their mission: not publishing ads or taking money from gaming companies
December 28, 2019 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Game Hihyō (ゲーム批評) / Game Criticism Magazines [Gaming Alexandria] “Gaming Alexandria recently acquired a large number of issues of the Japanese gaming magazines known as Game Hihyō (ゲーム批評, which translates to Game Criticism). The magazine’s main goal was to be a truly independent voice in the gaming magazine space. The “Criticism” in the magazine’s title meant, first and foremost, the ability to clearly declare whether games were good or bad, as well as the desire of the writers to write whatever they wanted. In addition, the magazine published without hesitation negative industry news articles (for example, reports on legal trouble), that were regarded as taboo subjects for regular game magazines. Eventually however, the magazine slowly and gradually changed its direction from these initial ideals which likely led to its eventual demise. To see what we currently have scanned in high resolution, check out the collection on”

“At the beginning of the magazine’s run, it gallantly printed responses from people involved with the companies attacked in their harsh articles, and let the readers decide who was in the right. For example, in the first issue the main feature argued that games with fantasy settings were in a rut, and the second issue argued that the popularity of fighting games post Street Fighter II resulted in a saturated market. In its third issue a critical response from famous Sega PR executive Tadashi Takezaki, arguing that if there are people out there who enjoy playing these games, it’s not OK to write articles that demean them. He also admonished the magazine for publishing stories that sometimes ridiculed people.”

*Much of the information we have is translated from Game Magazine Guidebook (ゲーム雑誌ガイドブック) by Sayakawa which was published by Game Lab/Sensai Books in 2019. It can currently be purchased from Amazon Japan here.
posted by Fizz (4 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
In other words, a place where it really was about ethics in gaming journalism. No wonder I haven't heard of them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:06 AM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is absolutely fascinating, thanks Fizz! I remain deeply disappointed by how the English-speaking games press is so reluctant to call out and criticise bad behaviour in the games industry.

I once appeared on a BBC programme to talk about how I felt some casual game developers deliberately engineered compulsive game loops that helped cause bad habits in gamers, and I was attacked by games journalists for daring to speak out of line. The Beeb literally couldn't find any other game dev to talk about it. Fucking atrocious.
posted by adrianhon at 2:59 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Can I just say how much I appreciate your posts on games and gaming, Fizz?
posted by doctornemo at 7:31 PM on December 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is one of the reasons I love Giant Bomb. They may not be as good as they used to be, but they were founded by Jeff Gerstmann who was an editor at Gamespot who got fired when he dared to criticize Kayne and Lynch despite the big promotional check the publisher was cutting them. Jeff is still staunchly unafraid to call out bad games and bad actors in the industry and he does his best to keep as much journalistic integrity as possible given the state of journalism today.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:57 PM on December 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older Juanita Guccione, 1 of the most intriguing “lost”...   |   Scientific events that shaped the decade Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments