Oh Dan "Shoe" Hsu, what dark secrets of the video game press won't you expose? In the latest episode of Behind the Scenes: Gaming Journalism, a report on all the things the gaming press does and has done to them appearing on his and Crispin Boyer's website Sore Thumbs, Shoe explores the seedy world of free baseball games and Japanese escorts.
Editors fly to Japan fairly regularly to visit Japanese game studios. And those studios and their respective publishers will usually entertain these editors — dinner, drinks...the usual. But I guess flying into strange, alien lands deserves high-end hospitality, so Tecmo in the past has treated their American journalist guests to evenings out at Japanese hostess bars, watering holes where women are paid to keep customers company (not necessarily in a "me so horny!" way...it's more of a "let me keep filling your drinks and you are so funny and handsome and wonderful and let me hang on to your every word!" male-insecurities-nuking thing). Maybe that in itself is nothing shocking, but this part might be: Tecmo has literally spent thousands of dollars giving a very small handful of American editors some lady companionship for one night. Thousands. That's some pricey conversating.
I know what you're thinking here. "Fahey, why aren't you going to the Tokyo Game Show? Free ladies!" First off, BlizzCon, murlocs. Secondly, there is no such thing as free ladies. I'm not just talking about game companies trying to woo journalists either. There is a price. There is always a price.
Here at Kotaku Tower, only one of our editors is regularly in the company of a Japanese woman, and I hardly think what Mrs. Ashcraft does can be considered wooing. More like tolerating with the patience of a saint. The man is lucky he's cute.
Behind the Scenes: Gaming Journalism (Part 5) [Sore Thumbs]
Editor's note: It is against Kotaku's policy to accept free travel. We do disclose when we go to events paid for by publishers or developers.