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History of web based video gaming magazines
The first video game magazine to be published regularly on the Web was Game Zero magazine which launched their site in November of 1994 followed next by Intelligent Gamer On-line in April of 1995. "Game Zero Magazine" ceased active publication at the end of 1996 and is maintained as an archive site. IGO was bought out by the publishers of EGM afterwhich they dropped their website and became a print publication under the name of "Intelligent Gamer's Fusion Magazine" which was launched in February of 1996.
The video game press is somewhat controversial for having relatively bad journalistic ethics. There are several complaints addressed against them:
- Since the dawn of the Internet, new information about video games has been allowed to disseminate immediately from the company to the end user, disintermediating the role of the video game magazine. This is especially true in the video game industry since information release is carefully controlled, and almost always done via press releases or company website updates. Thus it is very difficult for the video game magazine to have any competitive advantage when it comes to information. To counter this, many magazines enter into formal or informal agreements with a publisher to grant access to exclusive content, in exchange for featuring that content in an issue. This oftentimes creates a conflict of interest between the critical staff of the magazine and the other staff, because upon first encountering the game many critics can know if it is going to be bad, yet per the agreement they must preview the game in a very positive light (upon release of the game the reviewers can then give it a bad review but some consider this too late). This system also tends to favor the large publishers over the smaller ones.
- The video game industry spends a large amount of money to entertain video game media. The center of this is the E3 video game convention (a primarily media oriented event), where numerous parties are held.
- Ethics in Video Game Journalism
- Game Zero magazine
- www.video-fenky.com — Hirokazu Hamamura (Famitsu #800, 04/16/04) on the future of video game magazines
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