Friday, January 29, 2010

So close, yet so far.

In my last screed, I wondered when we'd see a positive videogame story in the mainstream media. It appears I may have spoken too soon, as the Los Angeles Times just did a piece hyping a videogame tournament this weekend in their Entertainment section. It's easy to see this is a good sign, but before I go overboard heaping praise upon the article, take a closer look:
On Saturday, UGTL will hold its fifth official Streetfighter IV tournament at a warehouse just south of downtown L.A. Streetfighter IV is a popular video game, available on PlayStation II or Xbox, in which players battle each other in simulated hand-to-hand combat.
If you didn't find anything wrong in that passage, then you've probably never worked as a copy editor or proofreader. To put it plainly, the correct terms are Street Fighter IV, PlayStation 3 (not PlayStation 2), and Xbox 360. To give credit where it's due, kudos to the Times reporter for at least including the Roman numerals in the title of Street Fighter IV, as I've seen "Street Fighter 4" much more often. You'd think it would be easy to get such a small detail right. I mean, come on, it's right in the logo on the front of the friggin' box:

Perhaps you think I'm nitpicking. Well, you know what? So should the Los Angeles Times. As I mentioned almost a year ago in my entry about the Videogame Style Guide, one would be completely in the right to criticize the Times if they, for example, wrote about The God Father 2 instead of The Godfather Part II. It should go without saying that writing about videogames should be held to the same standard as writing about film.

But I want to be clear that I only criticize, not to nitpick, but because I want videogames to be a more regular part of the LA Times' coverage. But if a major publication like the Times keeps making simple mistakes like these, then I'm much more likely to continue to get my videogame news from fan-made and amateur Web sites. (By the way, go to Get Your Tournament for the most up-to-the-minute videogame coverage!)

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