GameSpy Plagiarizes the Angry Video Game Nerd - The Intrepid

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

GameSpy Plagiarizes the Angry Video Game Nerd

Superman NESA scene from the intro to Superman on the NES.

Back when I cared about video games—I still care about some games, just not as much anymore—I used to read gaming review sites fairly regularly. One of the sites I liked to frequent was GameSpy, which during its heyday in the early 2000s was a sort-of quirkier Gamespot. In 2004, GameSpy began its descent into mediocrity when it was acquired by IGN. A year ago, the site switched over to a blog-style format (likely to save money) and the quality of the site's articles and reviews dropped even more.

Take, for example, this list article (the only kind of article that gaming sites seem capable of producing these days) on eight badass characters that were turned into video game whimps. If you're familiar with the work of James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd, you'll notice that six of the eight entries are rip-offs of his internet series. If GameSpy had at least credited Rolfe for their inspiration, this might be okay, but there's no mention of his name anywhere in the article.

Sadly, gaming journalism is in a rut right now, where plagiarism is just one of a dozen problems. The whole industry seems bereft of fresh ideas, and just keeps recycling the same old tired lists and countdowns.