Back with baggage

The Kunkel Awards are back.

And unfortunately, so am I.

My name is Michael Koretzky. I created the Kunkels in 2015, with the help of several skeptical gaming journalists. (James Fudge suggested the name, others the original categories.)

I made, uh, several mistakes. Thankfully, none were fatal. Last year, I bequeathed the title of contest director – which isn’t the same as being a judge – to a groovy woman named Brittany Ferrendi. She quickly killed my favorite category (worst story of the year) and added one I never thought of but should’ve (esports coverage).

Then she bailed.

Ferrendi used this mostly maligned gig to help herself land a job at Discord, the chat app popular among gamers. She moved from South Florida to San Francisco, and I was proud of her. She made lemonade out of a shit sandwich.

Let’s face it, being Kunkel director sucks. The hours are long, the appreciation is meager, the insults are legion, and the salary is nothing. So good for her.

Not sure it’s good for me or the Kunkels, though. Ferrendi told me in late August she wasn’t returning, which turned out not be enough time to coerce – er, recruit – a new contest director who could handle the job. Ferrendi was well-suited for the role, with her major qualification being: She’s not a 53-year-old white dude whose only video game experience is playing Age of Empires III against his ancient Mac Pro while liberally using cheat codes.

So while I search for another young video game-playing journalist to run the Kunkels next year, I’ll resume command this year. I expect this news to be met with a hearty yawn from the gaming press, which has mostly ignored the Kunkels because they think it’s associated with GamerGate. Meanwhile, the remnants of that online shitshow dismiss the Kunkels because its mortal enemy Kotaku has won multiple awards.

So why persevere? I’m reminded of what Winston Churchill once said: “Democ­ra­cy is the worst form of gov­ern­ment, except for all those oth­er forms.”

The Kunkels are the worst kind of video game journalism awards, except for all those others – because there aren’t any. Sadly, this is it. So onward and downward.

NEXT WEEK: How to enter the 2018 Kunkel Awards. For free, as always.


Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.


comments powered by Disqus

Connect

Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn


© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