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Sex, Drugs and Cartoon Violence: My Decade as a Video Game Journalist

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Covering a decade on the inside of the games industry, SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE lifts the curtain on the whirlwind of hype and promotion surrounding the launch of a multimillion dollar game. From all-expenses paid junkets, to multi-million dollar parties, to exclusive “previews”, these are the stories you’ve never heard about the way video games are sold and report Covering a decade on the inside of the games industry, SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE lifts the curtain on the whirlwind of hype and promotion surrounding the launch of a multimillion dollar game. From all-expenses paid junkets, to multi-million dollar parties, to exclusive “previews”, these are the stories you’ve never heard about the way video games are sold and reported. Written by a veteran games reporter and former television producer, this is the story of an accidental journey into — and back out of — one of the weirdest niches of journalism in the world. With a foreward by Adam Sessler. ** Called “The Indiana Jones of games writing” by goodgameswriting.com, Russ Pitts has spent more than ten years traveling the world writing about video games. Pitts is the former editor-in-chief of the six-time Webby Award-winning website, The Escapist; the former features editor at Vox Media’s premiere video game website, Polygon and the former head writer and producer of TechTV’s “The Screen Savers.” Pitts’ video game industry reporting has been lauded as groundbreaking, innovative and some of the most thoughtful and intelligent writing about video games today. He has been nominated for multiple awards for his work covering the video game industry, and is the writer of hundreds of articles and long-form features, and the books “How Games are Made” and “Eagle Semen: The Story of TechTV Employee Number One”. Pitts has been published in Polygon, Kotaku, IGN, GameSpot, US Gamer, PC Gamer, Joystiq, Digital Trends, and The Escapist. SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE is his first time sharing behind-the-scenes stories from his career in reporting on video games.


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Covering a decade on the inside of the games industry, SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE lifts the curtain on the whirlwind of hype and promotion surrounding the launch of a multimillion dollar game. From all-expenses paid junkets, to multi-million dollar parties, to exclusive “previews”, these are the stories you’ve never heard about the way video games are sold and report Covering a decade on the inside of the games industry, SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE lifts the curtain on the whirlwind of hype and promotion surrounding the launch of a multimillion dollar game. From all-expenses paid junkets, to multi-million dollar parties, to exclusive “previews”, these are the stories you’ve never heard about the way video games are sold and reported. Written by a veteran games reporter and former television producer, this is the story of an accidental journey into — and back out of — one of the weirdest niches of journalism in the world. With a foreward by Adam Sessler. ** Called “The Indiana Jones of games writing” by goodgameswriting.com, Russ Pitts has spent more than ten years traveling the world writing about video games. Pitts is the former editor-in-chief of the six-time Webby Award-winning website, The Escapist; the former features editor at Vox Media’s premiere video game website, Polygon and the former head writer and producer of TechTV’s “The Screen Savers.” Pitts’ video game industry reporting has been lauded as groundbreaking, innovative and some of the most thoughtful and intelligent writing about video games today. He has been nominated for multiple awards for his work covering the video game industry, and is the writer of hundreds of articles and long-form features, and the books “How Games are Made” and “Eagle Semen: The Story of TechTV Employee Number One”. Pitts has been published in Polygon, Kotaku, IGN, GameSpot, US Gamer, PC Gamer, Joystiq, Digital Trends, and The Escapist. SEX, DRUGS, AND CARTOON VIOLENCE is his first time sharing behind-the-scenes stories from his career in reporting on video games.

30 review for Sex, Drugs and Cartoon Violence: My Decade as a Video Game Journalist

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cian Rice

    I was unfortunately incredibly disappointed by this book. While I love the work Russ Pitts has done (both written and video - I was a backer on State of Play) as a journalist and content producer, I found this book didn't hit for me. First, and this bugged me profusely, I should note that, at least on my Kindle, there was an abundance of editing issues and grammatical issues. This was most notable during a section where the editing process during the early days of Polygon was discussed. I don't I was unfortunately incredibly disappointed by this book. While I love the work Russ Pitts has done (both written and video - I was a backer on State of Play) as a journalist and content producer, I found this book didn't hit for me. First, and this bugged me profusely, I should note that, at least on my Kindle, there was an abundance of editing issues and grammatical issues. This was most notable during a section where the editing process during the early days of Polygon was discussed. I don't usually hone in on this as I'm quite typo prone myself but they were frequent, to the point where the word "we" (I think...) was just "w" at one point. Combined with some weirdly boring retelling of zany press events (though the Tabula Rasa event is game marketing at its most "gamey") and some remarks that seemed (perhaps unintentionally) disparaging, I was really bummed by this book. As I noted previously I have backed a KS project from this author, and am an ardent supporter (and volunteer on occasion) of Take This, a non-profit he started. I have met the author once or twice but wouldn't consider myself acquainted with him.

  2. 4 out of 5

    iTZKooPA

    Russ is a great story teller and the video game industry, mainly the marketing arm, gave him many ridiculous stories to tell. It was interesting reading someone who was in the same career as me for awhile but far better at his job. I aspired to write for The Escapist, but only had the courage to pitch to the company once in its early days. He also ground it out far longer than I did. In the end, the read became very nostalgic for me, which I did not expect. If you're a big gamer, want to investi Russ is a great story teller and the video game industry, mainly the marketing arm, gave him many ridiculous stories to tell. It was interesting reading someone who was in the same career as me for awhile but far better at his job. I aspired to write for The Escapist, but only had the courage to pitch to the company once in its early days. He also ground it out far longer than I did. In the end, the read became very nostalgic for me, which I did not expect. If you're a big gamer, want to investigate making writing about video games a full-time job or have enjoyed Russ' work in the past then pick this up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Hale

    A tell-all autobiography from one of the integral members of The Escapist and Polygon. It's an interesting and candid insider look at the excesses, idiosyncracies and weird foibles of the games industry, and much of it is told in anecdotes about specific promotional events. It's pretty good, though I had some frustration with it. Also, the book is formatted a little oddly, and there are a good few typos. I'll have a more substantial review up soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    As a video game enthusiast who has attended many events such as E3, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Russ Pitt's experiences in the industry. There were things that I was dying to know that were omitted but I was still satisfied by what Russ decided to offer up. My only critique is that this book needed another round of edits to catch some of the typos plaguing the second half of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J. Lipke

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian J Graham

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Grugin

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christophe

  13. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

  14. 4 out of 5

    Oniesha

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amalie Kæseler

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Drager

  18. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Schuster

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tom Bunting

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thom Clancy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Agustin Barto

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gwinn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Luis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Andrews

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nissa Campbell

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