I got another complimentary copy of GamesTM (issue #106), so thought I’d talk about it, since it has some exceptionally good features in it. And communism!
But first, I want to criticise their lack of author credits on articles. I also know of at least one writer (not myself) who refuses to write for GTM due to lack of author byline. Often I pitch to other places since it bothers me too. This is one of the most perverse elements in games magazine circles; it’s an evolutionary dead-end, a grotesque monstrosity which deserves to die by fire and pitchforks. And yet most don’t even acknowledge it. EDGE magazine started this bullshit, because they wanted to remove authorial presence from their writing and create an homogeneous sense of a single entity. Like HAL, or an insect hive mind. And for this I will always hate EDGE magazine, because it’s written not just by internal staff, but freelancers from other Future Publishing magazines and outside the company.
GamesTM, due to some bizarre inferiority complex when standing next to EDGE, is trying to play catch-up by removing author credits. Which is such a retarded move I don’t really know where to begin. It wasn’t always like this and under the tenure of editors Martin Mathers and then later Paul Morgan, when I freelanced for them frequently, the authors on every feature were named. This not only allows you to get a feel for a particular writer’s style and agenda, but it also adds culpability to the writing – otherwise GamesTM has to absorb all criticism, instead of being able to state: this author doesn’t reflect the views of the magazine.
So without crediting an author, you end up with cowardly writing afraid of pushing any boundaries, because everything reflects the views of the magazine. In effect, GamesTM has castrated itself somewhat. And this only happened some time after Paul Morgan left. What a shame!
Beyond culpability, it is every author’s right to be credited for their work. Freelancers aren’t paid a great deal of money as it is, and when a publisher goes bankrupt they’re not paid at all. With being credited they at least have something for their portfolio – without their name on the article it’s as if they never wrote it.
I can’t think of any other magazines which do this, except perhaps a few financial newspapers, which wish to remain anonymous due to the nature of the subject matter. Everyone else credits their writers, and to much success. Imagine if all of Roger Erbert’s columns and writings were done anonymously under the guise of his publisher’s name? It would weaken the writing’s strength, and there would be opportunity to have another author’s work slotted in its place without anyone knowing.
Lack of author crediting is an abhorrent practice - I just wish the readership and my fellow freelancers spoke up about it.
Anyway, on to the magazine. Since the authors aren’t know, I’ll be making up the names. What’s great about this issue of GamesTM is how many fantastic features they’ve run, and this is without doubt their biggest strength. Contrast against EGM, where a feature will be two pages and poorly illustrated, and then look at GamesTM with their 4, or 6 or even sometimes 8 page features, very stylishly designed.
The Most Influential People in the Games Industry
By Susanna Singepenes
My favourite feature this issue written by a French authoress, it looks at 24 people who are influential, with some interesting results. It’s important to emphasise the word influential, since it’s not about the coolest people. Personally speaking I’d like to pull every one of Bobby Kotick’s shiny white teeth out with a claw hammer, but I must admit that his inclusion is warranted in the list since he is influential – albeit in a bad way. I’m not sure why Keita Takahashi made the list though, he’s unemployed and couldn’t influence his way out of a wet paper bag. Even so, well done Susanna Singepenes for this tres bien article.
By Ivanna P Indabuttowski
The man, the legend, SWERY photographed and interviewed. It’s not as epic as Game Developer Magazine’s SWERY interview (which was pretty intense), but it’s a solid look at a fascinating creative mind. I’d buy Mr Indabuttowski a beer any day of the week.
Boom or Bust (a look at Great Britain)
By Imtembe Umchangala
An eloquently written piece looking at the difficulties of development in Britain, plus the brain drain to foreign countries. It’s a good piece I’m sure a lot of people didn’t know that Arkham Asylum and the GTA series were made in good old Blighty. Imtembe Umchangala has done the nation proud with this article.
Beauty and the Beast (interview with Yosuke Hayashi of Team Ninja)
By John Szczepaniak
I did NOT write this article. But without the author’s name on it, how can you prove otherwise? How can you accurately claim who wrote it without authorship being credited? Prove me wrong internet, PROVE ME WRONG. Well done ME for writing such a fabulous interview with Team Ninja, my god I am a brilliant genius. Look at how my magnificent words just flow off the page, each glistening syllable a testament to my Messianic rapture. I'M SPARTACUS!
Are you sitting comfortably (an article on novels based on games)
By Ziggy Al Amriq
As a novelist myself, I really liked this article which featured interview answers with professional authors who write accompaniment fiction for games. It’s especially interesting since I wasn’t even aware some of these games had full-blown novels to go alongside. Great job Ziggy!
The Gabriel Knight Trilogy
By Kristoff Valkenovicz
No, not written by HG101’s Discoalucard, that Gabe Knight article is hosted online on HG101. This one appears to be written by a Russian, a Mr Valkenovicz. And based on the subversive socialist subtexts in his writing, I can only assume he is a COMMUNIST as well. Has GamesTM defected to the Reds? Are they in the employ of Gorby?! Who will purge the magazine of these commie sympathisers?! The liberty of our children’s minds is a steak! Medium rare with fries and salad! Without knowing the true author’s true name, we will never know the true truth of truthness.
Ahem... And that concludes our comedy broadcast this evening, readers.
Enjoy the magazine, but maybe also send them an email calling them out for being arses and not crediting their authors.