When do the gloves come off? (Part 1)

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about some of the comments recently made by (some would argue) important people within the StarCraft 2 community. I arrived at the question posed in the title of this column after coming to the conclusion, that perhaps it is time to do so.

Kennigit brought this up on a recent episode of State of the Game. He made mention about the camaraderie within the StarCraft community that makes it seem difficult to break in and offer the hard-hitting content that was in one of the spotlights of panel member and all around buddy of the community InControl. One says freelancers are missing from the scene, the other says confidence is missing from those who are covering the scene.

I don’t want to be tooting my own horn, so to speak, but ESFI was mentioned as the example of a new source on the edge of progress in bringing quality production and journalism into the community. That kinda says a lot when there are certain personalities that have a larger reach than we do and yet have the inferior content (at least in principle).

I think there are some fundamental reasons as to why the envelope hasn’t been pushed up until this point. I want to break this down into parts and here is the first of this series of posts.

One of the goals of most websites and communities are to get hits and continue to get hits. In this way, fledgling community sites which are lacking a large number of hits might not fare well in the court of public opinion should they publish an article that addresses something controversial in the community. Numbers might be responsible for inflating what the definition of success is, but there is a certain critical mass that allows nearly any website to sustain readers unto itself.

One of the key things behind being able to generate numbers in this manner has to do with having a personality at the core of the brand. For a streamer, it might be BM. For a caster, it might be game knowledge. While opinions have a place with news reporting, objectivity isn’t exactly the most endearing personality trait.

Along those lines, avoiding favoritism in reporting is a big hurdle that many of those who will be joining with aspirations of journalism will have to overcome. Not favoritism in the manner of simply liking a player because that player won an event lately, but favoritism more in the style of believing that a player is the best without some sort of reason why.

Being able to argue for or against a particular player should always be something that you’re willing to do regardless of who it is or how prestigious that player seems to you or the community at large.

I’ll continue the second part in this series explaining my best guess for a timetable for glove removal.