Tag Archives: journalism

Why I love video games

Chris Plante in his first piece since returning to Polygon:

I love video games, but what I might love more is the opportunity I’ve had over the last decade to share the imperfect games with other people, people who might have otherwise passed them on their occasional visit to GameStop in search of Madden or Destiny, Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty. I like finding greatness in the world’s biggest games, too, but I recognize they set an expectation of polish and scope that so many games can’t match. When I criticize a game, I do so to set expectations, to provide context, to interrogate what doesn’t work and to shine a light on what does.

This is exactly how I used to approach music and how I currently approach books. With music, it used to be a mainstream vs. indie thing, but I’ve learned to appreciate the big budget works for what they’re worth as well. With books, it’s less about popularity and more about topics—granularity.

In any case, it’s great to see Plante back at it. A stellar writer and critic. We’re lucky to read his work.

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Brian Crecente says Goodbye to Polygon

Brian Crecente:

So I wrapped things up at Kotaku and joined Grant and crew to help launch Polygon. Then somehow five years whipped by and before I knew it I went from covering presidential press conferences and breaking news on new games to spending my days writing about esoteric pinball machines or the state of gaming and game culture in Cuba.

When Rolling Stone contacted me about joining the magazine on its 50th anniversary, I simply couldn’t say no. I’ve spent more than a dozen years talking about how I wanted to build the Rolling Stone of gaming publications. Where better to do that then at Rolling Stone?

I’ve always looked forward to Brian’s work on Zero Counts was founded upon a very similar message.

Glixel (Rolling Stone’s gaming vertical) has been publishing some spectacular pieces as of late. I’m very excited to see how Brian’s legacy and institutional knowledge from Kotaku and Polygon bolster Glixel.

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Hard-Working Schlubs

Jeremy Parish writing on his 2-dimensions.com blog:

Video games are made by hard-working schlubs, and they’re written about by hard-working schlubs, and both categories of schlub do so in service of the hard-working schlubs who do their schlubbing so they can afford to buy video games. We’re not so different, you and I.

Great perspective piece on 10+ years working in the gaming press. I have Parish, in part, to thank for where I am today. From one hard-working schlub, schlubbing to afford to write about video games on the side (because I can’t help it either), to another hard-working schlub: Thank you.

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Russ Frushtick says Goodbye to Polygon

Russ Frushtick:

But, there comes a day when you feel like you’re not learning as much as you were, or you’re not conquering as many new challenges as you used to. Even with awesome, amazing jobs like this, there comes a time when you feel like you need to try something fresh. Something new. That’s been buzzing in my ear for the last few months and, as of two weeks ago, I let my boss, Chris Grant, know that I was taking the leap. (He was super cool about it, by the way.)

I’ve always enjoyed Frushtick’s work. Sad to see him leave Polygon and the games media-at-large but happy to see him leave on his own terms. Godspeed Frushtick. Looking forward to the August Besties more than ever.

UPDATE, 5/3/16: Russ is back:

It’s been nearly two years since I left and an educational two years at that. I took a break from the gaming industry and expanded into new areas. I wanted to broaden my professional experience, get out of my comfort zone, and dive into some new things. I worked with some great companies and great people but there was always a tugging. A desire to return to return to this place and work with these amazing people.

Great news. And what does this mean for the future of Besties?

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A Life Well Wasted

An internet radio show about videogames and the people who love them.

I am revisiting Robert Ashley’s A Life Well Wasted. If you’re a fan of Radiolab, the music of I Come To Shanghai or Jim Guthrie, and culture and history, you should be listening too.

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Griffin McElroy, senior editor at Polygon in an interview with The Indoor Kids:

When we founded Polygon, it was based on the idea that there are games writers who are out there who are really bright and really good at what they do. We wanted it to be a little bit more personality based, not entirely about us but I think there is some value to, “I have writers that I adore, I’m going to value them higher.” There’s not a lot of demand for that.

I used to follow IGN incessantly. At times I felt like an addict, continually refreshing their page for the more news. I began contributing blog posts in the hopes of offering more content, one of which was featured.

Then I stumbled upon Polygon. At first glance, there was promise; however, based on prior viewing habits, I was disappointed by the content. While I was initially attracted to their modern design, I looked at the abundance of larger features and opinions as pretentious… Until I decided focus on their writers.

Polygon is now my go-to games site. I constantly find myself scrolling through their feed, scanning for new pieces from Chris Plante, The Brothers McElroy, or Grumpa Kuchera. My Twitter feed is littered with the likes of Danielle Riendeau and Phil Kollar. On occasion, a piece from Brian Crecente will spark curiosity. Last year I deemed Tracey Lien “Journalist of the Year.” I will go as far as to say that the work of the Polygon team inspired me to read… inspired me to write.

That’s not to say I dislike IGN’s features. Justin Davis continually pulls at my nostalgic heartstrings, and I don’t think I ever read a piece by Keza MacDonald (now of Kotaku UK) I didn’t agree with. The problem is that most of the content feels like the voice of IGN, not the voice of the writer.

Baseball diehards can tell you the subtleties in team dynamics. There can be diversity under the same umbrella. Many more sites need to embrace the privilege of instant educated opinion. If the games community cannot foster intelligent conversation on its own, someone must lead the way.

Generally, if I dislike a highly anticipated album upon first listen, it ends up becoming one of my favorites. I hated Cursive’s “The Ugly Organ,” anything by Mark Kozelek, and The Beatles; now I can’t stop listening. I felt the same about Polygon; now I can’t stop reading.

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