Journalists' Game Skill, And Why People Think It Matters


I apologize for generalising, I love myself a good competitive multiplayer game, I have just anecdotally found that whenever I would try to interact socially in some way it always spirals into mockery, hate speech or other offensive language.
Creating an expectation of a community is hard in games because it’s so broad, so populated, and often it’s a pretty detached play-space when it comes to regular matchmaking (and not, for example, a private server).
Clear rules should be in place, and reports should always be taken seriously, you’re right that this sort of stuff spirals out when left unchecked, and it hurts everyone else trying to grow a community.


I really, really dislike this “have to be good at a game mentality”. Which I am very glad Waypoint doesn’t subscribe too. I think this mentality hurts games because we’re not all good (as mentioned in the post) at all types of games.

For instance, I am horrible at most platformers and really bad a games that require me to be “twitchy”. Multiplayer FPS etc. I just don’t have that mentality. Though I do great with strategy games, turn based games (XCOM), RPGs for example. If I have more ability to think and apply my thoughts to a game, I do much better. It also doesn’t mean I don’t play those above games. I do, and I enjoy them to an extent. It does get to the point where I just “don’t get better” and others just surpass me. That’s usually when I stick to just playing with people I know and I don’t find anything wrong with that. Reviewers are going sometimes going to be the same way as me or similar. That doesn’t make their thoughts or opinions any less valid.


I read a Twitter thread by Dan Olson, aka FoldableHuman, relevant to this thread. His points are mostly similar to what’s already been said here by many of us. But this observation about the effect of constantly introducing yourself to new mechanical systems is interesting:

Also, though this is drifting off track, being a professional reviewer makes you worse at games. My journey through the detritus of last gen has demonstrated rather clearly the impact of perpetually only playing unfamiliar games. Add on that you don’t get to only play good games, playing bad games makes you worse at good games.


The whole comparison to real world sports i apt. Football (soccer, if you will) has been through this already. Most pundits are also ex- footballers in the mainstream but there are also loads of journalist and fan pundits out there now. The idea that only professionals can comment on the sport is a discussion that was had an dis long over.

To give a specific example- Gary Neville. Used to play for Manchester United, and enjoyed repeated successes with that team. Won counntless medals and trophies. Went into punditry and revolutionized the commentary game with thorough in depth tactical analaysis. Forced all other television pundits to up their game.

Then he was offered a Job at Spanish club, Valencia, in a classic case of neoptism, which is rife in European football.

He failed pretty hard and was fired after four months, suggesting he would never manage again, see link below for more details:

Anyway, the point is, even world class skill levels don’t map across disciplines.

A great insightful can be writer is a much better analyst than a top class gamer because they have the skills to get their point across.