Do We Need Print Video Games Journalism?
Hey future Caleb, do you still read print video games journalism in the future? Well, not you specifically, considering the paper wouldn’t survive inside that jar head of yours. Unless they have waterproof paper in the future. Why doesn’t the present have waterproof paper?
That seems pretty easy. Hey companies, get on it. But in general, do people still read print video games journalism in the future. Okay, another caveat: do any intelligent species read print video games journalism–genetically enhanced bears, human brain transplant recipient pigs, spiders; yeah, just regular spiders. They can all read in the future.
And we don’t know why they learned to read. It’s terrifying. Do these things still read print video games journalism?
In other words, why doesn’t a magazine like Game Informer just put all of their content online and get rid of the print version? Real money casino ca is cheaper, has a much wider distribution, and can be much more responsive in terms of creating new content and updating existing content. It seems like a no-brainer to move entirely to an online magazine, right?
I want to explore this assertion. If it was true, the smart powers at Game Informer would act. So why haven’t they? What benefits does the print medium have that the digital medium does not, specifically as it relates to video games writing?
This video idea came to me when I learned of Game Informer‘s then-forthcoming 300th issue, which I just threw over my shoulder, and with the printing of the 300th issue, Game Informer teamed up with Fulton Brewing to create special packaging for Fulton Brewing’s 300 Mosaic Pale Ale. That’s really cool, and not insubstantial, fanfare to commemorate the legacy of not just a video game magazine (re: not your typical mass media publication) but a print magazine. Gurgle. Gurgle.
Gurgle Sorry. I’m not showing the label when I do this. I’m not a very good TV actor. Sorry sponsorships. It’s not a sponsorship.
Why would they do that? I ordered that beer in the mail. Shipping on beer is not cheap. Video games and beer have an existing relationship, one I’ve tried to document with my own video game inspired beer collection (there’s a link to that video in the description below), so the pairing isn’t that crazy, I suppose.
But still, something about commemorating a print publication like this in the year 2018 feels, weird, right? Now, as you know future Caleb, I love books, I have a wall full of them behind me. I much prefer reading print books over digital, so from a personal aesthetic, I love that a print magazine not only exists, but exists successfully enough to have a beer label created to celebrate it.
This video topic isn’t about my personal love of print media. It’s about the disconnect between the the fast moving world of video games and the comparatively slow moving world of print journalism. Let’s first address the difference in types of journalism.
I see two distinct buckets. News, which includes new game releases, industry shakeups, sales figures, and the hottake responses to those things. For news, digital makes sense. This free magazine, available in Walmart stores, is just game descriptions and a few basic reviews.
That’s all. And that’s why it’s free. This is the same stuff you can get in any of the hundreds of online video game blogs and news resources. If you’re looking for coverage of “the next big thing,” then stick with digital outlets. Game Informer has game descriptions and reviews too, but more importantly, it also has the second distinct bucket of journalism: analysis. Which includes long-form editorials, opinion pieces, and explorations of video game culture.
Remember when I said earlier that the benefits of online games journalism is that it’s cheaper, has a much wider distribution, and can be much more responsive in terms of creating new content and updating existing content. This last item, being more responsive, is actually a detriment to analysis and is the central point that highlights the need for print video games journalism. I’m comfortable saying that traditionally, video games journalism has heavily favored the news bucket. In fact, I’d argue that due to “the next big thing” mentality of the industry, video games have navigated the popular shift into digital media better than other industries. The same concern over traditional newspapers shifting to digital only just didn’t happen with the video game industry specifically.
This could be because there’s way less money in video games journalism, but the point stands: a technology focused industry will cope with digital distribution easier than other industries. When the primary topic of conversation is “What’s next from X developer,” the production times associated with print become a hindrance to information distribution, not a benefit. But, here’s where we must ask important questions about intent.
If gaming journalism is only about news, then yeah, print. But if we, the gamers who see games as more than an entertainment medium, want to advance the cultural conversation about games, we must recognize the role print psychology plays. Print has psychological gravitas. The permanence of print conveys a sense of immovable trust. Digital can be updated quickly as new facts surface.
Print? It’s not as easy. And that’s what readers want. We want to believe the printed story has been properly vetted from all angles, that the idea being conveyed is so solid that there is no fear of new facts that would change the argument enough to warrant an update. Also consider the financial resources required to print and distribute a book. Digital, generally speaking, doesn’t have those costs.
So we, as readers, should be even more confident that the story conveyed to us by print publications is solid. Could Game Informer simply put these pieces of analysis online and abandon the print version? Sure, but these pieces would then get drowned out by the rest of the internet.
The space between two covers is a controlled environment. It’s a curated, packaged, contained message. The reader is promised satisfaction in a way that ever-present internet distractions don’t allow with digital content. I also want to mention books as an important elevation of the conversation about video games. Books represent the ultimate contained and vetted message, and a contained and vetted message isn’t really possible until the zeitgeist allows for it. The number of books written about video games has grown enormously since 2013.
An increase in books about video games indicates an increase in the respect that video games have at large. It’s a great thing. And if you love books about video games please be sure to subscribe to this channel, because I review a lot of video game books. There’s a link to a playlist in the description below only filled with videos about book reviews.
So tip your hat and your beer to those who put ideas about video games between two covers so that nerds like me and you can watch a video about how important books are. Tell me in the comments below what your thoughts are on print vs digital video games journalism. And, if you have any recommendations for great books about video games, let me know. Please like, subscribe, and click the Bell icon to make sure you don’t miss future videos. If you are still watching this video, you obviously like it, right? So, it only makes sense to subscribe.