Yesterday, a review I’d written for the magazine PSM3 was instead published on CVG. This site is one of Future Publishing’s biggest, a videogame news hub with all the trimmings, carrying forward a name with real heritage. Well, for us UK types anyway.
I don’t like being associated with CVG, and I said as much on twitter. This was noted by the site’s staff, who asked me why, and because I didn’t really want a bunfight I just left it there. But clearly I made an impression, because now they’ve decided to post about how rubbish my review is in the comments.
Not nice, is it? Of course I wasn’t the best fit for CVG, I’ve got a fucking brain.
So seeing as the gloves are off, I guess should explain why I was unhappy with my review being on CVG. Of course, Future’s contract with me lets them republish work across their sites, that’s not the problem.
There are three reasons, so let us pay tribute to CVG by doing a numbered list.
1. CVG deliberately misquote developers
Two months ago I visited Platinum Games’ offices in Osaka, and one of the first things said to me was about CVG misrepresenting something their developers had said. I was there for CVG’s publishers Future, so I had to take shit because of their practices. CVG’s writers might recognise the piece that came from this, it’s the one that’s been giving them bylines for the past week.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Braid’s creator Jonathan Blow on his experience with CVG, an article called ‘CVG appear to be a bunch of lousy hacks‘. Sample quote: “CVG’s article is a deceptive, manipulative piece of sensationalist crap meant to drive hits by stoking the argument between Sony fans and Microsoft fans. It misrepresents the content of the interview almost entirely.”
2. CVG pull slimy stunts like domain squatting
One of the most incredible things I’ve ever, ever seen in the bubble of games journalism was when CVG, looking at VG247.com‘s success, decided to buy the domain vg247.co.uk and redirect it to CVG’s own homepage.
Wait, what? Yeah, that’s right. Someone at CVG thought it was a great idea to buy up a competitor’s potential future web address, and then redirect it to their site.
The ethics of this are incredible, and it’s laughable Future thought they’d get away with it. VG247 made some threatening noises and Future backed down immediately. Someone still owns it though, and I doubt it’s Pat Garratt.
3. CVG hates women
A couple of months ago, I was discussing writing an article on sexism in the games industry with an editor. It never came to anything, because I didn’t feel I had much to add to the debate beyond ‘man-children should grow up, what is this the 1930s’, and I also came to feel that it shouldn’t necessarily be a guy writing an article about the discrimination women in the industry endure.
Now it’s clear I should have been much more aggressive about doing that piece, and said stuff I thought was obvious. Because the sad thing is we still live in a world where a site like CVG thinks it’s perfectly fine to do this:
That’s a 63-page ‘Booth Babes’ gallery from this year’s E3; not only that, here’s the opening sentence that was subsequently removed:
“We here on CVG like to use a 10-point review system, but if you’re more simple-minded you could just settle with ‘would’ or ‘not with yours, mate’.”
Just think about that for a second: CVG thought that the problem was with that line, rather than the gallery itself.
Is it not amazing that we live in the year 2012? Stuff like this is the bane of the industry, one of the cancers that has to be cut out in its entirety before it can become a better place for 50% of the population. The world is full of casual sexism, and the only thing it has more of is blokes who think it’s all laugh.
CVG’s editorial motivation behind this, of course, was much more calculated – it will get hits. CVG are not doing stories like this out of naivety, but because they know they can exploit these women in a way that will give their numbers a boost. It is breathtaking to think about the kind of men, and of course they are men, who consider this a winning strategy. ‘Yeah it’s sexist, but it does the numbers.’
I’m not the morality police, but fuck these guys. Sites like CVG do everyone in this industry a disservice, because it’s made by mouthbreathers that think women exist to be perved on. Julie Horup’s contemporary blogpost gave a perspective I can’t, and perhaps if you’re male you should read it.
CVG don’t give a fuck, of course, about gender equality.
That bothers me much more than the misquotations, vg247.co.uk, or a parasitic reliance on the work of others. I don’t want to be associated with CVG because I regard their sexism as old-world scumbag thinking. The kind of people who would publish something like that could only be dickbrains. Why would anyone want to be linked to them?
So that’s why I don’t like my writing appearing on CVG. It’s a shitty site in the first place, and it perpetuates and encourages sexism.
I hope that clears things up!
With thanks to John Walker, here’s CVG’s original frontpage for the Booth Babes story.