Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


What to do with articles of opinion


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
15 replies to this topic

#1 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 4304

Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

I'm interested to hear the community's thoughts on what we should do with articles that are more opinionated than functional. We tried posting one that was highly opinion-based and it was voted down and out in a matter of hours. However it was featured on Gamasutra the same day - but in this case "featured" meant that while it was on the front page of the site in the news feed, ultimately the content was from their blogs section. I've recently posted up another work that has an opinionated slant to it - Why I'll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again - and while it's been received better so far, already comments have sprung up about its proper place on the site.

 

To keep the comments of the article focused on the article itself, I have created this thread to further discuss the issue.


Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


Sponsor:

#2 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4700

Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

I don't see the problem. Opinions are open to like and dislike, and that article clearly fell on one side. That said, it's obviously preferred that things on the front page be popular, but that's largely a measure of editorial control. Plenty of real publications are running editorials that say all kinds of interesting or crazy shit. The main thing is to clearly delineate 'opinion' content from 'real' content.



#3 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6882

Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:47 PM

I have a weird definition of the term "article." On the one side, a newspaper article can be either opinion-based or fact-based, and that makes sense to me. On the other side, I for some reason expect GameDev.net articles to be fact-based instead of opinion-based. It's like I have a weird double standard for the term "article," and I'm not even sure why. I'm not sure what to suggest... I'm just going to go try to figure out what an "article" is to me...


[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#4 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2607

Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:56 PM

The other article you are referring to, was in my opinion too narrow minded of an opinion. Which the community reflected on that pretty quickly. An opinion is fine, but when the opinion is rather negative to a large part of the community, and seems to have no indication of presenting a better picture of what they are trying to get across, then it's going to get what it got. The piece also presented no real indication of how to do something, it was just a long drawn out spiel about "games that suck because they try to force me to do things a certain way".

As for the current one, it defiantly is much better than the last one, but at the same time it doesn't really give an indication of how to achieve something. When i think of most of gamedev's articles, I think of accomplishing something, or doing something. This on the other hand is a long spiel about problems with the game industry, and doesn't actually present any substance for accomplishing something.

I don't really think it has any business being in the "Game Design" section, perhaps a new section should be created titled "Opiniated", these articles would be more about certain people's perspectives of the game industry, and what they believe is/isn't possible. But the articles don't present any work substance, they are a good read though, and could make you re-think things about the industry, or maybe long term design goals.

Edited by slicer4ever, 17 April 2013 - 03:57 PM.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#5 rip-off   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6915

Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

The first article was not representative, it was unfortunately just a poor article. I think the quality other article shows there is some value in such "opinionated" content.

 

I concur that we should clearly distinguish subjective articles from the (hopefully) objective ones. The nomenclature will be the hard part. In my mind, this kind of content is more closely related to our existing "journals" than to "articles". But "Why I'll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again" was written by a user new to the site, so the concept of a "journal" doesn't really make sense for one-off pieces, especially if we're encouraging more off-site authors to post here.

 

I'm not entirely sure that the article review process makes a huge amount of sense for such works (though I haven't looked into it too much myself). Sure, I believe almost any publishable content would probably benefit from a little peer review. But there could be lots of distracting bickering about the opinion itself rather than the quality of the communication, structure, etc.



#6 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1999

Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:51 PM

Since articles have an option to relate to different portions of the site (referring to the dropdown that is on the right-hand side of the editor), why not have a section dedicated for these, and separate how they are shown on the home page/articles list?

 

I'm not entirely sure that the article review process makes a huge amount of sense for such works (though I haven't looked into it too much myself). Sure, I believe almost any publishable content would probably benefit from a little peer review. But there could be lots of distracting bickering about the opinion itself rather than the quality of the communication, structure, etc.

 

For these articles I would say the peer reviewers just need to decide whether it is a well written piece instead of digging deeply through the content.



#7 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3340

Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

I think they should be separated. Wired has "Wired Opinion" as a separate section that could be a model... so maybe "Gamedev.net Opinion".

 

Personally, seeing  "Why I'll Never Work on First-Person Shooters Again" seemed to me to be inappropriate to have on the front page of the site. If I were finding gamedev for the first time while looking for resources to help me make a game, I'm not sure that would give me a good first impression of the site. Maybe just require them to have the word "Opinion" in the title to set them apart.


