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Gaiiden

What to do with articles of opinion

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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