I recently wrote this for Ozsource Australia:
What a torrid few days it has been for the ABC with a massive community backlash in regards to the original silent axing of Good Game TV favorite, The Junglist. The mainstream Media has also caught wind of the events unfoldng at the ABC with The Age announcing “Good Game presenter claims ABC gender bias after axing”
In the recent forum thread: Statement from the team…. including Junglist the community and Junglist himself has responded to this apparent comment and untruth from the whole Good Game team:
The decision to take Junglist off air was not forced upon us by ABC Management and it’s one that is fully supported by all the GG team. We are gutted that it has come to this but in our opinion it absolutely had to happen.
It’s strange for us to read that so many of you think this is because we have suffered a raging case of political correctness gone mad or a wish to dumb the show down. That’s absolutely not right. We, as ever, will continue our quest to bring you the show for gamers by gamers but this has to be our last word on this – we have shows to make!
Finally, we genuinely wish Junglist all the best, and we hope he finds a medium for his awesome analysis and presenting skills that works for him.
Team Good Game Out
(Syd, Bajo, Moe, Tuk, Gog, Mafia, Jeremy Pencil, Palindrome)
A response to this from Junglist:
I can tell you that this is a lie. There was no vote taken, no consensus reached. In fact, the GG team was completely unaware of the change until the same day I found out. The same confidentiality clause that prevented me from saying anything publicly, prevented management from telling them anything.
I have spoken to members of the GG team who clearly DON’T support this, but can’t say anything publicly. Of course they’ll tow the party line. They have to.
Up until now the situation has just been poorly handled. But to now LIE to your own audience, in an effort to save face for replacing an experienced reviewer/presenter with an inexperienced one, is quite simply the lowest thing I’ve ever seen ABC management do.
I feel now as if I’m being professionally attacked, so here’s a truth bomb. In the meeting where I was told I would be replaced, the reason given was they wanted a girl on the show. “Mass appeal” was a direct quote from that meeting. After a half-hour of explaining how they’ll lose their hardcore following, they responded that yes, they knew this, but expected to make up the numbers with a new following. “A show can grow beyond its hardcore base”, is another direct quote.
The decision was forced by ABC management, for a mass appeal direction, and will naturally be dumbed down for the loss of experience….
Trawling through the thread it becomes clear what some of the issues the Good Game management had with Junglist. They did not see eye to eye for his desire to review more in-depth if required, unlike the default 1 hour play-test. Imagine a review for Dragon Age Origins coming from Good Game after an hours worth of play time.So what if it takes a bit longer – more time makes for a better review, especially considering Good Game only does 3 a week and throws out a heap of submissions from Bajo and Junlist every week.
ABC management also appear to have a misguided mission to target the stereotypical Wii type casual gaming public and younger gamer with a dumbing down in order to achieve mass appeal. Thinking the core gaming audience would not notice this was enough motivation to remove the only core gamer from the show. His replacement in Hex, also reeks of blatant sexifying to encourage viewer numbers. I do not have anything against her in general as she has the right personality and ability to become a TV star with great potential for the future, she just walked into a Dog House.
My own personal thoughts and closing sentiments on this debacle which I also sent to the ABC:
I would like to highlight my disgust at the apparent disgraceful act of commercialisation and sexism with the sacking of Junglist from Good Game. This is not what the ABC is about. The poor performance of your staff on the Good Game forums is also unprofessional and now has brought about potential damning discrimination issues with the ABC in general.
Good Game was fantastic the way it was but now you have killed it and the Real gaming community.
Thanks a lot.