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How Has Games Media Changed In Thirty Years?

An enlightening conversation with Jeff Gerstmann

Last week I played host to Giant Bomb’s newest Jeff — of the Grubb variety — on Thanks for the Knowledge. This week, I had the pleasure of talking to Jeff Gerstmann, who recently left the outlet he helped co-found to embark on an independent journey. It was great to chat about 2022’s games and the state of professional wrestling through the lens of AEW, but I was also very curious about his state of mind going independent after roughly thirty years in the industry.

You can also listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

I think games media has improved in a few key ways since I started paying attention to it. There are far more diverse voices in this field than when I started paying attention in the mid-90s. We still have work to do on this front but I think we have an unprecedented variety of perspectives coming to us in print, podcasts, and video. That’s a beautiful, necessary thing. I also think we’re improving our overall sense of journalistic worth when I’m not sobbing over chasing algorithms to feed ourselves. I love that we do more business and labor reporting than any other period in this industry. I don’t think without investigative reporting we see the (still very slow) reckoning we’re seeing at major companies like Activision-Blizzard.

I asked Jeff, however, what he feels like we’ve lost in the past thirty years. You can hear the full discussion on the podcast episode, but I appreciated him bringing up the recent treatment of Cory Barlog and the God of War: Ragnarok team online. This distance between creator and audience can yield some good things, to be sure, but the narrowing of this distance has created opportunities for harassment and abuse. We’ve seen escalations of this for more than a decade now — so this isn’t a recent thing nor is it a thing unfamiliar to countless people who look nothing like Cory Barlog. But this harassment lobbed at him and his team this past week over the perceived murkiness of the new God of War‘s release date was on our mind and I appreciated him bringing it up.

Jeff also says you should play Klonoa. I agree!

Topics covered in this week’s news segment

Transcript of my conversation with Jeff Gerstmann coming soon:

About the Author

John Warren

I miss Texas sometimes. Wheelchair person. Professional wrestling is humanity's greatest achievement. He/his, y'all.