Pop Culture Problems

Issues in an Industry Reporting on Entertainment

Game and Popular Culture journalism seems like a lot of fun on the surface. Amazing events and promotions, the promise of early access to exciting content and a career filled with what you love are all very enticing ideas that draw many people to this profession.

However the truth of all of this is much more complicated. For an industry built around fun and enjoyment the media that reports on it has been prone to some huge controversies, questionable ethics, ignorance and downright unprofessional actions. Even the audience can be downright sexist, hateful and damaging, going so far as to even satirise the quality of game journalism. Even those in the industry, such as Penny Arcade’s Ben Kuchera, feels that sometimes game journalism is its own worst enemy.

Sexism is one of the biggest issues facing the industry, taking over from the corruption stories making the headlines in 2012. Whether it be the lobbying for better representation of women in Anita Sarkeesian’s “Feminist Frequency” videos or the ‘shocking’ backlash that followed, it’s one area that society still can’t seem to push past.

Despite the horror stories there is plenty of integrity fuelled and well thought out journalism happening in this sphere, with well written opinion pieces and considered reviews appearing from a lot of reputable outlets, such as Brianna Wu’s in-depth look at 2013 and gender in gaming.

Either way you look at it, when reddit is the place that has one of the most mature discussions about these issues we know that something has to change in the larger media. In one simple but effective quote, Mitch Dyer sums up the state of the industry well; “Games writing can be pretty awesome. The industry has some incredible critics discussing important things. It also has a lot of people using disgusting, old bad habits.”


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