I am not a journalist. I hold no journalism degree or credentials. I would feel inept breaking a large story of real consequence because of this fact. But I believe that as “just a blogger” you have to have a set of standards and let an audience know where you are coming from.
A little about me: I’m British, in my early 20s and politically I would say I am pretty central, I’m a loony lefty by some people’s standards and a dirty right winger to others. I trained as a Mechanical Engineer. I believe in freedom of expression and freedom of thought above all. In terms of gaming I am mostly PC focused and my writing may reflect that. I prefer more complex FPS games, Real Time Strategy and RPGs. I support GamerGate and will until I feel it becomes useless for talking about issues.
I think it’s very important for me as a writer to let the audience know exactly where I’m coming from. If a site like Polygon was up front about their politics in their articles, disclosed all their personal conflicts of interest and was honest about their preferences and where their subjectivity came in, I would have no problem with them. There is a difference between “subjective” and “bias” and if I were to cross that line I would expect people to let me know. You need to level with your audience and that’s the foot I want to get off on here. The right one.
For instance I would never exaggerate or knowingly put false or misleading information into any of my writing, even to “make a point”. I want people to understand my point and persuade them to share my beliefs, but not at the cost of these beliefs. That’s part of why I’m here. I want to put into action the idea of “Don’t just complain about it, replace it and do better.” We often talk about the idea that game critics should at least gain an understanding and attempt the creative process of making the games they want to see. Before you loudly demand someone else do something, look inside yourself and think “could I do better? Would my creative energy be better served making something I want to see rather than demanding the destruction of things I don’t like?” As I rightfully pull up the unethical practices of others I want to at least try to be that change I want to see; to in some small way make the landscape of games writing conform more to what I think gamers want to see.
I’m not here to tear down. I’m here to build up.
Latest posts by John Sweeney (see all)
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