly anyone will hire her now.

    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
    image

  • aphydorkaphydork Boring, ORPosts: 133Member

    You should probably make sure your job is secure before you start pointing fingers and naming names. Eurogamer most likely believed he was more trouble than what he brought to the table. In another article, he writes, "And it's a tricky thing to talk about on these pages, because... well, because I appreciate the platform Eurogamer has given me here. I don't want to seem like an ungrateful beast, striking out at those who put food on my daughter's table."

    It's one thing to write an unpopular piece with concrete evidence, but it's another to write piece after piece in a holier-than-thou attitude--some with accusations that may or may not be true.

    I don't mind negative articles that shed light on practices that should be looked at, but the article that he got fired for was kind of like reading gossip. Lots of winks and nudges.

  • grimgryphongrimgryphon Pacific Northwest, WAPosts: 682Member

    First off, writers in the gaming industry are rarely journalists, so there are no rules for acting with integrity.

    Secondly, gaming sites and their staff have always favored one game over another, even our beloved MMORPG.com. Come on, don't say anything too negative about GW2 around here...

    I'm surprised this shocks anyone.

     

    Q: How do you tell the game writer who gave the game a 10/10?

    A: He's the one with the dirty knees.

    Optional PvP = No PvP
  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,578Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by grimgryphon

    First off, writers in the gaming industry are rarely journalists, so there are no rules for acting with integrity.

    I disagree. Someone writing news articles to a large and professionally maintained website is always a journalist. Writing news to a professionally maintained website makes him a journalist.

    Ofc definition of a journalist might vary around the world.

  • TigerAeroTigerAero Fort Campbell, KYPosts: 127Member
    Originally posted by Vrika
    Originally posted by grimgryphon

    First off, writers in the gaming industry are rarely journalists, so there are no rules for acting with integrity.

    I disagree. Someone writing news articles to a large and professionally maintained website is always a journalist. Writing news to a professionally maintained website makes him a journalist.

    Ofc definition of a journalist might vary around the world.

     

    The little guy always wants to be remebered. lol. I mean really, what was her background history? Any shmuck can write a decent article or review on a game and hope to get a job. This is a bad economy. It's about time people start realizing what happens in a bad economy.

  • erinyserinys middelburgPosts: 388Member Uncommon

    Check out who she lists as a former employer on her Journalisted page.

    http://journalisted.com/lauren-wainwright#tab-bio

    Yep, tweeting about Tomb Raider to win prizes, gets quoted in an article about integrity in journalism, takes legal action, and she used to work for them. Jesus.

    ==

    Has she removed the Square-Enix/Eidos stuff from that page? I'm not seeing it anymore.

    ==

    Apparently so. Man, nothing spells credible like removing incriminating evidence :/

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    I am not surprised at the practices.    Still it wanna make me puke.    

     

    Big part of gaming is as 'classy' now as tabloids like News of The World, Daily Mail,  UK The Sun, etc

     

    Just junk.

  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member
    Originally posted by erinys

    Check out who she lists as a former employer on her Journalisted page.

    http://journalisted.com/lauren-wainwright#tab-bio

    Yep, tweeting about Tomb Raider to win prizes, gets quoted in an article about integrity in journalism, takes legal action, and she used to work for them. Jesus.

    ==

    Has she removed the Square-Enix/Eidos stuff from that page? I'm not seeing it anymore.

    ==

    Apparently so. Man, nothing spells credible like removing incriminating evidence :/

    She also trolled the guy, screen is from yesterday:

    image
  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member

    BURN.

    I used to read PCGameplay, it still exists, they mentioned when they got bribes, they got them all the time from game developers, they never gave in but said many people do.

    Famitsu is completely in the hands of developer bribes.

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