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As you may know, WatchMojo is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Covering everything from TV and films to video games, their videos are usually your standard top ten lists about various subjects. Like the top ten worst selling consoles or the top ten most expensive sci-fi movies.
You know, the typical stuff you find on Buzzfeed like clickbait factories. Poorly researched, minimal effort attention grabbers that often retread the same ground as legions of others beforehand.
But in itself, that’s not a bad thing. After all, top ten lists aren’t a crime against humanity. And hey, everyone does need to just switch off and watch something a bit more mindless every now and again, right?
Well, I guess so. Except there’s just one problem.
Namely, the info in the videos is stolen from other YouTube creators.
Yep, I’m not kidding. All the facts are straight from other people’s work with no credit given.
How do we know this?
Because Guru Larry has seen his whole video ripped off and reused as a WatchMojo list. Yep, they took one of his Fact Hunt videos, noted down the entries there and remade the entire thing as a video on their channel.
Normally, that wouldn’t be too noticeable. Unfortunately for WatchMojo though, Guru Larry was prepared.
That’s because Guru Larry (like many map makers and dictionary writers of old) is known to sneak ‘copyright traps’ into his work. These traps are very minor ‘mistakes’ that can then be used to prove someone stole your data and reused it in their own work. They’re quite common on maps, with ‘trap streets’ often used to prove a mapmaker copied one of their rivals.
And since WatchMojo clearly didn’t do any other research on the topic, they copied the fake information without checking. Good job guys! How lovely of you to tell us where you get your information from now!
Here’s Larry’s tweet about the subject going into a bit more:
Great thing to wake up to, @WatchMojo has literally stolen all the research from my Worst Selling Consoles episode!
— Larry Bundy Jr (@LarryBundyJr) August 10, 2017
As well as Top Hat Gaming Man’s great video about the controversy:
So either way, the cat was out of the bag and Twitter was talking about it. So what did WatchMojo do?
Did they apologise for their actions like mature people would? Take down the video to stop people being fooled by fake information?
Well, not quite. They took down the video sure, but actually admitting they stole someone’s research never factored into it. Instead they sent Guru Larry the following, rather hilarious letter:
WatchMojo's email response to me about them stealing my research: pic.twitter.com/2gvnxhoyC4
— Larry Bundy Jr (@LarryBundyJr) August 10, 2017
As you can see, it’s filled with examples of questionable journalism ethics. For example, why don’t the organisation credit people for their findings?
Because they don’t know said people are the original finders. Yes really. They outright say they won’t credit anyone because they don’t know said people are the ones they should be crediting.
That’s just… wow. Can you imagine if someone did that in school or college?
Like, if they handed in an essay with no citations because they ‘didn’t know’ the researcher was the original discoverer? Or told the lecturer they didn’t credit anyone because they didn’t know whether their sources were the original ones?
They’d probably get thrown off the course. That’s an obvious example of plagiarism, no matter how you cut it.
Yet that’s not all the letter implies.Oh no, it also implies they’re rather terrible at research.
Well, isn’t the job of a journalist about verifying the information they’re posting about? Aren’t journalists supposed to hunt down the source of a piece of information before writing about it?
Yeah, I think they are. But thanks to the fact WatchMojo clearly isn’t finding the original source, it implies the channel’s ‘researchers’ don’t actually do much research at all. That they find whatever a few other YouTubers or writers have said about a topic, copy down the information and merely assume it’s accurate. Verifying stuff? Who has the time for that, right?
Additionally, they also seem to imply they don’t really check their videos for originality all that well either. That’s because their letter goes and says ‘their tool didn’t pick up the similarities to your video’, implying the only thing they do is put the information through an automated plagiarism checker and hope nothing comes up as a match.
That’s again pretty bad for a channel like this. It’s basically admitting that people can send in anything and they’ll post it so long as it doesn’t ‘look’ enough like the source it’s paraphrasing. It feels like one of those cases where someone assumes Copyscape or Turnitin is good enough on its own.
