As many gamers know, there has been a bit of an . . . uh . . . issue with Gamespot.com over the last several days. Jeff Gerstmann, one of the OGs of the site and a highly respected member of the gaming press, was fired at the end of November under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Gamespot and its parent company, CNET, have been fairly mum on his dismissal, but here is what we know and I will leave the Sherlock Holmes-ish actions to you.
In November, Gamespot's home page had a pretty ostentatious background ad for Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, an action game from Eidos.
About the same time, Gerstmann's video review of K&L was a bit less than kind, but not out of line with the comments on other review sites. Frankly, the game was average at best.
The next thing readers know, Gerstmann, a more than 10-year employee of the site, was fired; his video review was pulled from the site; all user reviews were pulled from the site, and, curiously, the K&L ads plastered all over the home page also were gone.
Gamespot and CNET have both gone on record as saying the firing was unrelated to the review, but they have said little else, while gamers, Web sites, and blogs have been whipped into a frenzy about the perceived dirty deed. As of Wednesday afternoon, Gerstmann was still silent.
To make matters even weirder, the Eidos site for the game had posted a number of positive review quotes and ratings for the game from reputable Web sites and magazines - but none of them were actually true and have since been removed.
In this world of advertorials, fake press conferences, and "I am not a doctor but I play one on TV" type of stuff, it was only a matter of time before the cash cow that is video games would fall victim to the ever constant battle between marketing, advertising, and journalism in the entertainment marketplace.
Of course, if that is what actually happened here - .
I took a jab at Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy a couple of years ago about her incessant ramblings about video-game violence and wondered aloud how, in a crime-ridden city like Detroit, one could make time for such news conferences about video games. I kinda forgot about her and moved on to more pressing matters.
Once again, she has called all the cameras and newspapers to her office to warn her constituents of her top 10 games of America's mass destruction.
"It's no wonder we're seeing the crimes we're seeing lately," Worthy says as she tried to attach games, games from as far back as 2005 no less, to the city's rising crime rate - a crime rate that has been pinned to the decline of industry and the tax base (hence, poor school funding) in that town for more than 30 years.
Look, I love Day-twa. They have great music, the Pistons have Sheed, and Joe Louis is my favorite fighter of all time. But Detroit was dangerous long before cats were playing Pong and Space Invaders.