Updated: Sep 11, 2019
I've been pondering this question for a long while now. Lets say that with the rise and influence of all the independent gaming journalists we all follow on....whatever social media platform/video service we prefer, that these independents actually take down the established "blue check marks" and other verified badges/marks social media sites use to scream "HEY! THIS PERSON IS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUS!" what happens then? Has anyone ever really thought of this?
Our independents then become the new mainstream. The bigger independent content producers/channels would just step in to fill the void that would be left behind with the collapse of the mainstream gaming journalist companies. Because nature despises a vacuum right?
Then what? Do we start to criticize and turn on them as well for being mainstream? For possibly getting corrupted by the big gaming companies because now our once independent gaming journalists/content creators are the big time influencers? Because they'll be getting all the "perks" those vilified mainstream gaming journalists/content creators once did? Almost anyone would be willing to shill for the right company/person for the right price. There might be 5% of our independents that would say no strictly on moral principles, regardless of how many 0's were on that check. That scenario is not out of the realm of possibility, our beloved independent content creators are only human.
I would like to think that this would not happen. That not in a million years would we see our independent gaming journalists/content creators get sucked up into the corporate machine the way our current mainstream gaming journalists did. Twisting and perverting their outlook on the industry because the view has changed from bottom floor peon to Ivory Tower inhabitant.
But, didn't(most of) our mainstreamers start out small as well? With just blogs? Or maybe a random article here or there on Kotaku, GameInformer, Escapist, Polygon, etc? You know, the struggling freelance type? It's hard to imagine them at one time being fledgling journalists/creators just like you or me; trying to desperately sell their services just to be able to eat for the week. Now look at them with their dream gig doing what they(supposedly and arguably) love. Isn't that what it's supposed to be all about? Making a living off of doing what you're passionate about? Shouldn't we all be, overall, happy and supportive of these people?
[I'd like to stress the fact that I know in the current climate we have in the industry, a lot of our mainstream gaming journalists/outlets seem to be nothing more than political activists pushing their own agendas and views sprinkled in between the lines of their articles and the words they speak in podcasts/shows. Locked in their own little echo chambers, regurgitating each others thoughts and ideas just worded slightly different. So, a massive dethroning of our current big time influencers is exactly what we need.]
I guess all I'm really trying to say is that while we all support a lot of our independent gaming journalists/content creators, and rightfully so, we should also keep in mind that if the push to dethrone the blue check marks/verifieds actually succeeds that these independents are going to end up being the new mainstream. With more and more of us "normies" finding independents to get our news and information from, we are just bolstering that specific independent creators "social currency",influence, reach and are just helping them grow into a mainstream influencer themselves.
The cycle just repeats itself with the rise and fall of journalists/content creators. Without the mainstream asshats we all say we despise, the vast majority of our independent creators wouldn't have stories to report upon or do analysis on because those types of stories are only leaked, or given out to, mainstream big-time publications 9/10 times. Because even with the contacts some of our independents might have, a lot of them don't act upon the information given because they're typically low/mid level personnel that don't have access to the high level information needed to be taken serious with just one or two e-mails. Then once the "big wigs" have published a story about it our independents have a go at it.
Almost like they are fighting over the left over table scraps, clambering to be the first person you hear the news from. While in their own ways just regurgitating the same story with their own personal spin on it.
So what will you do when the take down of the gaming journalist establishment happens? When we've shoved all those verified/blue check mark gaming journalists, editors, E.I.C's, and other staff out of the picture are you going to stand beside whoever comes along to replace them? Will we stand by our beloved independents when this happens or will we use the tried and true "You got famous and let it go to your head. You've changed. You no longer have my support" and then go find another small creator to follow instead? Because that's just how it seems to work. The cannibalistic nature of the industry just continues on, churning out someone new ever so often when there's nobody left standing.