Background Reading: Link to a summery of Dorito Gate by NEOGAF
Dorito gate has to be one of the biggest controversy’s of 2012 sparking uproar and mistrust in the games media particularly the journalism side of the industry. Gametrailer’s poster boy Geoff “Dorito Pope” Keighley will forever have his mug surrounded by corn snacks and carbonated drinks due to this fiasco. But what about Lauren Wainwright? She was the other big player in Dorito gate scandal despite not advocating the salty snack nor the 360 exclusive unlike Geoff.
However I think she got it worse than Geoff but for the wrong reasons.
Lauren Wainwright was a newly hired games journalist for MCV and was covering the GMAs presumably for the site. A few tweets and one Eurogamer article later and things were looking grim from Lauren’s perspective. I have some problems with the way the following actions proceeded. Firstly Rab Florance’s article although thoughtful and understandable to draw those conclusions were sadly mistaken. He called out Miss. Wainwright due to “suspicions”. That would be prosecuting a person on a hunch or a feeling (very Phoenix Wright). Yes the suspicions were from the pimped out Tomb Raider decals on her twitter page and hash tags on her tweets but he never considered that she was a Tomb Raider fan before going into the industry.
Why should she hide it? Should games journalist’s hide their love for a franchise? Surely the devotion is deserved? It gets very grey when we consider Journalists to be our mouths and ears in the industry but when we stumble upon behind the curtain dealings (Gerstman’s Kane and Lynch) it does shake things up.
Wainwright had the the right to lash out at Eurogamer. A journalist’s integrity shouldn’t be smeared especially when its falsified. That article MADE it seem that Lauren was in the pocket of Tomb Raider PR when she wasn’t. She was a Tomb Raider fan before she was a Journalist and she is still a Tomb Raider fan now. This kind of slander is damaging to anyone with a career in the journalistic field. But the following actions of hiding previous dealings with SquareEnix is hard to argue against.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution review and Tomb Raider previews were written by Lauren. Both titles have connections to SquareEnix. She claims she didn’t do any reviewing work for SquareEnix and brushed these credentials under the carpet. This did not help her image. These actions cannot be justified unless she had misspoke and was ensuring the evidence matched the story. What this exemplifies is that, when journalist’s speak it can only be the truth.
Lauren and Rab learnt this the hard way, and their positions as Games Journalists was their payment.
Dorito Gate had highlighted was a murky grey and unspoken agreement in the games industry that no one really wanted to address. Gamers became Journalist that were tempted by companies with swag to give high scores to sell more games to Gamers, and the cycle continues. Lauren was made an example of bad journalism which was especially cruel due to her green record as a journalist for MCV. I guess my defence is more out of sympathy than hard evidence against Lauren’s alleged ties to SquareEnix. But I dare anyone to claim she isn’t a Tomb Raider fan after listening to The Podcastle Episode 10. Seriously I DARE YOU!
Let’s Talk is a Feature discussing previous or current happenings in the industry.