Boston, MA September 15, 2014
The Objectivity Myth: Why Games Need Gonzo Journalism

Gaming coverage in the '80s and '90s typically involved tech-focused product reviews that purported to be objective. As a game journalist, I've found that cult of objectivity persists to this day, long after games have supposedly been accepted as "art" by society. Critics of music, sculpture, or ballet have long since overcome these hurdles, as well as the concept of objectivity in general -- even in news and event reporting. I believe it's time for videogame journalists to advance past the "new journalism" claims of the 1960s, and on to the late 1970s -- specifically, to gonzo journalism. Gonzo journalism operates on the assumption that the supposed "objectivity" of reportage is impossible, instead emphasizing that greater accuracy and honesty can be found in first-person narrative. In other words, an emotional response is considered more honest, not less, in comparison to a supposedly "objective" perspective. Since all game reviews are "reports" of our own experiences in virtual worlds, and since we all are biased, why not embrace this form in our future coverage of games?