GamerGate and Game Journalism: Full Disclosure – An Author’s Opinion
I’m Not a Game Journalist, Honestly
To preface the following, allow me to state something many readers may not know about me.
I’m not a game journalist. I’ve never claimed to be one.
I’m a 22 year old Filipino college graduate from Union University in the honky-tonk town of Jackson, Tennessee. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science., and am heading out to Memphis, Tennessee in January 2015 for my occupational therapy graduate school program.
I have absolutely no background in print or digital journalism, nor have I ever written for any type of website other than GamerHeadlines.com. I just seem to have a knack for writing (Thank you, Mrs. Hardin), and it seems to work out well for me.
With that said, I do, however, have an extensive background in video games. I played the original Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation when I was a chubby, 8 year old Asian, and today, I’m itching to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on my PC (whenever Kojima decides to bestow it upon us) as a buff, 22 year old Asian. I’ve also probably played every game that came out in those glorious 14 years. But that’s beside the point.
My point is to say that I’m not a game journalist. I’m simply a person who loves and enjoys playing video games (as I imagine many of you reading this article do as well) who writes about video games, the game industry, and anything relevant to the community the previous two cater to. And that is the state of things on my end.
Let’s transition to GamerGate, shall we?
GamerGate: A Call for Transparency
I, and many of my fellow staff members, have written a number of articles addressing those topics, so I think it’s fair to say anyone reading this has a decent grasp on what has been going on within the game industry and gaming community the past few weeks. That’s not what I’m here to tell you about today (But if you really don’t know what GamerGate is, check out this convenient GamerGate primer)
The reason I stand (ahem, sit in front of a computer screen) before you today is to tell you that any career field, in this case, “game journalism,” needs transparency and integrity.
In regards to game journalism, GamerGate’s call to action shouldn’t be some revolutionary new idea. Ethics and honesty should have been present all along, but that would only happen in a perfect world.
I believe the reason GamerGate and NotYourShield came about is because something visible, a tangible major event occurred that brought a severe lack of integrity to the forefront, right in front of the eyes of the gaming community, and acted as a catalyst that sparked the fire of ethics reform and a call for transparency in game journalism, one that the field desperately needed.
In a Perfect World…
GamerGate is a movement I wholeheartedly agree with. Not because I love video games, not because I love people that play video games, but because it is basic human courtesy.
The cynic in me says that GamerGate’s ultimate goal will never happen. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, people will lie, cheat, steal, backstab, et cetera just so they can have a few extra dollars staring back at them when they make a withdrawal at the ATM.
Like I said, in a perfect world.
That’s the problem. We don’t live in a perfect world. There is corruption, and there is collusion. However, nothing will change if no one does anything about it. And that’s the way I see it. The people behind GamerGate are doing something about it. They’re calling for transparency, honesty, and integrity from a business (because yes, at its core, video games, game journalism, and all that they entail are about money, but you already knew that) that they sincerely love and care about.
I’m not biased, or at least I try not to be. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But when it comes down to it, I am all for transparency, integrity, and honesty, especially when it has to do with something that has been dear to me all of my life.
Stick to Your Principles
Call me a one-trick pony or a broken record, I’ve said it so many times before:
You have to stick to your guns.
I’m even going to quote myself from a previous article. That may seem a bit narcissistic or egotistical, but I believe it applies quite nicely to my main point of this particular article.
Say what you want, but here goes:
“…what the gaming industry (and culture) truly needs right now is transparency and integrity. It doesn’t matter who you are. Game journalist, reporter, developer, publisher, programmer, et cetera. It’s irrelevant. If you are going to voluntarily be part of an industry that relies primarily on its community for financial support and interactive feedback, honesty and forthrightness will do wonders for both sides of the party.”
…and that is just the way it is. Full disclosure, nothing left behind. Take it as you want. Love me, hate me, it doesn’t matter to me.
I’m just here to serve you, to relay video game news, events, stories and everything related to the subject to you. Because in the end that’s what game journalists (or in my case, person who writes about video games – in all honesty, that’s probably a whole other discussion entirely) should do.
Video game companies, developers, publishers, writers/journalists exist to serve you. You are the backbone of their financial stability. I’m going to leave that there, and let you do what you want with it.
As for me, I’m going to do what I said I would, stick to my guns (including my digital pre-order-procured guns, my real guns, and my ethical/moral/metaphorical guns).
Let me know what you think. Don’t agree with me? Tell me why, I’d love to have a civil discussion with you. You do agree with me? Buy me a drink, and we’ll celebrate while you tell me your personal thoughts on what I said. Whatever you want, just let me know in the comments section below.
In closing, as I said in one of my previous articles (sigh, eye-roll as much as you want – it works here), I leave you with the words of the great Harry Waters (acted masterfully by Ralph Fiennes in Martin McDonagh’s film, In Bruges):
Erwin Murillo is a graduate of Union University. He has a Bachelor's of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Exercise Science and Wellness/Sports Medicine, and is currently enrolled at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Occupational Therapy Program. As buff as he is nerdy, you can find him either throwing around iron in the gym, or working on his latest video game article...sometimes both. Follow him on Twitter @DesertFoxJr or email him at [email protected].