Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

The infantilisation of gaming journalism

Fuck yeah D00ds!!!!!!!!! Welcome back to another FUCKing BLOG post. YEE-HAW!!!! and it’s me Cliffski! Your Gaming commentator who TELLS IT LIKE IT IS! Lets see what KRAAAAAAAAZZZZY things are happening in the world of games!!!111oneoneone.

Every now and then gamers take part in incredibly self-righteous debates about how games are ‘art’ and a mature art form, and are being unfairly discriminated against compared with more ‘established forms of media such as books, films, TV and the theater. Why is gaming treated as some ‘lesser’ art form or media when other areas of the media are held in comparatively high respect?

I think it’s pretty clear why. or to put it in gamer-coverage terms, DUDE, it’s like FUCKING obvious you Noob!

I’m 45 years old. I have a bald spot, own slippers and have a pension. I play games, and so do a LOT of people my age, and a bit younger. Pretty much everywhere, everyone treats me like an adult. When I read a book or magazine, it treats me like an adult, ditto for most websites I visit, or events I go to. Except when any of those involve games. When it’s games related, suddenly I am targeted as though I’m a horny and stupid 13 year old boy who wants to shout a lot and say ‘fuck’ because mom isn’t watching. This hasn’t been something that appeals to me for about THIRTY YEARS.

As a quite committed, serious gamer, I can ignore a lot of that and still enjoy what is my hobby as well as my job, but it *must* turn away a lot of people my age and in their thirties. I am EMBARRASSED at a lot of gaming coverage, whether it’s in a magazine, or online, and especially in video. Lets not even mention TV. I would have assumed that the situation would have got better over the years, as more people into gaming like me grew up, but if anything, the youtube obsession has made it much, much worse.

Lets face facts, gaming will NEVER be taken seriously until it sheds this infantile image. Tax-breaks for the gaming industry? how do you make that argument to a politician my age (or older) when a quick search online for interviews with game developers shows them being quizzed by embarrassing kidults in bandanas holding skateboards saying DUDE and FUCK at every opportunity? You think that appeals to anyone who is in their forties? It’s not just journalists. even the head people at gaming divisions for Microsoft and Sony have the tendency to start saying stupid dumb things and doing high fives on stage the minute they talk about games.

Some games are deliberately immature and silly and aimed at kids. Some aren’t. All of them get reviewed by people who think they are making adverts for nerf guns. Please grow up, it is acutely EMBARRASSING to see 30+, or 40+ men pretending to be ‘down with tha kidz’. The next time you are posting a video review of a game, see if you can manage it without adopting a stupid voice, and without swearing. If people can review books and movies in a normal voice without screaming and making knob jokes, I theorize the same can be done for games.

8 thoughts on The infantilisation of gaming journalism

  1. Hear hear!

    Ps: tax breaks are a bad idea anyway. Let us stop those studio migrations. Build a game, sell it, and pay your taxes. Done.

  2. There are a lot of game reviewers who sound like kids because, especially on YouTube, a lot of game reviewers ARE kids. I’ve noticed the ever-increasing number of YouTube hits I get when I’m looking for a gameplay video of some game I’m considering, and I can’t find one that doesn’t have some teenager squeakily introducing himself and then talking over the whole thing with the sort of irritating obviousness usually reserved for TV coverage of Olympic opening parades.

    I haven’t kept up with dead-tree gaming journalism beyond the magazine I write for, but in that at least the game reviews aren’t juvenile. Not stunning journalism, but not YO EXPLOSIONS AND TITS LOL either. And there are plenty of sources of decidedly adult (in the non-tits sense) gaming journalism too, the most obvious example that springs to my PC-gamer mind being

    I agree that TV’s a frickin’ wasteland, though. This has mystified me for some time, because for quite a few years now it’s seemed obvious to me that TV and some kinds of games, presented like “real” sports, would be a perfect match:

  3. This is why I subscribe to PC Gamer. Other than very occasional swearing, the reviews are well written and aimed at a matur-ish audience.

  4. I agree with this. Recently I got my hands on some PC Gamers from the mid and late 90’s. Magazines I read as a kid. The reviews and editorials in those magazines where classy, mature and informative. It seems like video game journalism these days is all about click baiting people into reading something thrown together in 15 minutes. Its mostly drivel.

    1. Just like anything in life, it has its time and its place. If you can’t go a couple of sentences without swearing then you have a problem.

  5. Youtubers aren’t reviewers. They are reviewers and ENTERTAINERS. They have to entertain their audience and their audience demand this behaviour from them. At least I see this way.

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