All About Peter_Skerritt
I just wrote about how this console generation is going to most likely be my last, and it felt great to do so.
I've spent a good portion of this console generation struggling to come to terms with the direction that the industry is headed. Higher prices, DLC, constant connectivity, focus on multiplayer, and other trends have been turn-offs. I've done my fair share of complaining and arguing about these things, and am realizing that I'm in the "vocal minority" that people seem to loathe these days. I may not like these trends, but sales seem to indicate that other do-- or they at least have accepted them as part of what console gaming is now.
Starting last summer, I started to build my PlayStation 2 game collection. Games were starting to get cheaper, and it was less risky to buy games that I already knew about or had already played than it was to spend $60 blindly on new games. I've managed to build my PS2 library up to over 275 games now, along with over 100 original PlayStation games. I also bought a Super Nintendo unit last month and quickly built a library of over 40 games for it. Older was simply better. None of the issues that I disliked from this generation interfered with my enjoyment. I was having fun again, and complaining less.
The trip that I mentioned in the linked blog entry above is really what sealed the deal. Seeing all of those consoles and playing the games was what I needed to believe that I was making the right move by heading backward instead of forward. I hadn't had that much fun in a long time.
As my gaming preferences change, I'm rediscovering sites that I used to frequent... like GameSpot and IGN. It's like a homecoming to be writing something here after a pretty long absence. I'm going to try to update here when I can.
It's nice to be back.
I visited the site for the first time in a long time today. I'm thinking about coming back to contribute a bit... along with doing some cross-posting from my stand-alone blog. It's good to see that there are some familiar faces here, along with some new blood.
I took the first step and added the site back to my bookmarks. Let's go from there.
I deleted my previous blog entry because I still have a lot to say regarding the events surrounding Jeff's termination. Seeing straight-from-the-heart posts from staffers that have been nothing but kind to me in my time here at GS motivated me to rewrite my feelings from last night.
For starters, Alex, Aaron, Kevin and the rest of the remaining editorial staff must be going through hell right now. I can't imagine such upheaval-- especially in the closing moments of the busiest part of what's been arguably the best year in gaming in a long time. Reading their blog entries is difficult. These folks certainly would like to tell us what went down. They feel like they do owe the readership an explanation. Unfortunately, they're also working for a living. Writing jobs don't grow on trees, and who's to say that the competition would hire them or pay them enough to get by? It's painful, but it's loyalty. You just have to suck it up and keep at it, either until you can rebuild what's been devastated or until another opportunity comes along. I am as angry as the rest of you when it comes to this incident, but I understand who isn't responsible: The GS staffers who have busted their collective asses to provide the best content they can.
As I've mentioned in the past, I've worked with Aaron before. We've had our differences in the past, but when I found out that he'd been hired at GS, I was ecstatic for him. Making such a move, from PSX Extreme to GameSpot-- former stomping grounds of talent like Greg Kasavin, Joe Fielder, and many others-- is a dream come true for those in the gaming media. He's weathered some difficult storms here during his tenure (I had even gone to bat for him although he didn't need it), but this... this is tragedy.
Alex has been here considerably longer, and I've always enjoyed reading his work. The man deserved a medal for dealing with Big Rigs for as long as he did, but he's shown knowledge in all areas and has a great personality.
The bottom line is that we're not likely to ever find out the true circumstances of what transpired. I will admit that I tend to believe that Jeff was forced out after the negative reaction to his last review. I think that was all that CNET could stand, and they got rid of him at that point. I believe that publisher complaints about Jeff did exist. At the same time, I also believe that GameSpot's former EICs were able to stand up for Jeff's right to his opinion... but once Jeff was in a position where nobody could go to bat for him (since he was, in effect, GameSpot's EIC), he wound up being cut loose with no defense.
I could be wrong, or maybe my details are a bit off.
The more severe effect of this incident is that game reviewers have collectively suffered heavy damage to their credibility. How can any of us prove that our opinions are not influenced by publishers who may threaten to withhold ad revenue for whatever site we work for? We can't... so the stigma will be attached to reviews for a long time to come. Look for a lot of questions from the readership at all of the big websites once a score that's deemed too high comes in for a game. Charges of "bias" and "moneyhatting" will abound, and we have no defense against these allegations.
Since I rarely visit GS anymore, it's ridiculous for me to say that I'm leaving for good. I'm certainly less motivated to come here now, but I admit that I will be checking in to see what other reactions are out there. I will say for the record that I will not pay for GS Complete for quite some time. This is not a slight on the folks who bust their asses to keep this site filled with content; however, it is all I can really do to show my dissatisfaction with CNET and the top brass and their opening of a Pandora's Box that will have lasting and devastating effects on gaming journalism for a long time to come.
Finally, not that Jeff will read this blog, but he was one of my inspirations... along with Andy Eddy and Dan Amrich, among others. I felt that I had a lot in common with Jeff's viewpoints and the games that he liked. He was never anything less than personable during the few times that we communicated online. I never told him how much I thought of him... but once he gets back on his feet somewhere else, I'm not going to hesitate to let him know.
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