Critical Alternative Journalism from the Perspective of Game Journalists


DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG
Dundee, Scotland: Digital Games Research Association and Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, August, 2016
Number: 1
Volume: 13
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

This paper investigates from a game studies perspective the potential of alternative online game journalism for a more critical and honest coverage than established game journalism. Following the notion that journalism is defined by journalists through their practical work and discourse (Zelizer, 1993:222) the authors conducted 11 in-depth focused semi-structured interviews (Minichiello et al., 1995) with alternative game journalists and established game journalists. The results show that the social media logic of Youtube forces alternative journalists to adopt entertaining personas which undermines their authenticity unless they can afford to work for free. Alternative game journalists do not understand themselves as journalists but instead see themselves as critics or reviewers. They see established print-media game journalists as journalists. Neither do interviewees from established game journals. This means that nobody understands themselves as game journalists and takes the role of the watchdog in a democratic society (Wahl-Jorgensen and Hanitzsch, 2009:8).