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Talking With TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the fedora-with-a-pac-man-on-it dept.

The Media 39

N'Gai Croal, at Newsweek, has a three-part interview up speaking with games journalist Geoff Keighley. Undoubtedly the most respected games reporter on television, Keighley is probably best known at the moment for the SpikeTV show Game Head. He's also written for Entertainment Weekly, Time, Rolling Stone, Gamespot (with the behind the games series), and EGM, as well as hosting the "McLaughlin Group"-ish show Bonus Round for the GameTrailers site. The first part of the interview deals with the creation of 'Bonus Round', and his inspiration for the show. The second piece looks at Keighley's extensive CV, and what it is like writing about games for a mainstream audience. The third piece wraps up with a few words on the industry at large, and perspective on gaming from a business standpoint.

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Who? (4, Funny)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814142)

I took a cursory look at the links, but I honestly have no idea who the guy is or why he's important.

Someone care to enlighten me? Or should I use my TV for something other than video games?

Re:Who? (2, Informative)

spencerg83 (972647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814388)

I'm with you there.

"TV's Most Respected Games Journalist"? Does that mean he garners respect from TV personalities and celebrities? Or is it because he gains respect from others, while he reports about games on TV?

The only TV game journalists I'm familiar with are Tommy Tallarico, Adam Sessler, and Morgan Webb. I've never even heard of this Keighly individual-- maybe he's featured on the Videogame Icons show on G4TV? Maybe he's that other guy on Electronic Playground?

Re:Who? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814694)

Yeah but factoring in the respectability of Tommy Tallarico, Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, it's obvious they could have said someone like paris hilton and they would be more respectable then that bunch.

It's sorta like your computer saying 2 is the biggest number, well it is if all he's ever seen is 1s.

Re:Who? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814420)

Amoung the unwashed masses of "casual" gamers, I assume that this person is somewhat of a celebrity. People who play games for lifestyle reasons need celebrities to promote and endorse their lifestyle. Game journalists are about the only thing the video game community has for a celebrity profession.

Those of use who still value games for their intrinsic value, rather than for their conspicuous consumption status, have never been very fond of game journalists, and especially not TV game journalists. We wince every time they dumb down and misrepresent game after game in an effort to attract people who really just don't care. It's like those astronomy shows with the TV Movie soundtrack to make things more "dramatic". When the ominous low chords hum at the display of the black hole, I feel just as patronised as I do when the "game" show presenter skips onstage to the CG backdropped "Review Zone".

I'm old, but I've felt this way since I was about 12. TV has a way of taking something interesting and profaning it to a level just low enough so that the people who were actually interested turn it off. When you dumb down a presentation of something, you're slapping your audience in the face.

Re:Who? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814880)

I used to enjoy Nova back in the day. PBS and GBH were the greatest channels ever (once TMNT and Ghostbusters were done). We had tons of episodes of Nova taped on subjects ranging from the Voyager probes visiting Uranus to Ants to the human body.

I recently watched an episode on String Theory and it wasn't anywhere near the quality of the old show.

Re:Who? (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17822706)

My understanding is that a lot of Nova is re-dubbed BBC stuff, and the BBC's science programming (on TV) has dropped precipitously over the past 5 or 10 years (there's still some good stuff on the radio)

Re:Who? (1)

SuperIan22 (1057778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17820920)

Well, come on, that's a bit silly. To be honest, I haven't heard of the guy either, but claiming that the people who are familiar with the guy, are because they're not real hardcore gamers, and just a member of the unwashed masses seems a bit like saying "Well, *I* haven't heard of him, and I'm a smart, educated gamer, therefore the people who do know about this guy must be a bunch of n00b idiots." You haven't heard of him! You know nothing about his audience, so making a negative generalization about them seems pretty damn juvenile if you ask me. I haven't heard of him, so my assumption is that if people are saying he's well respected, then maybe he's actually an intelligent, reasonable guy. I don't know for sure, maybe he is full of crap, but I'm not going to get insulted and start claiming that the people who are familiar with him are a bunch of jerks and idiots.

Re:Who? (2, Funny)

amrust (686727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17816388)

You're not alone. I had no idea who he was either.

Then again, the only "gaming news" I ever see on television, is on G4.

Olivia Munn... now THAT's serious gaming journalism!

Re:Who? (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17820624)

Read the "Behind the Games" series at Gamespot. He's talented, and quite a good writer.

Doesn't say much... (2, Funny)

Kirin Fenrir (1001780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814192)

"Talking With TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist".

That's like saying "talking to the best, disqualified, Olympic athlete." How did he almost get to compete?

ObTheCritic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17814378)

It's the most despised profession, next to pre-op groin shaver.

Re:Doesn't say much... (1)

maiku (167604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17822382)

Or as John Flansburgh of TMBG said in Gigantic [giganticfilm.com] , it's "kind of like being the world's tallest midget."

What I read... (2, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814258)

I read the title and thought, "Games journalists are respected?"

Seriously, the only way to get respect as a journalist is to uncover something important. Ain't gonna happen in video games.

Re:What I read... (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814584)

Seriously, the only way to get respect as a journalist is to uncover something important. Ain't gonna happen in video games.
Unless they start following the example of Naked News [nakednews.com] ...

Re:What I read... (3, Interesting)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17816504)

No kidding. I read this guy's drivel in every issue of OXM, and if he's the "most respected", then game journalism industry (if you want to call it that) doesn't have anything to be proud of.

Re:What I read... (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17820596)

Perhaps if they write a book. Steve Kent and David Sheff come to mind, but they don't end their work with "Sucks", "Pee your pants", or "I give it a 9.5175521".

