So I just got done reading an article on the now-defunct website Crispy Gamer, and it read to me like another affirmation of the idea put forward by Geert Lovink that blogging is a creatively nihilistic endeavour. It’s an idea from his book ‘Zero Comments’, which deals with internet culture and blogging. It’s too unwieldy a concept to go into great detail here, but suffice to say, Lovink believes the medium of the blog does some things intrinsically that destroy old institutions and cultural paradigms like old school authoritative, one-to-many mass media.
The Crispy Gamer piece also reminded me of my one brief appearance on ABC TV’s Good Game, in which I talked about blogging and tried to play the apologist for the critical videogame blogosphere. That part of the interview got seriously cut down, the sense that I’m pretty keen for blogs remains. And so Crispy Gamer’s John Keefer – who also appeared in the segment pooh-poohing blogs for their lack of journalistic standards/integrity/ethics, etc – isn’t really around anymore in the sense that the site has now folded, most of those videogame blogs that lack standards are still going strong. Keefer advocated old-media standards for the internet, and sadly, it hasn’t done him and his team much good. I blame the blogs.
While writing the TWIVGB series for Critical Distance I have seen a virtual land-rush of new (videogame) blogs, but it doesn’t take any special insight to know that blogs of all kinds are not going away any time soon. Which indicates to me that there’s now even more bloggers out there, bringing down old-media with a million tiny cuts. Whether they’re trying to or not is irrelevant, if Lovink is right, and I think he is. They may love their newspapers and their radio stations (I certainly love my Sydney Morning Herald) but it doesn’t change the fact that the exercise we are engaged in with blogging “zeroes out” old media and fails to replace it with a new ideology… unless you count the right for everyone and everyone to be heard. But as Lovink notes, in a culture where every voice believes it has a right to be heard, the result is that no one is heard.
You can re-watch the Good Game video on their website here. Or you can watch the YouTube rip uploaded by Daniel Primed just so he could rail against the injustices and failings of the segment on his own blog.
For the record, I think journalistic ethics is terrifically important. But then, blogs are almost certainly changing that too which means I’m also clinging to an outdated ideal. In reality, to try and steer the ship of journalistic integrity at this late hour would be a bit like steering the Titanic right after it hit the iceberg.