Losing That New Internet Smell
The night is dark, and the cold is chilling to the bone. Grabbing my briefcase, laptop bag, and runners bag, I quickly run into the house into it’s warm safety. Trying to be quiet since the family is asleep, I quietly walk upstairs to my bedroom, where I then flop on my bed. It had been a long school day, filled with boredom, and a little bit of homework, which created a stir in me (but that will be another entry in the very near future). Laying there for a moment, I decided to get up and head over to my computer, as I did daily. Sitting down and turning on my monitor, I went to my Opera Browser to check my RSS feeds. I had a lot of them since I had been gone all day at school, and hadn’t bothered to log in to my home computer to check them. Boy was I surprised to find…
The internet just can’t be the internet unless someone wants to ruin something for other people. MacRumors was the target this time, as some skilled hackers (or so they say, but, I have my doubts more and more as time goes on) decided to make a massacre of their Live Blog from MacWorld’s keynote. Let’s just put it this way, they said some pretty rough things in it. To this story, I just have to shake my head.
The story that I found to be shocking, though, is the fact that 1UP.com was acquired by UGO Entertainment on January 6, 2008. Most people will just shake their heads and go, “So what? It’s just a video game journalism site. This happens all the time.” That may be true, but when a lot of great journalists are now out of a job because the new parent company doesn’t want to keep them, then things start to go wrong. Many of 1UP’s show producers were in the midst of those layoffs, basically terminating any future episodes of their famous video podcast The 1UP Show, as well as their regular podcast 1UP Yours. Not only that, but at least 30, if not at least 40 other 1UP employees have been let go after this ordeal. Beyond all this and that, though, is that the last of Ziff Davis‘ print magazines, EGM, also known as Electronic Gaming Monthly, has been completely closed down, and will no longer be printed. EGM was one of the last impartial video game review magazines on the market. It was one of the most influential video game magazines for readers for many years, and has affected many game players, including 1UP creator Sam Kennedy, to do what they do in their life now, relating to video games.
Now let’s be honest, I read a lot about all of this from many different sites, as this has been a big uproar from the gaming community. And the problem is, this has all happened before to other sites. GameSpot is one who is not a stranger to controversy such as this, and lost many of their loyal fan base over the past year due to the unexpected and highly controversial firing of Jeff Gerstmann, which led to the quitting of mostly all of the higher end editors from their site. Based off of the comments I’ve read to news stories from both 1UP.com and UGO.com, it is obvious that members from both sides are skeptical of this acquisition. One controversial quote from UGO’s news post about the recent events is as follows, “… 1UP is all about its personalities…”. This comes after news of many of the highest end personalities from 1UP were let go. Obviously, someone needs to learn to choose their words a lot better. While this is big, I was enlightened to something that I hadn’t realized before. Most of the major video game journalism sites are now owned by major corporations, who I have a feeling have no idea anything about them, but are in it for the money, which is highly disappointing. Quoting Sam Kennedy’s Blog, creator of 1UP.com, “GameSpot is now part of CBS, IGN is owned by FOX, GameDaily is owned by AOL, and now 1UP is owned by UGO and its parent Hearst Corporation, one of the largest and long running publishers in the nation.” It’s amazing to think that all of these once small, privately owned video game journalism sites have become so big that they were bought out by these gigantic entities. I also wonder what in the world good it does for the video game site’s side of the coin.
A little bit of a shakeup in the world of the internet has sent a lot of people spiraling around, wondering what’s next for the gaming community! Personally, I just so happen to be losing some faith in the world of video game journalism. I mean, I understand, we’ll never know if a game is good or bad unless we rely on these websites and their opinions to tell us as such, but with all of this marketing and big corporation stuff going on, I wonder how much of it is unbiased anymore. We’ll just have to keep watching to see what happens coming up here in the next year.