Transparency: One Reviewer's Journey

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09 May 2019 00:00 #296838 by WadeMonnig
However, before my first review even ran, the Miniature Market...

I stumbled into doing boardgame reviews in a rather odd way. I responded to a post by Charlie Theel, who was looking to add written reviewers to Miniature Market's Review Corner. Having previously reviewed video games and anime for a variety of websites and print magazines, I thought I would give it a shot and sent a few samples. I received a response that they would be interested in having me write for the site and I would receive a modest sum for each review submitted. In my mind, I would just use whatever I received to fuel my boardgame addiction; a little less I would have to spend on games.

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09 May 2019 07:47 #296839 by hotseatgames
I don't personally think you need it, but I am familiar with your work. Someone who has just read their first Wade Monnig review? I don't know.

Assuming it's a lot of work to go back and add that... maybe just add it to future ones?
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09 May 2019 09:26 #296848 by Vysetron
Thanks for putting this together Wade. It's always interesting to see other people's takes on the subject. I wish transparency measures weren't so necessary, but disclosures are so easy to add that it's of minimal consequence. We are, unfortunately, in an age of shills.

I think I can apply the entire list at the end to myself. That's scary similar. The only one that's sort-of not true is that I've never taken a photo of my shelves. I have, but it was to send it to folks who asked what we had. "Shelfies" can die in a fire.
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09 May 2019 09:36 - 09 May 2019 09:38 #296851 by ChristopherMD
I've always considered a free copy of the game for review to be industry standard. Same thing with a lot of other hobbies. A disclaimer somewhere on the website that some of the reviewed games were comped is good enough instead of adding it to every review. However there are some things that should be stated outright, imo.

* If you have a personal relationship with the designer or publisher.
* If the publisher or designer paid you money or comped gifts beyond what you are reviewing.
* If its a prototype of a game instead of the final product.
* If you have any financial stake in the games success.
* If its an actual review or a promotional/content/infomercial.


PS: I like looking at peoples Shelfies, but I also like looking at peoples vacation pics so I am weird. o_O
Last edit: 09 May 2019 09:38 by ChristopherMD.
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09 May 2019 09:58 #296854 by Shellhead
I don't mind shelfies as much as pictures of meals on Facebook. Most people don't seem to realize that photography of food takes some skill to stage the food in an appealing way.
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09 May 2019 12:49 #296862 by WadeMonnig

ChristopherMD wrote: I've always considered a free copy of the game for review to be industry standard. Same thing with a lot of other hobbies. A disclaimer somewhere on the website that some of the reviewed games were comped is good enough instead of adding it to every review. However there are some things that should be stated outright, imo.

* If you have a personal relationship with the designer or publisher.
* If the publisher or designer paid you money or comped gifts beyond what you are reviewing.
* If its a prototype of a game instead of the final product.
* If you have any financial stake in the games success.
* If its an actual review or a promotional/content/infomercial.

I agree with all of these and, if any of the situations ever came up, I would definitely disclose them. The only one that really is difficult for me is the very first one. "If you have had a personal relationship with the designer or publisher." For instance, I "know" Mark/Hotseatgames from this website. I'm friends with him on Facebook. But, we have never met "In real life." When I did my Games of 2018 I joked about it being a conflict of interest. But is it? "Knowing" him did not effect my enjoyment of Seal Team Flix.
I've had back and forth e-mail conversations with a number of designers and publishers, always starting with something about a game or release but sometimes we have similar interest in things and we talk about those. Should I disclose that I think someone is a pretty cool dude and we are "Internet Friends?" I'd love to play Al's Away Team and review it. But should/would I do that here?

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09 May 2019 12:52 #296863 by WadeMonnig

hotseatgames wrote: I don't personally think you need it, but I am familiar with your work. Someone who has just read their first Wade Monnig review? I don't know.

Assuming it's a lot of work to go back and add that... maybe just add it to future ones?


It only took about a hour, I went back and added it to the reviews that it applied to. I will also add it to future ones. You make a good point about Familiarity with my work, so I guess it is worth it from that stand point.
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09 May 2019 13:09 #296864 by ubarose
re: personal relationship

I think it's more like disclosing close personal relationships. It's a small industry. Everyone kind of knows everyone. Especially if you do the con circuit.
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09 May 2019 13:19 #296865 by charlest
Glad you signed up Wade and hit the pavement at 60MPH. You're a big part of the resurgence of this site.
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09 May 2019 13:46 #296868 by WadeMonnig
Final revelation: My "Shelf of Shame" (aka unplayed games I own) consists of Star Trek: Ascendency and They Come Unseen.

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09 May 2019 13:58 #296870 by WadeMonnig
Dirtiest I ever felt writing a review: I once did a freelance
Gig for a magazine that rhymes with Axim. They
Paid me for a thousand word review and proceed
to write/run a 75 word review of my review.
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