Polygon’s Ben Kuchera decided to do an article about how developers mocked an article on Kotaku from writer Jason Schreier. The Polygon article focuses on how the development community took shots at Kotaku. Kuchera tries to mitigate the damage by coming to Kotaku’s defense in a backhanded way by pointing out how people are making fun of the article in the development community. Jason Schreier was none too pleased at this outcome, becoming emotionally distressed in the process. The swell of frustration from a cracked ego poured forth in the form of a screed on a NeoGaf thread.
Kuchera’s article was posted on April 18th, 2017, as spotted by Kotaku in Action. It broke down some of the derision aimed at a Kotaku piece by Jason Schreier that discussed some of the design techniques in Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn.
The explosion of controversy over Polygon writing a headline titled “Developers are mocking a Kotaku post about game development, and it’s a bad look” was like an arrow through the heart of Schreier’s perceived integrity; bitter venom bled from the emotional wound and onto social media, like a fawn crying after being gutted by a steel-hearted hunter.
Fuck this article for A) conjuring drama out of nowhere and B) Polygon not having the courtesy to reach out to me https://t.co/KMDTRCVhrI
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 18, 2017
It appeared as if Schreier was notably perturbed at Kuchera’s article, using expletives in a way that seemed to indicate some form of frustration. One could surmise that Schreier may have been angry.
Unfortunately, I was unable to ask Schreier about how he really felt because he has me blocked on Twitter.
Nevertheless, a crowd of concerned purveyors followed the trail of anger that Schreier left behind on social media, right into the safe space of NeoGaf, a cathedral of obsequious comfort.
Twitter user BestMom spotted Schreier’s post on NeoGaf, where he gallantly defended his journalistic integrity.
Through the obstacle of potentially sodium-drenched keys and possibly gritted teeth, Schreier passionately spilled his fractured emotions into the hurried and emblazoned post on NeoGaf, where he wrote…
“Let me clear. I am angry because this post created drama where there is none, making me look bad in the process.
“[…] I had no idea that there was any sort of “kerfuffle” involving my Horizon article. Then I saw a Polygon article about how “developers are mocking” my work, based on four tweets by people I’ve never seen before. The tweets don’t bother me that much, since, as I wrote in my original article (and comments), I was using Horizon’s documentary as a springboard to talk about common graphical tricks and techniques, and I don’t really care if those people didn’t pick up on that. What bothers me is Polygon making it seem like this is some sort of widespread trend, when it’s clearly not (considering I hadn’t even known this was happening until I saw the Polygon article itself).”
Schreier received a lot of support from the thread (and some criticisms), including someone who wanted Kuchera banned for making a post that put the credibility of Schreier and Kotaku into question.
The chamber echoed with reverberated support, mostly in favor of Schreier. Nevertheless, Schreier used his post to absolve himself of any wrongdoing by claiming that he only flipped out because of his astute career in covering game design. He went on to write…
“I’ve built a career around talking to lots of game developers about how games are made, to the point where I literally wrote a book about it. A Polygon article creating meaningless drama and making it seem as if “developers” are mocking me is shitty and infuriating. Even if the article does wind up trying to defend what I wrote, the premise — that “developers” are making fun of what I wrote — is baseless and makes me look bad. Hence me flipping out.”
So far, it doesn’t appear as if anyone in the thread brought up the meaningless drama that led to Jeremy Stieglitz leaving Trendy Entertainment, and eventually led to costing Studio Wildcard $40 million.
There’s also no mention about Kotaku misreporting on a Nintendo employee in the public spotlight that ended up resulting in her being fired for moonlighting at a second job.
The drama that Kotaku cooked up involving a lot of shade being thrown at Vanillaware over the Sorceress character in Dragon’s Crown was also left out of the conversion.
There are plenty of people taking shots at Ben Kuchera, however, despite the fact that both Kuchera and Schreier were former members of the GameJournoPros.
I attempted to reach out to Kuchera to find out why he put Schreier in the cross-hairs of humiliation, and how he feels about Kotaku being shamed in this process by sneering developers… but he has me blocked on Twitter.
Even still, there are plenty of people from the outside looking in doing a slow clap for Kotaku and Polygon; basking in the schadenfreude of gaming’s two public pillars that represent the pinnacle of video game journalism… or the lack thereof.
Sadly, no one asked Schreier if he was potentially going to start up a leaderless social media organization that possibly highlighted these pitfalls from the press, as I’m sure Schreier would love to help spearhead a movement about improving ethics in media journalism.