More Thoughts From Me #14: Stop With The Rumors Already!
” Hey listen…I’ve heard that the NX is…”. On the internet, anybody can say anything they want. They can tell you the truth and they can lie too. Oh boy they can lie. People especially love to make up rumors about stuff that they love or think they’ll love. They do that with things they hate too. When it comes to video games, this is pretty common. The worst part though is that fan sites will report these rumors….
Rumors of upcoming games or systems are ruining video game journalism. I’m thinking, specifically, of all the NX rumors that have been coming out lately. I think its fine for fans to talk about these rumors if they want to, but I don’t believe that video game sites, even fan sites, should report them. A lot of the Nintendo fan sites out there, especially the larger ones, have been given review copies of games by Nintendo. That doesn’t mean that they have to always like what Nintendo does or give them good scores all the time, but I do believe that it means fan sites should be fair and respectful to Nintendo. They shouldn’t just report any rumor that comes across their desk. Though, it goes beyond just being fair and respectful of Nintendo.
How are fans or people outside of video game fandom supposed to take these sites seriously if they report rumors without sources? Anybody can make up a rumor. In fact, the Nintendo fan community has been plagued with fake photos/rumors over the years. The dawn of the internet and digital has made it all too easy for anybody to create something fake and make it look real. And Nintendo fans fall for it every time. The rumors are usually something that Nintendo fans want to believe: either a positive or negative. There are never rumors that fans shrug at. These rumors are clickbait for the fan sites. Is it slow news day? Report a rumor! Heck, some of these fan sites could be making up the rumors themselves.
I’m not sure what Nintendo fan site I can trust now. It seems like every Nintendo fan site out there reports rumors anymore. I refuse to be apart of that. I wish Nintendo fan sites would stop this practice. To a larger extent, I don’t believe any rumors should be reported in the video game field (or any field that reports news to fans). We owe our readers, whether they be Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony fans to report things that are true. We owe that to the companies too because they entrust us with review codes and they treat us with respect. As I said earlier, if fans want to talk about rumors, let them do that. The rumors can be easily found without fan sites reporting them.
Finally, yes I know some of these fan sites don’t count themselves as journalistic. But if Nintendo is providing you with review codes, then obviously they see you as press. And if they aren’t providing you with codes, I still think you should be respectful of them. You may be a small site, but that doesn’t mean you have to stoop to small ideals. There’s nothing wrong speculation and guessing about the NX or any of other upcoming games that Nintendo or other companies are doing. Opinion columns are great (he says as he winds down this installment of his own). But when you try to pass things off as Rumors, as in: this may be true but we are not sure, then things get dicey. We owe our readers better than that. So stop it already!
So what do you think of video game rumors? Do you think fan sites should stop reporting them or do you believe its ok? Let us know in the comments!
Next week: I take a look back at old school gaming. I’m talking WAY old school. Have you heard of a text adventure? Yes? No? Well, you will next week!
The above column is my opinion and my opinion only. It does not reflect the views of anyone else at Games Reviews.