-Mark the Artist

Digital Art and Technical Design
Developer Journal


#8 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1574

Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:34 PM

The "Wired Opinon" like idea makes sense to me. I was about to point out that newspapers usually have editorial sections. It probably wouldn't be unusual for a column in an editorial section to be featured from time to time.



#9 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 24202

Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:24 PM

The way that newspapers are supposed to work (but don't these days :P) is that every article is first assumed to be objective, unbiased and fact based. If an article is instead an opinion, then it will be marked as such at the top of its column.

I don't see why the same categorizing shouldn't work for us.

#10 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5039

Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:00 PM

I think the bulk of design articles center around a ton of opinion on how things should be.  Sometimes being able to characterize particular problems is in itself an important part of solving them. 

 

To me, btw, this is probably a business and industry article.


Edited by Michael Tanczos, 17 April 2013 - 07:06 PM.


#11 NathanRunge   Members   -  Reputation: 327

Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:30 AM

I think the majority of gamedev readers would prefer most articles to focus on practical fact rather than opinion, with a number of sites such as GamaSutra providing excellent avenues for distributing opinion. That said, I don't think that this should preclude articles that present an opinion. I support clearly identifying these articles, and an author should declare the context surrounding their opinion.

 

I think the most important determining factor for the suitability of an opinion article is its substance. Articles presenting an opinion should be presented, effectively, in essay format. The author should be introducing the topic and context. They should then present a well supported argument for the position, complete with examples or citations, informally or otherwise. It comes down to presenting an opinion that can be justified and evidenced.

 

If an opinion is explained, then it can be discussed intelligently and it practical lessons can be taken. If an opinion is expressed without context or evidence, it effectively becomes a soapbox or rant, which have their place in blogs.

 

An example I may offer is a discussion on piracy. These discussion happen often and they're rarely intelligent or worth-while. If someone presents a lengthy opinion arguing that piracy is destroying the industry it benefits no-one and will quickly devolve into back and forth. If someone puts forward their opinion that piracy is a more significant issue than we consider it to be, complete with citations on sales and the results of various studies, possibly summarising with a proposed approach, then there are details that can be discussed and lessons may be learnt. It'll inevitably turn into bickering anyway, but it at least has merit.


Personal Page: http://www.nathanrunge.com/     Company Page: http://www.ozymandias.com.au/


#12 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2556

Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:48 AM

Technical articles that deal with coding are all and fine but the reality is the games industry is made up vastly more than that, up to and including issues such as the debate on gun control/violence as applied to first person shooters. As an industry the products produced within it have time again challenged the societal norms of morality and ethics and as such opinions (imo) do have a valid place in Gamedev's drive for articles. My only argument would be that the articles themselves be either well argued or clearly identified as a person's point of view hence the review system.

 

Experiential viewpoints, opinions, stories etc is a valid approach to imparting knowledge about the games industry beyond that of simple coding.

 

Labelling an article Op-ed as well classifying to the appropriate branch in the article topic tree would not be a bad way to go. But it should not be dispensed with out of hand as it humanises the industry.



#13 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14935

Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:11 AM

I'd really like to see us allowing this type of content, but I do understand the concerns about clearly labelling it.



#14 NEXUSKill   Members   -  Reputation: 425

Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:40 AM

I'd say publish them but make cleare that it is an opinion, in case the writer doesn't do so him/herself.

For two reasons, if the article is taken as fact when it is actually an opinion, it could lead people through misguided paths of development costing programmers / artists / designers many hours of work. Second, Flagging it as an opinion can also be followed by an invitation to open discussion, promoting the evolution of said opinion and the article itself.


Game making is godlike

LinkedIn profile: http://ar.linkedin.com/pub/andres-ricardo-chamarra/2a/28a/272



#15 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6882

Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:43 AM

I don't really think it has any business being in the "Game Design" section, perhaps a new section should be created titled "Opiniated", these articles would be more about certain people's perspectives of the game industry, and what they believe is/isn't possible. But the articles don't present any work substance, they are a good read though, and could make you re-think things about the industry, or maybe long term design goals.

I think this best sums up how I feel.


[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#16 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 4304

Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:53 PM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I'll create a new category for these articles and make sure they are all tagged Opinion. Also they will all use the same graphic at the top of the article.


Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net





Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS