Can’t take a hint

Not going away.

Last year’s inaugural Kunkel Awards didn’t exactly grab the gaming world by the throat.

Many gaming journalists purposefully ignored the Kunkels. They were suspicious of SPJ AirPlay, the 2015 live-streamed debate about the ethics of the gaming press. Onstage were several GamerGate proponents. (GamerGate opponents refused to attend.)

Explains James Fudge, the managing editor of Unwinnable, former ME of the defunct Games Politics, and one of the creators of the Kunkel Awards…

“Last year, a number of colleagues privately expressed discomfort at publicly supporting the first annual Kunkel awards, mostly due to a lack of trust or confidence in SPJ. That distrust – while understandable in the caustic online atmosphere of 2016 – was unfounded and misguided. The Kunkel Awards accomplished what they were designed to do: highlight excellent games journalism.”

Of course, many GamerGate supporters hated the Kunkel Awards, too. That’s because some winners were media outlets they can’t stand – with the dreaded Kotaku dominating the news category.

As one Kunkel commenter angrily typed last year, honoring Kotaku “is like giving John Wayne Gacey a man of the year award for not stabbing someone he passed in the grocery store.” Don’t quite grasp the analogy, but it sounds bad.

Then there were the gamers who called the Kunkel Awards a hot mess and complete shit.

Still, we’re encouraged…

  • Distrust and loathing are far better than apathy and ignorance.
  • For all the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, we still got nearly 300 entries last year.
  • The original reason for the Kunkel Awards hasn’t changed.

So today, we open nominations for the second time. Tomorrow, we’ll start explaining our two new categories. One of them is sure to be really hated.

Nominate your favorite gaming stories and videos of 2016


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  • beard

    You really have a hard time focusing on positive comments don’t you? Well, unless they come from Fudge for some reason. There were plenty of positivity among pro-GG when it came to these awards.

  • Holythirteen

    The hot messy shit-talk was a pretty small portion of the conversation on kunkel. You always had this sorta tunnel vision when it came to people tossing shit at you.

    For every guy that cranked out 100 angry/stupid posts there was a handful that made a careful few, and tons more that spent more time reading than posting, the silence counts as polite discourse, strange as that may sound Koretzky.

    Thanks to all who worked on this tho.

    • Michael Koretzky

      I’m a journalist and an aging unhealthy male. My ability to “focus on the positive” has shrunk along with my bladder.

      • Allen J Harris

        Don’t make me call you a pussy, Koretzky :-p
        I think it’s a fine idea. I didn’t *like* Kotaku getting the nomination last year – but I also recognized that they have, in fact, done good work. I just don’t like the bad parts.
        I differ from other GamerGate in that matter – I recognize it’s a large organization with many voices shouting at once. Some of those loud voices actually did credible journalism. Many didn’t.

        • Michael Koretzky

          Your nuanced view is very much appreciated. I know precious few media outlets that are totally good or evil. My Christmas wish is for readers to judge stories and videos based on the content itself, not the source. And not because they pre-agree with the reporting.

          And I’ve been called a pussy by bigger people than you, pal.

  • Aldershot

    Come on Koretzky, it’s obvious you’re just poking the bear that is GamerGate.

    No matter how much negativity you remember over the ocean of support you’ve gained, many who supported gamergate loves the fact that you’ve given them the chance. I personally don’t give a damn about how you feel about gamergate, just the fact that you’ve listened.

    You may only remember the negativity, but maybe you’ll remember this one comment.

    Thank you Michael. Thank you for hearing our voices, and addressing our concerns. Keep it up.

  • Shogun1x

    Allow me to explain the analogy. John Wayne Gacy (a serial killer) shouldn’t be honored for not stabbing someone he passed in a grocery store. He’s killed a lot of peope before and not stabbing should be the default. In the same way, Kotaku should not be honored for putting out one good story when they regularly post clickbait and poorly researched, unfair hitpieces. I don’t entirely agree with this, I think you can reward people when they do good even if they’ve done bad more often, but that’s the point the guy was making.

    • Kain Yusanagi

      In my opinion, the outlet should not have gotten the reward- the individuals who did the good writing should have.

      • Shogun1x

        Good point.

    • Michael Koretzky

      John Wayne Gacy was one asshole. Kotaku employs many people. The analogy, while colorful, doesn’t compute.

      • Shogun1x

        Ok, I could see that. But in that case, shouldn’t the award go to the author of that piece instead of the whole publication?

        • Michael Koretzky

          Damn, good point. This year, I’ll make sure to credit the author along with the publication.


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