Tag Archives: journalism

Onward

Hollywood

In two weeks, I move to Los Angeles. Phew, I said it.

I will be joining Andrew “Skip” Pfister, former podcast editor for 1UP.com, and Sterling McGarvey, now former editor at GameSpy, as part of a fresh batch of recruits for the online editorial team at G4tv.com. Try not to judge a book by its cover…yet — there are massive changes coming to G4tv.com very soon.

My job will be very similar to the work I’ve been doing for the past several years, both at 1UP, MTV News and as a freelancer. I will be reporting the news. Originally, I had intended to turn this blog into a rebellious outlet for my reporting, giving poor-paying freelance the finger and exercising my talents through this gloriously bland-looking blog. Then, I realized I needed to help make rent. Bad paying freelance is better than no paying freelance.

But I’m very lucky, very humbled by the opportunity to continue doing what I love at G4tv.com. In an economy where most people are struggling to find a job period, to be fortune enough to have options was something I did not take lightly. G4tv.com is particularly exciting, an opportunity to shape the editorial direction of a new outlet, work in close proximity with good friends and colleagues (the working from home thing has grown old) and still stay in California.

I almost moved to New York, but chose not to.

You can start following my work over at G4tv.com, but since working for G4tv.com involves a move to Los Angeles, my contributions will occur in spurts. We are all scheduled to start working in the G4tv.com offices the week before E3, right around the time some big changes to the site are supposed to drop.

I will miss heading to the 1UP.com offices, as I have done for the past month or so, to record Listen Up with John Davison, Garnett Lee and David Ellis. I consider all three of them close friends, and will miss them (and many others) dearly when I move onto The Next Big Thing ™. Unless plans change, I will still be on the next two episodes. Try not to say anything too stupid, Patrick.

But change is good. Change is good.

What happens to this blog? I’m not sure. As expected, it fell by the wayside. I’m considering opening up a Tumblr. Maybe it will continue to be a place I drop the material that doesn’t make sense elsewhere. Or I can just drop LOST theories until the new season premieres. Suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for reading. The best is yet to come.

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Should You Tell A Developer You Haven’t Played Their Game?

Truth, Lies

While sitting in on a developer demonstration for a game sequel, it’s not uncommon for them to ask those in attendance if they’ve played the first game.

In years past, when presented with a situation where I hadn’t played the original game in question, I had multiple answers ready, all various forms of lies.

1) “Yes, but only briefly”
2) “Sure”
3) “Well, one of my roommates/friends/co-workers did and I watched”

None of them were true, obviously. Since then, I’ve come to realize such answers don’t help anyone. I tell them I haven’t played their game. No apologies. I can’t play everything, though I do my best to try everything.

There are instances where a developer will be taken aback, as was the case earlier this week when I was checking out a sequel. I joked with the developer afterwards, telling him I could have lied, and he laughed it off.

“I would have found out,” he joked.

“No, you wouldn’t have,” said the voice in my head.

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The Press Junket

Las VegasThe view from the 39th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Vegas

I’m currently sitting in a Las Vegas hotel room to see a game I can’t talk about yet. You’ll hear my thoughts when the embargo lifts later this week. It’s a bizarre trip, my least favorite kind: the publisher-paid press junket. It’s a little talked about but otherwise staple element of the enthusiast press.

No, I don’t know why we’re in Las Vegas, considering most of our time with the game will take place in otherwise standard hotel rooms. But anyway.

I do not like being a journalist on a publisher dime. It makes me uncomfortable. Typically, this kind of event involves publishers flying writers to some location, usually close to a developer or publisher, to play “X” game, conduct interviews about “X” game, participate in some crazy promotional activity loosely related to the game (i.e. fire guns), etc. Some are flown out by their own company, but sometimes, the publisher is footing the bill. That’s me this week. I’m here on behalf of a well-known publication, but the publisher covered travel expenses.

MTV had strict rules against this, with very few exceptions. Some publications alleviate their conscience by allowing writers to fly courtesy of a publisher only if they’re freelance and not in-house. I’ve never quite understood that one, but the reason is usually what you’d expect: “It’s better than nothing.” The pressure to attend because other outlets will be there is too much. It’s not much different than the BioShock 2 situation from last week, actually.

I’m confident my work out of here will be genuine, but I felt a desire to express my concerns. If nothing else, this obligates me to do better work.

Please hold me to it.

[There’s some good discussion happening in the comments section about the BioShock 2 incident last week around the blogosphere. Check it out.]

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Embarrassing

BioShock

The following is a list of news outlets, including ones I write for, that ran erroneous information about BioShock 2, based on a message board post inaccurately summarizing a Game Informer feature. This prompted both Game Informer and publisher 2K Games to vaguely attempt damage control.

* 1UP.com
* Kotaku
* Computer & Video Games
* Destructoid
* Joystiq
* Shacknews

There are countless other outlets that ran the “news,” too, but every single one of the aforementioned publications had the means to verify the information they passed on, information they were forced to backpedal on only hours later.

At least with Famitsu, you can claim it’s a different language. Embarrassing.

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Where I Am On The Internet

Posts have been planned. Posts have been cancelled. Such is the nature of a blog you always expected to ignore. Oh, and there’s the whole matter of my dog’s paw getting lodged in an escalator mishap and her losing a toe. Yes, that.

But in less depressing matters, I’ve been keeping myself busy writing for a number of outlets over the past two weeks. Here’s where you can find me, if you haven’t been following my updates and link whoring on Twitter:

What They Play:

Amazon Quiet On Trade-In Service’s Future, Won’t Reply To GameStop Criticisms
Head-to-Head: Amazon’s New Trade-In Program vs. GameStop

Green Pixels

5 Games To Fulfill Your Zombie Cravings

1UP

Why The Conduit Dropped Wii MotionPlus Support
Sony Explains Why LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2 Weren’t Downloadable

More to come, thankfully.

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I want my MTV…

MTV Multiplayer…but I can’t have it.

Budget cuts forced MTV News to make some hard decisions (I hope this one was hard) and one included slimming their freelance budget. The news came a year after I’d left the company responsible for my career, UGO Ziff Davis, and started with MTV Multiplayer and MTV News. My 12 months spent with MTV, under hard-as-nails editor Stephen Totilo and alongside writer Tracey John, were invaluable.

It’s time to move on, though.

Instead of getting upset — though I shed a few tears telling my girlfriend what happened, however inevitable this seemed — I’m embracing change. Change is good, change is healthy, but change often comes at inopportune times. The problem, obviously, is finding out what that change means for me.

Right now, it means heading into the competitive freelance market. Issue number one: every gig is something my friends are vying for, too. Money in my pocket is money not in theirs. That’s not a comfortable position to be in, but it’s the reality of gaming editorial at the moment. Stay in school, prospective writers!

What’s this blog about? Who knows. There’s good reason to expect I’ll update once or twice before watching it fade into Internet noise, but I’ve always wanted my own little place on the web, so why not? Plus, I have a few ideas I was never able to execute at MTV. Maybe I can do them here.

By the way, the name Push The Button came out of a desire to have a blog that simultaneously referenced Lost and games. That’s as close I could get.

With that, I’m ready to finish my last two days with MTV. Look for me on this week’s Listen Up podcast, too, and maybe Rebel FM next week.

P.S. Little Known Stephen Totilo Fact #1: He’s a karate master. Not joking.

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