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He said, Hsu said; EGM interviews Peter Moore

In case you don't remember, Dan "Shoe" Hsu, the editor of gaming-mag EGM, wrote an editorial last month beginning, "My industry pisses me off." In it he railed against the lack of journalistic ethics in the video games press; against the buying of coverage and the lack of critical response. People got in a huff that he didn't "name names," and so it was that another chapter in the saga of "video games journalism sucks" began.

Hsu took it upon himself to show the kids how they're supposed to play when he sat down to interview Microsoft's top marketing exec, Peter Moore. It should be stated that trying to get a professional salesman like Moore to slip up in an interview is like trying to herd cats, most people just don't do it; there's a reason Microsoft sends this guy out to do this stuff. Nevertheless, Hsu insisted on trying to round him up.

He prefaces the interview boasting, "...this interview is no walk in the park...." He proceeds to ask him a series of loaded questions that aren't any more insightful than the banter of a gaming forum. Why aren't the graphics better; why is the console so loud; why is Barbie's Horse Adventures compatible while Splinter Cell isn't? What is most obnoxious isn't the questions themselves, but the fact that the answers are all known; we know the answers, Hsu knows the answers. There wasn't a chance Moore was going to stumble and say, "Oh, the system's loud because we really rushed the hardware design... oops," or, "We really anticipated that more Xbox owners would enjoy Barbie's Horse Adventures."

It's an exercise in humiliation, the goal being to make Peter Moore squirm while affirming Dan Hsu's role as an "investigatory journalist." It's not that tough questions are out of bounds, but the verve with which Hsu made his point seemed to be not so much in the name of journalistic integrity as it was didacticism.

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