- Joined in 2008
- AKA: DAT MAF
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- Joined in 2008
- Location: London
I think Jez Corden would like to see outrage! In gaming discussion some people have these knee-jerk reactions about a topic without thinking about the logic of what it is they are upset about.
Some time ago industry legend Geoff Keighley was a journalist and presenter for GameTrailers.com, he gave an interview with a gaming website about Comic-Con. At the time PepsiCo was promoting Halo 4 on two of their food products. Keighley was surrounded with Doritos and Mountain Dew marketing material and products. He was asked about Halo 4 and spoke informatively and favourably about it - this was an issue. Sponsorships and advertising are part and parcel of journalism, it pays the bills. However, by Keighley sitting amongst that product it appeared that he had been sponsored - which meant that any praise he gave for Halo 4 in a journalistic capacity may be regarded as impartial. I like Keighley and he's gone on to do great things for the industry, and in some ways since video game journalism advertising has matured. Here the issue was not sponsorship but transparency about sponsorship and separating editorial from such sponsorship.
Journalists not being clear about sponsorships is different from product placements, which has been going on in movies for decades, the James Bond franchise is well known for it. Sometimes these placements are part of the background decoration, sometimes the product is baked-in to be a central part of the movie, as with the Xbox 360 used in Project Almanac. Death Stranding is a piece of art (creative work), but it is also a product designed to generate substantial revenue - there is nothing more immoral about having a product placement in a computer game than in a movie. Sure it is perfectly reasonable to discuss the merits of how well a product placement is delivered, whether it is subtly done or is just heavy-handed promotion, whether it blends in with the game world or spoils the immersion. But these reactionary, almost puritanical, meltdowns I suspect are more to do with the format wars.