I wouldn’t normally write anything editorial about anything going on on the Internet here. I might have over there, but not here. I know there’s a lot of stuff going on concerning gaming journalism and fences and other things, things I personally tried to stay away from. My boss here at AnjelSyndicate has made it policy to just talk about video games, video game release news and reviews. Which is fine. It’s why I asked to write reviews here. I have opinions and I like video games. A shared interest. I want to share my interests with people that have similar interests. I get excited about my interests, just like everyone else.
Lately, however, I accidentally stumbled into an IRC that was simply labeled “Video Games.” It seemed like it could be a nice chat – they invited me in with kind words and a promise for honest talk about – what else? – video games. Little did I know it was, as Admiral Ackbar would put it, a device for capturing and killing small game.
Now, I’m leaving out participant names, the IRC host, the actual #room, etc. because I’m a nice guy. In fact, I found this entire sudden surprise attack by the Imperials lurking on the other side of the planet (aka the IRC) to be quite entertaining. Words were exchanged, capital ideas were damaged, squadrons of punctuation were destroyed. All in an attempt to get under my skin and make me go bonkers. Hint: I don’t go bonkers on IRC. That’s not my thing, yo.
I play video games. I write. Sometimes the two intertwine. I didn’t choose the thug life, it chose me. How hard is that to understand?
Here’s the exchange, in a nutshell:
IRC Mods: “Are you contributing to the problem? Are you taking free video games in exchange for positive reviews so you continue to get free video games to play on AngelSyndicate?”
Me: “Uh, let me explain something to you. I don’t beg companies for free games to review. Some of them I’ve paid for. The ones that I don’t? They send them to the main editor, who then asks me if I want to play the game for free and write a review on it. Based on my interests and time, I either accept or decline the offer. If I take the game, I play it and then I write about it. Usually about how it works, how it looks and then about how I feel about it. That’s it.”
IRC Mods: “So you do take free video games and then are encouraged to write reviews that will warrant further free video games yadda yadda yadda *insert hashtag conspiracy*.”
Me: “If you read any of my past reviews, you might be surprised that we still get offered free games to review since I tend to lambast games over the slightest of things that irritate the heck out of me. The games I like, I say so. The games I do not, I go out of my way to say I DO NOT LIKE THIS ABOUT THIS GAME, THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION. I am starting to grow concerned about your line of questioning – are you accusing me of being a game company shill or something?”
IRC Mods: “No, we just want the truth. THE TRUTH MUST BE TOLD. HASHTAG CONSPIRACY DO NOT BE SILENCED BY THE SUPPOSED GAMING JOURNALISTS WHO WORK FOR THE GAME COMPANIES ETC ETC ETC SIEG HEIL!”
*disconnected and blocked*
Me (to myself): “What the heck is wrong with people? Make me want to cancel my Twitter feed and stuff. *sigh*”
Granted, I have intentionally avoided drama since my personal life has enough for a soap opera on a daily basis. I appreciate people’s honest opinions and usually acquiesce that I can be an over-the-top, opinionated person. I get that – I am a satirical person, most of my writing is satire, and I use satire to keep myself sane.
Did I mention I love video games? Just making sure we’re on the same page.
Please, please do not accuse my generous hosts of being shills. They have enough problems trying to get eighteen zillion news releases and reveals sorted and out to our readers so everyone stays informed about what is going on game-wise. Dave also has to put up with me and my incessant whining/avoiding work/crazy reviews. I’d say that AnjelSydicate has been more than tolerant and accepting of me. Which is more than even my wife can admit to.
This article may or may not get published. I am totally at the mercy of my editor overlords, who I accept with open arms.
** This is totally my Op Ed, and does not involve anyone else on this site about anything in particular. So please, be nice. The world has been too “not nice” lately and we really don’t need more of that. Let’s be friends? Okay? Okay. **
Nathan is a 40-ish year-old gamer, father and programmer. His hobbies are board games, video games and watching his son. He wrote for http://www.ironmanmode.com/ for the years of 2012 and 2013 to make money for Child's Play. He has been basically playing games since the 1980's in one form or another. His very first favorite video game was actually an arcade game called Dig Dug. He has played every generation of video game console (including the Magnavox Odyssey)