Kieron Gillen's workblog




"We are your friends/We come in peace/We've brought our guns to set you free"

A little on the New Games Journalism fall out.

I wrote it knowing it would attract comment which - well - was kinda the point. You don't climb on a soap-box when there's no chance of a crowd. Linked all over the web, running in an editted form in MCV (British Trade Paper) and leading to what I think is the single biggest hit-spike this humble work-blog has ever seen (Even above the Deus Ex: Invisible War comments and Chimplants).

I'm still pleased I wrote it and don't mind the ridicule at all.

Of course, the ridicule was less than I expected, though I'm sure that's because most people are too polite to actually say it to my face. The manifesto wrote itself an out by being mostly about the industry and an analysis of another piece. Without AB's "Bow Nigger" as a model to commentate upon, I'd have come across as more of a self-agrandising buffoon that I did. In fact, the manifesto was worth writing just to get AB's piece in a few more people's faces. One of the standard comments was that the New Games Journalism rant was a little long and boring but the feature was ace.

Which was totally correct. My piece while about the New Games Journalism wasn't actually New Games Journalism in and of itself, was aimed at a much smaller audience than AB's. It was written for people who give a toss about games journalism as theory and practice rather than just reading games journalism. It was a mixture of bringing people up to speed on stuff that's increasingly prevalent in the memepool, and trying to inspire them to actually write something of it.

If someone's stupid enough to care, a manifesto can still inspire them, and that was very much its point. I should know: I'm terribly influenceable by such things. In other words, I was writing it for anyone like me out there.

And I'm happy to accept a little bit of ridicule to do get a message to anyone who's even vaguely like me out there.

"Why distrust our obvious success? God's on our side. We know we're right."

As smart readers may have been able to predict, the NGJ (The terms already been abreviated on a few forums, which is charming. It's also been turned into ironic l33t speak, which is predictable doltism) ramble was linked to by its constituents. That is, those who are attempting to practice the games journalism of attachment already, in one form or another. I link to the major ones, to return the favour, in a vague order of number of hits provided.

INSERT CREDIT: The American State, basically, except much better organised and with considerably more intellectual stringency. Their extended Journalism: The Videogame feature touched on many of the same issues, with perhaps less stressing of the commercial aspects and the fact that this is, in fact, potentially more populist. Actually, I was vaguely asked to contribute to that having been introduced by Ste Curran last year... but just never got around to writing the piece. I like to think of the NGJ rant as my late contribution.

UK RESISTANCE: Heartening that the piss-takery provides this many hits. Like web-fu akido, I turn the force of my enemies blows against them. Also heartening that it tells me that UK Resistance is still kinda alive and still doing their vaguely sarcastic Segacentric gag-stuff. Gave me a flashback of the summer of 2000 when it was - quite literally - something to read on the days when Old Man Murray couldn't be bothered to update, and when all of Edge's staff had eight pseudonyms on their forum.

SLASHDOT GAMES: Slashdot about games, basically, and always worth reading due to it picking up a more interesting and wider selection of stories than most game tickers. Also amusing for aanand's description of me as a "Superstar UK Games Journalist". That is The Funny.

STATE/QUARTER TO THREE/RLLMK/NTSC: Mainly linked from their forums, which I'm plugging here. State I've talked about enough, but all are on a similar model - smartish talk about videogames by people who can generally complete sentences. Some stuff is highbrow. Much is in-jokey. Don't know much of Quarter To Three or NTSC's history, but RLLMK seemed to exist as a parallel Edge-forum from that particular pit of despair's decadent period. Insert Credit has a similar sort of forum to all of these. If you want a smart gaming community, you could do a lot worse.

WORLD OF STUART: Site of veteran outspoken games journalist-cum-activist, Stuart Campbell.

THE A-BUTTON: Similar to the above forums, but on Delphi and a tad more Americicentric. Less injokey, more on topic, a tad less highbrow. Though clearly "highbrow" is a relative term when talking about videogame forums. Posters with a fondness for English as a first language before l33t is pretty much all a videogame forum needs to make a claim to be highbrow.

WAY OF THE RODENT: Underground punky-gonzoid games site. Currently doing an amusing head-to-head between (deluded) C64-advocates and (righteous) Spec-chums, and generally is smart, witty and funny. I like them a lot.

THE VIDEOGAME OMBUDSMAN: Opinionated videogame culture-blog, news-centric. Never actually linked to me, but actually droped an e-mail, which is even better.

HERMIT GAMES: Know absolutely nothing about these chaps, so put the link here to remind me to investigate. Linked to me in the context of a link to Way of the Rodent's Speccy/C64 war, which shows good taste if nothing else.

I think there were more, but I forget them. Will perhaps update later, when my memory isn't so tiny and weak.

"We have no fear of your obvious disgust/You hate us because you're jealous of success"

Interjections courtesy of Bobby Conn's "The Homeland", the first decent post-9-11's protest album with an impecable faux-Republican schtick. Early contender for my album of the year.

And, as a personal note, going to see Le Tigre/Erase Erata/Kaito last night and found that the semi-fictional curse I'd inflicted on the closest I've written for an autobiographical character kicks in the second I enter the venue.

Be careful, people. There's writing out there.




Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.