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Are Gamers REALLY Dead?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I got to thinking of this tonight while writing one for a baseball game I covered on my beat.

    We all say "gamers are dead because of the internet. People who want to know were either there or checked the box score before bed or read the team's press release, etc." And that we have to offer a "different angle, a feature angle, etc."

    However, with the internet now in play, isn't a gamer actually useful? If people are shifting to the internet, like our companies tell us they are, people are looking for immediate response, reaction, quotes, etc. and we can now provide that.

    I spent all my time of late writing "gamers" for my print edition. That is to say I'd shy way away from game details, etc.

    But then I run into several people who check our paper online first thing in the morning — sometimes at 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. That's HOURS before they read the print edition when they get home from work.

    I can actually see the day where gamers are filed for the internet (a la first edition style) and follow-up is written for print (a la late edition).

    I don't know what the answer is really. But I'm wondering what others think?

    Keep in mind I'm cover colleges, indy baseball, etc. The types of things you can't get in full off yahoo! or pro sites.
  2. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    A hard gamer isn't finding much use anymore. I think the most successful gamers go beyond just a typical game and look for a feature angle. Try to take the weekly-like angle with daily gamers. At least that's what I try to do.
  3. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    There are different things: 1. Internet gamers and 2. Newspaper games. To me, it's important to get the basics on the Web site pretty quick. If the reader sees that, he's going to expect something else from the print edition. If it's just rehashing what he already saw, he'll tune it out.

    At the same time, the newspaper is still a first source of information for a lot of people, both as a consistent source and as a source for those who may use other sources, but didn't know the info you have. So gamers are still important, but the depth in the print edition has to be much better now.
  4. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Me too Rumple. That's exactly my approach. But I just wondered what others thought. Because I see the other side, too. Someone works, is out of town, couldn't make the game, is a fan but doesn't go often and then they check online to see what happened and think "shit, I don't care that Bobby playing the piano has made him a better hitter. I want to know what happened last night."
  5. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Shameless plug for a thread I started in the Writer's Workshop (here: http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/57236/) that never really took off. But my first post kind of covers this subject.
  6. Babs

    Babs Member

    In short, I do think the gamer is dead. Unless there's something else in there, I don't read them for games I was at, nor for games I wasn't at. I saw the boxscore. Tell me something I can't find in the boxscore.
  7. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I love good game stories. Always have, always will. I'm more likely to read a game story from a game I attended or watched than one I didn't, just to see if the reporter saw the same game I saw.
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I can understand writing a straight gamer for things like high school sports and other low-level games that a strong portion of your audience didn't attend, but I think such a strategy for, say, that night's Royals game is probably futile.

    I'm surprised the idea you mentioned, Pete - the first-edition Web gamer and the follow after - hasn't caught on more, because it's probably one of the first things that I come up with when asked about using the Web more efficiently. If we're giving stuff away for free online (which still bothers me to no end), we should at least make it worth the money and effort for people to check out something they're paying for as well.
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Works fine for afternoon events.

    But events that end at 10:45 with an 11 p.m. deadline means that the print edition is stuck with a "first-edition style" gamer more times than not.

    And then there is the tried and true "have lots of running ready."

    Why? To fill space? Do you read it? I don't. What makes anyone think the reader will read it?

    Instead of a 15-inch notebook and an 18-inch gamer ("with lots of running") . . . give me a 4-paragraph lead and tack on notes.

    And save the extra 16 inches for something the reader might actually, you know, read.
  10. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    couldn't agree more, great point

    we go back & forth on this at my place with late games -- what is the point of tacking on 12 inches of unreadable, irrelevant glop just so your gamer fits the traditional 18-to-20-inch length

    if you have no time for quotes, find something interesting out of the game and write 10 inches about it, pop it out as a sidebar. write an eight-inch gamer. pop something else out as a six-inch sider. whatever it takes to give people something to read. break out of the traditional format because that ain't working anymore
  11. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I would hope people would have the good sense to write the print edition story (you know, the one with a deadline?) first, if they're going to use this strategy.
  12. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I pitched it at my work. And the response was positive. The implementation was zero.
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