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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's Stuff Like This, Kotaku

I was a loyal Kotaku reader for a couple of years leading up to the controversial site redesign early last year. I've since stopped checking the site pretty much altogether, not only because of the redesign but also their general publishing methods. All of the Gawker sites seem to push updates as often as humanly possible, trying to drum up page views with pages and pages of meaningless filler content.

Last year, a Kotaku contributor named Jen Schiller published an article titled Professional Gaming on the Downturn, Cheesy TV to Blame under a column titled "Regular People." The article featured insightful, unbiased comments such as the following:

Don't get me wrong, I love watching people who are better than me at video games play them for money, especially when I don't know those people.

Oh wait. No I don't.

Oh wait. No it didn't. PC Gamer posted an editorial rebuttal that pointed out the ways in which Kotaku's post was way off the mark. If this is supposed to be a website that celebrates gaming and gaming culture, why are you alienating people with this crap?

Monday night I got an email update from Kotaku since I never bothered to cancel my subscription. The email pointed me to an article titled Fake Gamers of the Week: Maybe Don’t Drink This Family’s Punch. This series of posts - that's right, series - dissects stock photos of people playing video games. Sure, most stock photos look ridiculous, and you could argue that the subject is quasi-relevant, but do we really need to read a page-long article about this stuff every week?

I'm reluctant to even post a link to this.

Kotaku posts from Monday August 6th discuss such topics as Nyan Pokemon, eating sushi off of naked people, the aforementioned stock photo article, and a review of Planters NUT-rition peanut butter. I mean, I eat peanut butter and I'm sure a ton of other gamers do as well, but I don't need to read about it on a supposed gaming website.

So where do you go for gaming news without wading through Kotaku's mess? The Verge Gaming/Polygon is a pretty safe bet - their news editor is Brian Crecente, who was formerly a Kotaku editor who seemed to get out just in time. While Verge/Polygon has a more active news feed, both it and The Penny Arcade Report offer longer magazine-style feature articles that are generally pretty awesome. PC Gamer is always a good choice, and Joystiq is kind of like Kotaku without most of the off-topic randomness. I also find a lot of my news through reddit and through the news section on, both of which have the added benefit of letting the very best stuff rise to the top via upvotes and forum thread replies.

It's good to have options.


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