Honored Source: Polygon is the Times of Gaming
The overwhelming majority of video game journalism occurs online. With only a few exceptions, print publications have fallen by the wayside. And unfortunately, websites that charge nothing for viewing must rely entirely on ad revenue for monetary sustenance and as such, they need traffic. It’s no secret that what frequently gets traffic online is…well, many digital editors will shrug and say, “you can’t go wrong with faster and dumber.”
The result? Shorter and shorter text articles, more videos, and a decreasing interest in reading. Most editors and headline writers in the field are well aware that and sadly, the majority of gamers very often only read headlines and not much else. Therefore, all things considered, this is not an ideal environment for a site that promotes professionalism, sophistication, and in-depth, well-researched articles. If most new sites try this approach, they likely won’t get very far.
And yet, Polygon manages to be a beacon. With a talented and driven staff that routinely delivers high-quality, intelligent content, gamers have the equivalent of the Times. Well, to some extent, at any rate. One could make arguments for GameSpot, IGN, Eurogamer, etc., but in our estimation, only Polygon feels much like a high-end print publication. That’s the level of quality we should hang our hats on; the kind of journalism that can exist in this industry.
So, congrats to Polygon for being our latest Honored Source. We selected several in 2014 but most of them focused on a particular angle of the industry (a certain genre, platform, or style, for instance). In this case, we honor a site that handles general, all-encompassing coverage and rarely, if ever, stoops to low-brow methods of obtaining traffic. We don’t think enough gamers appreciate this, which is why we’re calling attention to it now. The bottom line is that Polygon is an example of what a grown-up industry could look like in written form.
And that’s something we’ll always applaud.