And when you add this to the clear mistakes the channel makes in their videos (Top Hat Gaming Man references the terrible ‘Jaguar sales data’ in his response), you’ve got a lazy, uninspired YouTube channel trying to cash in on other people’s work for their own gain. Which is a trend that’s all too common now. Giant clickbait channels spamming low effort videos based on other people’s work for quick views.
So don’t support these guys. They clearly don’t put a lot of work into their videos, they steal from other people and their journalistic integrity is virtually nil. Treat them like you would Brash Games or other thieves. Organisations you refuse to support for their complete lack of morals and sheer laziness.
Because WatchMojo doesn’t deserve your patronage. And nor do any other such channels who refuse to credit people for their work.
In the last few weeks, I’ve seen an interesting trend occur online. Put simply, a lot of people have started to treat video game glitches like they’re a bad thing, and decided that their existence in a game is somehow proof the developer got lazy.
And this can be seen on my videos for games like Breath of the Wild. I’ve seen people call out the QA team for every instance where I managed to get Link to clip through a wall. I’ve seen others say that Nintendo is lazy due to allowing these bugs to get into the game. Heck, in some cases I’ve even seen joke comparisons to Sonic 06. As if the presence of these glitches in Breath of the Wild means its an obvious beta that was rushed out the door as quickly as possible.
People assume this stuff is possible only because Nintendo is competent:
However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Yes, it’s possible a game could be rushed out early. Or simply wasn’t tested properly for whatever reason. Something like Action 52 might be an example of that.
But a game isn’t necessarily bad (or broken) just because it has a lot of glitches.
There are a few key reasons for this. Reason 1 being that ambitious games will almost always have more glitches than unambitious ones.
Obviously there are a few exceptions here. Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is glitchier than Dream Team for instance. Despite being built on the same engine with a lot of recycled content.
But for the most part, an ambitious game will have more glitches than an unambitious one. Take Pokémon for example. The original games were ridiculously ambitious, and had to really struggle to fit all the content in a single Game Boy cart.
As a result, they’re packed with glitches. That’s because the way they were coded was optimised for size rather than error checking. They had to fit a lot of code onto small cartridges.
So to get it to fit, things were skipped. Checks were removed. Etc.
And the resulting games are perhaps some of the most glitch filled games in history, with everything from glitch Pokémon like Missingno to being able to wrong warp to the Elite Four or even rewrite the game’s programming on the fly.
However, that doesn’t make them bad. They’re amazingly fun games which set off a huge fad back in the 90s and maintain a steady fanbase even today. It’s just that due to how hard they tried and how many technical boundaries were pushed, glitches crept in.
What’s more, the same goes for all manner of other great games throughout history. Super Mario 64 (and its DS port) are littered with glitches, but that’s in part because of all the ground breaking ideas and tech they put into practice. No one had ever made a 3D platformer quite like Mario 64 before, and Nintendo themselves were learning as they went along. So again, glitches crept in.
The same goes for almost every Zelda game. It goes for Smash Bros Melee and Mario Kart. GoldenEye, Crash Bandicoot, the classic Sonic games, the classic Mega Man games… the list of great games filled with bugs goes on and on.
Yet it’s not just ambition you have to consider here.
It’s also plain old game testing limitations.
Put simply, no company can ever find all the bugs in a game. It’s impossible. Every piece of software in existence has more potential flaws and security problems than can ever be truly fixed.
And this is magnified up to eleven when the games are released to the public. Remember, Nintendo’s testing team is both limited in size and strapped for time. They don’t have months or years to test every minor wall and character interaction in the game. Nor do they have the unlimited time and resources to fix every little thing that might be found.
So while they do the best job possible, things will slip through the radar. Or they’ll be marked as ‘won’t fix’.
Then when you add however many million players into the mix (Breath of the Wild has sold about 3 million copies so far), those things will get found. There are simply more players looking for glitches (or just playing in ways unforeseen by the development team) than there were doing QA testing.
Let’s not forget how much free time gamers can have either. Again, remember that for Nintendo’s in house teams, quality assurance is a job. They have to move between one game and another every few weeks or so to make sure all of said games work well. They can’t test Breath of the Wild forever.