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17814400)

I respect no "game" journalist, get a real fucking job!!

What is next, stories with reporters hip to the Tinker Toy scene? I can't wait for that update!!!

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17815460)

No different than a sports reporter

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17817484)

The difference is the fan base. Namely millions of sports fans to thousands of game fans. Plus there are no cheat codes in sports.

Re:WTF? (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17818722)

Performance enhancing drugs are the cheat codes of physical sports, and the number of avid computer gamers are in the millions as well.

They aren't really comparable, but they do have that much.

TV has a games journalist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17814616)

"Talking With TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist!"

I didn't even realize there were "game journalists" on TV. Once I saw the part where he works for Spike, I understood why I A. never heard of him and B. still don't care.

TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist? (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814746)

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Spike TV? (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17814876)

Is this a joke? How could anyone from Spike TV be respected?

Re:Spike TV? (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17815760)

Is this a joke? How could anyone from Spike TV be respected?

Because it's not on G4. That alone gives you more respect in terms of video game coverage on TV.

Consolevania, any one? (2, Interesting)

JLennox (942693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17815160)

"TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist?"

Spike TV and MTV have in the past made sad attempts at making shows based upon video game reviews, and none of them had a real feel or understanding for the subject matter. They focus too much on celebrities and really dumb/immature nerd humor.

Thankfully, there is some thing out there worth a damn. Consolevania [consolevania.com] is a Scottish view game reviews show (torrents on the page) which actually has some heart to it. These guys grew up playing ZX Spectrum and the like, not passed some acting auditions and end up reading hacky lines written by some one else.

I'd hate to come off like an infomercial here (seeing as I have no vested interest), but it's worth looking at.

Electric Playground (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17817012)

The Electric Playground [elecplay.com] used to be a really good videogame centered show in the late 90's (when it was about the Playstation, Saturn, and N64) but I stopped watching it soon after the XBox launched; I noticed that suddenly they were heavily funded by Microsoft and for some unknown reason Microsoft could do no wrong and Nintendo couldn't do anything right for the hosts.

In my opinion what makes me disrespect most game journalists is that their opinions always find their way into the "news" and at the same time their opinions are for sale.

Re:Consolevania, any one? (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17820284)

I can't help but think of the terrible G4 we have here in the states when I read your post. Why is gaming TV usually so terrible?

Talking With (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17815358)

>> Talking With TV's Most-Respected Games Journalist

Other Talking With interviews you might enjoy:

Talking With Washington's Most Trustworthy Politician
Talking With The NFL's Greatest Poet
Talking With America's Richest Teacher
Talking With Nigeria's Most Honest Barrister
Talking With Hollywood's Most Chaste Movie Star
Talking With Local News' Most Accurate Weatherman
Talking With Slashdot's Best Spellur

Re:Talking With (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17821824)

Talking With the WNBA's best basketball player?

Come on! (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17815590)

I'd wager $10 that Geoff Keighley's own mother doesn't even respect him.

-Eric

Respected? (1)

warmgun (669556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17815622)

How can a games journalist be respected? Those two seem mutually exclusive to me.

You mean Adam Sessler right? (3, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17816800)

Because I've never heard of this "Geoff Keighley", let alone watched his show on Spike TV.

Man oh Man (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17817178)

A Morgan Webb interview..... (clicks link)

Oh its that guy. (Screw That)

Ahhh. http://interviews.teamxbox.com/xbox/757/XPlay-Morg an-Webb-Interview/p1 [teamxbox.com]

Adam, where art thou? (2, Insightful)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17817574)

When you talk about about "most respected" TV game journalist, the only name which immediately comes to my mind is Adam Sessler of X-Play. Morgan Webb is nice, too, but a more recent addition to X-Play. But Adam has been on TV doing game converage and honest reviews for far longer than anyone, including this Keighley fella.

Re:Adam, where art thou? (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17818832)

When you talk about about "most respected" TV game journalist, the only name which immediately comes to my mind is Adam Sessler of X-Play.

I can see your point but Morgan has a couple more good points.

I respect any woman who not only games but is well read, and can understand the vast majority of geek culture better than most geeks.

Alot of the time Adam seems confused by his own culture.

Re:Adam, where art thou? (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17821484)

Alot of the time Adam seems confused by his own culture.

My impression is that Mr. Sessler is confused by many things, such as balls of string and shiny objects.

Now Sensitive Ses, THAT is a thinker!

Re:Man oh Man (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17826956)

Ugh. I hate Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler. There's nothing worse than someone who THINKS they're a lot funnier than they actually are. Their reviews wouldn't be so bad if they lost the lame attempts at humor. And, for God's sake, if you MUST do humor, here's a tip: Hire some decent writers and teach your hosts how to deliver their lines as if they weren't just reading them off a teleprompter.

And that was *MY* Morgan minute.

-Eric

Indie Gaming Journalism? Indie Gaming Journalism! (1)

MiceHead (723398) | more than 7 years ago | (#17819180)

I think independents have a chance at providing compelling games journalism in the way that someone like Ze Frank [zefrank.com] does. (Which is to say: from the fringes, on little or no budget, with an organically growing viewer base.)

We're about to enter Season 2 of our own show [indiesuperstar.com] , and though we're struggling with format (should the show be 5 minutes long? 30 minutes? 1 billion hours?) and content (should we cover only indies, or all innovations in game development?), we've gotten a pretty good response.

Viva la indie developers with time to waste on experimental crap!
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