RGN Contributing Editor Tristan Werbe’s Note:
RealGamerNewz Presents the first of many versions to our RGN Public Ethics Policy. All writers hereby agree to these terms, otherwise comment below and allow a public transparent discussion to take place in front of our audience about your concerns and views to this policy. The same goes for readers both long-time, new, as well as fly-by-night. Everyone from the RGN Community and even wider-spectrum Gaming Community are welcome to make their thoughts be known on this policy and will help shape our website for years to come.
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RGN Public Ethics Policy v1.0 [As Of 12/4/14]
I; Foreword by RGN Public Relations Editor Josh Ehresmann:
“The thing is, with RealGamerNewz being an underground website, people come to us to get real news and if authors are reviewing half-a$$ed then it’s not worth it to the reader. I always go into each review as if it’s different, clean slate, and fresh mindset so that I can give that game its very best attention, even if I don’t care for the genre. This way all games make or break their own scores by how well their own gameplay mechanics, game world, art direction, and other elements flow together.”
1. All authors will disclose exactly what products they received or purchased to indicate the status of Review Copy Info for all Reviews and Previews.
2. All authors will disclose any job positions they hold with companies they write about and are encouraged to create updates on their articles should they become involved with post-hubris to any writing’s publish date.
3. All authors will disclose any Kickstarter / Patreon / Etc. donations made to products they write about and are encouraged to participate only in News, Features, or Interviews (Informative Writing) for such pieces. Once money has been donated, an author should then pass on Review (Evaluative Writing) of that product on to another Staff member.
b. Expectation Standards:
1. Informative text needs to stay Informative and Evaluative text is only appropriate in certain circumstances such as Reviews. Previews will be mainly Informative Writing whereas Reviews will serve a more healthy balance, this is due to the fact that Previews are often not based on the final build of a game. However, Evaluative text is not appropriate in places like News. Authors are encouraged to reach out to Editors for case-by-case guidance if re-training during work is necessary.
2. The Full Rating Scale 0 – 10 will be used here at RealGamerNewz. Usage of the number 0 will be limited to certain criteria, such as totally unplayable content or something that not one person in the world enjoys – if a game has an existing audience whom are happy to play a game we will also keep that in mind. When authors review a game, they are instructed to try and stay true to the development team’s vision and the game’s final result – even if neither are of familiar origin such as non-favorite genres, etc. If a game development studio aims for excellence in a given genre / design approach, that should be respected by the author and taken into account. Note: This doesn’t mean every review will be glowing, it just means circumstantial fairness is enforced.
3. Any time video evidence, sources of information, or credible explanation through sound logic can be presented – it should be presented. Authors are discouraged from going off of opinions and feeling only and instead are tasked with making a research paper for heavy topics to which their words effect entire communities. Some great examples of this type of journalistic work can already be found among many of our top articles.
c. Core Principles:
1. Unity Among Gamers – Focus should remain on the common interest and benefits of the individual gamer and consumer of video game products. Authors are discouraged from writing inflammatory pieces that don’t create a valuable, constructive discussion.
2. RGN Is A Gameplay-Centric Website – We care first and foremost about Gameplay in Video games, and as such our coverage should be expected to revolve almost entirely around our addiction / appreciation to great gameplay mechanics. Authors are instructed to delve deep into games.
3. Creative Coverage – We encourage authors to get in touch with developers for idle chats that don’t necessarily have to lead to anything and are free of pressure. This should hopefully result in more creative coverage for our audience that normally doesn’t come about and focuses on gameplay discussions rather than evaluative / promotional sections of speech.
Other Rules and Amendments:
1. No Harassment Allowed – to / from any RGN Staff on Social Media. Please E-Mail any hate speech activity found to Report@RealGamerNewz.com
2. Honesty To Gamers – Previews of games that aren’t done yet shouldn’t judge a game prematurely, but they also shouldn’t wrongfully hype a game either and if there are major signs that the final product is going to be low quality then those should be expressed but backed up with factual data.
3. Some Info Sourced – All Sources of information used to create an article should be identified. If no source is listed for a piece of information, that means RealGamerNewz News / Tips Center have received an Official Press Release from corporate partners. This will be announced in-line mid-text.
4. Respecting This Policy – By respecting this ethics policy we also recognize that the gaming community at large including our direct audience may offer criticisms and ideas for changes to this document. Having this document be respected among staff will also help us as a team to keep authors more accountable for the products they receive as well as stay true to the writing.
5. Amendment 1 – All authors will be required to disclose whether or not they have been supported by an individual / group / corp that they are writing about. This is not just review copies, this means Patreon, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Paypal donations, anything made to the author by the person / person(s) / company / product they are writing about MUST be disclosed. Also, no Evaluative Text (i. e. Reviews) should be created if this is the case and rather only Informative Text (i. e. News).