Players on the other hand… they can. They could spend eight hours a day looking for bugs in the game and do so for years. They could test every wall and object in the game. See how every character interaction goes.
Hence they’ll find more glitches. Look at Stryder 7x and Pannenkoek2012 for instance. They play almost nothing but Paper Mario and Super Mario 64 respectively.
So guess what? They find numerous bugs in these games.
And when speedrunning communities and glitch focused sites and YouTube channels (who like the ad revenue these glitch demonstration brings) are factored into the equation… well, a game is likely to be broken to all hell within weeks or months. It’s the same sort of situation as with computer cybersecurity. Microsoft might try to patch all the issues in Windows, but they can’t really compete with the hordes of security researchers, bored users and hackers trying to find said issues for their own personal gain.
So don’t worry too much about glitches in games. They’re bad if they cause problems, but for the most part they’re simply a fact of life that you cannot ever avoid. Every game has them, and every ambitious game will have them by the thousand.
They do not necessarily mean a game was poorly coded, not tested properly or tossed out the door by the development team.
It’s a new month fellow gamers so that means any PlayStation user who has PlayStation Plus is entitled to some free games from Sony if you own a PS4, PS3 or Vita. Below is the list of games for the month of June:
- Killing Floor 2, PS4
- Life is Strange, PS4
- Abyss Odyssey, PS3
- WRC 5: World Rally Championship, PS3
- Neon Chrome, PS Vita (crossbuy with PS4)
- Spy Chameleon, PS Vita (crossbuy on PS4)
Nothing AAA worthy, but many declare that Life is Strange is well worth playing. Let us know on the Gaming Latest forum if you plan on getting any of these.
It’s been on the cards for a while, and we’ve hinted about it in the past already. But now, it’s finally happened. Gaming Reinvented and Gaming Latest have now merged.
So what does this mean for you as a user?
Well, a few things really. Firstly, the forums will now entirely reside on the Gaming Latest domain rather than the Gaming Reinvented one. They’ll still have the same content and many of the same staff (like myself), but the domain and hosting will be under Demon Skeith’s control instead of mine.
And there’s a good reason I’ve done that. Namely, I don’t have the time and energy to keep running a large gaming forum.
I mean sure, I can run a smaller one. Something like Wario Forums where the amount of daily effort needed for generating content and keeping out troublemakers is greatly reduced. That’s well within my capabilities at the moment.
But for a big, nearly big board level community with hundreds of thousands of posts and many thousands of members, that’s just a bit too much for me at the moment. I’ve got a startup to get going, events to attend, news to post on this site and marketing to do on social media. Adding ‘large community management’ to the list is just too much stress.
So I’ve decided that we can now focus on what we do best instead. I can worry how to run a great news site, whereas Demon Skeith can worry about the general forum management aspect. It’s a simple deal really.
As well as one that will help the site immensely. Why?
Because now Gaming Reinvented is the official news site for Gaming Latest too. It’s where members are encouraged to submit gaming content in the form of articles, it’s going to have various articles posted to the forums via RSS, etc. This will bring more attention to our platform, and allow for fun contests like this one.
Where you’re rewarded with eShop/Steam/Xbox Live credits for writing the best articles for the site.
So yeah, the merge is now active. However, that’s not the only thing that is here.
Oh no, we’ve also been working on improving another feature. What is it?
The comments system.
Yeah, as you can tell, we’re now running a new comments system with far better features than before. This system (called wpDiscuz) basically acts like a self hosted version of Disqus.
Except you know, without the annoying forced ads. Or recommended articles shoved at the end.
And it has tons of cool features. For example, you can now upvote and downvote comments like on Reddit:
Subscribe to comments on a per article basis, with replies sent through email.
As well as other additions we’ll be adding on soon. Like the ability to use @ tags like on Twitter, or the ability to post videos and other media directly in the comments section. It’s much more stylish and useful than the bland old WordPress default, and will hopefully make commenting less of a chore in general.
So enjoy the site everyone! It’s now aligned with a new gaming community, has a new comments system and will have numerous other neat features in future as well.