Now that the jokes are out of the way, let’s get serious.
“Polygon Plays Doom” will probably live on for a very long time. Probably not forever, though, because it didn’t get a catchy name like #doomgate or #polygate – there needs to be a gate for something to be considered a serious issue, from what I can tell.
Unfortunately, it’s more likely to live as a humorous memory as opposed to the proof of negligence and nonchalance that it is. Video game journalism is all but dead.
Whether it’s taking money to give a good review, or the occasional handy (or other sexual favours) for coverage, the business of fun has become more “business” and less “fun”. Journalism requires two things, in my opinion: integrity, and quality. Just as we grab pitchforks when a journalist pretends to be the star of his own “Black Hawk Down” story (even though he was safe and in another chopper), we shouldn’t accept it when a game journalist, quite clearly, can’t game.
Integrity is important to journalism in all fields. As a “reporter” or “reviewer” or whatever term you’d like to apply, the journalist is in a position of authority. They are expected to provide us with the information, objectively, and knowing the context of said information. When you put somebody who seems to be unskilled in the FPS genre at the controls of a game like Doom (which I’m quickly learning does NOT hold your hand), you show that you don’t care. And if you don’t care about your supposed topic of expertise, Polygon, it shows that you care more about traffic than journalism. Hell, I bet somebody at Polygon is happy about the shit-show; this is the most anybody has ever talked about their site! Look at all these Benjamins! But where is your integrity? This right – you have none you two dollar whor-
And when you lack the integrity of a real journalist, quality just flies out the window. As we can see here, very clearly.
It would have been okay if the journalist was having a hard time with the game. Perfectly acceptable. What isn’t okay is that they looked like they had no understanding of how to play the genre. Rarely moving and shooting at the same time, jerky analog stick movements, and a general sense of “I suck because this isn’t what I do”. It’s important to remember: you can’t judge a fish by how well it climbs a tree. So maybe they’re a great RTS player. Maybe they should only ever review Bejeweled ripoffs. Maybe they love video games, but they’re just not good at them.
The bottom line is this: somebody at Polygon’s QA should have seen that video, and either trashed it and had it redone, or change the name of the video to “Doom is fun, even for n00bs lolz”.
And sure – we’ve got the option of ignoring what they write. But that’s only because we have now witnessed gameplay. Imagine this video never happened, and they went on giving great written reviews for blowjobs. We’d never know – we’d just trust them.