Smooth Gaming: Time For MSM To Respect Video Gaming Industry

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Smooth Gaming‘ is a new column to ValueWalk which will discuss various aspects of the video game industry. From AAA titles, business aspects, and independent developers who often go under-reported. ‘Smooth Gaming’ will take a multi-pronged look at the world of gaming. This week we discuss the need for mainstream media to respect the video gaming industry.

“Gaming is now the world’s favorite form of entertainment, as the gaming industry generated more revenue last year than TV, movies, and music did,” Reuters reported in June of this year.

Here’s the interesting part of their coverage:

The dominance of gaming in our culture is evident in the reversal of the past relationships between the gaming industry and Hollywood and publishers. It used to be that games were developed from popular movies and books. Now it is often the other way around. In 2017, both Angry Birds and Assassin’s Creed were released as movies, years after they were launched as successful games.

They highlighted the major entertainment categories revenue as of May 2018: Digital Music ($17 billion), Film Box Office ($41 billion), Television ($105 billion), and Gaming ($116 billion). With video game industry being such an integral part of the culture, why does the media treat the industry and ‘gamers’ as if they are second-class citizens?

Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Detroit: Become Human, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 5, Monster Hunter: World, God of War, Spider-Man, and the massively popular Red Dead Redemption 2 have all sold millions of copies internationally, yet are hardly whispered about outside of traditional gaming outlets. While I’m not saying non-gaming outlets never cover video game industry, but when they do it’s mostly negative, ignoring the positive aspects related to gaming. We’re not going to get into all of the science, nor are we going to talk about the unscientific way mainstream media and political figures blame video games for violence within the United States.

What we are going to speak about is the lack of reports who specialize in the video game industry. There is a major lack of quality reporting on the video game industry in ‘legacy media.’ However, many of these outlets will speak about gamers, video games, and the culture around gaming as if they are experts or knowledgeable about the industry. “Things quickly unravelled [sic] as the lack of basic research and selective information began to pile up in the article, stating that Doomfist was the first black character in the game despite Lucio being in the game when it launched This was followed by ignorance surrounding Symmetra and her spoken Hindu roots,” Glenn Kisela of Critical Hit said in June of last year.

“The constant stream of inaccuracies ultimately lends itself to one conclusion. Mainstream media write articles on the video game industry in bad faith and to push a false narrative that provides them with cheap clicks and outraged retweets. It’s a tactic that has become prevalent in recent years – people have learnt [sic] that outrage sells,” Kisela continued.

However, unlike most of the mainstream media Kisela was willing to admit that problems existed within his medium stating, “All too often, gamers use anecdotal evidence to justify denying that issues exist in  the video game industry. Other times, gamers attempt to gatekeep the industry by saying they were here first and this is how things have always been. More often than not, however, there is just pure ignorance that leads people to believe there is nothing wrong in gaming and media are simply overstating things. Badly written articles by mainstream media gives these people ammunition to continue to believe in their own false narratives.”

Mainstream media treats almost every other entertainment outlet (pornography excluded) with respect, yet they continue to brush aside the influence of thevideo  gaming industry. Perhaps gaming spending far less on television and print advertising than other major forms of entertainment plays a role in the poor coverage the industry receives.

Whatever the reason, it’s far time that gaming receives proper coverage and respect from the media as a whole.

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