Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

My Weekend at the Movies

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This weekend I was allowed to see an advance screening of an upcoming summer movie.  I did tweet what the film was prior to going to view it, but when I got there a very specific NDA (non-disclosure agreement) has me not wanting to give any more information.  There still is a point to this post, I assure you.  The thing about NDA’s, for example, is that they are vague and pretty much don’t want you talking about anything, but yet I often feel compelled to follow them provided certain circumstances.  I was not brought in to see this movie because of this site or any affiliation, in fact I’m betting the production company doesn’t know or care that this post exists provided I leak no information on what I saw, including the title of the film or my opinion.  I also want to point out that while this site does receive review copies of games from time to time, there is no connection between this film and games directly and thus there’s no fear of retaliation associated with my compliance.  While quite rare on the Internet, I intend to respect the NDA because it’s the right thing to do.  Rest assured I am writing the review while the film is fresh in my mind and it will release when I get the permission to do so.

shaunofthedeadIt’s pretty cool to go to the movies and see something that isn’t out yet.  Much like other things, people want that privilege to be of the few that has seen something new.  Thanks to my geographic location and various demographics, I’ve been fortunate enough to see a few movies early as production companies decide what they want to bring out and how it’s going to fair.  It’s always crazy and people seem to never appreciate what they receive.  I was one of the first to see Shaun of the Dead more than a year before it came out to US audiences (and I might add it was more violent and had a certain “c” word we hate in this country spoken a few times).  This was also the case for The Dark Knight, which had a graphically violent scene (the “pencil trick” one) that I knew wouldn’t make it into the film if the movie got a PG-13 (which it did and the scene was stripped down).  In all of these cases I never talked about the movies I saw because I was frankly asked not to.  There were others who wanted to be the first to post a review on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes so that they can get some sort of pseudo-popularity or whatever, but it just irks me that people aren’t willing to appreciate what they were given.  It’s not cheap to rent out a theater for an afternoon, it’s risky to show a movie you’re gauging interest in early and giving away the plot in this day and age, and to see people threatening to give away all the secrets just because their family of seven couldn’t sit together seems wrong.

I guess I’m using this post to ask people to understand and respect non-disclosure agreements were you to be lucky enough to see a movie early, play a game early, or do anything for review.  We all love to knock on companies like Bethesda when The Evil Within review leaks, despite a strongly worded NDA that it cannot come out until the game’s release.   The fact that no one else can release the review seems tempting, but in truth anyone who has that NDA was given the game for free in a formal agreement.  Not only that, but this is an ongoing deal with the publisher that the site will reap the benefits of a free game and early review to keep its business strong while the publisher gets a bunch of publicity.  It’s very much the core of the public relations cycle, which is most strongly different from advertising because it’s supposed to be low or no cost.  Of course all NDAs are legal documents and can have legal consequences for violating, but all in all it’s just bad business.  If the only way you can get a product is to make a deal with the company who owns it and you stab them in the back for personal gain, you won’t get very far.  In fact, if you care that much and feel that the review must be told early by you, then you’re going to have to find another nefarious way to get your hands on it like dumpster diving or convincing a foolish business owner to sell it early.

Written by Fred Rojas

April 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Blog

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