Our obsession with previews: their purpose and presence in games coverage and Kickstarters

Bungie Destiny

I read a great article today on Gamasutra about the larger nature and purpose of video game previews — an area of coverage that I rarely touch, partly because I don’t really travel for my freelance positions and partly because I’m ruthlessly suspicious of them.

Take just one preview of Bungie’s next game, Destiny. It’s already the center of enormous hype due to the developer’s reputation as the Halo creator — those sci-fi first-person shooters are some of the most popular games on the Xbox 360 console. Kotaku’s preview, as many previews like it do, mixes a little personal observation and reflection with a lot of hand-fed information. This is a company’s way of ensuring carefully tailored press coverage. Oftentimes previews don’t involve hands-on interaction — the developer shows reporters what it wants them to see and tells them everything they “need” to know, which isn’t necessarily the same as what they want to know.

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Update time! I’m now community manager for Z.

Hey, everyone!

If you’re big into zombies, love anything card or board game related, or are passionate about comics and cosplay, please take a moment to check out Z. — a digital trading card game on Kickstarter. Think of it as Magic: The Gathering meets The Walking Dead. I’m involved with the project as community manager, so we have 25 days and counting to make this thing happen!

We need to spread the word as much as possible, so if you could pass the link around or post an announcement on your blog, we’d appreciate every bit of help! You can also contact me exclusively at stephanie.carmichael@downwardviral.com for pics and more info.

If you’re interested in contributing to the cause, donating will get you tons of goodies (including a limited box edition). You can learn more about the rewards on our Kickstarter page.

Be sure to tell all the zombie lovers you know! And remember: Keep those shotguns handy.

Want to know more? Glad you asked!

  • Choose your side: zombies or survivors?
  • Original photography and gruesome horror effects used for every card
  • MMO-esque equipment sets, progressive card bonuses, and killstreaks!
  • An episodic story using live-action cutscenes produced by the team behind the Left 4 Dead short film
  • Created with gamers, for gamers! Get in on the dev process and vote on new cards and features, or be a card yourself!
  • LOTS of guest characters, with Tex Murphy already being announced as the first!
  • We’re doing one major update a day, showing off the different aspects of the game and Kickstarter process
  • Tons of swag for backers, including a collectors edition boxed set that is exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign!