All About TheBates
Think back for a moment, if you will, to December 2006. Just over a year ago. Gamespot was still awesome. Greg Kasavin was still here, Jeff was obviously still here, and Gamespot was, without doubt, the best and most respected gaming website in the history of gaming websites. Now fast forward a year, and the place is truly and absolutely falling apart. No more Greg, no more Rich, no more Jeff. And now, no more Alex. If you'd told me a year ago that all of those Gamespot legends would be departing within such a small time-frame, I would never have believed you. It sounds overly sentimental and even a tad twee to reminisce about a gaming website, but for a good few years this place was just a bucket-load of fun. There was always something amazing going on and everything from the wry humour that seeped through the various editorials, to the quality of the writing, was simply unparalleled. I like Kevin Van Ord and Ryan Davis and Justin Calevrt and Brad Shoemaker and all the rest, but no organisation can afford to lose talents of the calibre of Kasavin, Gerstmann and Navarro within the space of a year, and not be severely damaged as a result.
My daily visits to Gamespot seem to be turning into twice-weekly visits at the most, and this is truly, truly sad. There isn't even a viable alrernative that even comes close to the Gamespot of old. I find myself reading the likes of Kotaku and 1up, and then I think, "wait, what in the name of God am I doing here?" And then I remember: "Oh yeah, it's because Gamespot's dead".
I'm sticking around in the vain hopr that things can turn around in 2008, but I won't be holding my breath.
The story running in the news section of this site, concerning Jeff's departure, is complete nonsense. It explains nothing, and will satisfy no-one who is in the least bit interested in this whole debacle. You can't just sack the face of the effing website, only to cower in obscurantist drivel about accusations in the media being "unsubstantiated". OK, so you're saying that we all have it wrong, and that Jeff wasn't unceremoniously locked out of his office at the behest of Eidos and Josh frickin' Larson. Why, then, was he pushed? Surely we, who have been following Gamespot for years (don't be fooled by my 2006 join date), deserve some sort of an answer other than the cliched and hackneyed drivel spouted in that news story. Legal reasons my arse: I cannot believe that Jeff would not want the truth to be told, and Gamespot and CNET should clear the matter up with a definitive and accurate account of exactly why he was shown the (back)door. This ridiculous and lame news story just leaves an extremely bad taste in the mouth.
I've been thinking about what my reaction to Jeff being sacked is going to be. Although it will pain me to stop coming to Gamespot, I believe that my absconding is the only moral option open to me. There is absolutely no way that I can continue to support an organisation that gets rid of its employees for upholding their journalistic integrity. It's mind-bogglingly idiotic.
Jeff Gerstmann is one incredibly talented individual. His writing is of an extremely high standard, his music is absolutely exceptional (better than most bands out there, in fact), and he's naturally very, very funny. He was a real asset to Gamespot, perhaps the best games journalist around at the moment. For him to be kicked out the door for doing his job is an absolute disgrace, and I will be voting with my feet and getting the hell out of here. I'll be hanging around for a bit to hear the reaction from the other editors (I'm sure the likes of Navarro and others won't be able to keep wuiet about this one), but after that, I'm off.
Goodbye Gamespot. It's been an absolute blast.
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