Video Games Judged

Who are the right people to judge and write about video games?

By Konstantinos Christakis

How many names of websites that write about video games do you know by heart? How many do you think you've come across during the entirety of your internet life? How many more do you think you will have the chance to visit? Hard to answer questions yet very interesting to look into. If you are into video games and journalism that is. But then again, that's what I am here for.

On a weekly basis (daily even) there is a constant flow of new websites that pop out of nowhere and start providing opinions on the video game industry. Be it a blogger or a youtuber that just started writing because he thought he can also be a writer, there is always another small corner somewhere in the abyssal depths of the internet where one can find someone's opinion on a video game. Reviews, features, previews for the more socially connected and interviews are the most seen things in video game journalism. Is it normal that there are so many though? Let's explore. 

With the rise, in the last decade, of the blog writing and generally the internet writing skills, more and more people get attracted to this activity or even line of work. Be it that you are someone just about to start writing, someone with a little bit of experience or someone who already has a bunch of publications under his/her name already, the internet is a land of opportunity for you to explore. Equal chances are a lie of course and thus I won't lie to you as well telling you that you can start there, expecting to be heard as much as some other guy who happens to know specific people. Marketing is always going to marketing and that strictly applies to the laws of internet fame more than anywhere else.

That immense rise in the amount of writers though has quite a few effects. First of all, as macro-economics theory would suggest, the rise of supply would have to be met by the amount of demand, and if that is not happening, then wage rates will drop and there will be unemployment. It's a very standard effect that happens with many other kinds of jobs but the interesting part for writers is that it is also an activity. Just like streaming, where a little kid can choose to use his overpriced computer for the sake of showing the world how pretty the house he built in Minecraft is. Let's talk about that some other time though.

What I am trying to get to here, is that when just anybody can be a writer, it damages the line of business for the professionals. It is not easy to go around and tell people you want to write about video games when there are so many (even underage) people out there that would do it for free. Not necessarily better than you, but in the age of internet fame, quantity over quality is needed in order to establish a steady flow of material for one's website. Quality comes in small doses anyway.

So, you see the problem we have to face at this point. Should just anyone be allowed to write about video games? Of course they should, the part that we need to be careful about here is that even though everyone is allowed to share his opinion about video games, that shouldn't mean that we should be trusting just any website that kind of thing.

A video games journalist should have, not only love for video games, but also the knowledge of how to act like a journalist. I am not talking about steps of how to be successful as a journalist here, but more like what the readers should be asking more actively out of the people that write all the stuff they push out on big video games media websites. Experience in the field would mean, being a better writer, having background knowledge on the video game industry or something similar such as art in general and last but not least business acumen. Being just a writer isn't enough and we all know that. If you want to address a certain amount of people, your target group, you will have to learn how to do before you go out sharing your opinion on anything.

It is the age of "I can do that as well". The age where things are offered so easily that just anyone thinks they can do it. If we are to continue living in a world filled with people who work to deliver quality, then we must be more demanding of what is handed to us in the first place.

Published January 28th, 2016

Kelfecil (Konstantinos Christakis) resides in the Netherlands and is a freelancer writer, blogger and many other things. He is also an author and the indies press correspondent at IGN Greece. You can find more about him on his blog. You can follow him on twitter and facebook.