I know I haven’t posted a new video or even a new Tumblr post in a while, but after having some long drawn out discussions over the past fortnight, I’ve felt that I should really start thinking about what I want to do with Totes Vidya.
Initially, I thought it was going to be my own personal Twitter and Tumblr accounts to post my own videos and just cool game related stuff that caught my eye every other day, but as I started to post more and more PR stuff, I found that this isn’t exactly what I wanted to do with my time.
Totes Vidya was about providing content. Original Content, despite the possible oxymoron vibe that may give off. I wanted to start with Let’s Plays and then move onto sketches and reviews, but at the moment this page is just functioning as a mix between amusing things I find and PR slush. I have nothing against Public Relations and there would be a large bout of irony if I did considering my current profession, but I think that when people talk about video games and games journalism, there is something we all need to take into account: We Are Journalists.
The biggest problem with that fact is that we’re often reporting with only what we’re given. This isn’t too different from mainstream media stories where PR departments churn out different press releases day in and day out for people to find on different websites, rewrite and package them as news. This is not news, Press Releases are not news. Yes, they contain news, informational data which can be given to the public, but the framing and techniques used by PR companies give an incredibly subjective look on how people view their product.
What needs to take place is more objectivity in the world of game journalism, we all need to step back and realise how bad things have gotten. Social Games are falling apart at the seams, people are praising some-old same-old graphics, storyline and gameplay, franchises have become stale, the console market is not willing to move on and people are no longer looking towards video games as an interactive, connected, storytelling medium.
Why can’t games tell a 4-player story arc for friends to enjoy?
Who says we can’t cry at a game or learn about the dangerous duality of man and his actions?
Who says our world cannot be replicated?
And why can’t we tell our own story?
We are on the precipice of a future we’ve already imagine. Now it’s time to stop the cynicism, start actually doing something about it. We have to find out how things got this bad and try and make it better. We know that PR are the gatekeepers of information and that the gaming world isn’t about this new game or that new game, it’s about this experience or that experience. It’s about how we can harness the use of gaming as an amazing and effective tool to goof around, tell a story or just play with some friends. But never forget to ask why.
Why did Rob Florance have to censor himself?
Why do we not have our own version of the Oscars?
Why do we let the people who speak the loudest represent us?
And why does no one take us seriously?
But most importantly, why do we keep going? It’s not a simple question, nor an answer. We keep going because we believe. Cynicism and angry game reviewer aside, we believe that gaming should be taken seriously.
We believe that games are as important culturally to the world as music, film or literature have been for over centuries.
We believe that games represent different factions of life and can create simulations.
We believe the world should enjoy and appreciate games.
We’re a young medium. We have time. But right now is where we change everything. We start by thinking of why we love gaming and what we want from gaming. From there we critique what we don’t want, building on the work of others and finding a path to a new future. We find that path, adapt, work, change, adapt, write, live and play.
I woke up this morning and had to finish a group assessment that fell by the way side. The whole time I was thinking this. Between academic paragraphs and hastily editing a report on the absurdity of reality TV editing, I was cross-examining my own failing as a video game journalist, the current state and why we do what we do. I do it because I want a future of people who appreciate and talk about games the way I do. With passion, hope and experiences.
Now, who’s ready to press start to continue?