Lessons in Future Publishing

So, Edge Online’s staff appear to have all quit? Why? Because editorially, it appears that Future Publishing basically wanted the online arm to work editorially just like the print arm.

“Edge-Online’s editorial control has been brought in line with the magazine in an effort to create a “strong, consistent voice” for the brand, according to Future Publishing.”

Now, Future Publishing… I like you folks. We’ve got history. You and I go way back, and I’m fond of you. So I’ll be gentle.

Dumbass move.

I think that’s about as gentle and diplomatic as it gets in this particular case.

What you’ve basically suggested is the equivalent of saying that there’s no effective difference between TV and the cinema screen. Your print arm and your online arm have as much in common as television and cinema — which is to say a whole lot. The things that they have in common make them strong. The things that they don’t have in common make them useful and appropriate and relevant. Each to their own.

Gloss over those differences and you lose usefulness, appropriateness and relevance — and you’d be economically better off shutting one of those arms down. In fact, that’s pretty much what you just did, effectively. Staff gone, and most of the readers will go with them.

Future, you should know better. I always thought you did, in fact. You can have a strength and consistency, but you need different voices for different media. That’s an old, old lesson now, from before many of us were born. I believe it’s written down somewhere.

Watch out for those carrot-eating cyclists on TV

Given that the number of gamers worldwide who have played or presently play violent video games is roughly estimated to be somewhere around 250 million, and the number of shootings, school shootings and violent crimes associated with violent video games is (roughly) 10-20 per year….

Would that not suggest that there is some alternative explanation for these outbursts of violence than the video games?

In fact, there’s a far stronger correlation between violent crimes and eating carrots, or riding bicycles than there is for video games.

Besides, didn’t we used to blame these shootings on television? When did we stop blaming TV for violent crimes?

Brass knuckles

Since there’s no controversy about violent video games, and violence and video games, of course Electronic Arts figured it would be a great idea to send out brass knuckles with the promo material for Godfather II.

That’s like bungee-jumping using a length of iron chain, you know, to prove it’s safe – or some other staggering, self-harming non-sequitur.

As a promotional item, it would come from their marketing department, so we must assume that the marketing department hasn’t read a newspaper or watched any TV in, oh, the last ten years or so. Leastways, nothing about – you know – games.

Now EA is trying to take the things back. Turns out that possession of them is a crime in a lot of places in the USA. Sending them across state lines, too. Of course, if they’re trying to get people to send them back, are they not now inciting the recipients to break the law by sending the items across state lines a second time?

What the heck was anyone thinking?