Beyond Bossfights Episode 14 – Blogging and Games Journalism

Producer’s note: Since the completion of this show, it has been announced that parent company AOL is closing all Joystiq properties, including Massively. I toyed with the idea of recording a short segment for the beginning of the show explaining these developments, but considering the amount of work involved and short timeframe, I decided to release this episode as-is, from a time before either of us were aware of the closures. Justin is an amazingly talented writer, and I look forward to reading his musings on gaming and MMO’s for years to come. If not on Massively, then wherever he decides to post them. Best wishes to all at Joystiq.

This month, I’ve got Justin Olivetti from Massively and Biobreak. We talk about how Justin moved from a purely amateur blogger to paid gaming journalism, the relationship between blogging and journalism, some of the criticisms to come out of #gamergate, and the inception of the Newbie Blogger Initiative.

Download | Subscribe on iTunes | Stitcher

Show notes:

What Are the Kids Playing?

Lord of the Rings Online – Little Brax

Definitive Gaming History

Main Topic – Blogging and Games Journalism

Questions/Topics for discussion:

  • How did you start out in blogging?
  • How did you get into professional media? (Did you study journalism?)
  • Do you see the two things filling different needs? Or is it pretty much two different sides of the same coin?
  • Do you think hobbyist bloggers help or hurt professional games journalism?
  • What was the inspiration for the Newbie Blogger Initiative?
  • Has your involvement in professional games media changed how you interact with other gamers?
  • Have you noticed writing about games ever interfering with your ability to enjoy playing games?
  • Do you think there an issue with ethics in gaming journalism? Was this a fair criticism to come out of the #gamergate ordeal?
  • Is it possible that the emergence of “everyday journalists” thanks to new media such as blogging, podcasting, youtube channels has created a dangerous ethical environment (not only game journalism, but any kind of journalism)? In other words could the lack of true journalism training hurt the integrity of journalism overall?
  • You typically interact with the PR arm of a game studio, which is usually very closely tied to the marketing department. Being that it’s their job to present the selling points of a game/release, and a journalist’s first obligation is to the truth, how do you “cut through” the salesmanship in order to do your job?

What Have I Been Up to?

I’ve been asked to co-host’s Game On podcast!

Podcast Awards nominations are open use url if you wish to nominate Beyond Bossfights

TGEN Tribunal

Featured network show: Couch Podtatoes



from Fruinjuice (5 stars)

Brax has cultivated a podcast that is more than just discussions about the latest games and updates – it spans topics a lot more related to gaming-life balance that some people achieve, and others of us need some help with (or just some reassurance that we are not alone). Beyond Bossfights does this. Thoughtful, fun and relatable. A must listen in my gaming podcast list!


from Brithilluin Edhellond

Hi, I just found out about Beyond Bossfights, and I just wanted to say that I loved it. I heard the 1st episode and this one and I kind of identify with both since I’m a female gamer in my late 30’s. You and your guests are great and I’m looking forward for the next talks 🙂

You can send your feedback to and I’ll read it on the podcast. Reminder that Beyond Bossfights is on iTunes and Stitcher. I would appreciate your ratings and reviews!

Contact information:


Twitter: @Sypster

Podcast: Battle Bards



Twitter: @Braxwolf






Voiceover by Alexa Rubinov tags:

#podcast #gaming #journalism


7 thoughts on “Beyond Bossfights Episode 14 – Blogging and Games Journalism

  1. Roger Edwards (@ModeratePeril) February 2, 2015 / 10:38 am

    I continue to enjoy Beyond Bossfights, as each month there’s always an interesting guest who provides an insight into a particular facet of gaming.

    On this occasion I really personally connected with the subject matter and felt that Syp gave a very honest and illuminating view into the world of games journalism. It is especially sad now that we know that Massively is closing.

    I still very much favour the written word as a means to explore subjects in full. A writers personality does bleed through into their work and although I do not always agree with Syps views, I believe him to be a consummate gamer and a man of integrity. I hope the future treats him kindly.

    As for the show itself, just keep going. There’s something special going on here and I want to see where it takes us all.


  2. MMOGamer February 4, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Game “journalism” on most websites means re-writing press releases. Big fan of the work you did on Massively. It was the only actual game journalism I saw.


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