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En studie i svensk speljournalistiks förutsättningar
This study examines the autonomy of the Swedish videogame journalism towards the gaming industry.
It also seeks to examine who the videogame journalist is and how she/he looks at hers/his profession.
For our empirical material we have interviewed a total of seven different Swedish gaming journalist with experience from the Swedish gaming media. The interviewees are from different platforms within the media such as public service, the daily and evening press and internet based gaming sites. This in
order to get a broad set of perspectives for our analysis and conclusion.
Our findings points towards a media landscape where the gaming journalism is heavily dependent on the gaming industry for advertising revenue, but also as a provider of journalistic material. The industry uses its position of strength in order to influence about what and when the journalists publish their editorial material. There is also a heavy dependence from the gaming media on the gaming publishers to pay for travels to different press events. This is an economic reality which the publishers are not late to take advantage of. They use the this dependence to use the press as a part of their advertising model. The press events, and the fact that they are paid by the industry, creates a very
difficult ethical landscape for the journalists to navigate. The study also shows that the gaming publishers sometimes uses threats of pulled advertising in order to affect the grades on their games.
We also find that the average game writer in Sweden today are without any journalistic education and are more or less recruited from their position as gaming enthusiasts. This leaves them without a press ethic frame and might make them easier to influence. This also leads to a lack of critic within the
Swedish gaming journalism today. There was a time when it was something more than just entertainment, but that time seems to have passed.
Our conclusions are that there is an obvious problem in the relationship between the Swedish gaming journalism and the gaming industry and publishers when it comes to autonomy for the press. This leads to a journalistic field that is a big part of the advertising circus surrounding the industries games.
This is something many journalists are aware of, but also something they have to accept. If you stand up to the industry you will not be able to go to the events and get review copies of the games which would mean losing their reader base. The Swedish gaming press also has a very complex relationship towards its audience where they never seem to make them happy no matter what. The gaming industry turns over billions of dollars every year. The gaming journalism is a great part of making this happen
but do not get to take part of the revenue. While producers and executives makes millions the gaming media cannot even afford to pay their writers. No matter from which angle you approach it, the
gaming journalism are the loser.
Key words: autonomy, embargo, game, ideal, preview, press event, paid trip