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An Old Gaming Website That's Become a Giant Car Crash, Explained

Kotaku brass lays the smackdown on woke employees, but is it too late?

An Old Gaming Website That's Become a Giant Car Crash, Explained
Trying to unwoke before broke

Kotaku, once a juggernaut in the realm of gaming journalism, is facing what many would put nicely as a... challenging phase. The root of the upheaval stems from a new mandate by its parent company, G/O Media, requiring its team of journalists to churn out an unprecedented number of video game guides on a WEEKLY BASIS. This move nearly instantly turned the company on its head, with people quitting, crying on the internet, and wondering what to do with their lives.

According to some miffed employees on Twitter, the directive specifies that the collective team, comprising 7 journalists, must produce 50 video game guides each week. This move has sparked a significant amount of controversy between the 'game journo' crew, and has led to widespread discussion regarding the future of gaming journalism a Kotaku.

A Closer Examination of the Mandate

On the surface, the requirement to produce an average of just over seven guides per journalist each week may not seem excessively demanding. However, a deeper dive into the implications reveals a different story. Crafting a comprehensive and helpful video game guide is a time-consuming process. It involves extensive research, gameplay, and a detailed understanding of the game's mechanics. Therefore, the mandate from G/O Media is seen by many as an unrealistic expectation. But let's get into the obvious reason for that...



The Underlying Motives

The stringent new requirements serve a dual purpose. First, they're intended to significantly boost content output and, by extension, site traffic and ad revenue. However, there is a more cynical view that I'd take suggesting that this could be a strategic move to 'clear the cattle' – a euphemism for pushing out staff without the need for severance packages, under the guise of performance-related dismissals.



This approach could potentially sidestep complications related to 'woke' wrongful termination lawsuits, a term used by critics to describe legal challenges based on claims of discrimination or unfair dismissal tied to social justice issues. By setting benchmarks that are nearly impossible to meet, the company could create a scenario where layoffs seem justified by a lack of productivity or failure to meet clear, albeit impractical, objectives.



The Response from the Journalistic Community

The reaction from the Kotaku staff and the wider journalistic community has been one of outrage and disappointment. Many of them see this as a direct attack on journalistic integrity and a move away from quality, investigative journalism towards clickbait and quantity-over-quality content production.



The outcry reflects broader concerns within the industry about the sustainability of current journalistic practices and the ongoing pressures faced by writers in the digital age. The funny thing is, they created this mess themselves, and now have to deal with the consequences.



Looking Forward

The situation at Kotaku is emblematic of larger trends affecting the gaming journalism sector and digital media as a whole. As publications grapple with the challenges of staying relevant and profitable in an ever-evolving digital landscape, the balance between content quality and quantity becomes increasingly precarious.

What remains clear is that the path forward requires a thoughtful approach that respects the craft of journalism, the well-being of writers, and the needs of the audience. It is essential for media companies to remember that the value of their output cannot be measured by volume alone. In the long run, the respect and trust of their readership will be the true measure of their success.



As this situation unfolds, it serves as a good reminder of the ongoing struggles within media companies to adapt to changing times while maintaining the core values of quality journalism. Whether Kotaku and G/O Media can navigate these turbulent waters without sacrificing their integrity remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain: the outcome will likely have lasting implications for the industry at large.


~Smash

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Kotaku can sink for all I care.

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