And Now for a Musical Interlude
TomChick - News - 04/08/08 - Link

I started writing "professionally" about games in about 1992, working on a downloadable magazine. Those really took off! From there, I managed to get work at Gamecenter.com, then at Computer Games Strategy Plus, and then at Computer Gaming World. Those guys were how I earned a living in the 90s, much more than delivering sandwiches and trying to be an actor. And with today's announcement that Ziff Davis is closing Computer Gaming World (err, excuse me: "transitioning [it] to an online-exclusive destination"), none of them are left. Lights, please. Can I get a spot? Here now, is my rendition of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables.

Since Quarter to Three has no means to stream multimedia, you were spared that. I had to sing it on Easy, but even then, the audience approval meter thingie was in the red most of the time. Phew. Three stars, though.

The conventional wisdom is that print is as dead as PC gaming. This comment from one of the posters on our forum is how most folks think of it:
Gaming information…I can get all over the web and for free. I'm sorry for the people this affects and hope nothing but for the best for them, but I think the writing has been on the wall for a lot of print media for the past few years.

Too many people regard gaming journalism – a spotty enterprise, at any rate – as no more than a bunch of nerds like me passing along information: this game will be released on this date, that game has these features, another game supports this many players in multiplayer, the quality of this game is this number. If that's what you expect, then that's what you deserve. You can go any number of places for reviews that read like coverage of consumer electronics, bullet point previews without context or discrimination, diatribes against Roger Ebert, puerile writing, and web comics.

But the best publications, print or otherwise, aren't just about passing along information. They have style. They have a voice. They have perspective and context and insight. Information is probably number five or six on their list of stuff that's important. This is what Computer Games Magazine and Games for Windows were trying to do. To dismiss their attempts because the same information was available online (which it often wasn't, but never mind that) is to completely miss the point of what you've lost. Like the base Judean, throwing away a pearl richer than all your tribe, you make gaming journalism what it is today. Enjoy.



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