Give me money!
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 November 2012, 8:17 am
UnSubject is writing about games journalism ethics, mentioning a case where a game journalist is promoting his own Kickstarter project on the site he is writing for. And Psychochild is asking for birthday presents, with links to Amazon and Steam wishlists provided. Between wishlists on various sites, Paypal, Kickstarter, and many other ways it has never been easier to give money to complete strangers. My blog has a "buy Tobold a coffee" donation button too, not that it is used very much.

I refuse money nearly every week. The requests are simply based on my Google pagerank. Popularity on the internet has a monetary value, and many people assume that I would be eager to monetize my blog: Advertising, paid-for blog articles or links, "guest posts", and various other forms of monetization. I always respond that I am not interested, that this is a not-for-profit venture. The only reason the donation button is up there is that a donation makes me feel appreciated.

Of course being a game blogger or journalist has advantages that have monetary value. Over the years I have received a few free games or books to review, a press pass to a Blizzard Invitational, and a few "press accounts" for online games. But even before the FCC made disclosure mandatory I had always stated on my blog what reviews were based on free products. And as I wouldn't have necessarily bought the product I received for free, I wouldn't count the retail price of it as monetary advantage. In a way it is more a kind of symbiotic relationship, where of course the blogger or journalist needs access to the product to write about it, and it is in the interest of the company that want their product talked about to provide that access for free.

But when I see the increasingly in-your-face monetization of game journalism and blogging, and how much money some people can collect on Kickstarter just because they have some degree of "fame" as game developer or writer, I wonder if I am just too old-fashioned. Maybe I should just ask for more money more often. It appears that gamers have far too much money these days, and are increasingly willing to spend that for no matter what, even if it is just to express some preference. So, hey, give me money! Or alternatively your opinion on the monetization of game journalism and blogging. :)
Tobold's Blog

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