Austin Walker Wants Real Investigative Journalism At Vice’s New Gaming Site

Giant Bomb alumni, Austin Walker, will be moving on from the hardcore gaming site to head up Vice’s new gaming outlet that’s due to go live this August.

A loyal reader tipped us off to a story that Variety did, following Walker’s on-air announcement about his departure from Giant Bomb during the Thursday live-stream that took place at E3 this past week. Walker originally took on the role of a news editor at Giant Bomb back in June of 2015, just one year later he’s already announcing that he’s moving on and moving up(?) in the world of video game journalism.

According to Walker he wants to get back into doing investigative journalism (and hopefully not the kind that costs people their jobs based on misinformation). He told Variety…

“I’ll be trying to determine what the voice of the site is and building a team,” […] “There’s a certain style for the way Vice does things, when it comes to doing real investigation – we’re not just interested in products, we’re interested in people and culture. We’re interested in going a little bit deeper into a game or a game community.”

One example he used was the Elite: Dangerous community just hopping around on star systems and refueling. It’s a story that’s very much in the weeds, but could be culled from obscurity and brought to the forefront of news media thanks to Vice’s new gaming outlet.

Variety also reports that Walker is interested in a smorgasbord of writers from diverse backgrounds, bringing something new and different to the table. Part of the quote they use has Walker stating…

“[We want a] diverse collection of voices.” […] “More than having a lot of people, we want the right people,”

Surely this means actual diversity pooled from gamers and core types who actually know a thing or two about the industry and can actually inform and enlighten instead of enrage and incite… right?

Today’s current landscape of video game journalism has been reduced to ash after the brimstone and fiery repeal of confidence exercised by gamers following the exposure of corruption that took place during #GamerGate.

No matter what your stance was on the people using the hashtag, one thing became clear to most gamers and game developers throughout the industry: Video game journalism was trash.

It’s interesting because Vice’s new website will be launching alongside Rolling Stone’s new gaming outlet, too, which is called Glixel.

Vice doesn’t have a name yet for their new outlet but the Variety article notes that it will include live-streaming, editorials and gaming culture news. Vice will be separately running five video game-related documentaries sponsored by Taco Bell.

Keep in mind that Vice has around 25 different articles mentioning #GamerGate in some capacity and they continuously took the story for a spin, attaching it to harassment, sexism and misogyny. The articles fail to bring up any of the cogent topics of discussion that arose regarding the lack of disclosure by gaming journalists and some of the more damaging effects they’ve had on the industry by misreporting information (including the stories involving Kotaku and Trendy Entertainment, as reported by Gameranx).

You can look for the new Vice gaming website to go live this August, and we’ll see if under Austin Walker’s leadership they take a more responsible approach to gaming journalism and gaming culture.