modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand


Archive for the ‘investigative journalism’


The players and the game 61

Posted on October 30, 2012 by RevStu

"Those who have been angry about all this – don’t investigate the people, investigate the system." (Robert Florence, writing on John Walker's blog last week.)

Let's see what we can do, eh?

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The Wainwright Profile 41

Posted on October 26, 2012 by RevStu

Well, that was exciting. The entire English-speaking world of videogames journalism just about convulsed itself into a coma yesterday because someone did that rarest of things in the English-speaking world of videogames journalism – spoke openly, frankly and truthfully about something. If you've been having trouble keeping up with the dizzying pace of developments, allow us to lead you gently through the most concise and accurate timeline we can manage.

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A Table Of Cowards 36

Posted on October 25, 2012 by RevStu

Below is the originally-published version of an article entitled "A Table Of Doritos", which appeared on Eurogamer this week, before being censored by the site following a complaint from Lauren Wainwright, who was mentioned in the piece. Lauren Wainwright is a journalist whose entry on Journalisted includes Tomb Raider publisher Square-Enix in the roster of her "current" employers.

WoSland republishes the article here, without the permission or knowledge of either Eurogamer or the article's author Robert Florence, in the interests of news reporting. It is unedited save for the fact that we've highlighted in bold the passage that Eurogamer removed. If it's libellous, as Lauren Wainwright claims, we invite her to sue us.

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Some people are on the pitch 58

Posted on September 05, 2012 by RevStu

As regular readers will know, we've always been keen admirers of Bruce Everiss's almost-unparallelled videogames-industry knowledge and expertise. So we've been thrilled to recently see him storming back to the cutting-edge as chief of marketing for David Darling's new company Kwalee, which has hit on the genius idea of making it big in the ultra-competitive App Store market by employing a vast team of staff to come up with two-player-only knockoffs of ancient board games.

The well-documented problem with the App Store, of course, is visibility. To have a chance of getting your game noticed you need it to get lots of great reviews, and when your games are extremely mediocre and competing against hundreds and hundreds of existing clones of the same thing which DO offer single-player play as well as online, the chances of that happening are slim.

Unless you cut out the middleman and write the reviews yourself, of course.

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The Olympic enclosures 1

Posted on July 25, 2012 by RevStu

As the sun made its first appearance of the summer at the weekend, Wings over Sealand wasn't slow off the mark. On the "B" of the "BANG!", we leapt onto a train for a scenic two-hour journey to the seaside, specifically the lovely south-coast town of Weymouth. It's a remarkable place, changing character every time you turn a corner.

The front is a traditional resort promenade, with beaches and ice-cream stands and arcades. Just behind it is a picturesque working harbour town, tatty fishing boats mingling with some extremely fancy millionaires' yachts. (Don't miss the tasty and gigantic battered faggots at Bennett's On The Waterfront fish and chip shop, by the way, the closest thing you'll find to haggis in an English chippy and heavenly with a splash of onion vinegar.) Adjacent to both is a scruffy but bustling town centre, almost entirely free of the empty shops littering every other urban conurbation in Britain.

And if you embark on about five minutes' leisurely stroll from the western end of the prom or the busy, noisy harbour and marina, you'll find the town's only sizeable area of public green space, in the form of the beautiful and peaceful oasis that is The Nothe.

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That was then 0

Posted on March 21, 2012 by RevStu

For the thousands of readers who slightly startlingly visited yesterday's piece on Bath's retail economy (you never know which are going to be the popular stories in this business), here's the December 2009 WoS feature on Newport referenced in it, which I've unlocked from the WoS subscriber section. (I tried to just copy it over into this blog, but it was a hideous technical nightmare.)

How To Commit A Terrorist Atrocity And Get Away With It

If I can find the time one day next week, I'm going to try to go back to Newport and see how it's getting along two years on. Stand by for upbeat feelgood action!

This is Bath 37

Posted on March 20, 2012 by RevStu

And so tick follows tock. Alert WoS viewers may recall a subscriber feature from way back in December 2009 in which we chronicled the grim retail decay of the Welsh city of Newport. But two years into the Tories' medieval bloodletting "cure" for Britain's financial woes, the evidence of the country's slow but inexorable economic collapse can no longer be contained in the ghettoes of the working class. Because this is Bath.

This compact city of just 80,000 or so is swelled all year round by swarming hordes of well-heeled tourists (because you have to be well-heeled to come here at all) who troop in in their literally-millions to admire the pretty architecture and spew money into a local economy that's already cherry-pink with high-earning professionals.

I've lived here, lurking unnoticed in one of Britain's wealthiest corners, for over 21 years now. In all that time, it's hard to think back and recall even a single instance of a city-centre shop that's been empty for anything other than a brief transitional period between owners. Not any more.

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Capitalism is weird, part 57 13

Posted on October 11, 2011 by RevStu

This page lists the various contract tariffs for the imminent iPhone 4S on O2. If you add them up, you get some pretty strange results.

(For the purposes of these calculations, we've worked out the total cost for the term of a 12-month contract, including a £6 "Bolt-On" for 500MB of data, and based on purchasing the 64GB model.)

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Exciting Benchmark Reviews update #5 4

Posted on July 26, 2010 by RevStu

Also incorporating: The Story So Far.

Turns out that this one just keeps on running.

Today's thrilling developments include WoSblog's new best friend Olin Coles, Executive Editor of "independent" "reviews" site Benchmark Reviews, being exposed for some fraudulent DMCA claims and for yet more instances of lying to to his innocent, trusting readership. Read on!

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Exciting Benchmark Reviews update #4 17

Posted on July 24, 2010 by RevStu

WoSblog apologises for any inconvenience caused to would-be viewers this afternoon, when for several hours visitors to the site were confronted with the image below.

The blog's suspension for much of yesterday was the result of yet another desperate attempt by Olin Coles, the in-no-way brainless and cowardly owner of widely discredited "review" site Benchmark Reviews, to suppress the evidence of his site's not-at-all dishonest practices.

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Exciting Benchmark Reviews update #3 12

Posted on July 23, 2010 by RevStu

Ooh, things just got even more interesting. Viewers following the mysterious tale of Benchmark Reviews and where their fully independent reviews come from will recall that WoSblog's shadowy agents tracked down the text of their glowing review of a $1200 office chair to the website of an online retailer called Smart Furniture. When asked, Smart Furniture asserted that the text was their own original work.

Since then, further developments have transpired. Read on!

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Benchmark Reviews? Busted, more like 24

Posted on July 21, 2010 by RevStu

WoSblog is internationally renowned for its psychiatric expertise, so I wasn't surprised yesterday when a viewer of the WoS Forum asked me, quite out of the blue, to assess their mental stability.

"I want to know if I'm going barmy", wrote the clearly-distressed reader, whose cause for doubting his very sanity was – of all things – a review of an incredibly expensive office chair.

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    Hello. I am the Rev. Stuart Campbell,
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