Neural noise

Things that make me go 'heh' or 'nice'. Less work safe than my mother would like.

trurusty asked: Do you think it is acceptable for a journalist to monetarily support a person or organization of coverage without disclosing said conflict in the article?

caraellison:

Hmm. Well, I just bought Fallout: New Vegas, which technically supports the makers of that game. My intention is to write an article about it, covering its virtues and flaws. Should I disclose in that article that I bought the game? Or, should I retroactively disclose all the games that throughout my career I have received review codes of, enabling me to critique those games? I don’t think so. If a game developer bought me a cup of coffee because I didn’t have change, do I declare that £3 in anything I write about them? I mean, I am not sure how far it goes. What about MMOs? In order to participate in WoW you have to pay a subscription. So journalists have to pay that subscription to cover it. Is that… corrupt? As far as I see it Patreon is a subscription service to one person’s output. It doesn’t mean you have to like that output. So I don’t see why it’s conflict of interest for me.

I think what I’m saying is, if you pay BT monthly for a phone line that one day sounds fuzzy, when you turn in a ‘review’ of their service you are not really likely to be more or less harsh. You are just going to say the phone line is fuzzy and they should fix that.

I think it’s acceptable to declare whatever the fuck you like. I once, post-Doritosgate, declared in my copy that I ate a chicken samosa at an EA preview event, even though it is obviously unnecessary to declare a fucking samosa. It was edible. Its greasy innards nourished my underfed body. It didn’t change that their game ultimately sucked ass because it was only available as an always online service that didn’t work. 

The question is: how much does the readership want to police the behaviour of grown professionals and experts? How much does the readership want to bend us over before they realise we are professional adults who happen to have likes and also dislikes? Until we are so bored of writing lists of declarations that we let forum posters write reviews instead? They can do that anyway. There’s a whole wide internet to read if you don’t trust a website’s output.

I feel like Doritosgate illuminated one thing: that large publishers spend a lot of money paying for journalists to go to their preview events and had been doing it since games began. The better publications decided that yes, that was better disclosed. But Kotaku in particular has mostly stopped doing previews because it’s purely hype and nothing else, and they’re right. No one praises them for this, because it’s hip to hate Kotaku.

People on forums still talk about those days before Doritosgate as being ‘the good old days, when we still talked about games’. 

Yeah, because they flew us out there to talk about how good the games might be, and not how good they actually *are*.

I think what I am saying is, anything that gets what I am supposed to appraise to me faster is better and adds to my knowledge of what I am doing. I never want to go to a preview/PR event again. I want to play a fucking finished game and tell you about it. And if you want me to declare that I have a professional interest in games, here it is:

I LIKE GAMES. I BUY THEM. IT MAKES ME GOOD AT MY JOB.

With more people writing about games professionally without a journalism background or an understanding of the ethics of journalism, I’m finding it more and more important to figure out if a person/site is trustworthy. Declarations here and there helps. I would have trusted Giant Bomb to review Bastion because they were explicit about their relationship with the developer but they chose not to assign a score which made me respect them further. The proliferation of Let’s Play videos and various popular, less traditional review mediums does open up the field for further abuse. Some 20 year old ‘reviewing’ games on a popular youtube channel may not consider the ethics of journalism as they are just doing it for fun and do not consider themselves as a professional. I know enough PR people who would exploit that and target these ‘tastemakers’ with gifts and subtle influence knowing that they can be manipulated and be less likely to disclose the sponsorship. I guess my overall point is about knowing the difference between a reviewer/critic and a popular enthusiast.

(Fwiw, Ellison is one of the people I definitely count as trustworthy, so this is not aimed at her…)

skeletonchic:

Here they are all together! The Sailor Scouts on magazine covers.

(via nextjen)

Twitter.

emilyvgordon:

Twitter is awesome. It’s given me a lot of fantastic things, put me in touch with people I would have never been able to interact with, and it regularly shows me pictures of kittens.

But here’s the thing I’m just recently coming to grips with: it’s kind of a misery vacuum. Two tiny things…

Once I stopped using social media as a way to complain about stuff,  but rather as a place to share neat things and little pleasures in my life, my relationship with the platforms changed and became far more positive. I’ll admit I use them less (there’s a reason most comedians talk about annoyances rather than delights) but I do feel better for redefining my relationship with these platforms.

tuneage:

The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever.
I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.

Matt Daniels set out to figure out who had the biggest vocabulary in hip hop. What’s amazing is not only who tops the chart but what big names are at the bottom. And while some may not be surprised with Aesop Rock’s #1 position or that DMX brings up the rear, Daniels’ analyses on Wu is worth the read and data alone.

tuneage:

The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever.

I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.

Matt Daniels set out to figure out who had the biggest vocabulary in hip hop. What’s amazing is not only who tops the chart but what big names are at the bottom. And while some may not be surprised with Aesop Rock’s #1 position or that DMX brings up the rear, Daniels’ analyses on Wu is worth the read and data alone.