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Press Reset: The Story of Polygon

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So, Polygon, the new-ish game journalism site that's not officially launched yet and is still part of The Verge has decided to produce an Indie Game: The Movie - esque documentary series. About themselves.

http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/8/21/3245100/polygon-press-reset-teaser-trailer

Now, I have actually quite enjoyed Polygon's output so far, and it's quite promising, but this must be one of the worst ideas I've ever seen. THESE MEN WHO ARE MAKING A WEBSITE QUITE A LOT LIKE A LOT OF OTHER WEBSITES ARE MODERN DAY HEROES. What will happen if it fails? How will these people who work in an industry where websites fold every six weeks ever cope if it does?

GRIPPING

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Jeez, if they want to celebrate something new, they could stop with the same tired, old noodly guitar music rising to a triumphant crescendo that every single aspiring documentary does these days.

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What made me laugh more are the videos the Giantbomb folks like Ryan, Vinnie etc have been making. Basically everyone's taking the piss out of Polygon and rightly so.

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Even when Polygon was announced, RPS were mocking the "we're going to save games journalism" thing as being a bit overcrowded, and saying if you were to launch a new site you'd just go "games are great!" to make yourself stand out.

Also the Verge is terrible, their standard for 6/10 reviews are "it's good if you can get it for free" it's far worse than any videogame media for the whole "not calling things out for being shit because of losing access", loads of "the way I interact with this device is fundamentally broken - 7.8"

Better website trailer:

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Bravo for use of the Horror tag. :D

Yes, it all smacks of being incredibly conceited. The quick shot of Arthur Geis getting tattooed like he's some sort of hard ass lifestyle hero is utterly cringe inducing, as are all the shots and quotes of them agonising over how make or break it all is. They're all well known games journalists, who have been hauled together by an investor with substantial funds to write about video games, acting as if they're booting up for a first tour of duty makes them look farcical.

There's been some great tweets about it too, most notably from Garnett Lee:

Gmi04.jpg

I think that sums up a lot of people's feelings on the matter. It really looks bad that they're setting themselves up as rock star game journalists before the site is even live, and the humorless self-aggrandising tone smacks of a lot of ego behind the scenes.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy The Verge and I'll be sure to give this and the eventual website a look, but by placing themselves on such a pedestal, they're setting themselves up for one hell of a fall.

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Normally I would scoff at all this, but how can you hate on Justin McElroy? He's so cuddly and has the best laugh ever.

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I can't say I find Justin McElroy that funny at all, no hatred towards the guy or anything but I don't find him or his brothers humorous in the slightest. I did laugh when someone tweeter Arthur Gies asking if they could have a new PC and he called them an asshole :lol: I do wonder what happened to all that money though that people (daftly) gave to them.

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It's a pretty clever pun, I'll give them that. A shame the trailer itself is a joke of a different kind.

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I used to love MBMBaM, but then the Pledge Drive happened.

What happened? I haven't listened in ages.

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Bravo for use of the Horror tag. :D

Yes, it all smacks of being incredibly conceited. The quick shot of Arthur Geis getting tattooed like he's some sort of hard ass lifestyle hero is utterly cringe inducing, as are all the shots and quotes of them agonising over how make or break it all is. They're all well known games journalists, who have been hauled together by an investor with substantial funds to write about video games, acting as if they're booting up for a first tour of duty makes them look farcical.

There's been some great tweets about it too, most notably from Garnett Lee:

Gmi04.jpg

I think that sums up a lot of people's feelings on the matter. It really looks bad that they're setting themselves up as rock star game journalists before the site is even live, and the humorless self-aggrandising tone smacks of a lot of ego behind the scenes.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy The Verge and I'll be sure to give this and the eventual website a look, but by placing themselves on such a pedestal, they're setting themselves up for one hell of a fall.

My feelings exactly. It's just so self obsessed, they've done a number of good pieces but jesus guys, save games journalism by actually doing it, not making a documentary telling us that's what you're doing.

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It was basically several shows of continuous begging for money. It made it unlistenable.

Ugh, glad I stopped then.

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I think an uplifting, heartrending documentary about some men moving into an office, setting up some computers and filling in some forms sounds great! SO THRILLING.

Giant Bomb did a lot of behind the scenes stuff when they were setting up (and still do), but they at least did it the right sort of way, kind of chaotically. And here is a pastiche of the polygon documentary someone made using giantbomb's old stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3QAh_x_eW0&feature=youtu.be

(Dave Snider's beard from that video deserves a documentary).

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They need to cut shots from DOA beach volleyball into that.

Who's the hottie brunette? :wub:

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Giant Bomb filmed themselves setting off a flea bomb in their office when they were starting up. I'm not sure Polygon will be able to top this.

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John Walker has quite nicely skewered everything that is wrong with these trailers (and Polygon's seeming inability to take on board any of the criticism they've been receiving over them), in case anybody wants to read along and nod their head sagely.

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Oh God, the full trailer is even more gag inducing than the teaser,

http://mobile.thever...fficial-trailer

Genuine lol at the original trailer actually being just a teaser trailer for the trailer, which in itself is just a trailer for a making of.

As has been remarked elsewhere, I think the most damaging aspect of these trailers and the apparent attitude of the Polygon team, is that they seem quite content to climb on the backs of established game sites and journalists, to tell everyone how awesome they are. To kick off by proclaiming themselves to be the best and to come out with phrases such as, 'everyone wants to do this, but nobody actually can', is not only setting expectations unattainably high, but it's also a kick in the teeth to all the current sites out there.

The whole drama behind the risk involved in taking the job seems so contrived, doubly so when you read that Vox received $17,000,000 in venture capital last March alone, and that there's talk of equity agreements for staff flying around. They've positioned themselves as smug underdogs, and it's making them look every bit as ridiculous as it sounds.

There's nothing easier in life than sniping from the sidelines, and in spite of this genuinely off-putting start I wish them all the best with the site, but it's clear that they've seriously misjudged their audience with this performance, and I think it's going to cost them not only viewers, but professional colleagues too. Maybe that will humble them.

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You know, I was kinda hoping Polygon might put out a decent podcast given how I like a bunch of the guys doing it, i.e. the old Joystiq crew. Having seen that extended trailer, I'm not so sure now. They've even made Justin McElroy unfunny.

Having said that, I do like the site. Well, I like the look of the site. I should actually read some articles at some point.

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I just remembered that Justin McElroy is the games 'journalist' who read a rumour on NeoGAF and promptly reported it as his own hot scoop, only to be left with egg on his face when it turned out to be untrue and then proceeded to have a bit of a hissy fit on Twitter.

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