Lunchtime Discussion: News Now

I’m proud of what we at TheSixthAxis do every day. We take the huge volume of news that is out there in Internet land, try and strain it for the good bits and ignore the others. The problem is that this gets harder day after day. The volume of news is continuously getting higher and higher, the signal-to-noise ratio gets progressively worse and everyone suffers for it. We’ve started to hear about games on a weekly or, in some cases, daily basis now due to essentially infinite print space of the Internet. Does this make you want the games any more than before?

Whilst I’m not exactly old, I can still recall the days before this culture that the Internet has fuelled. I can remember my parents allowing me to buy a magazine every month or two and desperately scanning it for news about some game I’d heard about. I have vague memories of being absolutely amazed when I read about the way that pools of water reflected the ceiling. If I’d read that on the Internet it almost certainly wouldn’t have stuck with me because another story would have replaced it within minutes and within a day or two it would have disappeared into the archives. When all you have is the same magazine day in and day out information tends to stick more.

People seem to judge games far quicker in the current culture. Almost as soon as a game is announced comments appear on whether or not a game will be any good, if people are interested in the title, if they’re going to buy it. This often appears with next to no information on the title available, with an announcement, a trailer and a fairly standard press release being the only facts that have been released. Unless a game is immediately impressive people seem to dismiss it out of hand.

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These sort of issues are cropping up in all media, 24 hour news channels, news websites and blogs are all pushing people forward in the belief that they need to know everything right now, right this second. Maybe I’m just being typically grumpy about all of this, but I liked it when I had to wait for information. You had some time to form an opinion about a game, you didn’t have to do it instantly. So what do you think? Are instant-access, always-on news sources ruining the industry? Are companies putting out under-whelming press releases simply to keep their game in focus?

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