microsoft-011012

An open letter addressed to Microsoft concerning tomorrow’s Xbox reveal.

Dear Microsoft,

I find myself splurging precious bandwidth on trash articles claiming to have insider information about your console. As a media guy, I should know better. As a site owner, I feel as if I’ve squandered an opportunity surfacing every half-decade: to namedrop “Xbox” in the days before a console reveal and collect thousands of hits. But, as do so many others, I am caught in the heyday or mystique of something broodingly mysterious. The suspect of a wildly new thing. As much as I resent the word: the hype.

My devotion to pure, blatantly unjournalistic crap plays precisely into the narrative. The press publishes these articles in the name of promotion, and Microsoft soaks the attention up like a sponge, further enlarging the spectacle. It was as obvious around Sony’s February conference, when articles claimed every fine detail but the name, which was set in stone, and who would speak. Because the appearing personalities are uninteresting I assume.

From obsessing over names taken from edited photos posted on Reddit, the media has seemingly trivialized the monumentality of this announcement. To stop this needless obsession (that brought them a steady cash flow), would it be so difficult as to inform us of something beforehand? If only to distract for one day from the stupid conversation of whether the next console will be named “Infinity” or “Fiesta” or “Durango”. Or stopping respected publications like The Wall Street Journal stooping to ridiculously low levels by posting its own claims from anonymous sources.

And, especially, to hinder outlets from writing articles “rounding up” these rumours into one “handy” place. It clouds judgments and subjects tomorrow to feel like a fantasy. As well, it engorges the tabloid process of games journalism–feeding rumour with impunity, and without any accountability. But that’s also on the writers who blindly print these factoids, who refuse to focus on actual truisms: the rift between entertainment and video gaming as an example. So, for that, I apologize.

But, Microsoft, you must admit it’s all mildly ludicrous. Not just from the press, but from the Internet-goers clicking, myself included. (Only to a point though.) We will learn of the information tomorrow, but fascination overcomes us almost sickeningly. We can’t resist “Everything You Need To Know About the Next Xbox” headlines. Any pictures or infinity-inspired logos stirs imaginations, and we can’t help but indulge. It sounds like drug addiction.

Can’t wait to report about tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Jeff Heilig

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