5 July 2010

NGJ: Wishing for the moon but finding that you've already been there...

NGJ (Or New Games' Journalism as it is sometimes known) has been doing the rounds for a number of years now. Popularised by some minor British journalist*, and taken up by a number of outlets and other 'journos' (as we in the industry call them*), it received and receives a fair amount of coverage. Honestly, i'm not sure i get what all the fuss is about.

Reading through the examples given i'm struck with an overwhelming sense of dej√° vu. What is probably rightfully described as a new wave of gaming journalism (because, lets face it, what we had before was primarily a review-based format) this is not new in the wider scheme of things.

We're talking about an article - plain and simple.

Yes i know the term 'article' in common usage covers every type of written piece in a publication but when i think of article i think of what NGJ is.... and it's been around for quite a while; from travel writing and cookery books to men's and music magazines, alternative styles of writing - somewhere in between an opinion piece and a history lesson - has enjoyed a long history of minor success and while it's important that the gaming industry also has this aspect to its journalism the type of pompous self-importance that names an existing style of writing needs to be carefully managed.

Of course, perhaps i'm purposely misinterpreting the reason that this whole thing was started - as a means of trying to instigate change in a stagnant industry. In that respect, perhaps it's succeeded or perhaps it's just the inevitable creep of this style from other areas of publication.... the question is: How would we ever know?

It's unfortunate that New Games' Journalism isn't new at all, it's just that gaming is still catching up....

* This is completely tongue in cheek

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