Monday, July 15, 2013

Newsroom 2.0

Newsroom started its second season last night. I watched the premiere "First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers" and enjoyed it. The dialogue especially between the characters was awesome. Sloane and Charlie, played by Olivia Munn and Sam Waterson respectively, making fun of each other was great writing. I have never read a review of season Newsroom before so I was a little surprised to see so many critics have a love-hate relationship with the show. Many referenced creator Aaron Sorkin's earlier work including the seminal The West Wing. It's nearly the exact opposite of the public perception of Newsroom. On the show garnered a 8.5 rating which is a rather high rating for a show so unloved by alot of critics. To give you a frame of reference The Incredibles has a 8.0 and The Dark Knight has a 9.0. It is here that we come to the point where I bring it around to video games.

I am concerned that journalistic integrity is a dying concept let me acknowledge first, but more importantly I'm concerned that the public doesn't trust journalists. I know that journalists like to think themselves of 'the fourth pillar', especially in countries where you don't go to labor camps for speaking out against the government but its clear that the general public no longer trusts journalists farther than the trust garnered yesterday. Gamers trust game writers but only so far. Every reviewer has to tackle the 'getting paid off' remark more than a few times in their careers and its happening with more and more frequency. You can read between the lines when long time veterans of the industry still have to take the time out of covering the industry to continually assure their audience that they aren't 'taking money under the table'.

Writers have been integral to our way of life for centuries but they seem to be a dying breed. Last weekend it was revealed that J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym was only able to garner 1500 books sold in a week, for a book reviewed well by her peers and critics. Now while I'm sure those 1500 people are all sitting pretty holding a soon-to-be valuable first printing, but what does it say about the writing industry for a quality fiction author to be unable to generate decent sales? We depend on writers to deliver us information in a form we can comprehend. If gamers don't respect the writers they'll soon find them on the list of the endangered species, no one will like what comes afterwards. I can't say anything about lawyers, but gamers better be damn sure they save the writers.


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