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So you say the gamer's a fossil ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wisportswriter, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Well, it appears MLB.com has gone to alternative story formats for its gamers this year ... and this humble and formerly frequent reader finds them absolutely unreadable.

    Brewers.com example
    Angels.com example
    Red Sox.com example

    Maybe this is just a spring training thing. I don't know. Regardless, it shows in this reader's humble opinion that the classic gamer format still serves a purpose.
    I've read Adam McCalvy's Brewers gamers frequently over the last few years. He does an excellent job. But if this format remains through the regular season, I will no longer read MLB.com gamers. Ever.

    Listen, I'm not some dinosaur railing against all alternative story formats. I've used a number of them in my paper, some to great reception from both readers and bosses.
    But these examples show, IMO, that it's not a fail-safe, and that cowtowing to the short attention span generation is not always the best method of operation.
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    I believe they do this every year for spring training, since gamers are useless. Though I think they are tinkering the way they do some game day stuff this year.
  3. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    Yeah, that's definitely just the spring training format. They did that last year and did regular gamers for the regular season.
  4. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Right, they don't do real gamers for spring training. They'll be back for the regular season.
  5. Chip Souza

    Chip Souza New Member

    This is the style we will be using when covering the Double-A minor league team in our region. We are getting away from the bland gamer and doing more quick hits and notes. Our sister larger daily (which is delivered inside our smaller daily each day) will be providing the traditional gamer in the same day's editions and we chose to go more alternative form, giving readers a quick hitter if they want and a traditional gamer and box if they want that. We're going to focus more on themers and trend pieces to lead into lengthy homestands and get away from the dry gamers. And we're doing these for both home and road games.
  6. If they had a one-graf lead-in, I would like these a lot more.
  7. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Here's a vote in the "this isn't all that bad" column. Such a formatted approach could work for regular-season gamers if there were a few more categories; namely, components that spell out what made the difference in the game, and what the outcome of the game means in the bigger picture. A one-graf lead-in, as Joshua Armstrong mentioned above, might very well achieve this purpose. Personally, I'd also like to see a "Stars of the Game" component, a "Quotables" component, and more notes.

    I applaud any attempt to put the game into more usable chunks of information that are easier to digest for most readers. Chances are, the reader already knows the outcome of yesterday's game, so a formatted report would simply help bring key facts to his/her attention or refresh his/her memory about what he/she saw.

    Plus, it's quicker to write on deadline, which is certainly a factor as start times keep getting pushed back for TV.

    And it also allows you to save your best writing for columns and sidebars. I can count on one hand the number of game stories I've read from byline to -30 - in the past 10 years. On the other hand, I love seeing what a columnist has to say on the morning after the game, and the sidebars at least offer some fresh insight into some particular aspect of the game.

    But your mileage may vary.
  8. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Agree. Add a heading that says "Key Play" and you'd have all the basics. Then you let the writer focus on a game analysis piece. Everybody wins.
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