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Getting the Lists Right

posted on January 29th, 2009 by christian

The 2008 retrospective lists continue to roll in, and every time I see one I feel the need to comment on it. Without fail, once I’ve written my piece I simply delete the draft and worry about something more important.

I finally struck gold today. PC World has a list of 2008’s most overrated games (which covers consoles, despite the whole “PC” thing in their name). I have no problems with how PC World feels about the quality of each of the games, but I do get irked when professional journalists fail to do even a little bit of homework or editing. I am referring to their complaints about Call of Duty: World at War, which contain the following quote:

After all, the original developers were conspicuously AWOL, leaving game-creation duties to the underwhelming Treyarch

When I read “conspicuously AWOL”, I see words meaning “noticeable,” and “gone without permission.” Neither of these are true in the case of World at War. I remember reading various news pieces over the years mentioning how Activision is now using a “leapfrog” development scheme wherein franchises are tackled by different teams each year. I also read about Infinity Ward fighting to gain exclusive rights to the series for all games post-World at War.

But my memory is proof of nothing, so I looked for some example sources. That took me about two minutes, and I know there is more info floating around the ‘net. The bottom line is that Treyarch developing World at War was not a surprise to anyone. It was known for a good year before release.

For all I know the author did in fact know these things, but in that case I would suggest a better editor for their next list. Since this is gaming related, Internet journalism, however, it is likely that he had no clue, and the community bleeds a little more thanks to such amateurish work.

Actually, I do a disservice to amateurs. While I can only speak for myself, I know I have made factual errors in at least a few videolamer articles. Because we are a small site that is responsive to the audience, we have been able to catch and correct them. I may very well send an email to PC World, but I expect no response, or one that is scathing and insulting because I pointed out how bad they are at their job.

3 Comments

  1. GJ said on January 30, 2009:

    With internet deadlines being so short, quality suffers. Fortunately for writers, most readers are as stupid and sloppy as the writers are, so blatant mistakes go unnoticed or unremarked.

  2. Spyder Mayhem said on February 6, 2009:

    Just dropping in to hijack a thread. What up?

    So, it turns out that there is something worse than not having all of your information. And that is “Not having all of your information about the Something Awful forums before you decide to post there.”

    So a little lady named Rachel, who is the agenda editor for “Official Playstation Magazine”, is alerted to a thread on SA about redesigning box art for games.

    So she likes what she sees and posts that she’d like to contact some of the new box art designers for permission to publish their work. Oh, Rachel, that’s not how the internet does business! She is immediately flamed and then asked to expose her breasts while holding a sign with her name on it to prove who she is.

    Rachel has a blog, too, and it is found almost immediately by the bored SA Goons. Her last twitter message: “Wow, the Something Awful forums are super mean.” Rachel, they’ve just begun. I’m not entirely sure you know what that even means, yet. And, when you dive headlong into the forums of a place called “Something Awful” and try to impress the basement dwelling neckbeards with your position at a fancy magazine, you shouldn’t be too surprised when things start to go wrong.

    So, for those of you who will watch the drama unfold, here is what is about to happen to poor Rachel.

    1. People will start to defend Rachel, but they will be beaten into non-postage for being “White Knights.”

    2. Dozens of goons will begin to Google every single variant of her nickname that they can find, hoping to find out that she posts furry pictures on Deviantart or trying to find her okcupid profile. They may not find any of these things, but they will find something.

    3. Rachel will, as they always do, try to explain it as either a joke or something she did years ago. This will only confirm things for the Goons, who will dig even harder.

    4. Someone will find her home phone number. She will get dozens of calls and a Goon somewhere will get arrested for harassment.

    And all because she asked nicely to use some pictures.

  3. jay said on February 6, 2009:

    Something Awful makes me question my belief that humans can treat each other well without the fear of Hell and promise of Heaven compelling them to do so.

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