PC Gamer: Missing Anything?

I was reading PC Gamer today, their newest issue that should be on news stands now, and stumbled across their article on iRacing. For those not familiar, iRacing is a full blown, hardcore (like, you must own a steering wheel and pedals to play, and some Nascar drivers actually use it to practice) racing simulator. I’m not much of a racing simulation fan, I’m not even much of a racing fan to be honest, but I am fan of credible journalism. So I figured for sure, an article on iRacing would certainly be penned by the great Andy Mahood, simluation guru with his fingers in all things simulated. Shocked was I to find that no, that wasn’t the case, instead the article is penned by an author that knows little to nothing about simulation and even says “I wouldn’t know a splitter from a spoiler”. Oh goody! So what you’re saying is you don’t know jack shit about racing, but PLEASE take my advice on how awesome this racing simulator is, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Why thanks! As long as I’m being a fucking idiot, I’ll go ahead and get some red meat, juicy deliciousness, animal slaughtering, fine dining advice from a fucking vegan. Dense.

Since the newest Editor In Chief, Gary Steinman, came aboard, this magazine has jumped the shark harder than Dallas with their bogus ass “it was all a dream” sequence. This guy comes aboard, and suddenly the rich content delivered by their excellent columnist are completely axed without hesitation. No more Killing Box, no more reporting on mod communities, no more RPG goodness from Desslock, no more in depth simulator analysis from Andy Mahood, nope, all of it was nixed. What’d that make more room for you may wonder? Previews, interviews, and ‘eye-witness’ accounts. We’ll come back to that nonsense in a moment though, because I’d like to point out that I did give this new EIC a chance. He’s been at the helm for at least 5-6 issues now, and I’ve watched my favorite magazine take a very steadily decline along these issues. I could see it happening, but I opted to back them. They’ve modified the magazine numerous times in the past, such as The Vede taking an approach of grouping by genre through the magazine. I’ve stuck by them through those times, and this time as well, but I’m done with their experiment now.

They haven’t nixed the columnists, shrank the reviews, and Hard Stuff sections to make room for more reviews, they’ve shrank them to make more room for what makes publishers happier. This first started to hit me when they basically scoffed at the notion that Valve was being even the slightest bit Douchey with Left for Dead 2. 5-10 years ago PC Gamer would have been saying ‘WTF Mate?’, but today? They scoff at how gamers aren’t looking at the cool ‘value’ they get. They spent pages on how fucking awesome L4D2 is going to be, and then make a mockery of the L4D fans that are upset that they’re not going to get the smorgasboard of additional content that they were lead to believe would exist (they weren’t promised it, but it did really seem like Valve would be carting out content like there was no tomorrow). That seems more than a wee bit harsh. Then this month, they completely defend Blizzard’s decision to nix LAN play from Starcraft 2, and even talk about it like it’s a good thing. Are you fucking serious?! What happened to defending gamers instead of placating publishers?

Which leads me to the reasoning for the crunched down reviews, the nixed columns, and so on.. It all makes for extra space that can be used for previews, where miraculously every game ever sounds like the next g’damn gaming revolution. I don’t even mind it all that much, every single freaking game journalist outfit there is seems to exist solely to amp up hype for games previous to their release. Then a week after the game’s out, the publish a review tanking the game after everyone’s bought the damn thing. They honestly said that Terminator Salvation looked like it showed promise, and should be a great game. They later gave it a scathing review of course talking about how absolutely terrible it was. The game look like garbage in the review, was up against an intensely tight deadline thanks to it being a movie based game, but yet, they didn’t really have anything negative to say in the preview. That’s great journalism guys, real good. How many people bought a shitty game because you didn’t say what you think? I’m sure the publishers, who are your advertisers, are ecstatic with your moves to make more space for hyping up games Mr. Steinman. Your magazine is now a glorified advert, well done. By the way, that thing your whole team feels like it’s missing? It’s called credibility. Good luck finding it again.