The Penny Arcade Report, or: Game Journalism Done Properly
The fine folks at Penny Arcade (well known for their long-running web comic, the Child's Play charity, and twice-a-year gaming expo, PAX) have just launched their newest venture, The Penny Arcade Report. Headed by former Ars Technica writer Ben Kuchera, the site aims to tackle the biggest criticisms of modern gaming journalism. From the about page:
"Games Journalism" is broken. Many sites suffer from forced output cycles, "news" about cakes, and playing along with the industry PR machine. We can do better.
You have no idea how much I enjoyed reading those three sentences.
The first batch of content on the site includes an interview with Valve top dog Gabe Newell (as well as a tour of the Valve offices), an editorial about the Vita's potential as a portable console, a detailed critique of Dear Esther (spiced up with excerpts from a discussion with its developers), and a section called The Cut - smaller, more digestible headlines linking to important articles offering the same quality of writing as the site's editorials. It's really an admirable endeavor, and I hope Kuchera and company succeed. This kind of site is exactly what the industry has needed to separate real gaming journalism from widespread churnalism.