July 2008


Huh? Who’s there? Oh, sorry…I was just taking a quick, 10-day nap to recover from the whirlwind of game-filled days and sleepless nights that was this year’s E3 Media & Business Summit. While the developers and publishers are the ones ostensibly driving the show with their “games” and “announcements,” I maintain that it’s us sleep-deprived journalists that are really the core of the event. After all, we’re the gatekeepers who have to condense the whirlwind of news into something somewhat interesting and digestible to the gaming public. With so many disparate journalists in one place, consensus on a game or company’s performance can coalesce quickly.

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The video-game-centric podcast talks to me about E3 2008.

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One part of the economy that does not appear to be struggling is the game industry. The Electronics Entertainment Expo is underway this week in Los Angeles, and already the headlines are pouring out of the annual gamers’ summit. The expo is the game industry’s biggest. We talk with Kyle Orland, game industry blogger and co-host of the NPR podcast, “Press Start”

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In a perfect world, every game reviewer would be able to play every game to completion before crafting a thorough and well-researched critique of the gameplay and narrative. Of course, in a perfect world every game would be perfect, so there would be no need for reviewers at all. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and practically every professional reviewer admits to falling short of the ideal, play-it-to-the-finish standard at one time or another. The reasons behind these lapses range from the practical to the personal.

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Embargo issues, trade-association conflicts, and a tantalizingly inaccurate source for game-sales data highlight the month’s game-journalism issues.

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