Why the game review scores debate will never be ‘solved’ in the age of shifting media habits

Metacritic.com, Games, Feb 22, 2015 screenshot (1000x563)Numbers are numbers. When it comes to cultural critique they tell you very little without context.

For those that don’t know, debates about video game review scores – their editorial honesty as well as their ability to influence readers and, by extension, game sales – has raged for as long as games magazines have existed.

This month, popular game news and review site, Eurogamer, announced that it is dropping review scores entirely. This caused ripples of celebration and consternation. It also prompted other specialist and trade media websites to respond with discussions, comment pieces about the nature of game critique today and cases for/against keeping review scores. Meanwhile, some scoff at the very idea of written reviews, arguing that Let’s Play videos, Twitch.tv and YouTube vloggers are the future.

The trouble is different meanings are inherently attached to review scores. This means they will always be a help to some and of negligible value to others. (It becomes even more complicated when you try to aggregate scores.) Continue reading

Rob Orchard and the slow journalism revolution

Journalism has been in crisis for a long time now. Today, with instant digital communication at our fingertips, being first with the news is what readers and publishers tend to value most.

It is an issue that Rob Orchard, editor of Delayed Gratification magazine, discussed in a superb TEDx talk in Madrid this year. Continue reading

Why British-Grenadians should care about the island’s 40th independence day

Grenada flag-waver, by Wayne Marshall (Sep 2008) (1448x815)There are just over 9,700 Grenadian-born people living in the United Kingdom, according to the 2001 UK Census. How many of them were aware that the island of their birth celebrated its 40th anniversary of independence on Friday, February 7, 2014? Continue reading

Journalism that makes me aspire to be a better journalist

Absent from the Academy still 01, by Nathan Richards

When I decided I wanted to be a journalist the biggest attraction to me was having the chance to meet new people and tell stories about them. Heroic people, frightening people or maybe just ordinary people.

But somewhere along the way, I realised what has kept me at this for the relatively short period I’ve been doing this is because I want to change things. Continue reading

How to survive making a new magazine

For the attention of Angela Phillips and future magazine newbies.

So you’ve won your pitch, you’ve assembled a team and now you’ve got just two months to turn your magazine dreams into a reality. Now the work really begins. Continue reading

London from a new perspective

In the last four months, I have seen London in completely new ways.

I’ve been down on the streets, high-tailing it across town on all manner of transport and discovering the city after dark. As the saying goes: you live in the city, but you never do these things until somebody comes to visit – or in my case, until I started a postgrad journalism course that required me to get out and meet people. Continue reading

Reflections on Animal Farm

Animal Farm, George Orwell, by dewberry1964

“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

Orwell’s Animal Farm didn’t cross my path while I was in school – I suspect Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men took the spot it would have occupied. Having just finished the book it’s clear to me that I have been missing out all these years. Continue reading

Computers in court

Tandy 102 Portable Computer (1986)Technology and court have never got on. More than 140 years after the invention of the typewriter, and even ahead of broadcast, tweeting has been approved as a method for journalists reporting on UK court cases. This is a phenomenal step for a courts system that is so cautious of the media and technology disrupting justice that it’s any wonder journalists are even allowed ballpoint pens. Continue reading